The Disney Races You Need to Know About
You say it every single year when it comes time to make a resolution, but will this be the lap around the sun where you truly, wholeheartedly mean it? Becoming a runner isn’t a split-second decision, instead it’s one you have to work for weeks, months and years to perfect. From finding the right, supportive shoes that supports your stride to mastering the fine art of breathing rhythmically to fuel your lungs during endurance tests, there’s a reason why trekking the trails (or the treadmill) is a respected form of exercise. According to many fitness professionals, having a race to look forward to can serve as the extra motivation you need to maintain your routine. Because you can only improve with practice, commitment and time, why not sign up for a 10K, a half-marathon – or if you’ve got the months to train – a marathon to put fire in your step? When you add in the one-of-a-kind experience of running at Walt Disney World in Florida, you not only get to bring home a medal you earned but take a vacation, too.
For the fodder and inspiration you need to hit the round, ahem, running, consider signing on the dotted line for these anticipated fitness events at the happiest place on earth:
Spoiler alert: this isn’t – technically – isn’t a race at Disney World, it’s a fun way to jumpstart your training if you’re new to running. As a virtual half-marathon, it takes on different rules than the traditional 13.1-mile stretch. You can choose to run all at once or break up the miles, whichever way makes the most sense for your training. As long as you log the miles through their app, you will be awarded with a Star Wars-themed medal of accomplishment. For another alternative, consider making it a challenge for your running group at home. You can print out downloaded bibs and share your experience on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #StarWarsVirtualHalf. When you work with other aspiring joggers and runners, you can keep one another focused on the miles and your training regimen. Once you nail this virtual race, you’ll feel that much more prepared to take to the park itself, decked out in your princess or Jedi-best.
Regardless if you consider yourself a Belle or an Ariel, a Cinderella or a Sleeping Beauty, an Anna or an Elsa, there’s a princess-themed runner’s costume made for you! As one of the most celebrated and exciting fitness events at Walt Disney World, the Disney Princess Half-Marathon is a time when men and women alike come together as mile-seeking royalty, dashing through the miles as if a spell was cast upon them. Though the event takes place every February and is often quickly sold out, your Disney travel agent can help you score a bib if you’re the type of person who would trade a glass slipper for a running sneaker anytime. During this half-marathon trek, you’ll run through Magic Kingdom and Epcot, with hundreds of fans singing your beloved princess songs. When you cross that finish line? You’ll receive a medal you’ll treasure forever. All ages and skill levels are welcome, so invite everyone in your fairytale gang.
Once you’ve nailed that virtual half-marathon? Why not take your Star Wars craze to the mainstreet of Walt Disney World with the in-person version. For those who can’t get enough of Captain Phasma, the Dark Enforcer Kylo Ren and the First Order stormtroopers, this is a race made for you. As you go through each and every mile, you’ll be surprised as characters show up, making it an interactive spring through the park. If the 13.1 distance is too much for you, don’t sweat it – literally. This race weekend in April also offers a 10K, a 5K and a kid-friendly version for your mini sprinters.
The only thing better than running? Drinking wine, of course. What if you could piece together your two favorite pastimes into one race at the place that makes you the most zen and yet, excited? Enter: the Wine & Dine Half-Marathon, where foodies meet fitness at Walt Disney World. As the name suggests, you’ll begin the weekend in November with a carb-loading meal before race day, and finish with a cheers (or three). Even though this running event is definitely more adult-friendly, Disney also offers the Disney Fall Feast 5K for those who aren’t over the legal drinking age, allowing everyone to participate, and ahem, more wine for you! Though running will definitely give you a sense of accomplishment, it’s the post-race celebration that’ll really take your trip from a fitness feat to a much-needed vacation.
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