runDisney Star Wars Race Comes to Walt Disney World!

Yes, you read that right! After hearing some buzzing and rumors for awhile, the newest runDisney race has been officially announced! a runDisney Stars Wars race comes to Walt Disney World!

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The weekend of April 14-17th, may the force be with you as you run through Walt Disney World meeting some of your favorite characters along the way. The theme for this race weekend is “the dark side”, with the Disneyland race being called “the light side”. There will be kids races, a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and of course a challenge! The course sounds awesome, taking runners through EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and ending at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

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More information can be found in the official press release:

April 14-17 event in Florida joins Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort and features new Kessel Run Challenge and Dark Side Challenge

 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

“Ever since we launched the Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the Star Wars franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “If the inaugural Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge — running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at www.runDisney.com.

 

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.

 

QOTD: Do you plan to try to run this new race?

Rock ‘N Blog Training Swag

A couple of weeks ago, I got a a great surprise in the mail: a box of training swag from the Rock’ N Roll marathon series. (#TrainingRockBox) I am a part of the Rock ‘N Blog team again this year, and it just keeps getting better and better! I am a huge fan of the series, and have run in several locations. I wanted to be able to run more of their races this year, but having a 10 month old makes that kind of tricky. Smile

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So what’s in the box? A ton of great stuff!

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Among the items were:

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I have already used some of the items, and can’t wait to try everything else out. I have loved being a member of Team #RockNBlog this year, and hope you will consider running one of the Rock ‘n Roll races this year or next. They have great on course entertainment, post race parties, and of course the bling is already really cool. I hope to see you on the course soon!

A huge thank you to all of the brands that had an item put into the box. I am very appreciative!

QOTD: What is your favorite Rock ‘n Roll Race? Mine is New Orleans, of course. Smile

Disclosure: I received this box from Competitor group as a member of team rock ‘n blog, however I received no compensation and was not asked to write a blog post about my box. It’s just got some great stuff in it!

Soakin Up the Sun Triathlon

Bobby participated in his first triathlon of the season on Saturday. It was held just a few minutes from our house in my favorite neighborhood in the area. It was just a very short sprint tri to kick off the season (200 meter swim, 8 mile bike, 2 mile run).

It was a chilly morning in the 50’s, but we got up at 5:00,packed up the baby and made the short drive over. When I arrived Bobby was already setting up his transition.

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The race started promptly at 7:00. He was with the first group/experienced group for those that have raced before, so he was one of the first in the water.

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He was 11th out of the water, and honestly I wasn’t expecting him so soon and almost missed him!

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He doesn’t race in tri’s often, so his transition was a bit slow, but he made it onto the bike and out on the course.

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Emma Kate and I wandered around for a few minutes people watching, and very soon bikers started coming back in, as did Bobby. He quickly changed his shoes and was off on the run.

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There were cars blocking the way of the run course so I couldn’t see him until right when he turned the last corner right before the finish.

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Yay! He finished right at 49 minutes, and placed 31st out of around 180 people. Pretty good for not having been on his bike since the duathlon he did 6 weeks ago!

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We hung around for awhile after because the weather was just so nice, we couldn’t believe for being almost June. They had pizza, sandwiches, smoothies, and other treats to enjoy as well. Emma Kate and I are proud of him!

QOTD: What’s the weather like where you live?

Racin’ For the Seed Duathlon

Last Saturday, Bobby competed in his first duathlon of the season. We found out about it last minute, (aka Bobby hasn’t been on his bike since before Emma Kate was born), but he wanted to do it anyway. It was a GORGEOUS day, with temperatures in the mid 60’s. It was Emma Kate’s first time to race spectate, and I feel there will be many more times in her future.

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She was such a trooper. She even took a 45 minute nap in her stroller, and slept again in the car on the way home.

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This race was to benefit a local place called the Mustard Seed, for adults with developmental disabilities. This organization has been around a long time and everyone loves it, so there were plenty of people willing to donate food, time, and other things for the race.

This particular race was a 5k run, a 15 mile bike, and then a 1 mile run. We were late arriving, so I had to go grab Bobby’s packet while he set up his bike. The below picture is him coming in from the 5k heading into transition.

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EK and I hung out inbetween transitions. There was a live band, plently of people and even activities for the kids. You could choose to just participate in the 5k portion, and it was so much fun to see some of the “seedsters” as they call them come in through the finish line running with a “buddy.”

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Bobby came through off the bike and said he had a calf cramp. Well yup, that’s what happens when you haven’t been on your bike in 7 months and you try to race.

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He hobbled off on his one mile run and we hung out near the finish.

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Yay go Bobby! He came in 7th in his age group and 18th overall out of over 100 racers.

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Frank the camel was proud of him.

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You read that correctly. Frank the camel was at the race. he even had his own Facebook page. I die.

Baby EK was proud of her daddy and wanted to know when she was going to get to race.

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Of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a picture of a baby and a camel, right? I mean when will this EVER happen again? It looks like Frank is snarling and clearly is about to eat my baby.

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As we walked around after the race, we noticed that Frank was not the only animal at the race. No no, there was a whole freaking petting zoo. Bearded dragons, birds, rabbits, ferrets, a sugar glider and a humongous snake, which you will not see a picture of because I hhaattee snakes.

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This is Joey, He climbed on Bobby’s shoulder and tried to eat his sunglasses.

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We had a great time at the race and hanging out after enjoying the gorgeous weather. Here in Mississippi it goes from cold to hot in a split second, so we don’t get many weekends of weather in the 60/70 range. I’m super proud of Bobby, can’t wait until his triathlon in May! (You can follow Bobby on Instagram and Twitter, too!)

QOTD: What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen at a race? Any other camels?

Crescent City Classic 10k Race Recap 2015

On Saturday, I ran in my fourth Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans. It is a super huge, super flat and fast road race that the city of New Orleans has embraced and turned into a not-to-miss event. It is always held on Saturday, the day before Easter. I have worn the same bunny ears for the past four years of this race!

Bobby and I were up before 6:00. We were staying at Aloft New Orleans, a hotel just a few blocks from the starting line near the Superdome (more on the hotel later). We got dressed and ready and headed to the start line around 7:00.

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The weather forecast said early morning rain, but that it should be moved out before the race, and that is would be partly sunny the rest of the day. When we stepped out of the hotel, I knew that wasn’t going to happen! It was cold and very windy. We walked to the start and took a blogger picture with the other #CCC10kblogger folks, then headed to Champion’s Square.

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On my way into the square I ran into Mindy! We chatted for a minute then I went into the square to find Mrs. Z.

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There were so many people milling about, but she texted me and we found each other near the free smoothies and coffee.

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Hi friend! Fun fact: At this race, in this exact same square last year is when she told me she was pregnant! Her due date was a few weeks after mine but she ended up delivering before me!

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We decided to head to our corral early because last year it was a bit chaotic. They had the short fences up and people were jumping them, and there was no one guarding corrals to make sure people went into the proper one. However, this year was MUCH much better! The corrals were much more clearly marked, and they had volunteers standing at the front of each corral checking bibs. They also had the tall fences around the corrals, but sadly I still saw MANY people lift up the fences and sneak into different corrals.

All of the sudden, it felt like it was getting colder…and then it started raining! So we stood in our corrals like a bunch of cattle, getting rained on. It was kind of a miserable way to start the race, but what can ya do?

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I was very pleased with the corral organization this year though! We made it up to the start line, and after a shout out from my race director buddy Mike, we were off!

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The first mile or two was pretty crowded, but it evened out a lot once we got past Café du Monde and the French Market on Decatur.

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We made the turn onto Esplanade, and I stopped to get water for the first (and only) time at mile 3. It was nice and cool, and the huge oak trees on Esplanade provided great cover from the rain.

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There weren’t as many spectators out as there has been in years past, however there were still a couple of fun beer/mimosa/margarita “aid stations” out on the course.

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We turned left as the museum of Art was in front of us, and went around and then inside the park. Usually I hate this park of the race when it’s sunny because that’s when you realize just how hot it is without the shade of the trees. Luckily the rain had stopped, and we kept on trucking. At mile 5 we saw a guy take a nasty fall on some uneven roads (which are everywhere in NOLA!) He hit his FACE, I felt so bad for him. Luckily a lot of folks had already stopped to help him. I took one quick 10 second walk break, and we made it back into front of the museum of art. Aaannnddd that’s when the heavens let loose! I was already dying/out of breath being just a half mile from the finish line, and the torrential rain on top of that was not pleasant. You can see just how dark it got all of the sudden in the next photo!

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We made another familiar turn, and I could see the finish line in the distance! For some weird reason I didn’t do an all out kick like I usually do, I just kind of trotted through to the finish. Not sure what I was thinking? Anyway, we finished in a respectable 1:03:30, which is around 4 minutes shy of a PR. Considering I have only been running long slow miles since having the baby, I’ll take that.

We got our medals and made our way to the VIP tent. It was time to EAT! Jambalaya, red beans and rice, mimosas, and sandwiches were plentiful.

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Oh, and wings form Hooters.

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We met up with some of the other bloggers and had our own little table where we chatted about the race and such. It was fun to get to relax and hang out with everyone.

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Of course we had to take another group picture!

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It was pretty chilly, especially because I was sweating, and sadly not as many people stayed for the after party because of the weather. It was a bummer because the day before the race and the day after the race were beautiful and sunny.

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When I felt like I couldn’t take the shivering anymore (hello isn’t it Easter weekend in New Orleans? Why so cold?!?)

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We headed to the bus line to get back downtown. I had my fingers crossed as we made our way over to the bus line, because this was my big complaint from last year. They were only loading one bus at a time last year even though they had 10 buses waiting to be filled, and we stood around forever. Sadly, it was the same story this year. I timed it, we waited in line exactly 30 minutes to get on a dang bus. They thankfully had someone “directing traffic” and putting people on the buses, but were only loading buses two at a time. I wish they would count off 40 people, send them to bus 1, then count off 40 more, send them to bus two, so on and so forth and load 5 or 6 buses at a time. Maybe next year? Or maybe I should volunteer to man the bus line? I would have that line moving in no time!

We made it back downtown and had to walk a few blocks back to the hotel, but since it was just a 10k I wasn’t sore or tired so we weren’t hobbling back to the hotel like we have been for other races!

Overall, we had a great experience and I can’t wait for next year! Here is my pro/con list:

PROS:

-very low entry fee

-expo (with free food and beer!)

– everyone gets a shirt and finishers medal

– amazing after party with food, beer, bands, things for the kids to do, booths for other races, etc. (Open to the public for $10, runners get in free).

-free shuttle downtown before and after the race

-fast, flat course

-timing chips for all runners

CONS:

-Lots of people so it can get crowded and congested

– waiting in line for bus back downtown for 30 minutes

-uneven streets/I almost fell a few times

The pro’s HEAVILY outweigh the cons, and this race has improved year after year. I wouldn’t miss it! If you have any questions about the race feel free to ask, I would love to have you join me next year!

QOTD: Have you ever run a race in the rain?

**Winners of my Airborne everyday giveaway are Elle Pink and Vunda Vall. Please email heatherslookingglass@gmail.com to claim your prize!

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a free race entry, pasta dinner, and VIP

Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans VIP Experience

Bobby and I were able to take advantage of the VIP experience at Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans a couple of weekends ago. I have never done VIP for a Rock ‘n Roll race, and was excited to compare it to others I have done with different races.

The morning VIP breakfast and lounge was at the Hilton New Orleans. When we picked up our bracelets we were told it was “right next to the start line” but we ended up passing it up because they were doing construction so we saw no signs for the VIP or anything outside the hotel which would have been helpful, also it wasn’t exactly right next to the start, we saw a bunch of people a couple blocks down but turns out that was the 10k start so it was kind of confusing It was freezing so we were really happy to get to go inside once we finally found it!

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The race started at 7:30 and the VIP lounge opened at 6. We had the option of driving to the finish and parking our car and taking the VIP shuttle back downtown, but the shuttle left the finish at 5:45, which means we would have had to leave the hotel around 5:15 to make sure we didn’t miss the one shuttle, so waking up at 4:15 didn’t sound fun, I wanted that extra hour! So we decided to walk to the start, and take the VIP shuttle back downtown after the race instead. (We were able to get a late hotel checkout at Hotel Monteleone, so we had until 1:00).

We were directed upstairs where our wristbands were checked for the second time, and they had food for us. (Yogurt, bananas, bagels, coffee, water).

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Then they had a room with tables for us and plenty of room to stretch as well.

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It was really nice to just relax and sit in the warmth and drink some coffee before heading outside. At 7:00, I decided to go to the bathroom because I knew the line would get long, and I was right, it was already out the door and some of the stalls were running out of toiler paper. I was very thankful to not be using a port-o-potty though! After that, we shed our outerwear (reluctantly) and got our gear bags ready. We turned them in to the VIP gear check, and hung out in the lobby area as long as possible. Well, until 7:20. We then walked out to the start and it wasn’t so bad standing outside for only a few minutes.

Fast forward to after the race.

We crossed the finish line, got our medals and snacks, and headed to the VIP tents.

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We picked up our gear bags at our own private gear pick up, went ahead and got on the list for free 10 minute massages, and went to change. My hip was hurting so badly I didn’t even bother having Bobby take a picture of me with my medal. I realized it and then took a selfie inside the women’s changing tent.

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They had separate men’s/women’s changing tents as well as own our bathrooms. I was so glad I brought a full change of clothes, I felt way more comfortable and warm having on a comfy outfit. By time I came out and went to the bathroom, they were calling my name for my massage woo hoo! I was really excited about it since I was hurting, and was sadly disappointed. Fail.

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They had 3-4 tables with two people doing each 10 minute massage, and I just am glad I wasn’t paying for the massage or I would have asked for a refund. The massage was so light they were barely touching me. The stretching felt good, but that’s about it. Sad smile

Oh well, moving on, it was time to EAT! I have been thinking about food and mimosa’s all morning and it was time! The food and drinks were under the big white tent, along with a charging station with lots of different phone cords. I thought this was a nice touch!

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The temps were in the low 60’s with a light wind. I was comfortable in my long sleeves, but just in case, they had heaters stationed near some of the tables, another nice touch!

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To the left is the massage tent, to the right the gear check tent….Complete with Bobby hovering waiting for his massage (in the red shirt).

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We had a great view, too. The stage was just off to the left of this picture with the live music.

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The drinks were yummy, the food was alright, but the day was absolutely gorgeous. It was so nice to sit and relax and unwind while listening to the music.

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After I finished my first plate (and second drink), Megan came hobbling up. Poor thing didn’t have a great race either and was injured as well.

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We chatted for a bit and then said our goodbyes. I got to talk to a few more of my runner friends, and then lunch was brought out. Lunch? I thought the food I had already eaten was it. Nice! They put out pulled pork, dessert, and a few other things, so…another plate for me!

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The VIP shuttle was running every thirty minutes, and since we had to checkout at 1:00 we decided to take the 12:00 shuttle. I would have loved to stay longer (VIP was open until 2:30) but we had to go shower and check out. We we led out as a group by a competitor group employee to the VIP bus and so there was no waiting in line for the other buses which was really nice!

We headed back into the French Quarter, and the driver stopped along Poydras St. to let people off where they wanted, so we literally only had to walk one block down to our hotel, whereas the regular busses were only dropping off at one point. I was expecting a much further walk so it was nice!

We showered and we re out at 12:58, perfect timing! We had a really great day and a fun race made even better and easier by the VIP experience. Sure there are a couple things I would have changed, but overall we had a really good time and were thankful for the ease of the day due to being a VIP. Also, all the extra food and drinks didn’t hurt!

The only problem is now I am spoiled and want to do it for every Rock ‘n Roll race!

QOTD: Have you ever paid extra to do something like the VIP experience?

*Don’t forget you can use code LOOKINGGLASS15 and save $15 on any RnR US half or full marathon except for Vegas, and also save on Canada races!

Disclosure: I was provided with VIP entrance by Rock ‘n Roll, however all opinions are my own.

NOLA Weekend

We had an amazing weekend in New Orleans running the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon! A fun race, great friends, and could not have asked for better weather. I will have full recaps on the blog later this week, but I just wanted to share a couple of pictures for now. I was so tired when we got home last night the last thing on my mind was writing a lengthy race or weekend recap! Soon though.

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Have a great Monday! Today I take Emma Kate for her 4 month shots and checkup. I can’t wait to see how much she has grown (but I’m not too excited about the shots!)

QOTD: What has been your favorite destination race or “racecation”?

Design Your Own runDisney Race

Hey guys! I know a lot of folks are heading out to Disneyland today to run the runDisney inaugural Avengers half marathon this weekend. I am super jealous and hope you have a great time. Check out this post I wrote for Fitfluential on tips for running a Disneyland race.

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Disneyland marathon weekend 2013

I can’t wait to read everyone’s race recaps on the event! I really REALLY wish I was running Star Wars in January, but I completely missed registration by time I had made up my mind. There is always next year! Bobby loves Star Wars so I think we would have a blast. There are just too many races and not enough time off of work.

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Still can’t believe I was pregnant during Dopey!

Being in the thick of runDisney race season and not being there is tough. They are my favorite races and while it is fun to read everyone else’s experiences, it’s nothing like being there yourself. So that got me thinking. If you could plan a runDisney race complete with theme, course, what would the medal look like, runner’s perks, etc.? I would love to see your ideas of “the perfect runDisney race”. You can be as vague or as detailed as you would like! If I get some good ones I would love to feature them on my blog, and who knows, maybe runDisney will be listening!

So, to give you an idea of what I mean, here is one that I came up off the top of my head for an example:

Theme: Pixar Half Marathon weekend

Races: kids races, 5k, 10k, half marathon

Course: I’m not sure how this would flesh out distance wise, but it would end inside of Hollywood studios near the Toy Story Mania ride with an after party in Hollywood studios. Maybe if we ran through EPCOT and the boardwalk and then Hollywood studios we wouldn’t be on the road much and therefore could start the race later in the day (like 7:00) Or maybe it would be a night race?  Of course, there would be tons of Pixar characters on the race course!

Medal: Each race would have a different Pixar theme. My favorites are Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, a Bug’s Life, and Cars. I’m sure we could come up with some really cool designs based on some of those movies.

-Runner’s would be given 3 fastpasses to rides or shows dealing with PIXAR for the weekend. (Bug’s life, toy Story, Monster’s Inc. laugh floor, Buzz lightyear space ranger spin, Living seas with nemo, Nemo musical).

-Maybe a fun scavenger hunt where if you get character photos with X number of Pixar characters during the race (or race weekend, in the parks?) you get a special commemorative item.

-The expo would have a costume contest where you show off your Pixar race costume at a certain time and can win prizes.

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-runDisney and New Balance could partner to make Pixar character running shoes.

QOTD: OK so those are my ideas to get you started. Feel free to comment with your ideas or send them to me via email: heatherslookingglass@gmail.com. I can’t wait to read and feature your ideas!

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Here I Come!

I mentioned awhile back that I would be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon, but I finally got my rear in gear and officially registered!

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Bobby is registered too, so we will both be running the half in January. I am admittedly a little nervous as it will be my first half after having baby M, and since I haven’t really run since sometime in the second trimester, I will literally be starting from scratch. But that’s ok! I’m going to CELEBRATE being able to run again and have already started brainstorming costume ideas. Oh yes my friends. I WILL be running in a costume. It’s all about fun at Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans!

Voting has ended on the finisher’s medals for this race, but the design will be announced on the 18th! I will be posting pictures on Instagram as soon as I get my hands on a photo so be sure you are following me.

Another thing of note: There will be a price increase on September 19th, so hurry and register NOW! Be sure to use code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout for $10 off registration.

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Be sure to follow along with Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans race info and news by using #RnRNOLA, and following @RunRocknRoll on Instagram and Twitter.

QOTD: Are you running any Rock ‘n’ Roll races next year? Which ones? Have you run any in the past?

Virtual Race Entry GIVEAWAY

 

My blog friend Shannyn is hosting a virtual race, and I am giving away a free entry! It is the first ever virtual Pug run to benefit the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue.

You can participate in the 5k, 10k, or 1 mile option and get the beautiful medal on a ribbon mailed to you. If you want to sign up or donate to the cause, the cost of the race is $27.

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If we can save 26.2 pugs, Shannyn’s fiance will run the Chicago Marathon in this singlet.

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From Shannyn:

“We want to save 26.2 pugs, for a donation of $7,860.  As my fiancé runs his marathon at the Chicago Marathon, we’d like to dedicate each of his miles (and the .2) to changing the life of one pug and fundraising for the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue.

That’s right.  You can support the cause, and run or walk on your home turf between now and October 12th, when Chris runs in a pug singlet (seen above) and you’ll get a shhh-weet unicorn pug diecast medal mailed to your door.

To hit our lofty financial goal, we’d have to have over 375+ participants.  To be able to afford to do bigger medals, we’d need to hit 500 medals to get a better discount and still hit our $7,860 goal.”

Want to win a FREE entry into this virtual run and get your medal for free? I am giving away one entry to a THLG reader! Mandatory entry as seen below in the rafflecoptor widget is you have to SHARE about this run in some way. Either in your own blog post, tweet about it, make a facebook post about it, and LINK THE POST IN A BLOG COMMENT ONT HIS POST or your entry will not count.

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Tomorrow I will be back with my weekly pregnancy update, I cannot believe I am 34 weeks today! My goal for this week is to get the car seat installed and maybe even start on getting the crib put together. I think that will make me feel better. I read about these other pregnant women that have everything all together by this point in their pregnancy and it is making me a little panicky. I know I am “behind” because of the move, but I can’t help but feel like my due date is quickly sneaking up on me and I DO NOT feel ready to have a newborn. AAAHHHH! But I still can’t wait to meet her and also get back to feeling like myself again. More on that later.

See the rafflecoptor widget below for instructions on entering the race entry giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway