My original blog post Running Disney: Run the Disney Calendar for WDW Radio can be found here ….and yes…my 3rd blog entry for WDW Radio…..have I bored you yet? No worries – I’ll get back to whining soon…..
In this blog entry, I’ll begin to summarize for my fellow DisneyGeeks the Run Disney calendar of events. For those of you that are already runners (but haven’t given a Disney race a shot yet), hopefully these descriptions will help you select the race that sounds best for you to dip your toe into the Run Disney water. And for those of you that are considering taking up walking, jogging, or running, maybe these descriptions can help you select the first race you enter. As a reeeeeeally slow runner, I know that I need a carrot to dangle in front of myself in order to stay focus while I’m training. Is there any bigger carrot to dangle in front of my eyes than a trip to WDW? Not for me there isn’t!
So the Run Disney calendar kicks off in a BIG way, with what has become their signature event: The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. There are shorter distance races for kids, a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) race on Friday, followed by a Half Marathon on
This weekend of races has historically been held the second weekend in January. The next WDW Marathon weekend is slated for January 5th – January 8th, 2012. As of June 30th, the half marathon and the full marathon were at 50% of their overall participant capacity (which reminds me – I got to sign up soon).
The Family 5k Fun Run held on Friday, January 6th takes the participants through Epcot. I think this is a great opportunity for teens (or tweens) to get their first taste of running in a large group with a runner pinned to their shirts. Fun runs like this aren’t held with a fierce competitive overtone to them, so each person can go at his or her own pace and feel the satisfaction of finishing a distance that maybe they’ve attempted before!
The Walt Disney World Half Marathon will be held on Saturday, January 7th. The race takes the runners through the Magic Kingdom before a big finish in Epcot. Runners have the opportunity to run through Cinderella’s Castle, down Main Street USA, and through the World Showcase. There are characters and photo opportunities everywhere, so most runners don’t come into this race with a goal time in mind…but I bet they run with a camera in their hands!
Volunteer support throughout the weekend is fantastic. Water stops and medical facilities are always available. Cheering spectators can be found lining the various courses all weekend, helping you to achieve your goal. By the time you pack your bags for home, you cannot help but depart with an incredibly positive vibe that you’ll carry with you for weeks….hopefully months!
Another good thing about this Marathon Weekend is the time of year that it’s scheduled for. Early January provides comfortable temperatures and slightly lighter crowds within the parks. So you can celebrate your achievements by riding Splash Mountain, beating a family member at Toy Story Mania, or simply strolling down Main Street USA, taking in the splendor, unparalleled creativity and unique ingenuity that is Walt Disney World.
So get out there, get moving, and make sure you double-knot your shoe laces, because Marathon Weekend is only 6 months away! In my next entry, I’ll continue to share with you brief a description of the other races that Run Disney offers. In the meantime, if you have any general running questions, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll try my best to offer advice – and I’m more than willing to offer motivation to get your ears in gear! I’m not a doctor, specialist, elite athlete or coach – I’ve just run a few of these races and I’ve made every single dumb mistake a runner can make. If I can help you not to duplicate my utter stupidity, I’ll do my best!
In the words of my wise Irish grandmother,
“whether you think you can, or you think you can’t…you’re probably right.”