Packing Like A runDisney Princess!

Truth be told,   I had my first official foray into the world of RunDisney at the 2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  Needless to say I am no expert, but I AM hooked!

Pack like a runDisney Princess Mickey and Minnie Jacqui with her medal

Since the completion of that run that lasted over 3 hours in the nonstop, driving rain, I’ve since signed up for more magical miles. I started out 2015 with the Walt Disney World 10K, and am heading back for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  I can hardly believe that I will be tackling yet another half marathon! Perhaps it’s not so surprising. 

Pack like a runDisney Princess Mickey and Minnie
Photo: Disney

Just recently, I read a blurb from the great Jeff Galloway who said that the half or full marathon has become a mission of many individuals in the 40+ age range. Like it or not, I fall in that category! I won’t bore you with the details of my fitness history; that’s for certain.  However, I will say that I always maintained that I would never be a runner…too boring! Ha! Still, I was long intrigued by RunDisney.  Why wouldn’t I be? The prospect of combining a lifelong love (Disney!) with a healthy activity was very appealing.  Thanks to the persuasive powers of some very special friends, I ran (and completed!) my first runDisney race. 

Pack like a runDisney Princess 10K with Donald


A humble beginner, I hope I can help some of you with a newbie packing list for the upcoming Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

How I plan to pack like a runDisney Princess!

The first thing on my list is SHOES.  Whatever you do, please run in shoes you have already put some miles on.  I pack my stability running shoes for the races and my Minnie RunDisney shoes for the parks.  If you want to pack sandals for after your run, I recommend some with support.  FitFlops or Skechers are a great example of these.

Pack like a runDisney Princess

1.   Shoes
2.   moisture wicking athletic socks
3.   comfy (and cool) top and bottoms such as capris or shorts
4.   tutu or SparkleSkirt (It IS Princess Weekend after all)!
5.   clothes you are willing to throw away as you run. (It can be cold at the start and       you can just peel those babies right off as you run). Some runners prefer to use a large garbage bag for early morning warmth.
6.   sports bra
7.   Gym Boss timer to track your intervals
8.   A running belt or fanny pack.  There are plenty of water stops along the course, so I find that a running belt with water bottles is not necessary for RunDisney races.
9.    phone or camera for pictures with the characters
10.  smartphone holder
11.  small energy bar for sustenance as you go
12.  sunscreen
13.  baseball hat or headband to comfortably keep your hair back
14.  hair ties
15.  sunglasses
16.  race paperwork and confirmations

Pack like a runDisney Princess

I am sure I will learn much more along the way. In the meantime, I hope my packing list helps other beginners with some essentials for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. 

I hope to see you on the course! See ya real soon!


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Going runDisney Dopey With Carrie Burrows

We are super excited to have Carrie Burrows sharing her runDisney Dopey Challenge experience with us today! You should check out Carrie’s site for some awesome fitness tips and motivation and you can also find Carrie on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

Running 48.6 miles is no joke. Running it in four days divided into a 5k (3.1 miles) a 10k (6.2 miles) a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a marathon (26 miles) is just plain gruelling.

I was pretty excited about Disney Marathon Weekend and the runDisney Dopey challenge until the day before it all started. That’s when the doubt started to kick in. I didn’t train enough, I have a couple of injuries that I’ve ignored and worst of all… I still have to my work AND get up at 3am!!!

Am I going to finish? Can I get through 48.6 miles without making my injuries worse? Will I sleep through the 5 alarms I have set?

Well, I’m very to report, I finished. I had a great time and while the injuries are still there, they didn’t get any worse and I’m ready to sign up for Dopey 2016.

Here’s a quick run down of the four days as I took on the runDisney Dopey Challenge.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 1 – Walt Disney World 5k

Pluto’s 5k was the c-o-l-d-e-s-t run I have done in a long time! Mother Nature wanted to test the runners and see how they did with 20 mph winds and temps in the 30’s /40’s.

I’m Canadian. I “should” be able to handle this type of weather – nope. I was shaking and shivering like a Chihuahua! I wore 4 layers….4.  From all of the shivering and shaking, I was exhausted later that day. I mean, exhausted. The 5k route is by far my favourite. Running through World Showcase is just fantastic. I love it!! There were some great characters along the route. We said that we weren’t going to do any character pictures but then we saw Chip n Dale in Japan. Picture time!! Because they were wearing kimonos!!!!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Chip and Dale 5K Pluto

Chip and Dale in Japan wearing kimonos!!

Post race, we had the Runners World race retreat and it was awesome. I highly recommend getting the race retreat for marathon weekend/Dopey challenge. We finished and went right to the warm tent for hot coffee and hot food. We were able to sit, relax and get a few character pics!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Runners Retreat

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Bart Yasso Selfie

Selfie with Bart Yasso -Runner’s World Chief Running Officer

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Goofy and Max

Max and Goofy!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 2 – Walt Disney World 10k

Oh hello 3am –what an unpleasant time you are, even if you’re going to Disney.

Another crazy cold morning. I had a cute outfit planned and it was tossed aside for warmth! I wore 3 layers, so it was better…but still, I was wearing 3 layers! Burr(ows).  There were no crazy cold winds, so stopping to characters was doable! I didn’t push myself to get a PR because I wanted to save my legs/feet for the half and the full. Now mind you, it was cold so I did pick up my pace to get through the course so I could get to that awesome race retreat to warm up.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

Bathroom selfie!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

10k in the books!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 3 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon 13.1 miles

Dear 3am, I hate you. You would think I’d get the hang of this by now, but no such luck. Another cold morning, another cute outfit planned and scrapped. Yes…running is about the cute outfits. Don’t judge. I did manage to only need 2 layers…progress!! Seeing all of the costumes people wear is always fun. I love that runners put effort in to make this a total experience.

Another reason I love runDisney events is because that running community is a lot of fun and supportive. I love seeing familiar faces or people I interact with online.

I had a plan for this run. No stopping for pics in the dark, those pictures never turn out. Going off track for a sec, so stay with me…I use to do these runDisney events and blast through them always chasing a new PR. I never had a character picture or any pics from the course just the memories in my head. This last year I have realized it is important to stop and ‘smell the roses’. Take pics with friends, characters, the Castle, everything! This is an experience run…enjoy it!!! If you are chasing a PR do local runs at home. Some of the best pics I have are from runs and some of the best conversations and laughs I have had are during runs. Get the full experience not just the post run medal pic.

Ok, back on track. I love this course. Running down Main Street USA and having people chEAR you on, running towards the castle is just a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! If you don’t have a bucket list, then put one together and add a runDisney run to that list!!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Golfer Mickey Mouse

No matter what…you ALWAYS stop for Mickey!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Mickey Mouse Golf Cart

Fun with friends – DON’T TOUCH THE CART!! @dave_mari @bamagirlruns

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Half Marathon

Running 13.1 miles was worth getting your medal Donald!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Cinderella and Prince Charming

Cinderella & Prince Charming selfie…check!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Phineas and Ferb

Ferb, I know what we are going to do today…” oh hey, where’s Perry??!!

I felt good for this run. It was cold but it was manageable. Seeing familiar faces along the course route gives you that added boost to keep going! Stopping for character pics with friends is just fun! I felt like I was on autopilot with this run. I knew not to push hard because I needed all that I had for the marathon. The sun was out and it had warmed up but it wasn’t crazy hot so I was thankful for that! I finished and felt good and again. Back over to race retreat to unwind, fuel up.Have I mentioned race retreat is a really great thing to do?

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 4 – Walt Disney World Full Marathon 26.2 miles

I was fortunate to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando located on property at Walt Disney World. I still had to get up early 2:45am. We were going to take the bus but at the last minute decided to drive and knew we had to leave early because of the roads being busy and some of them shut down for the race. The Waldorf and Hilton Bonnet Creek do special runDisney race weekend packages and part of the package is a pre race send off party.

Now this is how you do 3am. I wasn’t hating it as much.

They had ever kind of drink (hot/cold) bars, bagels, fruit. The staff was energetic and gave their all to pump up these tired runners! It was quite the send off and I highly recommend it if you are doing a run. I did write more about it here.

We arrived early…ugh. Race retreat is open before the half marathon and marathon. We did our bag check, sat down and got ourselves put together.

I don’t mean to go on about the race retreat BUT another big feature is they have their own sets of porta-potties. That means you don’t have to wait in a line of 50 people to use the potty. They have people their keeping them clean-so that means there is always toilet paper, hand sanitizer.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

Runners World Race Retreat Potties – no lines!

We stayed in there until they kicked us out. (Race retreat, not the porta-potties.)  It was another cold morning, but I did manage to wear a cute outfit (but I had a jacket on). I had planned to give it to a friendly face along the race route to hold for me when I got warm. The plan was simple – slow and steady. No stopping for characters in the dark! Miles 1-13 seemed effortless-autopilot kicked in.

Mile 14 is when you need your mind to kick in and stay strong for the remaining 13 miles. I saw friends just outside of Animal Kingdom! Hello Kelly Christine!


My fellow Disney Parks Mom’s Panelist, Laura gave me a diet coke – love her for having food and drinks on hand.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Laura mp

My family was just up ahead and when I saw them it was the best thing!! I needed those hugs. We snapped a few selfies and I grabbed some snacks from them and we were on our way.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Family

The run along Osceloa Parkway into ESPN Wide World Of Sports is looooonng and boring. This is when you need great music or great conversations with your running partner. Thankfully,runDisney and Cigna provide the music and Bama provides the conversation.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Baymax

Coming out of Wide World of Sports is mile 20. The Dreaded Wall…and oddly I felt fine. Mentally I knew it was almost over. My feet were beyond sore, I mean stabby sore but I pushed on. The run up the ramp towards Hollywood Studios back entrance is another long, boring stretch. That’s when I needed to buck up and keep telling myself I was in single digits and its almost over! Got to see some familiar faces at Hollywood Studios so that was fun.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows emt jeff

Glad to see @Jeff_EMT 

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Disney's Hollywood Studios hat

The Hat” was still there!!!

Then it started raining…come on Mother Nature. My family was on the boardwalk in front of the Yacht and Beach Club so I knew seeing them again would give me the last blast I needed. Hugs and kisses and them telling me they were proud was all I needed to finish up. The rain kept coming and got harder while we were in World Showcase. I got a soggy pic with Duffy. He was brave standing in the rain, he did smell like wet fur and sweaty runner though…lol.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Duffy

The gospel choir was there again at mile 26 –praise the Lord and Hallelujah, I made it!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Gospel Choir

It was a fun 4 days and Im ready to sign up for 2016 #perfectDopey

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Medals

Now I lay me down to sleep…

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Congratulations Banner

See ya real soon – 2016 Dopey Challenge #PerfectDopey


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runDisney Princess Half Marathon Registration Opens Tomorrow!

Photo: runDisney Princess Half Marathon runDisney
Photo: runDisney

The 2015 runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, February 19-22, opens for registration tomorrow, July 15th, at noon EST!!!

A touch of winter is going to be coming to Florida for this runDisney event, as the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World next year as the Disney Princess 5K and runDisney Kids races will have a Frozen theme with new medals inspired from the film.

Princess Half Marathon

Also returning is the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K to help round out the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, which involves running the 10K and half marathon on consecutive days for a total of 19.3 miles to earn an additional Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Medal!

glass slipper challege medals
2014 Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge Medals

The Princess Half Marathon and Tinker Bell Half Marathon hosted at Disneyland in California are women-focused runDisney events and focus on healthy and active lifestyles for women and girls. And participants in both the Tinker Bell and Princess Half Marathons have the opportunity to earn a special Coast-to-Coast Challenge medal.

The 2014 Tinker Bell/Princess Half Marathon Coast to Coast Medal

Keep your eyes open, because we hear there might be a ‘tropical’ challenge that might be announced soon that Olaf would LOVE!!!!

Frozen Olaf Summer runDisney Princess Half Marathon

The Princess Half Marathon was my first Half Marathon in 2012, and it is by far my absolute favorite runDisney race!!! I look forward to it every year, because it holds so many special memories and is an amazing display of women and girls excelling in a supportive and positive atmosphere. I love it!


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runDisney Announces Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Details

runDisney Let the Wookie Win Star Wars

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

May The Course Be With You!


Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is a 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

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


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.

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

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.


About runDisney

runDisney, one of the largest race organizers in the nation, hosts a series of nine event weekends 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, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in February, Expedition Everest Challenge in May, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation in January, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in May, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend during Labor Day Weekend and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend in November. More than 163,900 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) andTwitter @runDisney.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties, including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd is headquartered in northern California.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd and/or its affiliates. TM & © 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

About Sierra Nevada Corporation

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, avionics, aerospace, propulsion, micro-satellites, aircraft, and communications systems. For over 30 years SNC has been under the leadership of CEO, Fatih Ozmen, and President, Eren Ozmen, the company’s sole owners. SNC is also the top woman-owned federal contractor in the United States.  Among SNC’s most revolutionary advancements is its Dream Chaser® spacecraft, SNC Space System’s answer to the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle. The primary mission of the Dream Chaser is transporting up to seven crew members and cargo to the International Space Station. With a workforce of over 3,000 personnel in 30 locations in 16 states, SNC has six unique business areas dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base. For more information on SNC visit and on SNC’s Dream Chaser visit


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Facing the Yeti at Expedition Everest Challenge 2014

On May 3rd, I ran in my fourth Expedition Everest Challenge. This race will always be special to me for a few reasons. First, it was my very first runDisney race back in 2011. My mom and I ran in a mother/daughter team and we had a blast. Of course I was hooked on races after that and have run in 11 others since then (plus I’m signed up for two more this year).

Meeting Pluto in 2011
Meeting Pluto in 2011

Also at that fateful race in 2011, I met some very special friends. I knew a bunch of people that I knew from Twitter were also running so I thought it would be a great time to meet some of them in person for the first time. One of those people is now my fiancé, Cliff! In fact, we got engaged at the Everest Challenge race last year. So, I guess you can see why this race is important to me. It’s one that I will always sign up for, even though they’ve significantly raised the price in recent years.

With Cliff back where we first met
With Cliff back where we first met

The Expedition Everest Challenge is a night race and features a 5k course through Animal Kingdom with a few obstacles along the way. After the 5k comes the scavenger hunt where you have to make your way back through the park while solving clues given to you at certain checkpoints. You can run the race in teams of two or as an individual. My mom and I always run this together and I think we make a pretty great team!

Course Map
Course Map
My bib. You may need to refer to this later on ;) *hinthint*
My bib. You may need to refer to this later on 😉 *hinthint*

Since this is a smaller race with an after party going into the wee hours of the morning, we like to drive ourselves to the start. We got there around 8:00PM because we always like to get to races early. Only problem with that this year is that it started raining pretty steadily. It was also a little chilly for us Floridians! So we sat in the car for a while. Once the rain let up we headed to the staging area to check our bag and hang out to people watch. There are always some pretty great costumes at this race!

Getting a view of the start line
Getting a view of the start line

When it was time to go to our corrals, we said bye to Cliff (mom and I were in H and Cliff was in E), and headed to our pens for more waiting. There were 6 minutes between corral starts so we had a lot of waiting….in the cool damp weather. The DJ and hosts did a pretty good job at keeping us moving though.

YMCA in the corrals
YMCA in the corrals

At 10;42, Corral H was off and we began the worst part of the race: running around the perimeter of the Animal Kingdom parking lot. Towards the end of this section, we hit our first obstacle: hay bales. You always have the option of running around the obstacles. Mom usually does because she injured her knee the first year.


Hay bale obstacle
Hay bale obstacle

Finally we made it to the park entrance and Mile 1! At this point we also merged with racers who had completed the 5k and were beginning the scavenger hunt portion. This was the only time we really ran into congestion because the scavenger hunt people were stopping on course to solve clues. Once we got more into the park, there were separate lanes set up for runners so it got better.


Donald meeting on the course
Donald meeting on the course

We continued through the park, past the Tree of Life and headed toward Africa. Once in Harambe, we turned right to go to Asia. Usually right after this point we head backstage, but this year we kept going through Asia and past Everest to backstage near the Nemo theater. Loved this change!

Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Running through Africa
Running through Africa
Running past Everest
Running past Everest

Once backstage, we soon hit our second obstacle: tires! (and mile 2!)

Trying not to break an ankle
Trying not to break an ankle

Running backstage is kind of a blur because there aren’t any familiar landmarks to orient myself with. About a mile later we rounded a corner and saw our final obstacle: a cargo net to crawl under.

Crawling under the net
Crawling under the net

Just after that was the finish line for the 5k and we received our first clue and a cool marker/flashlight combo!


The scavenger hunt brought us back into the park. There were 5 total clues. We had a little trouble with the first two, especially the second one. The last 3 we solved pretty quickly and we finished the hunt in about 30 minutes. I edited the pictures of the clues so you can see if you know the answers. I’ll post the answers at the end of the post. If you click on the pictures, you can see them bigger.


You had to use clue 4 as a template for clue 5:Clue5

Once we received our awesome compass medals, we met back up with Cliff and headed back into the park for the after party!

Inside the medal
Inside the medal

Food was first on the agenda. Then we caught part of the awards ceremony in Dinoland where we were introduced to the yeti. We also paid a quick visit to our engagement spot!


Engagement spot!
Engagement spot!

Soon we decided we were tired and ready to head back to the hotel.

I would definitely recommend this race to anyone looking for a different runDisney experience. We always have a great time and being in Animal Kingdom at night is a treat itself. Also, each year it seems runDisney makes small changes that keep improving the experience. I will, of course, continue to run it as long as it is being offered. See you next year, Yeti!


Clue Answers: 1 – green flag (which is on the right side of our bibs “flag the right color”). 2 – one (in the word done) and three (combine the end of “both” and the beginning of “reenergizes”). 3 – things that keep you warm. 4 – punch out scarf, mittens, fire, blanket, boots, and coffee. 5 – hold up 4 fingers (1+ 3 from clue 2)

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runDisney Race Bibs with Heather

Join guest Heather Winfield with her post about this great idea for scrapbooking her runDisney race bibs. Visit Heather’s site here for more great content, especially her fantastic collection of character pictures.


race bibs headerOver the last year or so, I’ve gotten addicted to runDisney. It’s an accomplishment to walk or run any length, and it’s fun to hang your medals to remember what you’ve done. After recently doing a race that didn’t give out a medal (boo!), I wanted a way to show off my bibs and remember each race, even if there wasn’t a medal. I decided to make an album where I could include the bib on one side of the spread, and information about the race on the other side of the spread.

runDisney race bibs are 7.5 x 8 inches. I figured I was mostly doing runDisney races, so I chose an 8 x 8 scrapbook for this project. If I do a race with a larger bib, I’ll just have to fold it! You could also use a regular 8.5 x 11 binder, and get page protectors to use in the binder. I’m a scrapbooker, so I had several 8 x 8 albums at home to choose from, but you can find these at your local scrapbook or arts and crafts store. Sometimes they will have albums on sale, or you can usually find a 40-50% off coupon on one item in their circular. I found an 8 x 8 album in AC Moore for $5 last week, plus they had a 50% off coupon, so you can see how cheap you can make this book for! Most scrapbooks include 10 page protectors, which would be enough for 9 races. You can buy refills for the books in the store or online, and they usually aren’t expensive.

Once I chose my album, I used my word processing program to type up my race information page. I decided to include the name of the race, date, location, distance, time/pace, characters, outfit, and other notes. The great thing about doing this project yourself is that you can tailor it to what’s important to YOU. If you’re not like me and don’t like stopping for characters during a race, you could change that to photo stops, or just eliminate it completely. I don’t care about my race time (I stop a LOT during a Disney race, so don’t look at my times, haha!), but if that’s something you want to remember, you could include your placement overall, in your gender, and in your age range. I usually try to theme what I’m wearing to the race, but if you don’t care about that, you don’t have to include that either. There are other things you can choose to include, such as weather, type of course, it’s completely up to you!

I also like that I can change this list up based on each race. So for the non-Disney race I did, I eliminated the character line.

Under other notes, I tried to include how I was feeling, how the race went, and even what I did and ate after the race. I don’t want to forget years from now how nervous I was for my first race, or how important seeing a character was on a race where I wasn’t feeling great to pick me up and push me to finishing strong.

I haven’t scrapped in over a year, but since I still consider myself a scrapbooker, I could have made this more complicated. But I knew I wanted something simple that I could just fill in after a race, print it out, and add it to the book. Otherwise, I’d keep putting it off and never get it done. I wanted to add a little something on the page, so I included a running shoe element (from ‘A New Me’ by Wimpychompers Creations) to the bottom of the page. You could find clip art or even add stickers after printing, too. I might eventually add a picture of the medal for the race, or a picture of me with the medal after the race, to the empty space on the page.


Then I typed up an easy table of contents page to go in the first page of the book. I didn’t want to print this up again after every race, so I just made lines on the page so I could write in each race after completing it. Again I had to make it a little fancy, so I added “I did it” word art (from ‘Life Is A Marathon – Word Art Bits’ by WM[squared] Designs) to the top of the page.

After printing, I just trimmed the 8.5 x 11 paper to 8×8 so it would fit in the book. If you chose to use an 8.5 x 11 binder, you don’t even need this step!

The last page in my album had room for pictures, so I decided to include the wrist band from the race retreat. Eventually I will add course maps for the races here. Even if your album doesn’t have this extra page, you can include this type of extra memorabilia in the last page of the album.

On the cover, I used some glitter chipboard stickers to title the book and added a few race stickers, and that’s it! I really like how it turned out, and I can’t wait to add more race bibs to the book!


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Getting Ready for the runDisney Avengers Half Marathon Weekend

If you are anything like me, you are beyond stoked to #SmashTheHalf at the runDisney Avengers Half Marathon Weekend in November 14-16, 2014, at the Disneyland Resort in California!

runDisney Avengers Half Marathon Logo SmashTheHalf

The one thing that I am looking forward to the most is that this will be my first race showing my #DisneySide by running in a costume. I will be running as Thor and Kelly will be running as Loki.

With the race looming closer I have started my search for pieces for my costume, and I found some great Marvel tech shirts at SuperHero Stuff. The shirts have amazing details and are incredibly affordable as they start at $26.99!

Captain America runDisney Avengers Half Marathon

Also, a huge plus is that you can order either a men’s or women’s shirt. For me the arms on the men’s shirts are always so loose and they drive me crazy, because they rub my arms on my longer runs. So having the option to order a women’s cut will hopefully mean less training in costume. I can’t wait to run the streets of Celebration in my Thor costume!!!

And how can you not love the product description from their site?

Now you can preform in that USO show just like always wanted to with the 92% polyester 8% spandex Captain America Sublimated Costume Fitness T-Shirt! You just need to find some backup dancers, some Vita Rays, Super Solider Serum, and Hugo Weaving. Gotta have Agent Smith in there for it to count for anything! Intensely sheer and of the utmost quality, the Captain America Sublimated Costume Fitness T-Shirt emulates the First Avenger’s torso with an all over and right-up-to-the-edge print that even makes wielders of the Tesseract jealous!

Using the Captain America and Loki fitness shirts, as they call them, and some of our favorite brands (Sparkle Athletic, Oakley, and New Balance) I have created some ideas for running friendly costumes to wear at the runDisney Avengers Half Marathon!

Captain America runDisney Avengers Half Marahton Idea Collage

Loki runDisney Avengers Half Marahton Idea Collage

Are you considering dressing up for the runDisney Avengers Half Marathon or any of the upcoming runDisney races? Do you have any tips for this first timer?

Disclosure: I received nothing for writing this post, these are all just products that I find extremely cool!

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2014 runDisney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Kelly Christine Delaney wraps up our runDisney Princess Half Marathon recap day with the last leg of the Glass Slipper Challenge, the runDisney Princess Half Marathon! We cannot thank her enough for her guest posts!!!

runDisney Photo
runDisney Photo

The second part of the Glass Slipper Challenge was the Princess half marathon. This was my third half marathon and my second RunDisney race challenge and I was excited to have a great race and receive my two medals to complete my set of four from the weekend. My excitement continued as I rode with my race roommates and RunDisney newbies Tricia and Lauren.It accelerated as I met up with other running friends for a pre-race picture and headed off to the corrals.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon

I didn’t have to wait too long for the race to start with the new corral/start system thankfully, and we were off pretty quickly. Less than a mile in, my excitement declined quickly as the weather was a bit brutal. I am used to running in the heat, especially for RunDisney races, but I wasn’t completely ready for the 100% humidity that came along with it. I quickly became overheated which slowed down my pace and frustrated me as it felt like my training was going down the tubes. At the water stops I was drinking one cup of water and pouring another on my head to cool down and it helped significantly.

runDisney Princess Half MarathonrunDisney Princess Half Marathon


Soon enough I hit the TTC and ran into an awesome friend Joanne who I stopped for a hug and a quick drink. From there I picked up my pace and was feeling pretty great. I ran into Todd in the Magic Kingdom for another hug and high five and enjoyed the trip down Main Street USA. The remainder of the time in Magic Kingdom went far too fast and I definitely enjoyed seeing the characters out in force. I always think I’m going to stop for a character while on the course and never end up doing so. The appeal of the picture never seems as high as the appeal to keep running and finish strong.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon


As I left Magic Kingdom I started to hear something absolutely beautiful down the road. Idina Menzel’s version of “Let It Go” was blasting through the speakers at the halfway point and I quickly became overwhelmed with emotion. For every RunDisney race I hadn’t been alone on the course, I always had someone with me. This race I was with friends for the first mile but then from there I was by myself. Hearing the song after just seeing Frozen for the first time brought the back the excitement I had lost due to the heat. I sent a voice message to my running buddy Shelley letting her know I was ok and we cried a bit together via voice messages. It’s good to know that despite being out there by myself, I was never really alone out there.

The next four miles were solid, especially after the Clif shot (I always recommend mocha as it tastes similar to chocolate frosting to me.) The humidity had cut down and I was enjoying the sights and sounds on the course. ….and then the sun came out and turned up the heat. I saw people around me were slowing down a bit except for one person. This runner and I had been passing each other back and forth while doing our intervals for awhile and finally ended up next to each other. We laughed a bit together that we were each other’s pace keeper and decided to make it official for the remainder of the race. It was nice to spend the last few miles laughing with a stranger who quickly became a friend.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon

At mile 12 I ran into Joanne again for another hug and drink. I shared it with my new friend and she enjoyed having something that wasn’t water or a sports drink. Just before hitting the thirteen mile marker a song came on in my ears that made my day. “22” by Taylor Swift started playing and it hit me: I just ran 22.4 miles this weekend over the course of three days. I set a challenge for myself and I was doing it. This time two years ago I never thought I could do it and yet here I was. My joy led me to stop for my first and last picture on the course with my new friend at the gospel choir at mile 13. At this point she turned to me and said “you made this race for me, I wasn’t sure about myself due to the weather but you kept me going, especially after the heat hit.” Hearing this from a stranger was such an awesome experience, especially after having Deanna make my Tower Ten Miler bearable. We hugged just after crossing the finish line and went our separate ways to get our medals and meet our friends/families.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon


Getting my runDisney Princess Half Marathon and Gold Slipper Challenge medals was such an awesome experience, especially after feeling like I earned them more being out there by myself. I look forward to continuing to challenge myself out on the course, maybe even with a full marathon one day.

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runDisney Enchanted 10K Race Recap With Kelly Christine

Kelly Christine Delaney joins us in this second post of our runDisney Princess Half Marathon recap day!!! A huge thanks to Kelly Christine for this great post about a really great race!!!

A few weeks ago I participated in the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge as part of the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. The first portion of this challenge was the Enchanted 10K on February 22. I had participated in the 5K the day before with friends so thankfully the 3:30am wake up call wasn’t too painful. I stayed at my favorite Disney Vacation Club resort, Old Key West, for this race weekend so it was a short trip to the course. I met my friends for our regular pre-race catchup and warmup before heading to the corrals.

 Enchanted 10K

Thankfully in my corral were some awesome people and we decided to make this race less of a run and more of a quick walk to save our energy and pace for the next day. I had three awesome friends for my 6.2 stroll: Diana, Deanna, and the lovely Shelley (yes, that friend Shelley who retired from running after running 19.3 miles last September.)

 Enchanted 10K

It was a really humid morning which made it tough to get a solid pace going, but with the surprise of Elsa from Frozen in the first mile the excitement increased, as did our pace. After seeing Elsa, there wasn’t too much on the course until we hit the 5K mark at the entrance to Epcot. We passed Mushu and Mulan in China, Snow White in Germany, Jiminy Cricket in Italy, Jasmine in Morocco, and Mary Poppins in the UK.

 Enchanted 10K

After crossing the bridge from France to the UK, we made a left and headed out of the parks for a stroll past the Epcot resorts. We waved to Diana’s husband at the Boardwalk (while running past baseball Goofy) and saw a bunch of friends cheering us on outside of the Beach Club. From there we headed back into the parks and weaved our way through the remainder of World Showcase and Future World. The temperature was steadily increasing during those last two miles and it was getting a bit uncomfortable. I was remarking to my friends that a little bit of rain (that was expected that afternoon) would be nice…within 2 minutes my wish was granted and a light refreshing sprinkle started. A few minutes later we crossed the finish line and got straight to hydrating and refueling while congratulating each other on a fun race.

 Enchanted 10K

I went into the  Enchanted 10K race hoping for unique and fun pictures with some friends and it ended up being something different, yet still rewarding. RunDisney races are never a PR for me but they’re always an amazing opportunity to accomplish things I never believed I would do while making memories with awesome friends.

Enchanted 10K

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Cinderella Royal Family 5K

5kLast month a group of friends gathered to show support for our friend Chip who wanted to participate in the runDisney Cinderella Royal Family 5K in celebration of her 70th birthday. Spearheaded by Chip’s son Colin, we got together before the start of the race at Epcot during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon weekend. There was a group of about ten of us who rallied around Chip as her Royal Entourage. Colin even had signs for us all to wear on our backs so everyone would know why we were there.

Chip wore a white shirt and most of us wore our race shirts which were dark blue so Chip would stand out and be the center of attention. The 5K started as usual in the Epcot parking lot, winding around then going backstage before emerging into World Showcase between Mexico and Norway. We walked at a pretty good pace, and did a commendable job at staying together as a dozen without interrupting the flow of traffic for those around us. Chip set the pace and we kept with her. Occasionally someone would peal away from the group for a photo, or they saw someone they knew along the course, or even for a pit stop, but we’d slow up if we felt they were too far behind and regroup.

For me, this was a really fun experience. I always run alone, so it was nice to be together with a group of some of my closest friends to be able to do this to honor Chip. We had a great time walking and enjoying each other’s company and the scenery along the course, which is one of my favorites as far as a 5K goes. There were even a few times we stopped and posed for pictures as a group along the way. My favorite part though were the other runners who came up to Chip and wanted to shake her hand and congratulate her and to say how proud and inspired they were. I may have shed a few hidden tears. It was beautiful to be in one of my favorite places with a group of friends enjoying an activity to celebrate the accomplishment of a fantastic person.

On top of all the good feelings that came from being there for Chip and completing another race, we got what is my favorite race shirt so far for this 5K. The medal is also one of my favorites by far. I love the entire vibe of race weekends, in addition to the fact that I have so many friends who run that I get to see a bunch of my best friends pretty much any time Disney hosts a race. I look forward to my next runDisney race in November for the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes 5K in Disneyland. This will be my first California race and I love the Avengers so I cannot wait!

Have you done any of the runDisney 5K fun runs with friends? Did you happen to see Chip’s Royal Entourage while on the 5K course this past February? Leave a message in the comments about your favorite race memory because this is definitely one of mine. Congratulations Chip on your great accomplishment! We are all so proud of you and were honored to be able to share in this moment with you!

Pre-race Cupid Shuffle warm up
Pre-race Cupid Shuffle warm up
Group shot courtesy of Colin Buchanan
Group shot courtesy of Colin Buchanan
Front shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Front shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Back shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Back shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Colin, Rich & Chip almost there
Colin, Rich & Chip almost there
Chip with the Finish Line in sight
Chip with the Finish Line in sight
Chip receiving her first medal!
Chip receiving her first medal!
Cinderella Royal Family 5K medal closeup
Cinderella Royal Family 5K medal closeup
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Week In Review And News – January 3, 2014

With the start of a new year and with so much going on after the holidays, I thought it would be a great time to restart our Week in Review and play a little catch up on this week’s highlights and news from the Orlando and Central Florida Attractions and Venues!

Week in Review – December 30, 2013 to January 3, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Parks Blog announced a new contest where you can win a 5-day/4-night vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.

We’ve just launched where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January.


On, we are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 12/31/13 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 1/31/14. Click here for Official Rules.


With Walt Disney World Marathon weekend right around the corner, runDisney was everywhere when they released details about the Limited Edition runDisney 2014 New Balance shoes!


You can find out more about these shoes here.

Universal Orlando Resort

Harry Potter Diagon Alley Week in Review

With construction on Diagon Alley ramping up, A Celebration of Harry Potter drawing close, Cabana Bay opening reservations being taken, and CityWalk undergoing a HUGE transformation, the Universal Orlando Resort is buzzing with energy!

Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013. Week in Review
Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013.

Antojitos Update Week in Review

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for everything that is coming to the Universal Orlando Resort!!!

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando

January is Passholder appreciation month at SeaWorld Orlando, and they are offering some great deals!

Bring a friend for FREE! SeaWorld® Orlando Pass Members receive a friend for free ticket*. Online registration is required. Valid for one single-day admission by January 31, 2014. Register Now.

Double Your Discount**

  • Save 20% on dining in all of our cafeteria-style restaurants
  • Save 20% on merchandise in our gift shops

*Pass Member must be present for guest to gain admittance. Free ticket offer valid for active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year and FL Platinum Pass Members. Not valid for Fun Cards, Teacher’s Study Passes or Friends & Family Passes. Free ticket is non-transferable, not for resale and may be revoked for misuse.

**Offer only valid between Jan. 1-31, 2014. Must present active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year, or FL Platinum Pass to receive savings. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Not valid on All-Day Dining offers. Merchandise offer valid for in-park purchases only.

Amway Center

The Circus is coming to town!


Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus LEGENDS is coming to the Amway Center January 9-12, but Monday the circus train rolls into Orlando.  Fantastic photo opportunities will be available as the Ringling Bros. pachyderm performers parade to the Amway Center. 

The Ringling Bros. animal performers will unload at 8:00 p.m. and walk beginning at 8:30 p.m. Animals will unload at railroad tracks near 1035 W. Amelia,  then travel east on Amelia, south on North Hughey Ave., then west on West South St. and enter the GEICO Garage behind Amway Center. (Note: route and time are subject to change without notice.)

Tickets are still available and start at $16. Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included.  All seats are reserved. Tickets are available or, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone:407-440-7900).  For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.


If your house is anything like mine, you have watched the trailer for ‘The LEGO Movie’ four times daily and I was excited to see that they are going to be having a weekend of activities in February!


LEGOclubweekend [3]

February 8 & 9, 2014 Enjoy fun for all with activities to celebrate “The LEGO Movie”, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure featuring an all-star cast and set to open in theaters February 7. Guests will enjoy a special movie-themed building activity, movie-themed scavenger hunt in Miniland USA and meet and greet sessions with costume characters Emmet and Wyldstyle, who play leading roles in this epic movie.

Busch Gardens Tampa

BG Bring a friend for free Week in Review

January is also Passholder appreciation month at Busch Gardens Tampa!

Double the Fun – Bring a Friend for FREE

During January, Pass Members can bring a friend for free! Online registration required. Limit one free ticket per active Pass Member. Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply. Log in now to register your friend’s ticket and learn more about this limited time offer.

Triple the Savings – 30% off merchandise, food, and beverages

All month long, Pass Members get 30% off merchandise, food and beverages when you visit the park! Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply.

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex

A Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift-off during a dramatic SpaceX launch scheduled for January 3, launch time is subject to change but the launch window of 5:05 p.m. to 7:17 p.m. EST. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex.

Launch viewing from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, located in Kennedy Space Center, includes live mission control commentary and is available for Visitor Complex guests for $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to the Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3:15 p.m.

Launch viewing, featuring live mission control commentary, also is available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is included in regular admission.

Week in Review- Posts from On the Go in MCO

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Staycation

New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney World Resort

Wordless Wednesday – Happy New Year

Merchandise Spotlight – Walt Disney World Resort

Thanks for joining us for this Week in Review, and if this is indication of how jam packed 2014 is going to be I am really excited!

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runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Meet-Up

On Thursday, November 7, runDisney held their first nighttime meet-up leading into the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Previously, meet-ups had always been held on weekday morning and I wouldn’t have been able to attend due to work. As soon as I saw that this one would be held at night, I jumped at the chance to sign up. Luckily, I got my email in quick enough and I made the list of 125 attendees!


Check-in began at 7:00, but the meet-up didn’t officially start until 8:30 where we were to be in place at Mexico Vista for Illuminations. I got there around 7:30 and received my admission ticket, a runDisney shirt made specifically for the meet-up that we were asked to change into, and a fastpass for Test Track to be used that night. With some free time on my hands, I wandered around World Showcase for a bit.


Soon it was time for the first part of the evening – Illuminations! This is my favorite nighttime show at Walt Disney World so I was especially excited to have a prime viewing spot.


After waiting for some of the park crowd to thin out, we made our way over to the America Gardens Theatre. There were a couple food stations set out, one with the Trick’n Chick’n Curry from the Terra booth at the Food and Wine Festival. I hadn’t had the chance to try that yet so I was happy to have that opportunity and ended up really liking it! They also had samplings of chardonnay from The Vegan Vine. I can honestly say that I had no idea that there was vegan wine. It was really good too!


Chef Mickey was also available during this time for pictures. I also took the opportunity to meet Jeff Galloway, whose run-walk-run method I follow. He was so nice and was genuinely happy to hear from everyone about how they were doing in their training.

Chef Mickey Jeff Galloway

Soon it was time to hear from a few speakers. First up, sports media director Darrell Fry and Faron Kelley, Director of Marketing and Communications for Disney Sports, came up to give out some prizes. I was really hoping to win one of the certificates for a future runDisney race entry! Next up was Jeff Galloway and nutritionist Tara Gidus. They spoke about how great runDisney has been in making running accessible to so many people. I, for one, probably would not be running if it wasn’t for volunteering for one of their races and seeing how fun it could be. Tara also gave some advice on fueling up for a night race.

Giveaway time!

We also heard from a couple of Epcot chefs who told us about foods that might be good for us to try during the party after finishing the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. One excellent suggestion was the salmon from the Scotland booth. My friends and I definitely enjoyed that one after the race!


Representatives from New Balance spoke a bit about the shoes that were designed for runDisney. They have been wildly popular with long lines to purchase at the race expos. They let us know that the current versions would only be available through Wine and Dine Weekend and the 2014 design would be available at Marathon Weekend in January. Sneak peeks will be coming so keep an eye out on Twitter! Other new merchandise next year will include race specific shoe inserts and lace charms. We got to see the race inserts and they looked great!

Ali from New Balance shows off the new shoe inserts. Photo courtesy of runDisney

Next up – time to run! There were two running groups: one for straight running and one for run-walk-run. I went with the latter and off we went through an empty World Showcase. The torches and countries had remained lit after Illuminations, which was pretty cool. We ran one and a half times around the lagoon, ending up by the Fountain of Nations for some group photos.

runDisney Group Shot
Photo courtesy of runDisney

After photos, we headed to the front of the park for a toast. The meet ended around midnight and was a great start to a fun Wine and Dine Weekend! If you ever have the chance to attend a runDisney meet-up, I would definitely recommend it!

A toast under Spaceship Earth
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Running Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K at Animal Kingdom

Up at 5am to get ready
Up at 5am to get ready

This weekend I was able to participate in my second runDisney race this year in the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K. I’ve done little actual running this year, but I’m going to be doing the inaugural Minnie 10K during marathon weekend in January so I figured I would try to do this as a warm up race. This wasn’t my first 5K, but I decided ahead of time I was going to take it easy since I am on antibiotics and medication for sinusitis.

I mostly wanted to do this race for the absolutely adorable Christmas medal (read: rubbery plastic medallion) that all finishers get. Training as a warmup for the 10K was a bonus too since I’ve just started running 2 – 3 days a week again in the last three weeks since my last 10K in August that didn’t go as planned. You can read about that adventure here. More training can only be a good thing.

The course was through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which I’ve run through in three other 5Ks, but this was a slightly different course than what they had setup before. For those who have done the Expedition Everest Challenge or any other 5K races through Animal Kingdom, you may recall the first mile through the parking lot almost exclusively, then heading through the Oasis towards Africa before going towards Conservation Station for a switchback. After that you would run through Asia by Everest and Finding Nemo, then out by Dinoland and backstage to exit back into the parking lot. Instead of Conservation Station, we skipped that and had a switchback backstage almost just before exiting the park. This is where there were a few parade floats and character meet and greets setup. Previously on the Conservation Station section there would be floats with characters, but also some live animals with handlers, which I kind of missed to be honest. I’m not sure what the reason for the change was other than possibly avoiding running over the train tracks where Cast Members were always setup to warn those running of the potential hazard.

I knew this was going to be the first race for my friend Doug, so I got there early to support him and so we could hang out before getting in the corrals to start. The race start was at 7am and there were only four waves for this race. I was in the last corral for this one, but surprisingly was crossing the start line at 7:08, just about 10 minutes after the wheelchair participants started. I also found out that morning that my friend Scarlett was running too, which was a nice surprise. Several of our friends came out nice and early to come cheer for us and even made some signs. I especially appreciate those who came to cheer who were running in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon later that night.

With Scarlett and Doug before the race
With Scarlett and Doug before the race
Sign I missed in the dark on the way out the door
Sign I missed in the dark on the way out the door
Sign Shalon made me
Sign Shalon made me
Sign Shelley made me
Sign Shelley made me

For some reason, this race felt much more relaxed than some others did previously. I don’t know if this is because I put no pressure on myself knowing I was going to walk most of it, or what. Others also commented it felt like there were fewer people in this race and the corrals weren’t as crowded. It was a nice chill vibe where I didn’t even enter my corral until 5 minutes before the race started.

In the corral
In the corral
Mickey and Minnie waved to me at the start
Mickey and Minnie waved to me at the start
Christmas tree
Christmas tree

As I mentioned, the start was in the parking lot at the Animal Kingdom and the first mile marker was just before the turnstiles to enter the park. A little before the mile 1 point was a spot where I saw friends cheering, and then the Christmas tree lit up at the entrance. I was hoping for some nice Christmas theming with this race and I wasn’t disappointed. Spread out along the course were characters, almost all of whom were in Christmas costumes, mostly their outfits from Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. Also, towards the end of the course, just before mile 3 was my favorite photo op, and my new avatar thanks to Scarlett’s insistence I get in the picture with her.

Running into Mike working was a bonus
Running into Mike working was a bonus
King Louie
King Louie
Selfie with a dino skeleton wearing a Santa hat
Selfie with a dino skeleton wearing a Santa hat
Donald with some guests running in Christmas sweaters
Donald with some guests running in Christmas sweaters

The race itself wasn’t bad. The temperature was just below 70 at start time, which wasn’t too warm. I tried out a 30 second jog and a 15 second walk interval for the first 10 minutes and was on a better pace than what I’d been doing on the treadmill recently, so that was nice. I was having a little trouble breathing since I forgot to use my inhaler ahead of time, so I walked for longer periods for most of the rest of the race. I was passed by Doug and ran into Scarlett waiting in lines for characters. Scarlett and I finished the race walking together which was nice, since I normally run alone.

Don't do it kid!
Don’t do it kid!
Favorite race picture yet thanks to Scarlett
Favorite race picture yet thanks to Scarlett
I got my Christmas medal
I got my Christmas medal

We had a fun time, which is ultimately what we set out to do. None of us, other than Doug, were out to set a personal record, and he did great in his first race! I got my medal and enjoyed the course, even running into one of my mom’s friends who was running in her first race. For those who are looking to just get started in running or walking even, a 5K at Disney is a great place. They say there is a 16 minute pace requirement, but that is very loosely enforced. I know people who were finishing at closer to an hour and 30 minutes from the race start time by the time they waited in lines for characters.

Have you found yourself running in a runDisney race before? What is your favorite course? Or your favorite medal? This was my ninth 5K and I enjoy them so I’ll keep at it. Next schedule race is the 10K in January and another 5K in February for Princess Half Marathon weekend. Still looking for another 5K next month as a warmup.

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RunDisney Tower Of Terror 10 Miler With @kchristine

While I have had the amazing experience to complete the runDisney Princess Half Marathon, Tower of Terror Inaugural 10 Miler, Dumbo Double Dare Challenge (Disneyland 10K and Disneyland Half Marathon), and earned my Coast-To-Coast Medal with Kelly, I have never been so proud of her as when she completed this year’s Tower of Terror 10 Miler! We are beyond excited to have her share her recap of this year’s race! Thank you Kelly for being a great inspiration and friend who wouldn’t let me quit!

I’m not a runner and I don’t like running. That being said, I’ve spent a fair amount of time training and running Disney races this year. I don’t regret a minute of the pain, sweat and tears that has gotten me to where I am today.

Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Kelly after completing the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

My first big race and RunDisney experience was the inaugural Tower of Terror 10 miler and looking back, I’m not quite sure how I ever agreed to run more than a 5k after that race. It was miserably hot and the course was frustrating in both terrain and entertainment which led to a frustrating experience…and somehow I blocked that all out when I signed up to race it again. To sweeten up this race, I used dvc points to get a treehouse for the weekend so other friends who were also running would have a place to relax together.

 Tower of Terror 10 Miler Treehouse Villa

As I got close to this race, I started to remember all of the misery I felt on the course and that I had a new issue to deal with. While I train alone, I’ve run every Disney race with one person who is a family member to me, a sister I chose. She had decided after the Dumbo Double Dare that she was retiring from running and I would be going it alone from here on out. The thought of not having someone to yell at me to keep up my pace for those first few miles sent me into a teary panic but it was time for me to pull up my big girl compression socks and move it.

 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

I made it to the expo and quickly picked up my bib and race packet with minimal lines. The expo itself was rather minimal, less exhibitors and crowds. A welcome addition to this weekend was the warnings from RunDisney regarding the weather at the expo and online. Their twitter account was regularly encouraging runners to hydrate heavily due to the heat/humidity. While I appreciated hearing these warnings, they did freak me out a bit since the course was extremely hot last year.

 Tower of Terror 10 Miler Expo

Before I knew it, it was time to head out. I arrived at Hollywood Studios and caught up with friends who were also running and tried to shake out some of my nerves. I expressed some of my nerves to Deanna, particularly my issue of crossing the start line alone. We decided to start together as her regular pace is near mine. If one of us needed to slow down, we could separate and see each other at the finish line. The separation never happened, and I’ll be forever grateful for this.

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

We started comfortably with a game plan. We kept a decent pace with intervals and enjoying the enhanced entertainment on the course. First three miles were pretty smooth…. and then came the cramps. I got a stomach cramp and pushed through it with a few extra walk intervals. We laughed, danced and sang our way to mile five. Mile five was mainly off road and was not comfortable to run on due to the lack of flat surface and light. Along with these issues, a new set of cramps hit that made me want to quit then and there. I tried to push through it with some jogging, but I didn’t make it very far. We stopped for a picture with the Haunted Mansion gravediggers, but the cramps persisted. We hit Champion Stadium and were welcomed by friends with signs, and cheers. I turned to Deanna at this point and told her that I knew I was able to finish at that point but I didn’t think I had any running left in me as it was a bit of a struggle to walk quickly. She didn’t leave me though, and we continued on.

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

We created a “mile of truth” and spent more time enjoying the entertainment and sights on the course, which were significantly better this year. At mile 9.5 we had another welcome surprise: snacks for us both! Deanna’s husband Neil and our friend Cindy had popcorn and beer for us to enjoy as we finished the course and crossed the finish.

 Tower of Terror 10 Miler Sign

So where do I go from here? Well, I found out something new in this race: I am a runner. I don’t always like running, but I’ve now found that there are times that it is exactly what I need to do. I have grown closer with Deanna and we do have some races planned in the future. Most importantly, I’ll be running my 3rd Tower of Terror 10 miler in 2014.

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

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Inaugural Celebration K-8 School Pride Prowl Races

Pride Prowl

Registration Opens today for the inaugural running of Celebration K-8 PTA’s Family 5K Fun Run and Wellness Walk, known as The Pride Prowl.

The Pride Prowl is a fundraising event to help the exceptional programs and activities that the Celebration K-8 PTA brings to the Celebration K-8 School.

This year the PTA volunteers have taken on the extra work of organizing this fundraiser ourselves – with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the school.

The Pride Prowl has two races, a 5K Fun Run and a 1 Mile Wellness Walk that begins and ends at the Celebration K-8 School. The route for the race has runners passing through some of Celebration’s most beautiful neighborhoods.

The schedule for the Pride Prowl is as follows:

· Friday, September 13th: Family Fun Expo

The Family Fun Expo will take place from 5pm – 9pm, and will be held in the Celebration K-8 Gym. The Expo is where race participants can pick up their race packets and attendees will have the opportunity to find products, activities, and services that are family friendly in nature.

· Saturday, September 14th: Run With the Pride
5K Fun Run will begin at 7:30 AM and the Wellness Walk 8:30 AM in from of the Celebration K-8 school.

You can register online here, and you can see the costs below as of August 26, 2013!

Activity Today Later
5K Family Fun Run – Single Runner $25.00 $30.00
Family Wellness Walk – Groups up to 5 People (Ages 3 and under free) $35.00 $40.00
Family Wellness Walk – Single Walker $15.00 $20.00
5K Family Fun Run – Groups up to 5 People (Ages 3 and under free) $60.00 $70.00


Make sure you register soon! The first 100 Runners/Walkers to sign up receive a free event shirt, and ALL runners/walkers will receive a custom appreciation item from Celebration PTA.

Help support the Celebration K-8 School by participating in our inaugural running of The Pride Prowl – Celebration K-8 PTA’s Family 5K Fun Run and Wellness Walk!

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