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February 28, 2017

University of Texas Runner Wins Emotional Disney Princess Half Marathon

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Kaitlyn Johnson dedicates her first-ever half marathon victory to her cousin following tragic car accident; More than 52,000 runners compete in America’s largest women-focused race weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2017) – After her cousin Gabrielle Arcangeli of Harmony, Fla., was tragically killed in a car crash last summer, Kaitlyn Johnson was determined to honor her cousin’s memory by running Sunday in the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Suffice to say, she did that and a lot more, outpacing the field of more than 24,000 runners to win her first-ever half marathon.

Johnson, a biomechanical engineering PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, ran along with more than 35 of Arcangeli’s family and friends who also participated in the race weekend in honor of Arcanegli, who ran the race last year.

“Our whole family is here, so it’s great fun because we are all here in honor of my cousin,’’ Johnson said. “And I think that’s helpful in the healing process.’’

Johnson, originally from Westfield, New Jersey, had little trouble getting to the finish line ahead of everyone else, flying around the 13.1-mile course at Walt Disney World Resort in 1:22:16 – nearly three minutes ahead of second-place finisher Heather Schulz of Orlando (1:24:53). Jennifer Berry of Denver was third (1:25:49).

“I felt good from the beginning,’’ Johnson said. “It was so fun running by the Grand Floridian (Resort), where I used to stay (when we visited Walt Disney World Resort) when I was growing up, and Splash Mountain, which is my favorite ride. It was a fun time.’’

The half marathon was the finishing touch on the multi-race weekend which included Kids Races, the Disney Princess 5K and the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, plus a Health & Fitness Expo. In all, more than 52,000 runners participated in the race weekend, making it the largest women-focused race weekend in the nation.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is the third race in runDisney’s nine-race series that encompasses Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris. Next up is the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side (April 20-23) at Walt Disney World Resort and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry (May 11-14) at Disneyland Resort. For more information about runDisney, visit www.runDisney.com.

January 17, 2017

The Power of the Force: California Native Celebrates Victory at Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side

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Pebble Beach’s Adam Roach claims Star Wars half marathon title; Washington DC’s Jennifer Brill is the female winner; More than 35,000 runners take part in the race weekend including 17,000 Californians

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2017) – Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., conquered the galaxy in the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side at Disneyland Resort on Sunday. Roach, 32, who placed second in last year’s half marathon, beat two-time Star Wars Half Marathon winner, Nick Arciniaga of Fountain Valley, Calif., by over three minutes.

Summoning the powers of the force, Roach launched into hyper speed to blast through the finish line at 1:10:31, just past the second and third-place finishers Bradley Apodaca of Santa Barbra, Calif., (1:10:37) and Robert Hernandez of Fresno, Calif., (1:11:32).

“Last year I was second and I really wanted to come back and win it,” said Roach of the victory. “Arciniaga, who won last year, was back so I knew it would be a really competitive race.”

Jennifer Brill, 27, of Washington D.C., also soared to victory as the female winner on Sunday with a time of 1:24:15. Second-place female finisher was 2016 Super Heroes Half Marathon winner, Lindsey Carter, 28, of Huntington Beach, Calif. (1:25:20) and third-place finisher was Kaili Zink-Hernandez, 29, Fresno, Calif (1:26:54).

More than 17,000 California runners were part of the 35,000 participants that joined the Rebel Alliances at Disneyland Resort in the third annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side. The race weekend featured several intergalactic family-friendly events, including a three-day runDisney Health and Fitness Expo, runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side.

Runners also had an opportunity to test their skills through the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, running the 10K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. Runners who complete the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side at Disneyland Resort and the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side at Walt Disney World Resort in the same calendar year will earn the coveted runDisney Kessel Run Challenge medal.

The Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side was the first of the four runDisney race weekends scheduled for this year at Disneyland Resort, which hosts runDisney events along with Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris.

January 6, 2017

Half Marathon, Other Saturday Races Cancelled

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UPDATED 11:30 p.m. with details regarding the fulfillment of options for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon participants.

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The Walt Disney World Half Marathon, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 7, has been cancelled due to the weather. Other races scheduled for the day have also been cancelled. Here's the official statment from runDisney's Facebook page:

"In an abundance of caution, the Walt Disney World Resort has cancelled all running events on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 due to weather conditions. This includes the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and the Disney Kids Races. In addition, the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo will delay opening until 11 a.m. While we share our Guests’ obvious disappointment, the safety of our Guests and Cast is most important. Weather tracking has indicated there is an elevated risk of lightning in the area of the racecourse. In addition, there are sections of the course that do not provide immediate access to shelter. Both of these factors have influenced this difficult decision.

All registered half marathon runners will receive their half marathon medal and may choose from one of the following options:

-- A FULL REFUND FOR RACE REGISTRATION IN THE FORM OF A DISNEY GIFT CARD

Those participating in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, runDisney Kids Races, ChEAR Squad and Race Retreat will receive a refund in the form of a Disney Gift Card in the amount equal to their registration. Those participating in the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and/or Dopey Challenge will receive a partial refund in the amount of the half marathon registration.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon, runDisney Kids Races, ChEAR Squad and Race Retreat participants: Bring a valid photo ID and race bib or wristband to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, Jan. 7 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Disney Cast Members will be there to guide you.

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and/or Dopey Challenge Participants: For your convenience, there is no need to visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Medals will be awarded on Sunday, Jan. 8, after the full marathon. Your refund will be automatically sent to you via electronic Disney Gift Card.

-- Two One-Day Park Hopper tickets.

Only available to those registered for the half marathon, runners should bring a valid photo ID and race bib to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, Jan. 7 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Disney Cast Members will be there to guide you.

-- TRANSFER REGISTRATION TO ANOTHER runDISNEY HALF MARATHON RACE IN THE U.S. WITHIN THE NEXT 24 MONTHS

Runners interested in transferring their registration to another runDisney half marathon in the U.S. within the next 24 months should contact runDisney beginning Friday, Jan. 13, 2017.

Please email your future race preferences to rundisney@disneysports.com with your name, bib number, phone number and mailing address so we can mail your medal to you. A Disney Cast Member will follow up with a phone call to discuss availability of future half marathon races.

For convenience, those who choose this option will have their 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon medal mailed to their home address so there is no need to visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

-- THERE IS LIMITED AVAILABILITY TO RUN THE FULL MARATHON ON SUNDAY, JAN. 8, 2017 DURING THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED RACE

To transfer a 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon registration to the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon, runners may register at no additional charge at Active.com with the following link: http://disneyurl.com/WDWMarathon

Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until all available spots are filled or until 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. Runners will receive a confirmation email with further instructions.

All registered runDisney Kids Race runners will receive their Kids Race medal and a full race registration in the form of a Disney gift card.

For any Guests who are unable to visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, Jan. 8 should contact rundisney@disneysports.com. Include your name, bib number and phone number within the email.

November 15, 2016

California Native Returns Home for Super Heroes Half Marathon Victory at Disneyland Resort

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®Disney

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2016) – To say that Nick Arciniaga feels at home at runDisney races at Disneyland Resort is an understatement.

Arciniaga, who grew up in nearby Fountain Valley, Calif. but now lives in Arizona, came home again this weekend and won the Super Heroes Half Marathon on Sunday for his fourth runDisney half marathon victory at Disneyland Resort.

Wearing a full-length Spiderman costume as he ran, Arciniaga summoned his super hero strength to give the home crowd plenty to cheer about, blasting through the 13.1- mile course in record time. His winning time of 1:09:28 was nearly two minutes quicker than the race record (1:11:09) and was more than five minutes faster than second-place finisher Robert Coslick of Phoenix, AZ (1:14:40).

“I always used to come to Disneyland as a kid and I just love the area,’’ Arciniaga said. “This is an exciting course. There are people all over the streets – you have cheerleaders, you have people inside the parks, everybody is dressed up and there’s a lot of enthusiasm. It helps me pick up the pace and motivates me to run faster.’’

Arciniaga, 33, broke from the pack of nearly 10,000 runners from the start and ran alone for much of the race that went through Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure as well as the streets of Anaheim.

“I like to run these races by myself. I’m not really interested in making them close at all,’’ he said. “I just want to run away from the start. I feel that’s kind of my best strategy.’’

The Super Heroes Half Marathon win adds to Arciniaga’s wins at the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon and the last two Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side races. The only runDisney race at Disneyland Resort that he hasn’t attempted to win is the women-focused Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry held each May.

“I might have to run that one now,’’ he said with a chuckle. “I might have to find myself a nice little skirt to run it in, but yeah I probably will.’’

Lindsey Carter of Huntington Beach, Calif., was the first female finisher, crossing the line in 1:25:01. Brian Siemann of Savoy, Ill, took home top honors in the wheelchair division. Siemann, who competed in the Paralympics in Rio this summer, won with a time of 59:10 after also winning the Doctor Strange 10K wheelchair division the day before.

In addition to the half marathon and the 10K, the race weekend included a Captain America 5K, runDisney Kids Races and a Health and Fitness Expo. In all, more than 25,000 runners participated, including more than 13,000 from California.

October 11, 2016

NFL Pro Bowl Activities Coming to WDW

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Come January, the big question in Orlando will be “are you ready for some NFL football?” And the answer will be a crowd cheering ‘yes!’ The 2017 NFL Pro Bowl is coming to Orlando. And Walt Disney World Resort is excited to be part of the team hosting the Pro Bowl 5K Run, a celebratory parade featuring Pro Bowlers in Magic Kingdom Park and team practices at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. All leading up to the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at Camping World Stadium.


Score a Touchdown in the Pro Bowl 5K Run

The race will take place the last weekend in January. Put on your favorite football jersey, grab the family, and go for the end zone that’s just 5,468 yards away! It’s football fun for the entire family as you run through the spectacular Walt Disney World Resort. And there will be plenty of entertainment and memory-making moments along the way!


NFL Action at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The official practice site of the Pro Bowl will be the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Everyone is invited to come out and catch their favorite Pro Bowl players in practices on the field. Pro Bowlers will also be able to honor their former high school football or Pop Warner coach by inviting them to the game. Each member of the winning Pro Bowl team will earn a grant from the NFL Foundation to aid in the development of programs at their former high schools.


Pro Bowl Parade and Football Festivities

It will be a magic-filled afternoon as everyone’s favorite Pro Bowlers join Mickey and his pals in a celebratory parade down Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park. Then, join the fun at Disney Springs, Disney’s newest entertainment, shopping and dining destination, for even more Pro Bowl excitement.

Mark your calendar now and get ready for some football, festivities, and plenty of family fun during the week-long celebration! Registration for the Pro Bowl 5K Run and tickets for the Pro Bowl will be available beginning October 25. Check out ProBowl.com for more information.

September 28, 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Debuts – Michelle Heaton, Ashley James, Amy Willerton, Henry Holland and AJ Odudu Run Disney


Paula Radcliffe Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Ambassador

This weekend saw Disneyland Paris host its first-ever half marathon, with TV personality Michelle Heaton, models Ashley James and Amy Willerton, fashion designer Henry Holland, TV presenter AJ Odudu and the event’s ambassador Paula Radcliffe, who all successfully completed the 13.1-mile race through Disneyland Paris’s two parks as well as the surrounding villages.

Michelle, Ashley, Amy, Henry and AJ were also able to experience some of the big thrills and magical entertainment that Disneyland Paris has to offer, throughout the weekend. On Friday evening the group enjoyed the Inaugural Party at Walt Disney Studios Park, in which they got to mingle with Disney Characters and enjoyed exclusive access to the park and attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Ratatouille, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop as they remained open after-hours especially for event participants.

Mickey Mouse in his running gear was also on hand on Saturday morning to take pictures with the celebrities, giving them some last minute marathon motivation. The attendees had a chance to dance along with all of their favourite Disney Characters during Disney Magic on Parade! before enjoying the thrilling dinnertime show Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Disney Village.

The half marathon was just one of a number of events that made up Disneyland Paris’s Inaugural Half Marathon Weekend, which was organised with the support of runDisney and its successful 20 years’ experience in staging extremely popular running events at the US Disney theme parks. And participants certainly enjoyed miles of smiles with races leading through fairytale landscapes and beloved Disney Characters cheering runners along the route, making this a uniquely magical and unforgettable event for all.

Published on September 27, 2016

September 5, 2016

California Runner Jimmy Grabow Claims Unprecedented Third Disneyland Half Marathon Crown Over Labor Day Weekend

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Running Springs runner becomes first three-time champion with second-fastest Disneyland Half Marathon time ever; Momoko Tanaka from Japan defends her women’s title

ANAHEIM, Calif. (September 4, 2016) – Jimmy Grabow of Running Springs, Calif., chalked up his third win in five years Sunday at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna. Grabow, who previously won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, turned in one of his best performances this time, covering the 13.1-mile course in 1:06:13. That time ranks as the second-fastest Disneyland Half Marathon time in the race’s 11-year history, surpassed only by Grabow’s 2012 winning time of 1:05:25.

Grabow, 31, led the field of nearly 15,000 runners early in the race before easily crossing the finish line ahead of everyone else. The win makes Grabow the race’s first three-time winner.

“I felt really good today, the weather this time of year is great, the course was great and the volunteers cheering on were awesome,” said Grabow. “Where else can you run through the parks and then around the bases at the Angel’s stadium, it’s a good race event.”

Brandon Wolfe, 24, from Fullerton, Calif., came in second with a time of 1:08:04. Patrick Fernandez, 29, from La Verne, Calif., was third (1:11:10).

Momoko Tanaka, 30, of Maihama Urayasu, Japan, defended her women’s title and bested her time from last year by more than two minutes by winning in 1:19:31. Jenny Kadavy, 33, from Clayton Calif., was second with a time of 1:20:40 and Lindsey Carter, 35, from Huntington Beach, Calif., finished third with a time of 1:26:04.

“I am really pleased with winning this year again because I was out in the park with my sister until 11 p.m. last night and I was a little worried that I’d be too tired for the race,” said Tanaka. “The weather was great and I was able to relax and get into a comfortable pace early in the race.”

The 13.1-mile course took runners through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Angel Stadium, and four Orange County cities, with the final stretch going past Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel. All along the route, runners were greeted by cheering fans, music, and live entertainment.

The next runDisney race at Disneyland Resort is the Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend November 10-13, 2016 and it will be the second of nine runDisney race weekends during the 2016-2017 race season. Registration spots are available for the Doctor Strange 10K and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon as well as the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge (runners completing both the 10K and the half marathon).

July 28, 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Medals

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With the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend only a couple of months away, runDisney is giving runners their first look at the medals for the race, Sept. 23-25, at Disneyland Paris. And like all runDisney races, the hardware earned in Paris will come with lots of bling, which is fitting given this is runDisney’s first international race weekend.

Here’s a breakdown of the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend medals:

The runDisney Kids Races’ medal:

Mickey Mouse dashes across this full-color medal, given to the weekend’s youngest runners. Little ones who participate in runDisney kids races will take home this special prize.

The Disneyland Paris 5K medal:

No runDisney race weekend at Disneyland Paris would be complete without including Chef Remy, star of the Academy Award-winning film, “Ratatouille.” Paris’ biggest little chef appears in color on this medal. And what better place to show off this medal after the race than at the popular La Place de Remy attraction in Walt Disney Studios Park.

The Disneyland Paris Half Marathon medal:

The gold half marathon medal features Mickey Mouse racing around Sleeping Beauty Castle and is accented with a fleur de lys at the bottom.

The Castle to Chateau challenge medal:

This unique medal is dedicated to Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend runners who have also participated in a runDisney race in the United States, either at Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. This gold medal features Sleeping Beauty Castle as well as the U.S. and French flags.

Runners who just have to get their hands on any of these beautiful medals can still register for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend here: http://run.disneylandparis.com.

Follow runDisney on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and click here for more information more about the event.

May 9, 2016

Southern California's Serna Soars to First Place in Fifth Annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort



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Jennifer Serna wins first place running her first runDisney race; Tinker Bell Half Marathon celebrates fifth anniversary; More than 24,000 runners celebrate a pixie-dusted Mother’s Day Weekend at Disneyland Resort

ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 8, 2016) – With faith, trust and plenty of pixie power, Orange County, Calif. resident Jennifer Serna flew in first place in the fifth annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry at Disneyland Resort on Sunday. The 31-year-old runner dashed by her competition, finishing in 1:25:49. Kellie Nickerson of Albuquerque, New Mexico, fluttered in as the second place female finisher, clocking at 1:29:41.

“It was a surreal experience. All the cast members and locals were supportive,” Serna said. “Running through the park was really fun and exhilarating, I didn’t even feel like I was running.”

A resident of Fullerton, Calif., Serna works for a running shop and participated in the race as a Mother’s Day celebration, running in honor of her daughter and to support her local running club.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort is one of the top three largest women-focused races in the nation. Approximately 950 runners participating in this year’s race have run all five years. In 2015, Southern California resident Lenore Moreno set the Tinker Bell Half Marathon record, completing the race in 1:15:55.

Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, aunts and nieces were some of the 10,700 runners who spent their Mother’s Day racing along an entertainment-filled 13.1-mile course through Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Parks, as well as by several Anaheim landmarks.

Runners competed in various events during the weekend that included the Never Land 5K, the Tinker Bell 10K, runDisney Kids Races, a health and fitness expo and the second Pixie Dust Challenge, which involved runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

In total, there were more than 24,000 runners from across the nation and 32 countries. Finishers received a commemorative Tinker Bell “wings’’ medal. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is one of eight annual runDisney events and one of two women- focused events. The other is the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which takes place in February at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women’s empowerment, women’s health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation’s largest race weekends geared towards women.

Runners can register for any runDisney race weekend at www.rundisney.com.

May 3, 2016

More than 15,000 Californians Will Spread Their Wings and Fly This Mother's Day Weekend in the 5th Annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

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Nearly 1,000 Registered Runners Have Competed Yearly Since the Inaugural Event

Propelled by pixie dust, more than 24,000 total registered runners, including 15,000 from California, will spend their Mother's Day morning flying through Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim in the 13.1-mile Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry. Tinker Bell Half Marathon celebrates its fifth year this weekend with nearly 1,000 repeat half marathon registrations since its debut. The popular event is now one of the top three largest women-focused race weekends in the country. Many runners are participating in one or more events during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, including more than 4,000 in the Pixie Dust Challenge, where runners do the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon Sunday.

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is one of four runDisney race weekends held at the Disneyland Resort.

May 5-8, 2016
Health & Fitness Expo, Thursday - Saturday at Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall
Never Land 5K Friday, 5 a.m.
Tinker Bell 10K Saturday, 5:30 a.m.
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Sunday, 5:30 a.m.

March 10, 2016

Expanded Menu Planned for 2016 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

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New 10K race, new half marathon course and new Challenge event being served up as part of extended race weekend; Registration opens March 29

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 10, 2016) -- The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is getting some new flavor this year.

The November runDisney race weekend is expanding to a three-day event that includes a new 10K race, a new half marathon course and a new challenge event. The Disney Wine & Dine 10K will debut on Saturday, Nov. 5. The new challenge -- the Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge -- will involve runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. The new half marathon course will now involve a 13.1-mile route that takes runners through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot.

And the half marathon will be a morning race instead of a traditional night event, giving runners more free time in the evenings to experience new Walt Disney World Resort nighttime entertainment such as “Rivers of Light’’ coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in April.

The race weekend, set for Nov. 3-6, kicks off with the Health & Fitness Expo on Thursday, Nov. 3 followed by the Mickey’s Holiday 5K on Friday, Nov. 4, the 10K on Saturday, Nov. 5 and the half marathon on Sunday morning, Nov. 6. There will also be runDisney Kids’ Races on Friday and Saturday.

The Finish Line Party (8 pm to 1 am on Sunday, Nov. 6), which is part of the popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, will once again be the perfect nightcap for runners who will have access to more than 30 festival marketplaces offering fine cuisine and wine, plus Disney characters, musical performances and the opportunity to ride signature Epcot attractions.

Registration opens March 29 at www.rundisney.com. Last year the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon was the fastest-selling race within the runDisney series. More than 20,000 runners participated during the two-day event.

February 22, 2016

University of Virginia Student Gets Kick Out of Disney Princess Half Marathon Victory

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Former soccer player Shannon Crawford from Bronxville, NY notches first half marathon title
More than 24,000 mostly-women runners participate in 13.1-mile race through Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - (Feb. 21, 2016) - If soccer had any chance of staying near and dear to Shannon Crawford's heart, those hopes likely disappeared in a cloud of pixie dust Sunday at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

An avid soccer player since her childhood days in suburban New York City, the University of Virginia senior recently took up distance running and, in just her third 13.1-mile race ever, she won the popular Disney Princess Half Marathon title at Walt Disney World Resort.

To Crawford, who isn't even on her school's cross country team, it was...well, magical.

"Disney is probably my second favorite thing in the world besides my family and friends, so I just decided to run this race,'' she said. "It was the most incredible feeling ever. I'm still in shock.''

Crawford, 21, easily won the race through Magic Kingdom and Epcot, covering the entertainment-filled course in 1:24:49. That was nearly two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Brooke Adams of Randolph, New York (1:26:10). Heather Schulz of Orlando, Florida was third (1:27:06).

Needless to say, after winning her first half marathon, Crawford is totally hooked on running. As for soccer's place in her life, it's in a deeper slumber than Sleeping Beauty.

"I don't really play soccer anymore,'' she said. "I just run.''

The Princess Half Marathon capped the four-day race weekend that featured various races and events all geared toward women, including the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, runDisney Kids Races and the Glass Slipper Challenge, which involved runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. In all, more than 44,000 mostly-women runners participated.

The weekend event also included a health and fitness expo which featured the latest running apparel and equipment, plus a speaker series involving running experts such as runDisney's official training consultant Jeff Galloway. And there were several family-oriented events such as the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast, the Pasta in the Park Party and the Happily Ever After Party.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of nine annual runDisney events and one of two women-focused events taking place in 2016. The other women-focused event is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry, which takes place in May at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women's empowerment, women's health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation's largest race weekends geared towards women.

January 19, 2016

Nick Arciniaga Wins Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

Nick Arciniaga wins 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon
Arciniaga Conquers the Galaxy Again at Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort
Second Star Wars Half Marathon victory for Arciniaga; Fellow Olympics hopeful Annie Bersagel is female winner; Event was first of four runDisney events at Disneyland Resort this year; More than 30,000 runners started races during the four-day event weekend

ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 17, 2016) – The Force was with Fountain Valley, Calif., native Nick Arciniaga once again in the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort Sunday. After winning the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015, he followed up with second straight victory in a record-setting time of 1:05:49.

Arciniaga, 32, who now lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., blasted past First Order stormtroopers to break the tape at the finish line. Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., was second (1:12:29) and Hunter Sapienza of Seattle, Wash., was third (1:12:38).

“This is a race that means a lot to me,” Arciniaga said of the victory. “I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since I can remember.” Arciniaga goes on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in the upcoming weeks.

Annie Bersagel, 32, of Colorado, also flew at lightspeed across the finish line Sunday as the female winner with a time of 1:15:09. Bersagel is also set to compete in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. Second-place female finisher was 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon female winner, Jennifer Berry, of Denver, Colo. (1:21:11) and third-place finisher was Kendal Sager of Los Altos, Calif. (1:25:05).

“I was the fastest stormtrooper out here today,’’ Bersagel joked after her win, clad in Star Wars-inspired running gear. “So that’s all you can really ask for, right?”

Arciniaga and Bersagel jumped to hyperspace to outrun more than 14,000 athletes in the 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets, where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.

The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend included several family-friendly events, including a three-day Health and Fitness Expo with the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets. It was the second runDisney race weekend of 2016 and the first this year at Disneyland Resort. The event offered athletes a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. The ultimate test for Star Wars rebels was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge - a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.

November 3, 2015

More Than 20,000 Runners Set to Race, Eat and Drink During Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2015) – More than 20,000 runners from across the country, including thousands from Central Florida, are expected to lace up and run, eat and drink during the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort.

The 13.1-mile half marathon race on Saturday night is the only nighttime half marathon in the Orlando area and takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. To top it off, runners will toast the night away at the exclusive Finish Line Party during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, featuring more than 30 kiosks offering fine cuisine and wine until the wee hours of the morning.

The half marathon begins Saturday night at 10 p.m. from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and finishes at Epcot. All runners receive a special Wine & Dine medal at the finish line.

In addition to the half marathon, the Disney Wine & Dine Weekend also features a full course of events for the entire family, including Thursday’s Wine & Dine Welcome Reception at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from 7:30-9 p.m. and the runDisney Kids Races beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

EVENT SCHEDULE for WINE & DINE WEEKEND:

Wine & Dine Welcome Reception • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex • Thursday, November 5 – 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
runDisney Health & Fitness Expo • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex • Friday, November 6, 2015 – 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. & Saturday, November 7 – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m
Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste • Disney’s Hollywood Studios • Friday, November 6 – 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K • Disney’s Animal Kingdom • Saturday, November 7 – 7 a.m. start

August 25, 2015

The Force is Strong! runDisney Star Wars Headed to WDW

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The Force is Even Stronger: Second runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Event Sprinting Toward Walt Disney World Resort in 2016
April 14-17 event in Florida joins Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort and features new Kessel Run Challenge and Dark Side Challenge

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon -- the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

“Ever since we launched the Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the Star Wars franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “If the inaugural Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge -- running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative "Coast to Coast'' medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at www.runDisney.com.

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.

May 12, 2015

Southern California's Moreno Shatters Tinker Bell Half Marathon Record at Disneyland Resort

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Lenore Moreno wins her first half marathon ever running her first runDisney race; George Clooney and more than 32,000 runners create busy Mother's Day Weekend at Disneyland Resort; Thousands participate in inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge

ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 10, 2015) - Pixie power and persistence pushed Lenore Moreno to smash a race record by almost 9 minutes in the fourth annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry at Disneyland Resort. Looking much like a pixie herself, the five-foot, 24-year-old West Covina, Calif. resident flew by her competition, finishing in a mere 1:15:55. The former race record was 1:24:11. She was also nearly nine minutes ahead of second-place finisher Ann Mazur of Charlottesville, VA (1:24:10). Anne-Marie Nuno of Irvine, Calif. came in third (1:24:21).

"Just being inside Disneyland, I think that's what gave me that push and helped me to forget about how long this half marathon was and just to enjoy the moment," Moreno said. "I couldn't have done it anywhere else. Passing under that castle was just magical."

Moreno started running as a freshman in high school. She continued in college and dreamed of running in a runDisney race but school always got in the way. She finally realized her dream, making history this Mother's Day. She even had a message for her mom.

"I love you! Happy Mother's Day!" Moreno said.

Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, aunts and nieces were some of the 13,000 women who spent their Mother's Day racing along an entertainment-filled 13.1-mile course through Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Parks, as well as by several Anaheim landmarks. Among them, was the Evans family from Irvine, Calif. Cheryl and Coco Evans, wearing identical Tinker Bell costumes, crossed the finish line together.

"Doing this race with me is priceless," said mom Cheryl Evans. "It's a memory that will last a lifetime. I'm so happy!"

More than 32,050 runners competed in various events during the weekend that included the Never Land 5K, the Tinker Bell 10K, runDisney Kids Races, a health and fitness expo and the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge, which involved runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

Academy-award winning actor and producer George Clooney also came to Disneyland Resort this holiday weekend with his family for the world premiere of Disney's new mystery adventure "Tomorrowland".

In total, there were more than 16,000 runners from across the nation and 22 countries. Finishers received a commemorative Tinker Bell "wings'' medal. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is one of eight annual runDisney events and one of two women-focused events. The other is the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, which takes place in February at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women's empowerment, women's health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation's largest race weekends geared towards women.

Runners can register for any runDisney race weekend at www.rundisney.com.

February 10, 2015

Commemorative 10th Annual Medal and Party Headline Start of Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Registration

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Special 10th annual party offers runners exclusive experience; Registration expected to be swift for milestone race weekend; Participants to experience Disneyland's 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration events

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2015) - Registration for the 10th annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Disneyland Resort opens Tuesday Feb. 10 and the race weekend will be highlighted by a unique 10th annual medal and a special Disneyland Half Marathon Annual party. This private, ticketed event, held Thursday evening Sept 3, will give guests access to select attractions, Disney entertainment and character meet & greets in Disneyland Park West Side.

As the event coincides with Disneyland's newly-announced 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, the party will also offer runners exclusive viewing of Disneyland's "Paint the Night" Parade which is part of the 60th anniversary celebration.

The Disneyland Half Marathon takes runners from Disney California Adventure Park to Disneyland Park before hitting the streets of Anaheim and winding through Angel Stadium of Anaheim, home of the Los Angeles Angels. The flat, loop course concludes at the Disneyland Hotel.

Runners looking for an additional challenge can put their endurance to the test and compete in the Dumbo Double Dare, which involves running 19.3 miles over two days with the Disneyland 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, earning another special finisher medal.

The weekend of events also includes the Disneyland 5K, runDisney Kids Races and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo. Runners can register for this year's Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend events at www.runDisney.com and can access specially priced theme park tickets and room nights after registering for the event by calling (407) 939-iRun.

Event Schedule:

Disneyland Half Marathon Anniversary Party
Thursday, Sept. 3, 4 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K
Friday, Sept. 4, 5:30 a.m.

Disneyland 10K
Saturday, Sept.5, 5:30 a.m.

runDisney Kids Races
Saturday, Sept. 5, 9 a.m.

Disneyland Half Marathon
Sunday, Sept. 6, 5:30 a.m.

Disneyland Health & Fitness Expo
Thursday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 4, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 5, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

January 13, 2015

Brazilian Fredison Costa dominates in second straight Disney Marathon

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Brazilian Fredison Costa dominates in second straight Disney Marathon Giovanna Martins of Brazil claims her first women's title

More than 84,000 runners lined up for races in the five-day runDisney event that includes new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 11, 2015) - Fredison Costa is making himself at home - literally - at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Brazilian runner, who recently moved to Orlando and trains at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World, ran away with another Walt Disney World Marathon victory on Sunday. On a picturesque morning at Epcot, Costa left everyone behind in waltzing to his second straight Disney Marathon win and fourth in the past five years.

And he led another parade of Brazilian runners who were among the first four runners to cross the finish line. Trindade Mateus was second; Joao Fonseca was third and perennial Disney Marathon champion Adriano Bastos was fourth. It was the 11th straight year that a Brazilian won the 26.2-mile race through all four Disney theme parks, the Walt Disney World Speedway and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

To complete the Brazilian domination at Disney, Giovanna Martins of Brazil was the top female winner, finishing in 2:50:20. Martins cried tears of joy after crossing the line. "I'm a teacher of disabled and underprivileged children (in Brazil) who dream about Mickey Mouse and love him as much as I do,'' Martins said through an interpreter, "so this was a dream come true.''

Martins was never challenged down the stretch. Neither was Costa, 37, who won by more than four minutes. That's enough time to ride Space Mountain before Mateus crossed the finish line. At 2:18:06, Costa easily topped his winning time from last year of 2:21:39.

He said the best part of the race was seeing his coach, former US Olympic track coach Brooks Johnson, as he ran through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. "I could see (him) and he was just cheering me on,'' Costa said through an interpreter. "I really feel at home running here.''
In the wheelchair division, Robert Kozarek of Urbana, Ill., repeated as the men's champion (1:57:35). Perennial winner Jacqui Kapinowski of Tesqesta, Fla., won the women's division (2:39:04).

In all, more than 26,700 runners competed in the Disney Marathon presented by Cigna on Sunday. More than 7,600 of those runners ran in all four weekend events - the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon and the marathon, completing the popular "Dopey Challenge'' (48.6 miles).

The Disney Marathon featured events for the entire family such as runDisney Kids' Races, the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, the Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. A Health and Fitness Expo ran throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and featured the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney, and Tara Gidus, the official runDisney nutritionist.

In a new twist this year, the Disney Marathon Weekend extends onto the high seas. Disney Marathon Weekend runners are competing Jan. 14 in the new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a special 5K race on Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line's private Bahamas island. Every runner who finishes this new runDisney Challenge event will earn two medals - an inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge medal and a Castaway Cay 5K medallion, plus any medals earned for running any Disney Marathon Weekend events (5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon).

The Castaway Cay Challenge takes place during the 4-night Disney Dream cruise itinerary that sets sail Jan. 12 from Port Canaveral, Fla. and includes a stop in Nassau in addition to Castaway Cay. The cruise will feature exclusive activities designed for Castaway Cay Challenge participants, plus special menu items and merchandise.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the first race in the 2015 runDisney series, which includes eight weekend events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Next up in the runDisney series is the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort, Jan. 15-18.

January 6, 2015

Running With Your Kids at the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend

Whether you're trying to get your family healthy, limit screen time or just looking to spend time with your children, the solution can be as simple as running. Not only can your children benefit from the regular physical activity, but running has proven to help adolescents sleep more soundly and better handle physical and emotional challenges.

The personal challenge, camaraderie while running with others, the confidence you gain when achieving a personal best and the countless health benefits are all things we want our kids to experience, but how do you safely and effectively engage your children in a running program?

Make it fun!

Running is not just about the miles or achieving the best possible time. For kids, you need variety and a fun attitude for them to enjoy an afternoon jog. Create obstacle courses, scavenger hunts or relays to engage your child in physical activity that doesn't feel like long distance running. Variety and a fun approach will eliminate boredom and keep your child engaged.

Lead by example.

While you may be passionate about running, you can't expect your kids to automatically have the same enthusiasm. Instead, set an example as someone who enjoys running and has fun with it. Your child will likely embrace the sport when they see a parent enjoying runs and talking positively about their experiences.

Set goals together.

Having realistic goals can motivate you and your child to run regularly. Whether your goal is to run a 5K, beat a certain time or increase your time out together, make sure it's a goal your child is comfortable with. Work in unison to achieve the same goal and help one another to reach the end.

Make your child the priority.

Regardless of the personal bests you're trying to achieve or the marathon you're training for, the runs you take with your child are about the two of you. If you are training, schedule your regular runs for another day so you can focus your attention on your child and their running goals. One of the most rewarding benefits of running with your child is the one-on-one time you have while out for a jog - take advantage of this time to learn about your son or daughter and what motivates them to achieve their own goals. It may even reinvigorate your own running regimen.

Cigna® is the presenting sponsor of Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend and Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend.

December 2, 2014

Princess Half Marathon Medals Revealed

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The collection of all new finisher medals for the sixth annual Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend were revealed this week. The collection includes medals for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Disney Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge.

With more than 26,000 runners participating in events throughout the weekend, Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has quickly become one of the largest women-specific endurance events in the country. This signature runDisney event features events for the entire family, including the Princess 5K, the Enchanted 10K and runDisney Kids Races. The 13.1-mile highlight event takes runners through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot starting at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 22 at Walt Disney World Resort.

October 8, 2014

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed

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This January runDisney celebrates the 10th anniversary of Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. Runners participate in the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday, 39.3 miles over 2-days. Once they cross the finish line of the marathon, they not only receive a marathon medal, but they also earn the commemorative anniversary Goofy medal. This one of a kind medal features a spinning Goofy in the middle and clearly commemorates the 10th anniversary.

August 1, 2014

Runners with a Little Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust Can Fly Through a New Challenge at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend

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Inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge newest twist for popular women-focused event; Registration opens August 12

ANAHEIM, Calif. (August 1, 2014) - The world's most beloved fairy is offering runners a new adventure during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort in 2015.

The inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge, designed for runners with a pinch of Tinker Bell's own sense of adventure, gives runners the thrill of running the Tinker Bell 10K and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Runners who complete the challenge will receive a specially-designed, fairy-themed medal.

Registration for the Pixie Dust Challenge and all other events for the May 7-10 race weekend begins Tuesday, August 12 at 12 pm EST/9 am PST at www.rundisney.com. The event is expected to sell out quickly. Earlier this year, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon sold out in less than two days after it opened for general registration. More than 30,000 runners took part in the women-focused weekend of events centered on health, fitness and active lifestyles.

In 2015, the race weekend will again be anchored by the 13.1-mile half marathon through Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and the streets of Anaheim. The half marathon course will include music, entertainment and Disney characters at various junctures as well as runners in colorful costumes.

The race weekend also features fun for the whole family, including the Never Land 5K on Friday, May 8, and the runDisney Kids Races on Saturday, May 9. Additional elements include:

· There will be a runDisney Health and Fitness Expo Thursday through Saturday (May 7-9) showcasing the latest running merchandise, as well as guest speakers - all geared toward women. The expo is free and open to the public.

· Runners and their families can also attend the Pasta in the Park Party inside Disney California Adventure Park to "carb up" for the next morning's races. Families and friends can enjoy ChEAR Squad amenities to help them cheer on the runners.

· Any participant who completes both the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May will earn a special pink version of the runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge Medal. The coveted medal features the likeness of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse with a pink overlay and lanyard.

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend is one of four runDisney race weekends scheduled for 2015 at the Disneyland Resort, doubling the number of races held in 2013.

June 10, 2014

Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Registration Opens Today

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Four-day race weekend at the Disneyland Resort likely to sell out quickly; Event kicks off with nighttime Star Wars Wookiee Welcome Party

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 10, 2014) -- Runners can register today for the new Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at the Disneyland Resort. The intergalactic journey runs January 15-18, 2015. Runners can sign up at www.rundisney.com.

Jedi runners should move fast. Given the popularity of all runDisney race weekends, this transportive event will likely sell out at warp speed. In recent years, runDisney race weekends have regularly sold out in record time, and last year attracted more than 163,900 runners to Walt Disney World and Disneyland -- a 40 percent increase over the previous year, making the runDisney series one of the largest in the nation.

The Star Wars race weekend kicks off with the Star Wars Wookiee Welcome Party on January 15. This private event in Tomorrowland will feature character meet-and-greets, entertainment, a dessert reception and an opportunity to ride select attractions, such as Space Mountain and Star Tours -- The Adventures Continues, Astro Orbitor, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

In addition, there will be a slew of family-friendly events throughout the race weekend, including a three-day Health and Fitness Expo, featuring the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets, plus speakers such as runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutrition consultant Tara Gidus.

The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is the fourth runDisney race weekend scheduled for 2015 at the Disneyland Resort, doubling the number of races held in 2013. The new event offers runners a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters -- the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. And for an ultimate test for Star Wars rebels, there's the Star Wars Rebel Challenge - a two-race challenge that combines the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finish the 19.3-mile challenge earn a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.

The celebratory charity for the race weekend is the Discovery Science Center, a non-profit organization that inspires and educates young minds through engaging science-based programs and exhibits that create a meaningful impact on the communities it serves. Contributions to the Discovery Science Center can be made at http://www.active.com/donate/SWDISCOVERYSCIENCE

WHERE: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.

WHEN: January 15-18, 2015

runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
Thursday, January 15, Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17

Star Wars Wookiee Welcome Party
9:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 15

Star Wars 5K presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation
5:30 a.m. on Friday, January 16

Star Wars 10K presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation
5:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 17

runDisney Kids Races
9 am on Saturday, January 17

Star Wars Rebel Challenge presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation
Saturday, January 17 and Sunday, January 18

Star Wars Half Marathon presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation
5:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 18

May 27, 2014

May the Course Be With You! New 2015 runDisney Event

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May The Course Be With You!

Star Wars™ Half Marathon Weekend Makes Its Intergalactic Arrival at Disneyland Resort in 2015

Four-day race weekend is first collaboration with Lucasfilm; Aerospace company Sierra Nevada Corporation to be inaugural event's presenting sponsor; Race registration opens June 10

ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 27, 2014) -- Joining forces with one of Hollywood's most iconic brands, runDisney is creating another transportive race weekend -- the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort. The intergalactic journey begins January 15 and runs through January 18, 2015.

The Star Wars event is the fourth runDisney race weekend scheduled for 2015 at Disneyland Resort, doubling the number of races held in 2013. The new race weekend offers runners a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters -- kids races, a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. And for those who show an event greater strength for the Force, there will be a two-race challenge involving the 10K and the half marathon with a commemorative medal awaiting every finisher.


In addition, there will be a slew of family-friendly events throughout the weekend, including a Health and Fitness Expo and a Star Wars-themed pre-race party, plus popular Star Wars and Disney characters and other entertainment. Registration opens June 10 at www.runDisney.com.

The Star Wars event at Disneyland Resort joins the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, the recently announced Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend.

"This melding of the iconic Star Wars franchise and the runDisney brand creates an ideal race experience that will resonate with core running groups as well as attract new runners to the sport,'' said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. "We will continue to identify opportunities to collaborate with other Disney franchises and partners to develop more unique runDisney race weekends that will appeal to an increasingly wider range of runners across the country and beyond.''

"This is an ideal intersection of family, fitness and Star Wars fun for our global, cross-generational audience and runDisney fans'' said Howard Roffman, executive vice president of Franchise Management at Lucasfilm. "Star Wars is all about reaching deep within to realize your true potential and runDisney embodies that message in a very real way."

As presenting sponsor of the race weekend, Sierra Nevada Corporation will have a presence throughout the event. Sierra Nevada Corporation, based in Sparks, Nevada, provides rapid, innovative and agile technology solutions and is best known for its Dream Chaser spacecraft, the company's solution for providing the United States with human spaceflight capability.

"With the passion and creativity of runDisney and Lucasfilm, this race weekend is going to be out of this world, which makes it a natural fit for Sierra Nevada Corporation because we are in a race of our own to take humans into space with our Dream Chaser spacecraft program,'' said Sierra Nevada Corporation president and chairman Eren Ozmen.

As with other new runDisney events, the inaugural Star Wars event sponsored by Sierra Nevada Corporation is expected to be an instant hit. The new Avengers race at Disneyland Resort sold out in less than two hours. In general, runDisney race weekends have regularly sold out in record time, and last year attracted more than 163,900 runners to Walt Disney World and Disneyland -- a 40 percent increase over the previous year, making the runDisney series one of the largest in the nation.

The surging popularity of runDisney events has created significant economic impact on the surrounding communities. For example, in Anaheim it's estimated that the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend drives approximately $20 million to $30million in additional economic activity locally by attracting thousands of runners to Southern California. In suburban Orlando, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which is considered to be the largest race weekend in the country, attracts more than 50,000 runners and 50,000-plus spectators, for a total attendance of more than 100,000 in Central Florida.

May 14, 2014

New Castaway Cay Challenge Added To 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 14, 2014) -- Runners taking part in the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend can add the ultimate finish to their experience - the new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a joint venture by runDisney and Disney Cruise Line.

After competing in the 5K, 10K, half marathon and/or full marathon during the Disney Marathon Weekend (January 7-11), runners can compete Jan. 14 in the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a special 5K race on Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line's private Bahamas island. Every runner who finishes this new runDisney Challenge event will earn two medals - an inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge medal and a Castaway Cay 5K medallion, plus any medals earned for running any Disney Marathon Weekend events (5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon).

The Castaway Cay Challenge takes place during the 4-night Disney Dream cruise itinerary that sets sail Jan. 12, 2015 from Port Canaveral, Florida and includes a stop in Nassau in addition to Castaway Cay. The cruise will feature exclusive activities designed for Castaway Cay Challenge participants, plus special menu items and merchandise.

To sign up for the Castaway Cay Challenge, runners must book the Jan. 12, 2015 Disney Dream cruise at www.disneycruise.com and then register for the Castaway Cay Challenge at www.runDisney.com. Race registration opens May 23.

April 22, 2014

All New Medals for Runners at 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend


New medals include commemorative 10th anniversary Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge medal; Registration now open for all weekend events

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 22, 2014) - Who couldn't use some more bling? All new medals await runners who complete races in the 2015 Walt Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, January 7-11. Registration starts today at runDisney.com.

Among the slew of new Disney Marathon Weekend medals will be a commemorative 10th anniversary Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge medal. The 39.3-mile challenge involves completing Saturday's half marathon and Sunday's full marathon.

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The Walt Disney World 10K will feature a new Minnie Mouse-inspired medal. Disney Half Marathon runners will earn an all new Donald Duck themed medal. And a Mickey Mouse-inspired medal goes to finishers of the 26.2-mile Walt Disney World Marathon.

Also, the popular Dopey Challenge is back for a second year for athletes completing all four timed events in successive days (the Family Fun Run 5K, the Walt Disney World 10K, the Disney Half Marathon and the Disney Marathon) for the chance to earn six medals for completing all 48.6 miles.
In addition to the four races, the Disney Marathon Weekend will feature Disney's Health and Fitness Expo, where runners pick up race packets, shop for the latest running apparel and technology, and meet industry experts such as runDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus. The expo is free and open to the public at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is also the site of the runDisney Kids Races and the Mickey Mile for the littler ones to experience.

There are also additional features for the entire family to enjoy, including breakfasts with Disney characters, Pasta in the Park parties at Epcot to "carb up" for the next morning's races and celebrate Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge's 10th anniversary, ChEAR Squad amenities to help fans cheer on the runners, a Race Retreat for a VIP running experience and a Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney to celebrate each runner's victories.

For more information and to register for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna events and other runDisney race weekends, go to www.runDisney.comrunDisney.com.

Schedule of Events
Disney's Health and Fitness Expo
Jan. 7 - 10
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

runDisney Kids Races and Mickey Mile
Jan. 8, 9 & 10
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Pasta in the Park Parties
Jan. 8, 9, 10 & 11
Epcot

runDisney Family Reunion Breakfast
Jan. 8 & 9
Epcot

Disney's Family Fun Run 5K
Jan. 8, 6:15 am
Epcot

Walt Disney World 10K
Jan. 9, 5:30 am
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Walt Disney World Half Marathon
Jan. 10, 5:30 am
Epcot

Walt Disney World Marathon
Jan. 11, 5:30 am
Epcot

Cool Down Party
Jan. 11
Downtown Disney

March 4, 2014

New Medal to Mark 5th Anniversary Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

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Commemorative medal only available for 2014 event; popular post-race party during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to return; registration opens today for November race weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 4, 2014) - Registration opens today for the fifth anniversary Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, and runners who sign up will have the chance to earn a one-time-only fifth anniversary medal.

The all-new commemorative medal will be distinctive and unique, a collectors item for anyone who completes the 13.1-mile nighttime race through Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The race weekend will also include Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K and runDisney Kids races on Nov. 8.

Immediately after the half marathon, runners and their families have the opportunity to celebrate at the popular Finish Line Party during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival inside Epcot until 4 am (friends and family must purchase a party ticket for entry). The Finish Line Party features more than 25 kiosks offering fine cuisine and wine from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, plus Disney characters, musical performances and the opportunity to ride signature Epcot attractions.

There will also be a Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste on Nov. 7, at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This special ticketed evening event offers runners and fans a private reception on the set of Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, featuring food and beverages from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, music and meet & greets with Disney characters.

The race weekend kicks off with the Disney Health and Fitness Expo on Nov. 7-8, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The expo, which is free and open to the public, offers the latest in running apparel, technology and a speaker series featuring running experts such as runDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus.

To register for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend races and to purchase tickets for the Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste and Finish Line Party at Epcot, visit www.runDisney.com. Runners can access specially priced theme park tickets and accommodations after registering for the event by calling 407-939-iRUN.

Schedule of Events

Disney's Health and Fitness Expo

Nov. 7 - 8

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste

Nov. 7, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K

Nov. 8, 7 am

Disney's Animal Kingdom

runDisney Kids Races

Nov. 8, 10 am

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Nov. 8, 10 pm

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Finish Line Party

Nov. 9, 10 pm - 4 am

Epcot

February 25, 2014

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend to Swoop into Disneyland Resort in California this Fall

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Three-day race weekend is runDisney's first Super Hero collaboration; Event to include kids races, 5K and half marathon; Registration opens late March

ANAHEIM, CA (February 25, 2014) - runDisney is expanding its portfolio of race weekends, adding a new Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA to debut November 14-16, 2014.

The new three-day race weekend will involve kids races, a 5K and a half marathon, plus several family-friendly events such as a Health & Fitness Expo and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party. Registration opens March 25 at www.runDisney.com.

With Super Hero-themed entertainment and characters, the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will be a unique runDisney experience.

"We couldn't be more excited about this Super Hero collaboration to create this new runDisney race weekend for runners everywhere,' said Tom Wolber, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises and Downtown Disney. "Our runDisney events continue to be hugely popular and by joining forces with the Avengers brand, we expect this race will appeal to an even broader range of runners in Southern California whom we hope will see this event as the perfect opportunity to unleash their inner Super Hero in a race to a personal triumph.'

"runDisney races are a natural fit because our comic book Super Heroes embody many of the same brand attributes as runDisney, such as heroism and intensity with a heavy dose of fun,' said Dan Buckley, president of TV, Publishing and Brand Management for Marvel Entertainment. "This race weekend will have a very distinct atmosphere that will appeal to comic book fans and runDisney fans.'

The Avengers event is expected to be in high demand much like other runDisney race weekends, which have sold out in record time in recent years. Overall, runDisney race weekends attracted more than 163,900 runners last year - a 40 percent increase over the previous year, making the runDisney series one of the largest in the nation.

The Avengers Half Marathon Weekend will be the eighth runDisney event and third at Disneyland Resort, joining the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend (May 7-10, 2015) and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend (Aug. 28-31, 2014) at Disneyland Resort.

But the Avengers Half Marathon course will be a new 13.1-mile route through the Disneyland Resort and surrounding areas that will differ from the Tinker Bell and Disneyland half marathon courses. Runners who successfully brave the new Avengers Half Marathon course will receive a commemorative Avengers-themed finishers' medal.

May 13, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Weekend Adds New Race, New Challenge and New Medals

Women-focused event to offer 10K, new challenge and special-edition medals fit for a Princess; Special Princess and Tinker Bell half marathon registration available June 11

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA (April 26, 2013) - Building on the success of its women-focused events, runDisney is broadening the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort next year by adding a 10K and a new two-race challenge.

The Princess 10K gives runners of various levels more opportunities to run through Disney theme parks and receive a specially-designed finisher medal. And runners looking for an even bigger challenge can sign up for the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total) to earn the inaugural Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Medal to go along with medals from each individual race.

The Princess Half Marathon Weekend, scheduled for Feb. 20-23, is one of two women-focused runDisney events. The other is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January at Disneyland Resort in California. Both races are among the largest women-specific running events in the country and focus on healthy active lifestyles for women and girls. For instance, after nearly 7,500 runners ran in the inaugural Princess Half Marathon event in 2009, the popularity of the race has grown considerably with more than 26,000 registered runners for last year's race.

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Also new in 2014 is a special edition runDisney Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge Medal for runners participating in the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January and the 2014 Princess Half Marathon five weeks later at Walt Disney World. Finishers receive the coveted medal featuring the likeness of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse with a pink overlay and lanyard.

Registration for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon opens June 11 at www.runDisney.com. A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to register for both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon at that time. Those not securing an early registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon will have a second chance when on-line registration officially opens on July 9.

Both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekends include signature runDisney events including a health and fitness expo geared towards women, kids races, a family fun run 5K, as well as featured half marathons for both weekend.

For more information and to register for runDisney events, visit www.runDisney.com.

May 8, 2013

Disneyland Half Weekend Medals Unveiled

runDisney has revealed the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend collection of medals, including Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K and Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K.

More than 25,000 runners are registered for the race weekend that winds through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the streets of Anaheim. Each finisher will receive a specially designed commemorative finisher medal.

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February 24, 2013

Rachel Booth Delivers Record-Setting Performance Again at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon

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Louisiana runner breaks her own event record to become first woman to win an unprecedented four runDisney titles; race weekend total of 36,000 participants is event's largest ever in five-year history

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - (Feb. 24 2013) - Rachel Booth etched her name in the runDisney record books - again - by winning Disney's Princess Half Marathon on Sunday for the second straight time, beating her own race record from a year ago.

Perhaps even more significant, Booth stands alone as the only woman to win four runDisney races - two Princess Half Marathons (2012 and 2013) and two Disneyland Half Marathons (2010 and 2011).

This latest win, a 13.1-mile journey through Epcot and Magic Kingdom on an unseasonably warm February morning at Walt Disney World Resort, was fairly routine. Booth charged to the front of the pack of 26,000 runners at the start and was never seriously threatened, even though she could hear the cheers for second-place finisher Mia Elbon and third-place finisher Megan Jaswell behind her.

Booth of Mandeville, La., crossed the finish line in 1:17:38 - 33 seconds faster than her then-record time of 1:18:11 a year ago. Elbon of Nashville, TN, came in at 1:18:04 and Jaswell of Johnston, RI, ran a 1:26:47.

"It never gets old, for sure,' said Booth, who was greeted at the finish line by her husband and two small children. "As I got to Mile 7 and 8 and through Mile 10, I got to see some people (cheering) and that definitely gave me extra incentive.'

In all, more than 36,000 runners - mostly women - competed in various events during the weekend, the largest weekend total in the race's five-year history. The weekend included the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K, Kids' Races and Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo in addition to Disney's Princess Half Marathon. The Expo featured the latest running apparel and equipment, plus a speaker series involving running experts such as runDisney's official training consultant Jeff Galloway.

Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of seven annual runDisney events and the second women-focused event. The other is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, which takes place in January at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women's empowerment, women's health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation's largest race weekends geared towards women.

February 20, 2013

RUNNERS DONNING TIARAS AND TUTUS FOR PRINCESS HALF MARATHON AT DISNEY THIS WEEKEND

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More than 26,000 mostly women runners - nearly 20,000 more than the inaugural year in 2009 - are set to run the 5th anniversary Disney's Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. The 13.1-mile course starts just outside Epcot and takes runners through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella Castle before finishing back at Epcot.

All runDisney races typically feature colorful runner costumes, Disney entertainment and characters. Runners completing the half marathon will receive a commemorative 5th anniversary tiara medal.

More than 26,000 runners in the half; 8,000 in the 5K and 1,700 in Kids Races; many from throughout Central Florida

The half marathon includes more than 24,500 female runners and 1,700 male runners

Runners represent all 50 states and 32 countries

Youngest participants are 14; the oldest woman is 78

Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo (open to the public)
Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K and runDisney Kids Races
Saturday, February 23
5K Starts at 6:30 am, Kids Races at 8:45 am
Epcot

Disney's Princess Half Marathon
Sunday, February 24
Race starts at 5:35 am (live trucks must be in place by 4 am) Epcot

January 18, 2013

CAPACITY FIELD SET TO FLY AT TINKER BELL HALF MARATHON AT DISNEYLAND THIS WEEKEND

More Than 19,500 Runners Participate in Weekend Races

What: More than 14,000 mostly women runners (2,000 more than 2012) are set to run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. This popular women-focused race sold out in 29 days. The 13.1-mile course takes runners through Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and the streets of Anaheim, and features colorful runner costumes, Disney entertainment and characters. Runners completing the race receive their wings with a commemorative Tinker Bell medal.

Race Facts:

-- More than 14,000 runners in the half (more than 5,500 runners from SoCal area); 4,500 in the 5K and 1,250 in Kids Races

-- In the half 12,459 runners are female, 1,634 are male

-- Runners represent all 50 states and 14 countries

-- Youngest participants are 14, the oldest is 77

Where: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

When:

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Health and Fitness Expo (open to the public): Friday and Saturday, January 18 and 19 at Disneyland Hotel

Never Land Family Fun Run 5K and runDisney Kids Races: Saturday, January 19 (5K Starts at 5:45 am, Kids Races at 9 am)

Tinker Bell Half Marathon: Sunday, January 20. Race starts at 5 am.

January 15, 2013

Bastos Reclaims Crown at 20th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon

Perennial champion wages another fierce battle with countryman and two-time champ Fredison Costa down the stretch; Victory is Bastos' eighth at Disney; Virginia's Renee High repeats as women's champion; Record 65,000-plus participate in weekend's events

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2013) - Perhaps it was fitting that at the 20th annual Walt Disney World Marathon the greatest champion in the event's history - Brazil's Adriano Bastos - reclaimed his place in the victory circle Sunday.

Bastos, who had won seven previous Disney Marathons, including six straight before losing the last two to countryman Fredison Costa, this time held off Costa down the stretch for his eighth victory at the place Where Dreams Come True.

Bastos, 34, lost to Costa, 35, at the 2011 Disney Marathon after getting ill the night before the race, then was edged by him again last year, finishing just 14 seconds behind. Bastos, who trains with Costa, said the two-year drought was extra motivation coming into this year's race, especially given that it was the 20th annual event.

"It was extra motivation, for sure," Bastos, wearing a Donald Duck hat, said through an interpreter.

In a wire-to-wire duel between Bastos and Costa that has become commonplace at the Disney Marathon, Bastos flipped the script on Costa, winning the late-race sprint this time in the final half mile. Bastos, whose goal is to win 10 Disney Marathons, broke the tape at 2:21:16, just 16 seconds ahead of Costa (2:21:32).

Renee High continued the trend of repeat champions by finishing as the top female runner for the second straight year. High of Virginia Beach, Va., ran the 26.2-mile race through all four Disney theme parks, the Disney Speedway and Disney's sports complex, in 2:48:30, three seconds quicker than a year ago.

In the men's Masters division, Ronnie Holassie of Miramar, Fla., came in first with a time of 2:25:26. Wendy Nixon of Windermere, Fla., was the first female across the finish line at 3:22:14.

In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga., took the men's title (1:52:52) and Jacqui Kapinowski of Tequesta, Fla., grabbed the women's crown (2:32:57).

In all, more than 25,000 runners, including former pop star Joey Fatone, competed in the Disney Marathon presented by Cigna on Sunday. Roughly 10,000 of those runners also ran the Disney Half Marathon the day before as part of Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge - running the half and the full marathon on consecutive days (39.3 miles). The weekend event drew unprecedented interest this year, selling out less than five months after registration began, marking one of the fastest sellouts in the event's history.

Runners from around the country and beyond have been undoubtedly drawn to the event because of several unique features tied to the 20th marathon, such as new course twists, the new Mickey Mouse medal and the post-race party at Downtown Disney.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna featured events for the entire family such as Kids' Races, a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. A Health and Fitness Expo ran throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and featured the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts like Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.

December 19, 2012

NEW 10K RACE ADDED TO DISNEYLAND HALF MARATHON WEEKEND

Runners Can Double Their Effort With Dumbo Double Dare; Race Registration Opens Next Month


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla (Dec. 19, 2012) -- The Happiest Race on Earth is getting a little happier starting next year. The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is expanding to include the Disneyland 10K at Disneyland Resort in California, Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2013.


The new 10K race, the latest in the popular runDisney series, will be a timed event and will take runners through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the streets of Anaheim. Each finisher will receive a specially designed commemorative finisher medal. Runners looking for an extra challenge can register for the Dumbo Double Dare, which involves running the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total). The limited number of participants who sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare will receive a Dumbo Double Dare running shirt and a special finisher medal, in addition to the Disneyland Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals.


The Disneyland 10K builds on the weekend of races and entertainment geared toward families and runners of all levels. In addition to the 10K, the weekend of events include the Kids Races, the Family Fun Run 5K, the Half Marathon and a two-day Health and Fitness Expo where guests can check out the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets, plus learn from speakers such as runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway, runDisney nutrition consultant Tara Gidus and former Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton. Runners and guests can add to their race weekend experience by purchasing tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party.


"The 10K distance is the third most popular distance for runners next to the 5K and half marathon, so this race weekend will have it all," said Manager, runDisney Events Kathleen Duran. "We are excited to continue to add different distance races so runners at every level can experience a runDisney event and run through Disney theme parks."


Registration opens for all Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races on Jan. 22, 2013. Last year's half marathon sold out in a little more than a month. For more information about the race weekend and other runDisney events, go to www.rundisney.com.

For more information, visit runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @runDisney.

August 16, 2012

Carey, Marini, Hoover, Astin, Zohn and Morasca Join Celebrity-Filled 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Hollywood personalities are latest celebrities to join star-packed marathon weekend; The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney and ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd already in the field; uniquely-designed commemorative race medal for every finisher

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 16, 2012) - Several additional celebrities are joining in the fun of the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna.

Comedian and The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, actor Gilles Marini (Sex in the City: The Movie, Switched at Birth and Dancing with the Stars), Access Hollywood co-host Kit Hoover, reality TV stars Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca (Survivor, The Amazing Race and Everyday Health) and actor Sean Astin (The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings and Rudy) are participating in the historic runDisney race weekend, Jan. 10-13.

Zohn , Morasca, Marini and Hoover are running the 13.1-mile half marathon at Disney, while Carey and Astin are taking on the 26.2-mile marathon. They join celebrities Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser) and Colin Cowherd (ESPN radio personality) who already signed up for the half marathon.

For many of these celebrities, competing in a runDisney event will be a familiar experience. This will be the second runDisney race for Carey, who ran in the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon. Likewise, Zohn and Morasca both ran in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon earlier this year and the Princess Half Marathon last year. And Astin ran in the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort earlier this year. This will be the first runDisney event for Hoover, an avid runner, and Cowherd and Marini, who are both first-time half marathon runners.

In all, nearly 50,000 runners are expected to compete in various events throughout the weekend with the 26.2-mile marathon field comprised of roughly 55 percent women - the first time ever that women have outnumbered men in the Disney Marathon field.

The celebrity participants are just some of the new features of the Disney Marathon. Among the other new features are:

• A specially-designed 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse commemorative finisher's medal with two spinning elements and engraved with two famous quotes from Walt Disney himself

• Enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary

• New course routes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

• A new post-race party at Downtown Disney

The Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna will again feature Kids' Races throughout the weekend, including the Mickey Mile, as well as a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. There is also Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon and the full marathon - a total of 39.3 miles. The Health and Fitness Expo runs throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.
Runners can register for the race and get more information at rundisney.com.


August 14, 2012

20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Medal Unveiled

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 14, 2012) - Today, runDisney revealed the much anticipated commemorative 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon medal giving runners extra incentive to finish the 26.2 mile course.

The medal's unique design features a classic circular shape and two spinning elements, including a medallion with classic and modern images of Mickey Mouse, and two inspirational quotes from Walt Disney himself.

"For 20 years runDisney medals have set the standard in the running industry," said Faron Kelley, Director of Marketing and Communication for Disney Sports. "This medal builds on that rich tradition and is an extraordinary keepsake that celebrates the 20 years of marathon experiences for people from around the world who have run in this time-honored event."

The unveiling of the medal culminates a two-week runDisney social media campaign - "The Great Medal Caper' - in which fans unlocked clues about the design of the medal.

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The Walt Disney World Marathon anchors the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Walt Disney World Resort, Jan. 10 - 13, 2013. In addition to earning the commemorative anniversary marathon medal, runners competing in the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon will experience several unique features, such as an enhanced course that goes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex's Champion Stadium; special entertainment at Mile Marker 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary; and a new post-race party at Downtown Disney.

The marathon weekend, which is expected to draw a sellout field of more than 20,000 for the 26.2-mile marathon, will again feature Kids' Races throughout the weekend, including the Mickey Mile, a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. There is also Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the Half Marathon and the full Marathon - 39.3 miles! The Health and Fitness Expo runs throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDIsney.

For more information and to register for the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend or other runDisney events, go to www.rundisney.com.

May 18, 2012

New Twists and Turns Coming to 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Course

The WDW Marathon will be celebrating 20 years with special entertainment along the 20th mile.

The race is also taking some new paths which will include, for the first time, running in the WDW Speedway as well as the EPSN WWOS Stadium!


If you want to get in on the fun, just sign up at runDisney.com for the marathon or any of the other family-oriented races taking place here during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, Jan. 10-13.

January 27, 2012

Tinker Bell Half Marathon by the Numbers


1 - The inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

10 - Countries represented in the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon; majority of international participants are from Canada.

14 - Age of the youngest participant in the 1/2 marathon

48 - US States represented in the half marathon; no runners from Maine or New Hampshire

48 - Participants celebrating their birthday the day of the half marathon

71 - Percent of participants from California; second is Florida

80 - Age of the oldest female runner in half marathon; 13 female runners are 70 years or older; there are 2 men over the age of 70 participating - oldest is 75

508 - Number of registrants from San Diego making it to the city with the most participation; second place is Las Vegas with 150 runners

920 - Men registered to run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

11,082 - Women registered to run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

12,000 - Registered runners for the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon

17,300 - Registered runners for the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend; 12,000 for the half, 4,000 for the Neverland 5K, 1, 300 for the kids' races

January 23, 2012

Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Takes "Flight" at Disneyland Resort

TV sitcom star to be among the more than 17,000 runners in
women-focused weekend of events centered on health, fitness
and active lifestyles

ANAHEIM, Ca. (January 19, 2012) - Pixie dust and fairy wings will overtake Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim this weekend as thousands of runners participate in the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon (Jan. 27 - 29). TV sitcom star Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement) will be among the 17,000-plus runners taking part in this ultimate girls weekend, the latest event in the runDisney series and the second at Disneyland Resort.

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon, hosted by the city of Anaheim and Disneyland Resort, takes runners on a 13.1-mile trek through the Disneyland and California Adventure, as well as by several city of Anaheim landmarks. The half marathon, expected to draw 12,000 runners, will be filled with music, entertainment, Disney characters, runners in colorful Tinker Bell costumes and, of course, pixie dust, and finishing at Disneyland. Runners will receive a commemorative Tinker Bell "wings' medal.

The weekend of events, all geared toward health, fitness and active lifestyles for women, features a variety of races including The Neverland 5K on Friday night, kids' races on Saturday and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday. There will also be a health and fitness expo featuring the latest running merchandise, products, apparel and guest speakers - all tailored for women - creating a weekend of camaraderie and wellness, plus a pinch of Tinker Bell's trademark sassiness and sense of adventure.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is the second women-focused event weekend in the runDisney series. Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend takes place at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 24 - 26. Both event weekends are among the largest women-specific events in the country.

January 3, 2012

Celebrities and Wounded Veterans Join Record Disney Marathon Weekend

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19th annual runDisney event to include new marathon relay option and commemorative 15th anniversary half marathon medal; weekend field to top 56,000

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2012) - Reality TV stars and wounded military soldiers are expected to be part of the more than 56,000 runners participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna this weekend.

Ethan Zohn (Survivor / Amazing Race), Jenna Morasca (Survivor / Amazing Race) and Trista and Ryan Sutter (The Bachelor) are among the celebrities entered in the weekend of events at Walt Disney World Resort. All are running in the half marathon on Saturday along with four wounded veterans who are part of the Achilles Freedom Team, which supports disabled runners. Workout guru Tony Horton, founder of the P90X workout, will be on hand to prepare runners for their race.

The marathon weekend also features a new relay option that gives runners the opportunity to pair up and split the 26.2 mile journey through all four Disney theme parks - Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios - and receive a special Chip and Dale medal. And to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the half marathon, all finishers will be awarded a one-of-a-kind Donald Duck half marathon medal.

The 56,000 total runners - a new Disney marathon record - includes more than 26,500 registered runners for the half marathon, 16,500 for the marathon and 8,000 for the Family Fiesta 5K featuring the Three Caballeros - 3,000 more runners than last year. Approximately 6,500 runners will compete in Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday - 39.3 miles. And about 3,000 young runners will join in the fun and participate in the Mickey Mile and Marathon Kids Fest events on Friday and Saturday.

There's also a Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Thursday - Saturday. Vendors will showcase the latest running merchandise and equipment, plus there will be seminars by leading health and fitness authorities, including marathon training expert Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.

For more information on the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend or future runDisney events, visit www.rundisney.com. For coverage throughout the event follow us on Twitter (@disneysports), on runDisney Facebook and at www.disneysportsnews.com.

About runDIsney

runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks. Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November. Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend. More than 100,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @DisneySports.

December 22, 2011

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler

New 10-mile event is reminiscent of Tower of Terror 13K race from 2009; Race debuts Sept. 29, 2012 and is sixth signature runDisney event and second nighttime race at Walt Disney World; Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend shifts to early Nov.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2011) - Reviving the scarily popular Twilight Zone Tower of Terror theme, runDisney unveiled its newest race today, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, which debuts next year at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando.

The nighttime race, scheduled for Sept. 29, is the reincarnation of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K last held in 2009. The new event has a similar race course - through the set of "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" and past Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat - but features runDisney's first-ever 10-mile distance that finishes, appropriately enough, near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Runners will receive a finisher medal inspired by the Tower of Terror and then celebrate their achievement at a villainous post-race party with their family and friends, where they will enjoy live music, characters - including your favorite Disney villains - and have exclusive access to attractions like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania.

"The 10-mile distance has emerged in popularity as beginning runners, who are fast becoming super fans of the sport, consider it the next big challenge after a 5k or 10k," said veteran race director Jon Hughes, who will serve as race director for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror event. "Take into account the unique night race combined with Disney's Tower of Terror theme, and it's 'the must do' event for 2012!"

The new The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror race is the sixth signature runDisney event and the second nighttime race at Walt Disney World along with the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, which shifts to Nov. 9-10 next year during the final weekend of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. As with all runDisney events, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror race weekend will involve a variety of events, including a 5K and Kids' races, plus a Health and Fitness Expo, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.

Race registration opens Feb. 14, 2012 at runDisney.com. For more information on runDisney events and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, visit www.runDisney.com.

September 5, 2011

Californian Runner Humberto Rojas Cruises To Disneyland Half Marathon Victory

Louisiana runner repeats as women's division winner;
Celebrity Drew Carey finishes with personal best time;
Half marathon field pushes race weekend total to new event record

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2011) - Humberto Rojas finished the Disneyland Half Marathon pretty much where he started - in first place. The 27-year-old from Fountain Valley, Calif., led the record field of nearly 15,000 registered runners virtually from wire to wire Sunday, crossing the finish line first with a time of 1:08:14.

Finishing just behind Rojas was Jesse Kleinjan, 27, of Chicago, IL, with a time of 1:12:13. Juan Arjona, 19, of Moreno Valley, Calif., finished third (1:12:54). But no one seriously challenged Rojas.

"It's like being a little kid when you run out there (Disneyland)," Rojas said. "I live a couple miles away and I was like "how cool would it be to run inside Disneyland? It's like a dream come true."

Rachel Booth, 30, Mandeville, La., repeated as the women's champion with a time of 1:18:01. Booth, who was using this event as a training run for the Olympic trials in January, was happy with her performance.

The women's second-place finisher was Jennifer Boyd, 39, of Santa Paula, Calif. (1:23:17) followed by Susan Loken, 48, of Phoenix, Ariz. (1:23:43).

"I came to the race hoping I could pull something off," said Booth, who used the race as part of her training for a possible spot on the U.S. Olympic team. "After last year I had to come back and see what I can do. There is nothing better than running through the theme parks, Castle and all the other fun things."

Drew Carey, host of the popular game show "The Price is Right", ran in the event and set a personal record of 1:50:46. He did it while recovering from a separated clavicle that occurred while training several weeks ago.

"I am glad I did it. It was really fun,' Carey said. "I set a personal record by seven minutes - that's good with a separated clavicle. (I'm) pretty happy considering."

Other notable finishers were Kevin Broady, 49, of Brea, Calif., who won the men's Master's Division (age 40 and over) with a time of 1:13:03. Tracy Wright, 43, of San Diego, Calif., topped the women's Master's Division at 1:27:17. And Marc Aten, 37, of Moorpark, Calif., took the men's wheelchair division at 1:02:21.

Whitney Henderson, from the San Francisco area, completed an amazing goal by running the Disneyland Half Marathon as part of a run that literally stretched from coast to coast. Henderson, 24, ran from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on June 1 to the Disneyland Half Marathon.

Captain Ivan Castro, an active duty soldier who lost his vision five years ago in an attack in Iraq, completed the 13.1 mile course with the help of a guide and a shoestring tied between them.

The Disneyland Half Marathon, the "Happiest Race on Earth, featured runners from 49 states and 23 countries who completed the course that weaved through the two Disneyland Resort theme parks - Disneyland and Disney California Adventure - and by Angel Stadium of Anaheim with hundreds of cheering fans, Disney characters, music and spectators along the way.

Participants who completed the half marathon received the newly created medal designed around Disneyland Resort's iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. In all, more than 20,500 runners participated in the weekend of events, setting an event record.

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