Walt Disney World Half Marathon

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Upcoming runDisney Event and Registration Dates

If you aren’t familiar with runDisney races, they are family-friendly running events that are held at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts. Ranging from 5K to marathons and even kids runs, the races are a creative way to bring new runners to the sport by utilizing the popularity of Disney Parks. It’s a perfect match! So perfect, in fact, that runDisney has become one of the largest race organizers in the United States – both in terms of the number of races and runners. Each year more than 200,000 runners participate in a runDisney event!

Below is a listing of the upcoming runDisney events. Planning for registration is just as important as planning for the event itself; the 2014 Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend sold out in just over 12 hours while the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon and the Star Wars™ Half Marathon each sold out in about two hours!

Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend
Aug. 31 – Sep. 3, 2017 │ Disneyland® Resort
Registration sold out

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
Nov. 2-5, 2017 │ Walt Disney World® Resort
Registration opened – limited availability exists for Disney Two Course Challenge and Kids Races

Super Heros Half Marathon Weekend
Nov. 9-12, 2017 │ Disneyland® Resort
Registration opened – limited availability exists for Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, Super Heroes 10K and 5K

Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend
Jan. 3-7, 2018 │ Walt Disney World® Resort
Registration opened – limited availability exists for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Walt Disney World Marathon, and Kids Races

Star Wars™ Half Marathon – the Light Side Weekend
Jan. 11-14, 2018 │ Disneyland® Resort
Registration currently delayed – release date TBD

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
Feb. 22-25, 2018 │ Walt Disney World® Resort
Registration sold out

Star Wars™ Half Marathon – the Dark Side Weekend
Apr. 19-22, 2018 │ Walt Disney World® Resort
Registration opened – limited availability exists for Dark Side Challenge, Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side, Star Wars 5K, and Kids Races

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend
May 10-13, 2018 │ Disneyland® Resort
Registration scheduled to open: Jun. 27, 2017 at Noon ET

Contact your Magic Maker® for additional information!

runDisney Event Registration Tips

Every runner is aware of the preparation needed to compete in a race. You can’t just lace up your shoes and go run a marathon! You have months worth of preparation to make sure you are conditioned both mentally and physically and have everything you need to compete.

With runDisney races, that preparation starts with registering for your event. Because these events are so incredibly popular, it’s not uncommon for some races to sell out within hours of registration opening! Your window of opportunity to register for these events can be small, so we have a few tips for you to make it as pain-free as possible.

  • View our listing of upcoming runDisney events and note the registration date and time for the race you are interested in.
  • Because registration requires an active.com account, we suggest you visit the site before registration opens and create one if needed.
  • Because the registration process asks some personal details, it’s easiest for you to fill out the form for yourself. Even if you are participating as a group, it’s best (and quickest) for each of you to register on your own.
  • On registration day, keep an eye on runDisney’s twitter account (@runDisney) for the registration link to be posted as soon as registration opens. This will be your quickest way to access the registration form.
  • If you’re lucky enough to make it right into the queue, you only have 15 minutes to complete your registration before your spot is given up to another person. If you receive an “on hold” message, the queue is full but continue to check back as spots may still open up.

After you receive your registration confirmation, then you can focus on your race preparations and let our expert Magic Makers® handle all the rest of your planning!

2013 Walt Disney World® Marathon Course Announced

Walt Disney World MarathonrunDisney has announced details on the course for the 2013 Walt Disney World® Marathon. Taking place on Sun, January 13, 2013, this year’s event will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Marathon.

With a course that travels through all four Walt Disney World® theme parks, the Walt Disney World® Marathon route offers plenty of scenary for runners and will be the most magical 26.2 miles you will ever run on Earth! The course starts at Epcot®, continues on to the Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® before an exhilarating finish back at Epcot®. Along the way, you will find many photo opportunities along the way with Disney characters and parade floats.

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary, runDisney has made a couple changes to the route. Between miles 8 & 9, the course will take a lap around the Walt Disney World® Speedway! Also, a run through Champion® Stadium, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves will be part of the course! A “Mile 20 Spectacular” is also being planned inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, but full entertainment details have yet to be released! Also, an additional post-race party will be held in the Downtown Disney® Area on Sunday.

Registration is currently open for all of the different Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend races. Please contact your Magic Maker® for full details.

Running at Walt Disney World® Resort – Making Each Mile Magical

by Magic Maker® Joe DeFazio

Donald Duck counts it down…3…2…1 and then with a flash of light and burst of fireworks that cut through the cool dark early morning, you are off.  Not quite the rocket launch that happens some 60 miles east of where you are running, but nearly as impressive.  This is the start of your race at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

I recently returned from running the Walt Disney World® Half Marathon and met several experienced runners and several more like me who were running their first race (and a few of the borderline insane who were running the Goofy Challenge – a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and a full 26.2 mile marathon on Sunday).  The opinions were unanimous – whether you are running your fiftieth or your first race, running at Walt Disney World® Resort is a great experience.

From packet pickup and registration to race completion, my experience running at the Walt Disney World® Resort was made easy and was filled with friendly smiles, shouts of encouragement and helpful cast members, runners and volunteers.    The “you can do it” atmosphere of the entire weekend envelopes you, something that was very meaningful to this very nervous, first time runner.

On race day, or should I say, way way way too early on race morning, transportation from the resorts to the race starting area begins at 3:00 AM and you need to be on a bus no later that 4:00 am to be able to start the race.  It may be tempting when reading this to want to stay off site where you think you could sleep a little later and just drive in quick and be at the starting area by 4:30 when they begin to stage runners.  Resist the temptation!

The plan simply does not work – there are thousands upon thousands of runners all arriving at the same time and many of the normal roads used to get around the Walt Disney World® Resort are restricted, shut down or detoured for the race.  This leads to a looooong line of cars trying to get into the start area while the busses zip right in and drop off the slightly sleepy athletes.  For this reason above all others, I highly recommend you stay on site at the Walt Disney World® Resort if you are running.  You will get to the race on time (as long as you set that alarm clock) and when the race is over, the busses are lining up to take you back to your resort.

Disney does such a wonderful job making the race itself enjoyable and keeping you energized and motivated as you run.  Along your journey you will be greeted by the standard water stations filled with volunteers shouting encouragement but you will also encounter cheerleaders, marching bands, music playing and even Disney Characters!  You can stop and have your photo taken with Mickey (or others ) or strike a quick pose as you head up Main Street USA towards Cinderella Castle.  Along the way friends, family, volunteers and just plain great folks turn out and cheer you on.

Passing by the iconic Disney’s Contemporary Hotel, running through an otherwise empty Magic Kingdom® Park just before the sun rises and pushing myself through Epcot’s® Future World as the race is nearly over was an experience I soon won’t forget. I almost forgot the full Gospel choir that greets you just before you hit the finish line – uplifting, inspiring, special and memorable.

The memorable course and amazing support are the two top reasons I am glad I chose to run my first race at the Walt Disney World® Resort.  I have not mentioned the pre and post race entertainment – dance party style that gets you moving, wakes you up and after you run gives you a great place to celebrate with friends and family.   The race shirts, color coded to the race you are running, are very cool (literally and figuratively)and the souvenirs including trading pins are of course, are not only readily available but well designed.

Last, but certainly not least, the medal is something special.  A Donald Duck design for the half marathon finishers, a Mickey for the full marathon, and the special Goofy Design for those, well, goofy folks that ran both races!  These are not some cheap sheet metal punch out, they are heavy, shiny and you won’t want to take it off anytime soon.  In fact, you will see runners wearing them for the rest of their trip around the parks – I even spotted a couple on my flight home from Orlando!

A few tips I will offer to those of you thinking of running at the Walt Disney World® Resort.  For reasons mentioned before, Stay onsite – it is my #1 tip – it will help make your run  stress free from the start.

If it is cold the morning of the start, you may consider having a throw away seat shirt or something similar to wear.  After you start running and are warmed up, you can discard it roadside where volunteers will pick it up and it will be donated or thrown out.  You will be arriving between two and three hours before you actually start running – make sure you are getting yourself hydrated properly and keeping loose with plenty of stretching.   Don’t forget to use the restroom as close to your start as you can – while there are rest room stops on the course, they always have lines which will slow you down.

Before starting, you will be placed in a corral to wait for your start time (Disney starts the races in waves).  When your corral is moved into the starting position, if you want a good look at or photo of the starting platform with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, move to the left side.  Each starting wave has it’s own countdown and burst of fireworks, have your camera ready if you want to capture the moment.

After you start, keep to your plan and pace.  You are competing against no one but yourself – go for your goals and don’t worry if you are being passed – many will pass you and you will pass many others.  If you are getting tired, it’s OK to walk, you will notice many other doing it.  Keep hydrated along the way – don’t skip the water stations and take the opportunity to take in the scenery and grab a photo or two, Characters greets are great for this and to give you a quick breather if you need it.  Also, don’t forget to smile for the cameras!  There are photographers located all along the route.  You will get a chance to purchase photos from your race experience taken by them, so make ‘em look good.

Take a some time to enjoy the post race fun – music, food, shopping and make sure you stretch out after your race, rehydrate and keep moving during the day so you don’t get too sore.  Don’t forget to wear your race medal to the parks afterwards – it’s a great conversation starter!

Lastly, have fun.  Whether it is your first race or your fifty-first race, the Walt Disney World® Resort has a way to make it special for you and each mile magical.   Enjoy it, but be careful – you may find yourself planning your next runDisney Vacation before you leave your first! (I know I did).

For a list of runDisney events and details on how to get registered, contact your Magic Maker®.