Archive for runDisney

More than 45,500 Runners to Participate in Race Weekend Events at 2nd Annual Star Wars Half Marathon

Runners from galaxies far, far away will embrace the power of the Dark Side, as more than 45,500 runners will take part in the 2nd annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side at Walt Disney World Resort.

Among them are three runners for whom the Force is particularly strong.

Orlando runner Gelcys Casteneda is participating in the half marathon despite battling severe scoliosis, fibromyalgia and a brain disease that causes chronic migraines. At 15, she had surgery to correct a 53-degree curve to her spine, which was threatening to crush her heart. But by the time she reached adulthood, her spine had regressed, returning to a 34-degree curve, again making it difficult to breathe while she also battled the fibromyalgia, leaving her in constant pain.

Except when she’s running, which somehow alleviates the pain.

In addition to Casteneda, Kurt Blankenship from Little Rock, Ark., will try to be one with the Force when he pushes his racing wheelchair in the half marathon race on Sunday.

Blankenship was paralyzed from the waist down in 1999 after a car accident. For years Kurt struggled to adjust to his new reality, but things changed when he and his wife Carrie started a family, adopting three children who were all born premature and have their own challenges just like their father. Kurt now views his children’s medical challenges as motivation for him to be an inspirational example for them on the power of persistence and fortitude. Hence, Kurt is pushing his racing wheelchair in the half marathon to show his children that it is possible to overcome the obstacles they are facing in their lives. In fact, his son Ryan, born with spina bifida, which doctors said would prevent him from moving, communicating or making eye contact, is now walking, talking and even participating in the runDisney Kids Races with his sisters.

Finally, there’s Lucas Wallenberg, a  sixth grader from St. Louis, Mo., who is running the 5K race on behalf of Noah’s Light Foundation in his ongoing efforts to help other children nationwide who are suffering from pediatric cancer. Lucas, 12, who started running to help his mom build up her strength after she was diagnosed with a blood disorder, now raises money through running to help kids with cancer after one of his friend’s sister died from cancer in 2014. And despite his own medical difficulties, he continues to rasise money and awareness for pediatric cancer, recently growing his hair for 18 months, so he could donate it to make wigs for children battling cancer. In 2016, he and his family ran in 10 5K races, one 8K and two 10Ks, all while fundraising for pediatric cancer.

Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side begins Thursday, culminating in the half marathon race on Sunday. This galactic-themed runDisney race weekend includes runDisney Kids Races, 5K, 10K and half marathon races and the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo. Start time for races are below:

runDisney Health & Fitness Expo Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side
Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Star Wars 5K • EpcotFriday, 6 a.m. start
Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Star Wars 10K • Start: Magic Kingdom| Finish: EpcotSaturday, 5:30 a.m. start
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side • Start: Magic Kingdom| Finish: EpcotSunday, 5:30 a.m. start

Media interested in covering the weekend events must contact Disney Sports Public Relations a day in advance to arrange for credentials. See table below for coverage opportunities: 

Star Wars 5K Arrive at Epcot by 5:00 a.m. for live coverage of the start and finish line.
Star Wars 10K
*Media must choose between covering the start or finish line
Arrive at Magic Kingdom by 4:30 a.m. for live coverage of the start line.

Arrive at Epcot by 5:00 a.m. for live coverage of the finish line.

Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Arrive at Magic Kingdom by 4:30 a.m. for live coverage of the start line and charter to Epcot after the first corral of runners.

Arrive at Epcot by 5:00 a.m. for coverage of just the finish line.

 

University of Texas Runner Wins Emotional Disney Princess Half Marathon

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

(Feb. 26, 2017): Disney Princess Half Marathon winner, Kaitlyn Johnson crosses the finish line first with a time of 1:22:16. Kaitlyn  joined more than 52,000 runners who traded their ball gowns for running gear to participate in the 9th annual Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney Princess Half Marathon race was the storybook ending to the four-day race weekend which also included the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, runDisney Kids Races, the Glass Slipper Challenge and the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOOK 2018 DISNEY’S PRINCESS HALF MARATHON PRESENTED BY CHILDREN’S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS

We can book our Clients’ Race Registration with a Magic Your Way Package for the 2018 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Presented by Children’s Miracle Hospitals, which takes place Feb. 23-26, 2018, during the 2017 Princess Half Marathon Weekend runDisney Health & Fitness Expo dates, Feb. 22-March 5, 2017.

A Magic Your Way Package allows Clients to enjoy Disney fun for the whole family throughout the race weekend. They pick their favorite Disney Resort hotel and the number of days for their Theme Park ticket.

Plus, when our Clients stay at a Disney Resort hotel they’ll enjoy special benefits, including complimentary MagicBands and early access to Disney FastPass+ planning up to 60 days before they arrive!

Booking Window: Feb. 22-Mar. 05, 2017

Travel Window: Feb. 15-Mar. 01, 2018

Contact Travel Agents, Scott and Becky Donahue, of Wish Upon a Star With Us to planand book your vacation.

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

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

(January 15, 2017): More than 17,000 California runners were part of the 35,000 participants that joined the Rebel Alliances at Disneyland Resort in the third annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side. The race weekend featured several intergalactic family-friendly events, including a three-day runDisney Health and Fitness Expo, runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side. (Disney)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DON’T FORGET! 2018 WALT DISNEY WORLD MARATHON PACKAGES AVAILABLE JAN. 4-15, 2017!

There’s still time to book your Race Registration with a Magic Your Way® Package for the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which takes place Jan. 3-7, 2018. Book by Jan. 15, 2017!

A Magic Your Way Package allows our Clients to enjoy Disney fun for the whole family throughout the race weekend. They pick their favorite Disney Resort hotel and the number of days for their Theme Park ticket.

Plus, when our Clients stay at a Disney Resort hotel they’ll enjoy special benefits, including complimentary MagicBands and early access to Disney FastPass+ planning up to 60 days before they arrive!

Contact Travel Agents, Scott and Becky Donahue, of Wish Upon a Star With Us to plan and book your vacation.

Costa Comes Out on Top Again at Walt Disney World Marathon

Apparently not even Mother Nature can beat Fredison Costa at the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna.

The Brazilian runner, who has dominated the 26.2-mile runDisney race in recent years, shrugged off unseasonably cool Florida temperatures early Sunday morning to notch his fourth straight Disney marathon victory and sixth in the last seven years.

This win, however, didn’t come without a fight. In addition to battling the chilly conditions, Costa fought off fellow Brazilian runner Vanilson Neves who pushed Costa for the lead through much of the race which went through Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before finishing at Epcot.

But with about six miles to go, Neves started to run out of gas and Costa turned on the speed, finishing in 2:23:15. Neves crossed the finish line in 2:30:24 followed by Samuel Fazioli Salem, NH in 2:33:23.

“At Disney, every mile is magical. It’s all this happiness around and that’s what motivates me to come here,’’ Costa, who resides in Orlando and trains at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, said through an interpreter. “The atmosphere is amazing and I have a lot of fun running here…The (weather) affected me a lot at the beginning of the race, especially the wind. But I was able to overcome it and finish strong.’’

Martins won the women’s division for the second time in three years, leaping across the finish line while screaming with joy. She had little trouble outrunning the field, winning in 2:48:05, which was sweet redemption after an injury prevented her from finishing the race last year. Kelsey Wiberley of Fenton, Michigan was second at 2:52:56 and Heather Schulz of Orlando was third in 2:59:13.

“This year I found out my nephew has spinal muscular atrophy and I ran to dedicate this to him. It was my motivation for the year,’’ Martins said through an interpreter, explaining her jubilance and tears at the finish. “I wanted to get the message out on behalf of kids like my nephew who have this kind of condition.’’

The marathon was the final race of the four-day race weekend that included events for runners of all ages and levels. It was also the first of four runDisney race weekends scheduled for this year at Walt Disney World Resort, which hosts runDisney events along with Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris.

2018 WALT DISNEY WORLD MARATHON PACKAGES AVAILABLE JAN. 4-14, 2017!

It’s the most magical race on earth! The Walt Disney World® Marathon adventure is unlike anything else. And now for a limited time, Jan. 4 – Jan. 15, 2017, we can book our Clients’ Race Registration with a Magic Your Way® Package for the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which takes place Jan. 3-7, 2018.

A Magic Your Way Package allows our Clients to enjoy Disney fun for the whole family throughout the race weekend. They pick their favorite Disney Resort hotel and the number of days for their Theme Park ticket.

Plus, when our Clients stay at a Disney Resort hotel they’ll enjoy special benefits, including complimentary MagicBands and early access to Disney FastPass+ planning up to 60 days before they arrive!

Contact Travel Agents, Scott and Becky Donahue, of Wish Upon a Star With Us to plan and book your vacation.

Pain Relieving VibraCool® Debuts During Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

MMJ Labs, LLC, industry leaders in non-invasive pain relief, will debut their newest product, VibraCool® Massaging Ice Therapy, at the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo in Orlando, FL.

VibraCool® is the wearable pain therapy device that provides simple, serious relief for IT Band pain, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, and other painful overuse conditions and injuries. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to experience the instant pain therapy of VibraCool® at the booth throughout the event. Runners will be able to purchase the product for use on pre- and post-race aches and pains — and beyond. Product demonstrations, raffles and sales will take place in Booth 605 in the Stadium Exhibition area during expo hours from January 4-7, 2017.

Team members will be interacting with attendees to help them find the VibraCool® model that best fits their needs. The innovative pain relief product is offered in three configurations to treat areas where pain is common: Plantar Fasciitis/Neck/Shoulder, Wrist/Elbow, and Knee/Ankle.

VibraCool®’s Cool-Pulse™ technology is what makes it so effective for runners of all levels — from 5k first-timers to Dopey Challenge takers. One push of a button leverages the physiologic pain relievers of high frequency massage and ice in a product optimized for athletes and chronic joint pain sufferers. VibraCool®’s intense 20-minute frozen solid ice packs decrease inflammation, pain and swelling. Vibration massages muscles, mechanically loosening stiffness and improving blood flow. For post-workout aching, using VibraCool’s massaging alone before a workout can prevent delayed onset muscle soreness. The design also features a neoprene compression strap so VibraCool® can move with you during therapy or recovery.

Make the VibraCool booth your go-to stop at the Expo for pre-race muscle prep and post-race recovery. To learn more about VibraCool®, visit www.VibraCool.com, or the needle product line Buzzy® and DistrACTION® cards at www.buzzyhelps.com. Engage in conversations about pain relief with VibraCool on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Runner’s World and runDisney Officially Unveil New Digital Runner’s Guide for 2017

December 20, 2016 – As part of its continuing collaboration with Runner’s World, runDisney is officially launching a digital event guide designed by Runner’s World for 2017, helping to customize the running experience for runDisney runners like never before.

The new digital guides will be available at all eight runDisney races in 2017, starting with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in early January, a designated Runner’s World VIP program event. The online guide will include pre- and post-race versions, allowing runners to personalize their experience from start to finish.

The pre-race version offers logistical information and a full weekend itinerary, as well as expert running tips and videos from Runner’s World editors on topics such as race day preparation, training and nutrition. The post-race version will provide runners with their individual race finish times, overall and age group rankings, and provide links to download their race photos.

Additional benefits of runDisney’s collaboration with Runner’s World include complimentary issues of Runner’s World magazine as part of a “Welcome Runners” trial subscription for all Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend participants.* Runner’s World is also set to take part in a Speaker Series during the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, discussing running topics that will be open to all race participants.

“These digital event guides are among the most sophisticated in the industry, providing runners with the kind of personalized information rarely seen in the running world,’’ said Faron Kelley, vice president of Disney Sports. “This new enhancement is part of runDisney’s continuing commitment to create a running experience unparalleled in the industry.’’

The Runner’s World VIP program is returning to the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna for the fifth straight year. The program is an exclusive opportunity to be coached by Runner’s World’s director of training and four-time Olympic Trials qualifier Budd Coates. Plus participants will receive advice from the magazine’s experts and editors, such as “The Mayor of Running’’, Bart Yasso, on training, nutrition, and injury prevention.

“We’re excited to join runDisney again this year for the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend,” says Runner’s World Editor in Chief David Willey. “We’re looking forward to customizing the race experience for all runners with the new digital event guides–something that’s new to the race industry and leverages Runner’s World’s digital expertise. It’s also fantastic to see the Runner’s World VIP program returning to Marathon Weekend r. This one of a kind program allows our editors and readers to train together and then run together on race weekend.”

The exclusive Runner’s World VIP program at the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend includes:

  • A membership in a 16 week (20 weeks for beginners) training plan designed by Coach Budd, who has coached thousands of elites, celebs, and everyday runners
  • Access to a customized Runner’s World VIP training plan on TrainingPeaks, an interactive training log, where runners can log their totals, watch their progress, and receive nightly email reminders about the next day’s training
  • Pre-race course strategy session at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with the Runner’s World experts and editors
  • Welcome Party with Runner’s World editors to celebrate the program’s fifth year at Walt Disney
  • World Marathon Weekend (included with Dopey Challenge only)
  • Entry to the Race Retreat on Saturday and Sunday (Marathon package includes access on Sunday only) and other VIP exclusives

For more information visit RunDisney.com, Runnersworld.com.