On April 17, 2016 I ran the Inaugural RunDisney Star Wars – The Dark Side Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida. After not doing a RunDisney event for two years because they have just got so expensive, being a Star Wars Junkie, this race had me from the announcement.
The race weekend started on Thursday and included Kids Races, 5k, 10k, and the half marathon. Since I only participated in the half marathon, we drove down on Friday and stayed until Monday. When we arrived on Friday, we went to the race expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
ESPN Wide World of Sports
Me with the Race Medal Backdrop
Star War van rocking out Star Wars themed music
This past Saturday (5/2/2015) I ran in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon. Because we were traveling and attempting to do two half marathons in two days, I had our friend that lives in Indianapolis to go to the expo and pick up my race packet.
Well, Saturday evening, at our friend’s house, I started preparing my gear for the race the next morning. Upon pulling out my race bib from the packet, I noticed there was a card paper clipped to my race bib. When I detached the card and flipped it over, I found the following personalized note.
Now I do not recall putting this anywhere on the registration, so either my friend Dave advised them of this, or they researched out my blog. Anyway it was discovered, this was a nice touch by the 500 Festival team.
Thanks to the 500 Festival team, especially Ben Pawelak, whom I never met. Based on this kind act, and my race experience this past weekend, I would highly recommend this race if you are looking for a race in Indiana.
The 2015 Walt Disney Marathon is only weeks away now. After three years, I am taking this year off; however, as I come across things, I thought I would share, and this is big. Click on the picture above for all the new merchandise that will be sold at the race expo. The big item is the RunDisney Magic Band. You knew it would not take Disney long to capitalize on this one. I have already asked by running partner, who will be there for the Goofy, to pick me up one!
Starting at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, New Balance revealed new RunDisney themed shoes, to which you could only get at the race expos. Well, the popularity of these exploded. It became so popular, that at the 2014 Walt Disney Marathon weekend, you had to get on a wait list just to get in line at the potential to purchase the shoes. Well, for the last three RunDisney races, I have been unsuccessful.
Until now…. My running partner Becky did the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler last weekend, and was able to walk right up and get me my shoes. She actually called me on my birthday to tell me she was able to purchase them for me!
Since I have now done two Goofy Challenges, and Goofy is my favorite Disney character, of course I chose the “Goofy’s”! They are quite colorful don’t you think! There are special touches to the shoes that bring out Goofy’s character. The colors are Goofy’s signatures. It has Goofy’s hat on the toe box. Under the tongue it has his famous saying, “GWASH!”
Here are a few pictures….
Finally, on the heel of the shoe, is Runner Goofy, with the token 39 bib number to represent the 39.3 miles ran during the Goofy Challenge.
Here is the official video of all the various models available. Beyond Goofy, there are styles for Mickey, Minnie, & Cinderella.
Today we flew across the country for the start of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in California. We had two excellent flights on Delta from Charleston to Atlanta, and then on to Los Angeles. There was not a single issue or delay with our flights. God was looking after us. We left home about 7:25am and arrived in Los Angeles about 11:15am PST. It was like we gained more of the day, but as I write this, it is catching up with me. Our friend Sean picked us up at LAX, and after gathering our bags, we were off to Disneyland!
After stops for a quick bite to eat and some food & beverages for the room at Target, we got to our hotel. We checked into Paradise Pier Hotel about 1pm. Our room wasn’t ready so we checked our bags with Bell Services and off to the race expo we went.
Wow what a difference from Walt Disney World. As a seasoned veteran of RunDisney events at Walt Disney World, we quickly noticed our first difference. The three Disneyland hotels are within a few blocks of each other.
This past Saturday, April 26th, I ran the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, TN. I found that my race recap for tomorrow was getting too large, so I decided to break the race expo out into a separate recap. We traveled to Nashville on Friday, April 25th, and arrived to the race expo about 1:15 PM CST. The race expo was held in the center of Nashville at the Music City Center, which is next to both the Bridgestone Arena (where the NHL Nashville Predators play) and the Country Music Hall of Fame. We also pass through this area on race day as a part of the course.
One thing to note if you are driving to the expo. There are several different lots & garages available for parking nearby for the Music City Center. However, they are all very crowded, and require payment. There really is no free option. We paid $10 to par, and we were about two blocks away.
We have arrived at Walt Disney World for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. It was nice leaving home at 38 degrees and arriving at Disney at 73; however, it has been a rainy day.
After checking in at our resort, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, we headed to the EPSN Wide World of Sports for the Marathon Expo.
Inside at the Expo they had things very well organized. This is my 3rd year doing Marathon Weekend, and 2nd doing to Goofy’s Race And A Half Challenge, and things seemed to move far smoother. They have the Goofy & Dopey Challenge bib pickup area in a separate area from the individual races pickup.
The big hype for the Expo has been the RunDisney New Balance Running Shoes. The hype started before you even got inside the expo.
Because of the hype and 80,000 runners here, they lines were insane, so I passed on getting a pair here. I decided to wait until the Disneyland Half Marathon in September to purchase my Goofy’s. I had a friend, Michael who left Charleston at midnight, to be in line at 6am, for an 8:30am expo opening, to get their shoes. They were 30th in line and were successful! I will try and post a video of how joyous their son was to get his Goofy’s.