Walt Disney World (FL)

Disney’s Marathon Weekend 2011 – It’s Here

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The last 10 mile run is complete, which can only mean one thing: the half marathon is days away.  If you are reading this thinking, “Ahh, a running post.  I’m not going to read this.”  Please do read!  Because the irony is I’m not a runner either — that is until the magic of Disney got me.  If you, by chance, have followed my blog posts, less than a year ago I had never run anywhere but to a shoe sale.  However, thanks to the magic of the mouse, I will have run 3 half marathons in less than a year. I will confess, I do teach Jazzercise, and I’d much prefer to dance my way to health than run. I’m so bedazzled by Disney that I’ll even run as an excuse to go there. 

I have met some wonderful people at Disney running events and I look forward to seeing them again and again.  It’s this really wonderful community that is so neat to be a part; I have even been at non-running events and seen the people I met waiting for the races to commence.

While I am no expert, as a novice runner I’ve learned a few things along the way that may either help make your run more pleasant or may motivate a pre-runner to get in there with us (by the way, most of what I have learned has come from some wonderful people who took time with this tenderfoot, thank you!).

My success strategies for completing a half marathon at Disney World:

  • Above anything else – BELIEVE YOU CAN!
  • Wear layers of clothes that you can strip off and throw onto the side of the road once you start to warm up.  There is a TON of waiting around time and it’s cold.  I went to Goodwill and bought layers & washed them.  I won’t be looking too good, but I’ll be warm and at 4:00 in the morning.
  • Some runners like to wear garbage bags.
  • Bring hand warmers from Walmart or Bass Pro Shop.  Spread the love and bring extra – make somebody’s day.
  • Drink water at every water station.
  • Eat the yucky gel they give you on mile 8 or 9.
  • Smile at the people around you.
  • Have something warm to wear when the race is over.

Am I the only one drawn to running by the power of Disney magic?  If you are too, you can confess below in the comments section.  I would love to know that I am not alone, and I would really love your advice too. I’ve registered for the runners retreat, and I will report back on that. I hope to see you this weekend!

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Caroline Baggerly

Caroline has a love of Disney that her family and friends don't quite get. Always ready for a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth or to do research for "The Unofficial Guide".

26 thoughts on “Disney’s Marathon Weekend 2011 – It’s Here

  • I did my first 1/2 last year at the Princess – it was also my excuse to go to Disney, it was well worth it in both regards! I have always been hooked on Disney, now I’m hooked on their run events, too. I did the full marathon and am leaving tomorrow for my second Princess and will run with my daughter, husband and three other newbies who will soon be addicted, too! Great post & motivation for all of us! 🙂

  • Nice run, Caroline. I saw you in the results listing. Great, great job. I hope you recover well and race again soon.

  • Loved all of your posts and am looking forward to updates from your travels during the year.

    This weekend, I’ll be running my ninth Disney Marathon. Disney totally inspired me to run – the Disney marathon was my very first race. Prior to that, I never ran and in fact, used to make fun of my runner friends. The marathon has become an annual trip for my family – my in laws ran their first half marathon at Disney a few years ago, my daughter participates in the kids races and my mom used to volunteer at water stops (before my daughter came along). It’s a great excuse to get in winter exercise and time with my husband and I wouldn’t think of missing it.

    Good luck Saturday!

    • Wow Pam, that is an awesome story. You never ran until you did the marathon??? Oh My. I’m inspired. Now your family spanning generations. Thank you so much for sharing this story. Thank you also for your kind words and reading the posts. I’ll be cheering for you. 🙂

      • Congrats on your finish! Hope you enjoyed yourself in addition to doing well. Yes, I never ran at all until the marathon. Now, I can’t imagine not doing the marathon.

  • I did my first run in Oct for the Wine and Dine. Never had any interest in running, it was an excuse to go to Disney. I can’t believe how much fun it was and now I am hooked! Taking my dgt down for the princess 5K next month and plan to run the Half in Oct. Good luck! Wish I could go too!

    • Hi Niki,
      Congrats on the Wine Dine. I thought that one was tough. Good Luck with the training for the Princess. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!! 🙂

  • Great post caroline! One of the things I love about the disney races is that they are for ever level of runner from the diaper dash to the dopey it is all about making a change in your life for your health and having fun and celebrating while doing it! See ya there!

    • Hi Amanda, So true. Making a Change in your life and celebrating it!! Wow, Love that. And with all ages. Thanks for reading and replying. I’ll be celebrating with you!!

      • 🙂

    • Thanks, Matt. Will I get to see you this weekend? I know it’s tough getting out with a new baby.

  • That’s what got me started. I ran the half last year, Wine and Dine in October, and will now be running my first full marathon on Sunday. I can’t tell whether I’m more excited or nervous.

    • Congratulations, Matt. I’ll be cheering for you on Sunday and by the way, I’m nervous too.

  • Disney is what got me seriously running as well! I ran a few 5k’s here and there but it wasn’t until I heard of the Disney races that I seriously committed myself to running a half marathon. Where else would I want to run other than the Happiest Place on Earth?! 🙂 Running that half was one of the best moments of my life. And here I am a year later about to run my first full marathon! Leave it to the power of Disney to convince me to do this!

    • Hey Jenna,
      You go girl!! That is awesome. I’ll be cheering for you on Sunday!!

  • Oh, I hear what you’re talking about, Caroline!

    This will be the first marathon of the year for me, and my 10th marathon in the past 3 years. Can’t wait to get down to Disney and flat-out, no-questions-asked, make-no-mistake-about-it, git-er-dun BUST IT!

    Good luck to everyone ! Enjoy every single mile of your journey 🙂

    Check my blog for my prep leading up to Disney. Some pretty strange (and funny) stuff…

    • Hi Chris,
      10th MARATHON! Amazing. I am not worthy. I hope I get to meet you! Thanks for reading and commenting!!
      Good Luck!!!

      • Oh, you’re worthy, Caroline. Some of my race stories are absolutely EPIC tales of suffering, misery and sacrifice…

        TRUST me, there’s no hero in me. Just an unwavering desire to find out what “the edge” looks like.

        Ok, I’m sounding kind of weird, even to me.. I’ll stop now 🙂

        Good luck

      • Chris,
        I love your reply. Please let me know what the edge looks like. A lot of the time I feel like I’m on it. Cheers to YOU!! 🙂

  • I started training for a race this past August and finished my first half in October. I did a 5k on New Years Day and am planning on doing a 25k at the end of Feb. Yes, that’s 15.5 miles. My goal is to do a couple more half’s this year so that I can do the half in WDW next year. I’m hooked! Good luck!

    • Lorie, Oh my gosh, you inspire me!Keep me posted on all of your races!! Way to go. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Nancy, Wow!! I am inspiried. How do you do it? You are a stud!!
      I’ll be cheering for you!! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Good luck!! I ran the half last year and will be running the full marathon this year!! I loved every second of the race. Hoping for warmer weather this year. Enjoy every step!! – Shawn

    • You go, Shawn!! I’ll be cheering for you on Sunday! Thanks for reading and commenting.


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