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RunDisney: Walt Disney World Race Weekends

RunDisney has a variety of races, at a variety of distances. Whether you are looking to participate in a 5k, run a marathon or take on one of their multi-day challenges there is an event for you and your family. Currently there are four race weekends on Walt Disney World Property, four race weekends at Disneyland California, one race weekend at Disneyland Paris and one race at Castaway Cay. Today’s post is going to be an overview of the events currently being offered at Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

5K. 10K. 1/2 Marathon. Marathon. Goofy Challenge and a Half. Dopey Challenge. Kids Races.

This weekend happens every January. The marathon is the longest running event in the RunDisney family. It is celebrating its 25th year in 2018.  The weekend offers the most races over a RunDisney weekend. With the Walt Disney World 5k on Thursday morning, Walt Disney World 10k on Friday, Walt Disney World Half Marathon (unofficially the Donald 1/2 marathon) on Saturday morning and the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday morning. There are also kids races on both Friday and Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Here you’ll find the original RunDisney multi-day event challenge: Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. By participating in this event you enter the half and the full marathon. Racing events one day after the other. Receiving three event shirts and three medals. Now, we have participated in said challenge and at the time there were runners doing what they termed the “Dopey”. These racers would participate in the Family 5k run on Friday morning and then run the Goofy as well. It didn’t take long for RunDisney to get wind of this and create the Dopey Challenge, moving the 5k to Thursday and adding in a 10k on Friday. The Dopey Challenge is the only challenge to include the 5k race. All other challenges exclude this Family Friendly event. One of the things I love about this particular weekend is it’s all encompassing. It’s not skewed to females, or super hero fans. It’s made for lovers of Disney. You also get to run through ALL of the parks in the full. Expect some high fives from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at the finish line.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

5K. 10K. 1/2 Marathon. Disney Fairy Tale Challenge. Kids Races.

2018’s Princess Half Marathon weekend takes place the last weekend in February. It tends to float between the end of February and early March. You can expect a lot of Pink, a lot of Tutus and a lot of ladies enjoying a girls weekend. This race is not exclusively for women but you’re going to see most men accompanied by women. This race takes you through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot’s Future World. Along the course you’ll see many princesses characters with their princes. The weekend starts out with the 5K on Friday through Future World and World Showcase. The 5K allows children 5 or older to participate. The 10k, on Saturday,  is similar to the 5k race run the day before only with the addition of the Yacht and Beach Club resorts. The weekend finishes off with the half marathon on Sunday. The Challenge is now called the Fairy Tale Challenge. I have a feeling that’s because more and more men are participating with their families in these events and the Glass Slipper challenge just didn’t quite fit anymore. Run the 10K on Saturday and the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday to complete the challenge. Participating in this challenge gives you three medals and three technical shirts. Kids races happen throughout the day on Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. My mom, sister and I participated in this race 10 years ago. Crazy how quickly time flies, feels like yesterday. It was the perfect get away for us gals, a real chance for us to bond together over something we truly love. Disney and Running!

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend-The Dark Side.

5K. 10K. 1/2 Marathon. First Order Challenge. Kids Races.

This race was such a success in Disneyland, California that they had to bring it to the east coast. Giving you three opportunities to race: the 5K, 10K or 1/2 marathon, this weekend is in April. This race is focused on the villains of Star Wars. Expect to see Storm Troopers lining the course, with Darth Vader and Darth Maul on location for pictures. Due to the construction going on at Hollywood Studios the 10k and 1/2 marathon are a lot of highway running. Kids races are on Saturday. The 5K, on Friday, runs through Epcot. The 10K, on Saturday, starts and finishes at two separate places, taking you through Epcot, Hollywood Studios and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The 1/2 marathon, on Sunday, is reminiscent of the Tower of Terror 10miler, with a few added miles in Epcot. This race takes you through Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Expect a lot of overpasses which increases the grade and difficulty. The First Order challenge involves running the 10K race on Saturday and the 1/2 on Sunday. Giving you three medals and three race shirts. Great mementos from an awesome weekend. Now all you have to do is wait for the Star Wars themed resort to open and then you can have a FULL Star Wars Themed Race Weekend.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.

5K. 10K. 1/2 Marathon. Two Course Challenge. Kids Race.

Friends, this race has been on our list for a long time. We had wanted to participate in this race back in 2014, which would have been it’s 5th year anniversary. It sold out in a few days, so we weren’t able to participate. Sad face. It’s during the Food & Wine Festival and the Crossover between Halloween and Christmas. So if you time it right you can enjoy two different parties at the Magic Kingdom, Food & Wine Festival and both seasonal decorations. It’s the ultimate vacation! And it’s the only race weekend that still involves a post-race party. Even though it’s not after the race, because of the change in race start, there’s still something exclusive for the racers and their families (for an additional charge of course). This weekend is November 2nd-5th with all the races now being in the morning. The 1/2 used to be in the evening but has changed to earlier hours. Which is a welcomed changed, we ran a night race at Walt Disney World a few years ago and it was so hot, many people could be seen on the shoulder of the road throwing up from heat exhaustion. Not ideal for a race with so many people running in costume. The Disney Fall Fest 5k takes place on Friday in the Animal Kingdom. The 10K is on Saturday morning, starting in the Magic Kingdom Parking lot and ending in Epcot. The 1/2 is on Sunday morning, covering mileage in Animal Kingdom Park, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The Two Course Challenge involves running the 10k on Saturday and the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday. You receive three medals and three technical t-shirts. The kids races take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday.

There is a race weekend that is for you. Whatever time of year you are planning on going or race distance you’re looking for you there’s one you can work your vacation around. It’s something the whole family can participate in, or because of the early start time you can run before the whole family is even up and ready for a day at the parks. If you are a runner or a runner at heart, combine these two loves of Disney vacationing and running and you’ll look back on it as one of the best Disney vacations you ever took. Happy Planning.

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