So here it comes. The biggest runDisney event of them all, the WDW Marathon Weekend. Registration is open now for this event, scheduled for January 8 to the 12, 2014. This year we’ve got no fewer than FOUR races, including the new 10K, and TWO challenges that incorporate multiple races. You have a chance to get 6 medals over these five days, and not only that, have a blast doing it!
There’s a lot of information on the runDisney website – a LOT. So much so that I thought maybe if I put some of it up here with links for more info, that might be useful. 🙂 (Not to mention, at the moment it’s a tiiiiny bit hard to access the site due to people registering…) So here we go!
First: the races!
Thursday, January 9:
The Family Fun Run 5K. Beginning at 6:15 am and running 3.1 miles through Epcot, this race is family-friendly and a great way for beginner runners to join the fun. Anyone who finishes the race gets Medal #1! Registration is $60 per participant.
Friday, January 10:
The Walt Disney World 10K! Debuting this year, Minnie Mouse is the mascot (Mouse-cot? I’m sure I’m the last person on earth to think of that pun, so I won’t repeat it) for this newest race. Starting at 5:30 am and running 6.2 miles through Epcot, all throughout World Showcase. All runners who complete the course get the Minnie medal! Registration: $95 by June 18, 2013.
Saturday, January 11:
The Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Starting at 5:30 am in Epcot, this is 13.1 miles between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, then back again. Finishers of this race receive the Donald Duck medal! Registration: $160 by June 18, 2013.
Sunday, January 12:
The Big One: the Walt Disney World Marathon, stretching 26.2 miles through all four Disney theme parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the WDW Speedway. The course starts and ends in Epcot and again, the race begins at 5:30. Those who complete it get the Mickey Mouse medal. Registration: $160 by June 18, 2013.
Other perks: all races include free event weekend transportation for anyone staying on-site at the Disney resorts, Disney character encounters, a t-shirt (5K has a unisex t-shirt, other races have tech shirts in men or women cuts), and on-course and post-race refreshments! The Marathon and Half-Marathon also include a Family Reunion area and access to the Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday evening, as well as a personalized results website, and a live runner tracking sign-up for family and friends who are there to cheer runners on!
Runners can also sign up to take the Goofy Race-and-a-Half Challenge, and run both the Half and Full Marathons back to back to receive the Goofy Medal. Registration is $340 by June 18, 2013.
And new this year is the Dopey Challenge, in which serious endurance addicts can sign up for all four races, and earn not only the medal for each race PLUS the Goofy medal, but the Dopey medal as well! I’d be feeling dopey if I were to try to manage that, but the people who do – WOW! Registration for this challenge is $495 by June 18, 2013, so it don’t come cheap, but it’s worth it!
In addition to the new race and challenge, there are a few other changes to note for the 2014 Marathon, and here’s a video about them:
To sum up: Beginning with the 2014 Marathon Weekend, RunDisney will be allowing fewer runners in the race in order to avoid overcrowding, and proof of time will be a requirement for the purposes of corral assignment. (Don’t you love that term? Corral? Sounds like horses.) There are other changes – check them out!
You can get more information about the proof of time info on the website. If you’re unable to provide proof of time, this does not disqualify you from the race, it only means that you’ll be in the last start corral.
Stuff for Kids
I used to run 5Ks, back when I had only one child and comparitively LOADS of free time. 😛 This got my daughter interested in running too, and I’m probably not the only mother with a mini-racer in the making. This is why Disney has instituted runDisney Kids Races all weekend long as well:
Every child 13 and under who participates in the runDisney Kids Races goes home a Winner with their very own Finisher Medallion! Children 13 and under are invited to participate in the runDisney Kids Races taking place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend. Encourage your youngsters to participate and sign up for any of the Kids’ Dashes or the Mickey Mile during this fun-filled weekend. There’s even a Diaper Dash for crawlers! Space is limited.
Parents are allowed to run with their children. The event will follow a rolling start beginning with the 100m dash followed by the 200m, 400m and Diaper Dash. The One Mile will have a separate start location and time. All distances will utilize the same finish location.
The Kids races are $15 per child, and the Mickey Mile is $30 per child.
And what about food?
Disney World loves their parties. For a bit extra, you can buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park party the night before each race (running from 1/9-1/11) in Epcot.
After the 5k and 10k there is also an opportunity to get in on a full breakfast buffet which runs $39 for ages 10 and up, and $26 for ages 3-9. Most good Disney buffets are character meals and this is no exception, so bring your camera. 🙂
And Sunday, after all the races are done with, Downtown Disney is hosting the Cool Down party that is free, open to the general public and racers and their families alike! Bring your medals for special opportunities, offers, and discounts!
Contact me if you’re interested in registering and would like to get a vacation package! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what race(s) you’d like, who you’ll be travelling with, if you want to purchase tickets for any of the parties, and anything else you think is important for me to know!