Posts Tagged by Walt Disney World Half Marathon

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Info

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It’s almost here…the largest runDisney race weekend of the year!  Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will bring over 50,000 runners and their families to the resort January 7-11, 2015.  With four races, two challenges, kids races and a TON of other events crammed into five days, it’s easy to lose track of why you’re really there…to run!  So I’ve put together everything you need to know to have a stress free race weekend!  Let’s get started…

Health & Fitness Expo

The race weekend starts with the Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Hours for the Expo are:

  • Wednesday, January 7th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Thursday, January 8th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Friday, January 9th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 10th: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Participants in all of the races must attend the Expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag doubles at the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, such as pins or necklaces or these new Dooney & Bourke bags!

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Because this race weekend is so large, the Expo is spread out through much of the Sports Complex.  Your first stop at the Expo should be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up.  Starting with this weekend you can no longer have someone pick up your race packet for you.  Everyone MUST turn in a waiver, show ID and pick up their own packet.

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Because there are so many races and challenges over this weekend, packet pick-up is spread out over the two levels of the HP Field House.  On the Entry Level you will find: Kids Races, 5K, 10K, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Dopey Challenge, and Pre-Purchased Commemorative Jacket Pick Up.  On the Lower Level you will find: Half Marathon, Marathon, ChEAR Squad, Race Retreat, and Family Reunion Breakfast Pick Up. The Lower Level is also where shirt pick-up is for Goofy & Dopey participants and where you will find Runner Relations and Castaway 5K information.

After getting your race packet, proceed across the way to the Jostens Center to pick up your race shirt and gEAR bag (except for Goofy & Dopey participants), visit with more vendors and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.

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More vendors can be found in Champion Stadium along with Runner Tracking signup and pickup for Dooney & Bourke bags.

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Plan for BIG crowds at the Expo, especially early on when there will be long lines for exclusive Expo merchandise.  I recommend allowing at least two hours if not a full half day to visit the Expo.

Resort Transportation

Bus transportation will be available from ALL Walt Disney World Resort Hotels to bring participants to and from most events taking place during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  This includes the Expo and all races.

Bus service to the Expo and the Kids Races will run during the following times:

  • Wednesday, January 7th: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 8:30 pm)
  • Thursday, January 8th: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
  • Friday, January 9th: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
  • Saturday, January 10th: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 4:30 pm)

On January 8 – 11, bus transportation will be provided for runners and spectators to and from the races.  For those staying at a Magic Kingdom resort on the monorail line (Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian), the monorail will begin running at 3:00 am each day to take guests to and from Epcot.  Here are the times the busses will run:

  • 5K, January 8th: 4:15 am – 5:30 am & 7:00 am – 9:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 5:00 am)
  • 10K, January 9th: 3:30 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 10:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
  • Half Marathon, January 10th: 3:00 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 11:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
  • Marathon, January 11th: 3:00 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 2:00 pm (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)

Driving Directions

If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  On the mornings of the races, expect SIGNIFICANT DELAYS on all roads heading into Epcot.  You will need to enter via World Drive as Epcot Center Drive will be closed due to race course.  Leave early and allow from plenty of time.  You will need to arrive no later than 4:30 am to make sure you are in your corrals in time for the race start.

Costumes

Costumes are one of the best parts of any Disney race.  It’s amazing to see what some people run in!  I think one of my favorites from the Marathon in 2013 was this guy dressed as a flamingo!

28 Flamingo

Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  This is for your own safety, especially during a night race!  So who are you dressing up as??

Bag Check

Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.

Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race.  The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around if you are planning on staying for the after party.

All bags are checked in the Family Reunion area prior to heading to the start corrals.  Here are the bag check times for each race:

  • 5K, Thursday, January 8th: 5:00 am – 9:00 am
  • 10K, Friday, January 9th: 4:15 am – 9:00 am
  • Half Marathon, Saturday, January 10th: 2:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Marathon, Sunday, January 11th: 2:30 am – 1:30 pm

Staging Area & Start Corrals

When you arrive at the Epcot parking lot, you will be directed to a large staging area before the corrals open.  This is where you will find bag check, water stations, photo ops and most importantly Port-a-Potties.  The corrals for the 5K & 10K will be located in the Explore Lot (see map below) and you will need to be in those corrals 30 minutes prior to the race.

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2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-10K-Corrals

The corrals for the Half Marathon & Marathon are located on Epcot Center Drive.  This is approximately a 20 minute walk from the staging area, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get over there.  You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.

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2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Goofy-Corrals

2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Dopey-Corrals

Race Bibs

Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly.  Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible.

If you are participating in Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, you will be given one bib for both races.  If you are participating in the Dopey Challenge, you will be given 2 bibs.  One for the 5K & 10K and one for the half marathon and marathon.  Keep good care of these throughout the weekend!

Pacing Requirements

You must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line.  Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.  Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.

Aid Stations

There will be 2 water stops along the 5K course and 3 water stops along the 10K course.  No PowerAde or fuel will be provided for either of these races.

For the Half Marathon, there will be 9 PowerAde and water stops along the course and there will be one food station at mile 8.5 that will have Clif Shots available.  For the Marathon, there will be 19 PowerAde and water stops along the course and 4 food stops.  Bananas will be available at miles 11.5 & 18.3.  Clif Shots will be available at miles 15.4 & 19.4.  In additions, there will be sponges distributed at mile 15.4 as you enter the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and candy will be available when you enter the Studios at mile 22.5.

Tip for you: Hang on to the sponge for the remainder of the race and soak it in water at the following water stops to keep you refreshed!

Aid stations will be located approximately 1.5 miles apart from each other for both races.  The PowerAde flavor is lemon-lime, so if that isn’t your thing you should carry your own.  Same goes for the fuel stops…don’t rely on those if you have trained with other products.

Course Maps

Walt Disney World 5K & 10K

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Walt Disney World Half Marathon

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Walt Disney World Marathon

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More information on other events like the Kids Races is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend.  Also, check out some of my packing tips as your get ready to travel and more tips on getting ready for your runcation from RAD contributor Hannah!

Best of  luck to everyone taking on one or all of the races over marathon weekend!  I will sadly not be there, but be assured that I will be stalking my social media feeds and cheering you all on!

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New Anniversary runDisney Medals for Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

This morning at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Disneyland, runDisney revealed new medals for the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon and the 2015 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge.  With a little help from my friends Susan from Mom on the Map and Amanda at Disney Every Day, I was able to get the new photos for you!

5th Anniversary Wine & Dine Half Marathon Medal

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2014-Wine-Dine-Half-Marathon-Medal-5th-Anniversary-Back

10th Anniversary Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge Medal

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2015-Goofy-Race-and-a-Half-Challenge-Medal-10th-Anniversary-Back

These are very reminiscent of the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon medal…I’m LOVING the spinner designs!

What do you think?  Will you be getting one of these new medals?

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Contributors Needed for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

UPDATE 12/29/13: Well, I’m overwhelmed by the response I’ve gotten from this post and I can’t thank you all enough for contributing to covering WDW Marathon Weekend!  You all have such interesting stories and I can’t wait to start reading them.  I know you all will love it too!

I have received an ample amount of coverage for WDW Marathon Weekend and we are set with race recaps and other fun stories.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from you.  Running at Disney is changing and as I’ve hinted before I want to make this more about the community.  So always send me your ideas!

Thank you again for your support!!

Are you running one of the races over Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in a few weeks?  Will you be at the resort as a spectator?  Are your kids running in a race?  If so, then I need YOU!

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I’m looking for runners, walkers, spectators and Disney enthusiasts of all kinds to cover the variety of events over that weekend!  Here are the some ideas for posts:

  • Race Recaps
    • Disney Family Fun Run 5K
    • Walt Disney World 10K
    • Walt Disney World Half Marathon
    • Walt Disney World Marathon
    • Kids Races
  • The Dopey Experience
  • The Goofy Race and a Half Experience
  • A Spectator’s Point of View
  • Health & Fitness Expo
  • runDisney Speaker Series
  • runDisney Official Meet Up
  • First Time Disney Runners
  • Race Weekend Dining
  • New runDisney New Balance Running Shoes
  • Pasta in the Park Party
  • The Cool Down Party
  • And anything else you can think of…

Choice of topic will come on a first serve basis, so email me at sarah@runningatdisney.com if you are interested in covering one or many aspects of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for Running at Disney…the more the merrier!!

Best of luck to everyone running and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Coast to Coast Challenge Update

Ever since the new special edition Coast to Coast Challenge pink medal was announced for the Princess Half Marathon and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, questions have been circulating.  Can we now get 2 Coast to Coast medals?!?  It wasn’t clear.

Well now it is and YES, in 2014 you have the ability to earn 2 Coast to Coast medals (if your wallet allows).

Coast to Coast Medals

Here is the official info from the runDisney website:

Only in 2014, runners can earn each version of the Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal.  Each race can only count once towards a Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal; to earn both medals in 2014 four races – two on each coast – must be completed. 

So that means you MUST complete Disney’s Princess Half Marathon and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, along with one of the following races in Walt Disney World:

  • Walt Disney World Marathon
  • Walt Disney World Half Marathon
  • Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
  • Dopey Challenge
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

AND the Disneyland Half Marathon or the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge.  That’s a lot of money running!!!

While I would LOVE to have both of these medals, I don’t think it’s in the cards for me.  The Tinker Bell Half Marathon is too close to Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and I’m already signed up for the 10K and Half Marathon.  Plus, it’s quite the investment to take a trip to California twice in one year for me and that’s just not in the cards.  But I can’t wait to see how many of YOU take on this challenge!  Will you be getting 2 Coast to Coast medals in 2014?    

2013 Walt Disney World Half Marathon Recap

Big congrats to my good friend Jillian Hoffman for completing her first half marathon!  We ran our first 5K together back in 2010 and look how far we’ve come!!  I am so excited to have her here on RAD to share her experience.  Take it away girl…

Hi All! I’m Jillian and can’t wait to share my experience of running my first ever half marathon during Marathon Weekend!

Let’s go back to Marathon Weekend 2010. I participated in the 5k that weekend, my first race ever! I had so much fun and knew that I wanted to run a half marathon…eventually. Fast forward to New Year’s Eve 2012 just a few weeks before my 29th birthday. Every one kept asking what my resolutions were. Without even hesitating I said “to run the DisneyWorld Half Marathon in 2013 right before I turn 30.” And here’s my story of doing just that!

I spent all year training and even dealt with a severely strained psoas (hip) injury that sidelined me for almost 2 months back in Oct/Nov. So needless to say leading up to the race I had tons of anxiety about my injury and of course like so many others, came down with a cold the week before the race.  Thank goodness that by Friday morning when I hopped on a flight down to Florida I was feeling much better.

The day before the race was a whirlwind! My friend Jen was joining me on this trip to run the half as well. After our flight landed in Orlando we hopped on Magical Express, checked into our room, and headed over to the Expo. We quickly got our race bibs (anxiety set in big time right there), then headed over to the Expo for some shopping. We dropped everything off in our room and it was already time for dinner with my parents who were down to cheer me on. We ate at Delmonico Italian Steakhouse, which isn’t too far off property and I can’t recommend it enough. We filled up on pasta & Lasagna Chips, the most amazing thing we’ve ever eaten!!

Lasagna Chips!

Lasagna Chips!

We got back to the room 7:30pm and had just enough time for showers, stretching (you bet I brought my foam roller with me!), and putting out our race clothes before we went to sleep.

Race clothes ready to go

Race clothes ready to go

At the cruel hour of 2:30am the first alarm went off. After hitting snooze twice we finally got out of bed around 2:45am. Both of us did some more stretching, chugged down bottles of water, and I ate my breakfast of 2 slices of whole wheat bread w/natural peanut butter and honey drizzled on it. We got dressed, put together our bag, and headed out the door. Since Jen is a way more experienced runner than I, we planned to just check her bag with both of our things since she was going to finish about an hour before me.

03 JH_Jill & Jenn

After making sure we had everything, it was off to the buses. One was pulling up just as we were getting to the stop so we made a quick run for it to make sure we got on. We were staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort so it was a quick ride over to Epcot. On the long walk from where the buses dropped us off to the pre-race area, I started to get really emotional! Everything I had worked on all year was about to be put to the test. As Jen saw me starting to tear up, she said exactly what I needed, “Stop being a whiney (insert expletive here haha), suck it up, you’re gonna rock this! Look how far you’ve come!!” We laughed but that was exactly what I needed to get me pumped up and ready! We met up with some friends to say hellos and good lucks.

04 JH_Pre-Race

We took a few bathroom breaks and checked our bag.  Once through the bag check, insanity ensued! You could barely move! It took us over 20 minutes to walk from the bag check to our corral!

HUGE crowd walking to corrals

HUGE crowd walking to corral

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Jen was supposed to start in corral C but was awesome and moved back to start with me in F. God bless that girl because I would have freaked just standing around by myself! While waiting we stretched some more, chugged down more water, and started taking GU & Shotbloks.

08 JH_Corral F

Stretches!

Stretches!

Pretty soon fireworks were going off all around us as the race had officially started!!!

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About a half hour after that first start our corral started moving on up to the start line!! Ahhhh here we go!!

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This was it!! I was about to start running my first half marathon!! I was excited, nervous, elated, you name it!! Goofy & Donald were there and all of sudden it was time to go!!!

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16 JH_F Start

I was doing intervals of 2 mins running/2  mins walking as per my doctors instructions since this was going to be my longest run since the psoas injury. As soon as I hit my first walk interval Jen gave me a big hug and was off running!  Side note: That chick finished in 2:16:05 and that was with 2 bathroom stops! Yeah girl!!

The first few miles went great!! So great in fact that I did my fastest 5k since before the injury! I was happy and taking pictures of things as I passed. I just couldn’t believe I was running a half marathon!!!

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18 JH_C&D

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Heading into the TTC at mile 4 I was still feeling good and getting really excited that I wasn’t too far from the Magic Kingdom!

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Coming down the hill just before the Contemporary there was a DJ in duck wings cheering us on! I couldn’t help but smile running down that hill!

Quackin Your Pace!!

Quackin Your Pace!!

Then we passed mile 5 and started making our way into the Magic Kingdom! I was already getting emotional. I took out my camera to take some pics as I was coming down Main Street…

Main Street USA!

Main Street USA!

Once on Main Street, I started looking for my friends Shelley & Betsy. I soon spotted them but Shelley started pointing at something. I looked over and my best friend Kelly was there!! I started bursting into tears because I could not believe that she surprised me!! Thank goodness my friend Shalon caught this moment on video. I cry every time I look at it!

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After hugs & tears, I ran off with a renewed sense of spirit! I seriously loved the time in the Magic Kingdom!! I took lots of pictures and was able to use the bathroom in Tomorrowland with a very minimal wait! I also was able to get in a quick photo with Alice & the Red Queen since it was the only short line I saw the whole race!

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Running through the castle was amazing! It got a little congested but seriously, it was so cool!!

After that I passed by Tiana & Louis…

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On my way through Frontierland…

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And out the back entrance…by the garbage! They tried to spiff it up with Cinderella and the castle float…

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But the 10k mark, the water/powerade station, & port-a-pottys were all right there by the garbage! Seriously Disney?! It stunk so bad and I had such a hard time getting down my water. After that it got very tight too. I tried to keep to my intervals as best as I could but my running ones were almost as slow and my walking because there was just nowhere to go. A little after mile 7 it opened up but my hip started to hurt a bit. I stopped right after the Clif Bar station to stretch a little then continued on. Then next 2 miles were the worst of the whole race for me. It was just a long straight road with no entertainment, the sun blaring hot in my face, and trying to push through the pain. I want to give you all an honest look at how I felt so please try not to laugh too hard at my mile 8/9 pictures.

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I had a serious moment of “OMG I’m not going to finish.” But just as I was approaching mile 10 I got a text from Jen saying “Babe, ur right on track to finish!!! Ur doing AMAZING!! Keep it up, almost done!!!” It was what I needed; I perked right up and hit a few awesome spots in the race! As I was coming up the overpass the Green Army Men were shouting at us to pick it up and get to that finish line! So I snapped a quick pic and got on up that hill!

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As we were running over the bridge I saw nothing but a sea of people running where I had just come from. I know this may sound awful but seeing that gave me confidence that I was going to finish; I wasn’t last! The next confidence boost came from this fabulous woman right before mile 11. She ran up next to me and tapped me on the shoulder. I pulled out my ear buds and she says “Can I just say that you look amazing! You barely look like you’re sweating and I’m such a hot sweaty mess. You go girl! You so got this.” I laughed and thanked her and told her I could just hug her right now but I can promise I’m as sweaty as you and I’m sure you don’t want to feel that! Folks, this is why I love runDisney races! The camaraderie and all the encouragement! So if that lady was you, THANK YOU, you got me through those last 2.1 miles.

Honestly, I was really feeling great at this point. The pain in my hip wasn’t so bad, I know that I had properly hydrated and fueled along the course, and I knew my parents were going to be there at the end to cheer me on! Now we were coming into Epcot. Phineas & Ferb were rocking out and cheering us on with a DJ…

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And I had just 1 more mile to go!!!!!

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I called my parents & Jen to let them know I was making my way into Epcot and to find out where they were standing. Hearing my Dad’s voice and him telling me I’m almost there was all I needed. I was about to be a half marathoner!

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The time in Epcot went so fast!! Before I knew it I was coming up to mile 13 and the sounds of the Gospel Choir.

Just past mile 13 was my parents and all my friends!! They were all jumping and cheering!

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It was so amazing and I knew that finish line was coming! I started tearing up! I did it! I set my goal and I accomplished it!

40 JH_Half Finish

My friend Rora was the one to give me my medal and a huge hug!! She let me have a good cry, gave me another hug and sent me on my way to get my powerade and food. I couldn’t believe it! I did it! I really did it!!

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I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I’m ready to take the next step! I’m already signed up for the Double Dumbo Dare in Disneyland and I have a feeling my friends are going to convince me to run the full marathon next January!

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