Hey guys! I fly out to Disney TOMORROW for the runDisney marathon weekend! Bags are packed, house sitters at the ready, waivers printed. This one is weird for me because I am just running the half marathon. Last time I was in Disney for marathon weekend, I ran all the races…AKA the Dopey Challenge, so it’s odd to me that when I arrive Friday half the events will already be over! None the less, I am excited to get to take part at all in the weekend that started it all for me as far as distance running goes.
Anyway, I wanted to share some fun facts with you all so you can follow along with the fun for the race weekend! I will be posting photos on my social channels and I am hoping to sneak in a periscope or two if I remember. (@heathersLG) Also, I will be attending a blogger event with Cigna, the title sponsor for the race, on Friday around lunch time, so be on the lookout! I will be live posting there as well. Also, I will be doing my costume reveal on social media Friday night. So much fun coming up!
I am a numbers geek (aren’t most runners?) and love seeing all the “stats” on marathon weekend. How cool is it that there are more female runners than male, and check out all the countries represented! Crazy to think for the inaugural Dopey in 2014 I was one of those nutty 7,500 who were attempting something never done before in runDisney history!
Also of noteworthy news are some of the cool people that will be attending this years event. One very important one being U.S. retired Master Sergeant Cedric King, a decorated war hero who lost both legs during combat while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. He has earned both the purple heart and bronze star, and will be running the MARATHON! Cigna CEO David Cordani is running too, in addition to Olympian Paula Radcliffe (5k, 10k, and half), and actors Uzo Aduba, Aaron Diaz, and Laura Flores (5k).
The fun starts THIS MORNING with the 5k, and the 10k will ne tomorrow, with the half and full being run on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Also something really cool going on tomorrow is that runDisney is hosting a “state of the sport” forum and race director series. Check out the press release for more info. it sounds like it’s going to be really awesome!
“…Nearly 100 of the most highly-respected names in the global running sector – major race directors, media executives, industry influencers and former Olympic runners – are expected to attend the Jan. 7 forum, making it perhaps the most significant gathering of running industry leaders ever assembled.
The event, staged at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is being anchored by a panel discussion featuring race directors and executives from the world’s top running events – Peter Ciaccia (TCS New York City Marathon), Tom Grilk (B.A. A. Boston Marathon), Tad Hayano (Tokyo Marathon), Hugh Brasher (Virgin Money London Marathon), Carey Pinkowski (Bank of America Chicago Marathon) and Juergen Lock (BMW Berlin Marathon). The panel, moderated by Runner’s World editor-in-chief David Willey, is expected to tackle several key industry topics, such as the evolving demographics of runners, the impact of the upcoming Olympics, increasing runner participation and other best practices.
Additional speakers expected are Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger, B.A.A Boston Marathon race director David McGillivray and Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports. Other special guests will be reigning women’s world marathon record-holder and four-time Olympic distance runner Paula Radcliffe and former Olympian and runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway.
The State of the Sport forum kicks off runDisney’s new Race Director Series, which affords race directors from around the country with behind-the-scenes experiences during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. More than 40 race directors and race management personnel are expected to take part in the series that gives them special access and insight into various aspects of the four-day event operation, plus the Race Director Challenge, a light-hearted competition duringSaturday’s Disney Half Marathon race.
The State of the Sport forum aligns with runDisney’s goal of broadening participation in road running and encouraging people to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. Next year, Walt Disney World Resort will once again become the center of the running universe when it hosts the 2017 Running USA Industry Conference during the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The annual conference brings together industry experts for sessions on best practices, panel discussions, industry awards and more.
Hosting the 2017 conference and this weekend’s forum build on runDisney’s growing stature as one of the leading running series in the world. In the last few years, runDisney has experienced extraordinary growth and popularity with the launch of four new race weekends – including its first international event, the 2016 Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend – and frequent race sellouts at events at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.”
Thoughts? How cool to have so many well known race directors in one place!
Good luck to all the runners out there running any of the distances, especially to the first timers. runDisney is such a special place for a first race, and for that reason marathon weekend will always hold a special place in my heart as my first half marathon back in 2010. Above all else, have FUN, you are running in the happiest place on earth, so celebrate fun, friends, health, and life!
QOTD: If you could run with any celebrity, who would it be?