Running Disney!

blgrundisney
As a Running Geek and a *massive* Disney Nerd, I am usually in an especially happy place when I combine the two. The veritable “your chocolate, my peanut butter” scenario, as it were. My very first race was the January 2012 Walt Disney World Half-Marathon, and as such it will be forever enshrined as one of the most positive and moving experiences I’ve ever had. I spent a year training for that sucker. Slowly, steadily, each week going a little longer, a little faster, until I felt I was ready for it. Did I perhaps over-train for it? I don’t believe in over-training. You’re ready when you feel ready, be it three weeks or three years. When I crossed that Finish Line for the first time, there was a real, tangible elevation of the spirit. And that can only be amplified when you’re high-fiving Donald or Pluto or whomever after a long journey running your way through theme parks, past characters, cheering spectators, decorated resorts, and thousands of smiling, energized runners (and Disney fans) doing it alongside you.

Crossing the Finish Line after running all 26.2 miles of the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon.

Crossing the Finish Line after running all 26.2 miles of the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon.

Plus hands down, Run Disney features some of the best running bling in the bizness! Anyway, here’s a list of all the Disney runs I’ve completed, links to my reviews of those races, upcoming scheduled races, and an assortment of Disney running websites I find particularly interesting, entertaining, hilarious, or some combination thereof. Tell ’em Hokeyblog sent ya!

The final stretch of the 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon.

The final stretch of the 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon.

My Disney Races

Here is a list of all the Disney races I’ve done, along with links to their respective reviews — if they exist. There’s really only one without a detailed race recap, and that’s the first one on the list…

2012 Walt Disney World Half Marathon

This unfortunately occurred during my pre-blogging era, so no write-up on that particular race. I hope my opening paragraph up there somehow suffices!

2012 Disneyland Half Marathon

Probably one of my favorite race experiences ever. Although it might have felt less of a Disney race and more of an Anaheim run sponsored by Disneyland, the fun of it all made it was more than worth the trip out to the West Coast.

2012 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler

As far as Disney runs go, this one was probably my least favorite. As a Disney race, I found it a little bit disappointing and subdued. As a race on its own, it was unseasonably hot and muggy, plus I found myself struggling with– well, read it and find out.

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon

The Big One! I trained another year to tackle my first 26.2-miler, a huge journey throughout all four Disney World theme parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports, the Racetrack, and more. Despite some setbacks — and some ridiculously hot temperature, even for January in Orlando — this was one phenomenal experience. Not my best performance, but easily the one of which I am proudest.

2013 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

My first three-part write-up that covered a memorably epic weekend event! We returned to Anaheim a year after doing the 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon, but this time armed with knowledge, experience, malt balls, and staying at the heart of everything in the Disneyland Hotel. WITNESS an Expo event that went all meshuggah! EXPERIENCE an inaugural 10K full of fun, magic, and just not enough water stops! And finally RE-LIVE a Half Marathon experience in which Hokeyboy and an old friend from Jr. High attempt to hit a PR! Plus stay for the pics, because you now, they didn’t just take themselves…

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Run Disney’s signature racing event was held over five days, starting with the opening of the expo on Wednesday January 8th and going all the way to the running of the 21st Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday January 12th, 2014. This was the the year of the inaugural Dopey Challenge (as well as the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K), and will probably go down as the most enjoyable time I’ve ever had at a Disney race weekend (so far, anyhow…) I ran three of the four races, because I’m a great big bok-bok-bok chicken who didn’t want to do another 26.2 miler, and boy do I regret it. Am I doing it next year? Oh heck yeah. But for now, here are my write-ups for this event:

2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon

The women-oriented Disney Princess Half Marathon was never on my radar for rather obvious reasons, but after a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis in the summer of 2013 I had a bit of a change of heart. Why not run the race — IN A TUTU — and raise funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America at the same time? A fundraiser was started, money was donated, and I made my good on my promise on February 23rd, 2014.

2014 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

The third time’s the charm! This was our third year at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, and my second year as a Dumbo Double Dare participant… which, according to my math, makes me Legacy! For now, anyhow. Anyway, read all about our participation in all of the weekend’s race events, the race expo, touring the parks, a fun and colorful 5K, and wicked awesome blazing 10K, and a WAY too overconfident Half, that made for a great time indeed! Plus a tad bit of celebrity stalking? Perish the thought…

2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

The celebrated Wine & Dine Half Marathon is considered one of the best — if not THE best — of all the Run Disney races. The reasons why are manifold — it’s a night race, held at the start of the Holiday Season and during the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot, and you get to run through three theme parks in a single half marathon. What’s not to love? Well, perhaps Mother Nature might decide to take the opportunity to have a little fun with you as well. I still enjoyed it. Check out my review, along with a guest review from Sarah of Sparkly Runner as she tackles the 5K coming off a stress fracture. Good times!

2014 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Another inaugural Disney race on the West Coast, and Hokeyblog was there to check it out! Coming not a scant week after the infamous Wine & Dine / “Splash & Dash” race, the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon promised cool weather, plenty of sunshine, lots of Marvel-themed entertainment, and refreshing autumn breezes. That’s right, gentle winds blowing ever so… gently? HAH! The “Splash and Dash” of Lake Buena Vista was quickly followed by the “Dust and Gusts” of Anaheim, but that didn’t prevent the the Hokeyblog crew of having a most momentous — and as it turned out, quite triumphant! — race weekend over at Disneyland!

2015 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

Oh, I had run the Disney Half Marathon twice before, and the Disney Marathon once, but never both races, back-to-back, over the course of two days. Plus Goofy… my long lost twin brother. I had wanted to take on this challenge for a few years, and in January, 2015 I finally achieved that goal! Check out my take on running consecutive long distances over the course of two days at the Happiest Place in Florida!

2015 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

Back to the West Coast for the 10th Anniversary Disneyland Half Marathon (as well as the 60th Anniversary Disneyland Celebration!) We’re Three for Three at the Triple D — that’s the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, 3 years in a row. We also hit the 5K as well — in costume — and experienced yet another Labor Day weekend of California Park Magic. Plus two really amazing occurrences: a PR on the 10K, and the Half… well, read that one to find out yourself. It’s a keeper!

2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Holy Moley… this was supposed to the race’s big shot at a redemption, after the really disappointing weather of the previous year’s Half Marathon (yes yes, the Splash ‘n’ Dash, as it were). So it was nothing less than one absolute triumph of an event, correct? Everything went exactly according to plan, RIGHT?!!

Well… read my review and find out, exactly…

Running at the Disney Parks

Even if there isn’t a race going on, there are some scenic and fun paths to run while at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Here’s a list of my running travails throughout the Disney properties.

Running Disney’s Wilderness Trail

  • After a last minute decision to visit the World over Thanksgiving weekend, I figured it was a good time as any to check out this scenic wilderness path that takes you from the Wilderness Lodge to (and around) Ft. Wilderness and back again. Managed to make some new friends with the wildlife and confirmed a longtime suspicion about where the Disney characters go after the parks shut down for the night. Hah!

Travel Arrangements

OK, the following is a completely unsolicited endorsement. We travel to Disney often; being 3 hours away makes it really easy. But if I’m staying for a significant amount of time, I always have my favorite travel agent, Brock Taylor at Mouse Fan Travel, take care of all the arrangements. He always finds incredible rates at property resorts, gets deals on park tickets, arranges dining reservations and other entertainment. We recently stayed at the Disneyland Hotel in California at a ridiculously competitive rate, and he not only arranged that but got us Park Hopper tickets for 5 Days at pre-price-hike rates. By the time we got there, people were paying more than what we paid… for TWO day hoppers. Unbelievable. He knows his stuff and always has a ton of great recommendations as to where to go, what to do, the best restaurants to sample, etc. Yes, most Disney nerds THINK they got it all down to a science. Trust me though; Brock’s expertise is worth its weight in Dole Whips and Zebra Domes. And of course, his services are absolutely free! Mouse Fan Travel gets paid via commission through Disney, so not only are you saving a ton of money, you’re not paying anything for the service. Email Brock at brockt@mei-travel.com. Tell him Hokeyboy sent ya!

Running Apparel (shirts, logos, etc.)

I always have custom running shirts printed up for Disney runs. It’s part of the fun, I suppose, something to look forward to in anticipation of the big event. I originally made a rule to only print them up for Half marathons or longer; 5Ks are over before you know it, and 10Ks and 10-milers don’t seem to warrant the occasion. Truth be told, I’m probably just being cheap (AHEM budgetarily-concerned!). In any regard, that went out the window with the 2013 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare; I had shirts made up for both the 10K and Half. And what did we name our running team? Why, Millheiser RULES!!!, of course. Humility has always been more forte. That and dancing to the True Blood theme song.

My current vendor of choice is Logo Sportswear. Depending on what you’re looking for, they can sometimes run a little bit pricier, but they always provide a quality product. This is a non-solicited endorsement; I am in no way affiliated with the company. I just really like their products and services.

Anyway, check out these posts about our past Millheiser RULES!!! Disney running shirts:

Upcoming Registered Disney Runs

  • 2015 Disneyland 5K
  • 2015 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge:
    • Disneyland 10K
    • Disneyland Half Marathon
  • 2015 Wine & Dine Race Weekend
    • Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K
    • Wine & Dine Half Marathon
  • 2016 Star Wars Rebel Challenge:
    • Star Wars 10K
    • Star Wars Half Marathon

Disney Running Sites of Interest

runDisney 

  • The official website for all Disney running events.

The Mickey Miles Podcast

  • A most entertaining, informative, and well produced weekly podcast about all things Running Disney.

Jeff Galloway

  • The running legend and official Disney training guru. His Run-Walk-Run method helped me to cross that first half-marathon finish line back in January 2012.

Disney Running Blogs

These are the passionate words of fellow Run Disney fans, geeks, aficionados, obsessives, addicts, and what-nots. I find each one of them fascinating!

If you're reading this blog, YOU'RE AWESOME! Let me hear your thoughts.