Talk about incentive pals! But along the way, two substantial bonuses were offered to ALL runDisney fans: a new runDisney website that finally does these races justice (no longer will runners need to navigate the ESPN Wide World of Sports website to register for their next race); roll out of the new all-inclusive runDisney YouTube Channel; and possibly my favorite- first you run, then you walk… Do the Galloway! (As if Jeff Galloway isn’t already the master of all, now he has a singing career too.) But all of this supports runners who just can’t wait for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. 20 years. Wow! It is hard to envision, but the Disney Endurance Series (the precursor to runDisney) sprang to life in 1994 with a mere 8,200 runners for its inaugural marathon. (And astoundingly, was organized before Disney owned its own sports marketing franchise.) What began as an effort to increase attendance at the Orlando park during the slowest weekend of the year has catapulted into a yearlong calendar of signature events, run at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, that appeal to every age and training ability. It is no wonder that The Walt Disney Company is showing considerable pride, care and excitement in planning this remarkable birthday party.
The 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is scheduled from January 10th to January 13th, and will include:
26.2 mile Marathon on Sunday
13.1 Half Marathon on Saturday
Family Fun Run 5K (3.1 miles) on Friday
Kids Races (age appropriate dashes open to children 13 and under) are scheduled for Thursday afternoon and Friday and Saturday mornings.
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge- running the Half and full Marathons back-to-back; a whopping 39.3 miles!
Pasta in the Park Party held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights
Health and Fitness Expo held Thursday through Saturday at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
The headline event, the Walt Disney World Marathon, will again offer fireworks, trademark Disney Character entertainment, and a course that traverses all 4 Theme Parks with two distinct surprises.
Runners will lap the Walt Disney World SPEEDWAY and Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports! Judging by the enthusiastic feedback from Disneyland Half Marathoners who sprinted through Angel Stadium in Anaheim, running through the spring training ballpark of the Atlanta Braves should be an absolute home run. After leaving the stadium, runners will begin the “Mile 20 surprise spectacular”, and receive their newly designed Commemorative 20th Anniversary Mickey Mouse finisher medal on the grounds of Epcot. Add in a new post-race party on Sunday evening at Downtown Disney West Side, and it is no wonder that runDisney expects to close this race at 20,000 participants- their biggest race yet…
Would you like to become a part of Disney history? Whether you are an elite runner looking for a PR in the Goofy, or a complete novice looking to walk your first 5K, there is a specific training program available to you via Jeff Galloway, runDisney’s Training Consultant. Check his Training Programs for a agenda made for you.
Fittingly, the sparkling Mickey Marathon medal is engraved with two sayings straight from Walt himself:
– “I hope people never lose sight of one thing… it all started with a mouse.”
– “All our dreams can come true… if we have the courage to pursue them.”
As of this morning, the Walt Disney Marathon stands at 82% full. Where’s your courage?