Runners are promised the quintessential Disney experience.
Written by: Susan Lacke
Disney has expanded its franchise to appeal to runners looking to create their own majestic story.
A transcontinental serving of Run Disney includes the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in Orlando, Fla., held Jan. 5 to 8 and the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in Anaheim, Calif., Jan. 27 to 29. Both weekends offer multiple race distances, including a “Chip and Dale” option for the marathon distance at Disney World, where runners split the marathon course with a partner. For a double dose of running fun, participants can complete races from both weekends to earn special medals and bragging rights in the Run Disney Coast to Coast Challenge.
Run Disney, the road race division of Disney Sports, has collaborated with the Disney theme parks, hotels and resorts to create a full weekend for racers and their families.
With the full force of the franchise behind race weekend, runners are promised the quintessential Disney experience, including courses through Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World and Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. Participants are also treated to Disney entertainment every mile along the course, featuring Disney characters, music and cheer squads. Racers making travel arrangements through Disney’s travel agency will enjoy additional amenities of extended park hours, airport transportation and dining packages during race weekend.
“It’s an amazing race destination for the entire family,” said Bob Hitchcock of Disney Sports. “It’s the chance to run a race then celebrate the accomplishment with friends and family by going to the parks.” Whether it’s a spin in the teacups or a post-race brew at Epcot’s Biergarten Restaurant, racers can customize their special celebration.
One-of-a-kind Disney medals will be awarded to runners at the finish line—each race offers a medal featuring a beloved Disney character, including Tinker Bell, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. Mouse ears and fairy wings are optional; a belief in magic is required.
At press time, the Tinker Bell Marathon and Half-marathon races were sold out, but families can still sign up for the Never Land Family Fun Run and 5K and Disney Kids’ Races.
This piece first appeared in the November issue of Competitor magazine.