runDisney Speaker Series

Every runDisney race weekend begins with the Health & Fitness Expo. We have discussed our top tips for navigating the expo, as well as the various ways to approach the expo. However, if possible, there is one item you definitely should experience – the runDisney Speaker Series.

runDisney Speaker Series

Inside the expo are many places to explore. Picking up your race bib, looking through the official race merchandise, visiting your favorite vendors and much more. However, during the Speaker Series, you can get insight on the race course, nutrition and maybe even a celebrity visit or two.

During the Walt Disney World races, the Speaker Series can be found in the Jostens Center. The speaker area is located on the second (or ground level) floor. When you enter the Jostens Center, go to the right (as if you are getting ready to exit) and you will see the Speaker Series set up, prior to entering the restaurant area.

During the Disneyland races, the Speaker Series can be found in the Disneyland Hotel Ballroom (where the vendors are). It usually is straight ahead when you enter, between the official race merchandise and vendor area.

The schedule of speakers can often be found in the official race guide, however there are signs outside of the Speaker Series area as well. During every race weekend, Tara Gidus, the official nutritionist for runDisney and Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney, will speak. Along with their tips and tricks, they usually leave time for the audience to ask questions. Definitely take advantage of this!

runDisney Speaker Series

The additional speakers will vary from race to race. Past speakers have included Ali Vincent (Biggest Loser), Paula Radcliffe (women’s marathon record holder), John Hughes (race director for the runDisney events), Sean Astin (actor) and many more. There has even been a fashion show by Champion!

Taking a break to listen to the Speaker Series is a great option for the new or veteran runDisney runner. There is always more to learn!


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Second Star Wars Half Marathon victory for Arciniaga; Fellow Olympics hopeful Annie Bersagel is female winner; Event was first of four runDisney events at Disneyland Resort this year; More than 30,000 runners started races during the four-day event weekend


Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Light Side 2016

Photo: © Disney

ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 17, 2016) – The Force was with Fountain Valley, Calif., native Nick Arciniaga once again in the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort Sunday. After winning the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015, he followed up with second-straight victory in a record-setting time of 1:05:49.

Arciniaga, 32, who now lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., blasted past First Order stormtroopers to break the tape at the finish line. Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., was second (1:12:29) and Hunter Sapienza of Seattle, Wash., was third (1:12:38).

“This is a race that means a lot to me,” Arciniaga said of the victory. “I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since I can remember.” Arciniaga goes on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in the upcoming weeks.

Annie Bersagel, 32, of Colorado, also flew at lightspeed across the finish line Sunday as the female winner with a time of 1:15:09. Bersagel is also set to compete in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. Second-place female finisher was 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon female winner, Jennifer Berry, of Denver, Colo. (1:21:11) and third-place finisher was Kendal Sager of Los Altos, Calif. (1:25:05).

“I was the fastest stormtrooper out here today,’’ Bersagel joked after her win, clad in Star Wars-inspired running gear. “So that’s all you can really ask for, right?”

Arciniaga and Bersagel jumped to hyperspace to outrun more than 13,000 athletes in the 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets, where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.

The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend included several family-friendly events, including a three-day Health and Fitness Expo with the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets. It was the second runDisney race weekend of 2016 and the first this year at Disneyland Resort. The event offered athletes a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. The ultimate test for Star Wars rebels was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.


Fredison Costa notches third straight 26.2-mile victory at Disney; Orlando area’s Natasha Yaremczuk claims her first women’s title; More than 100,000 runners and fans take part in the four-day runDisney event

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2016

Photo: © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2016) – Under unseasonably warm and humid temperatures, Brazilian runner Fredison Costa, chalked up his third straight win at the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna Sunday with a time of 2:33:24. With this win, Costa has now won the Disney Marathon five times in the past six years.

For the past two years, Costa has been living in the Orlando area and training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort under the guidance of former US Olympic track coach Brooks Johnson. But the unseasonably warm and humid conditions zapped his speed, saddling him with the slowest of his five Disney victories.

“I am very happy to win here at Disney today and defend my title. I love the people and I love Disney,’’ Fredison said. “My dream now is to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the upcoming London Marathon and run in this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.”

Mateus Trindade, also from Brazil, finished second again this year with a time of (2:34:49), just over a minute behind Costa. Jeff Martinez of Binghamton, New York, finished third (2:36:00).

Natasha Yaremczuk, 35, of Montverde, FL, was the first female finisher with a time of (2:52:23). It was Yaremczuk’s first victory at the Walt Disney World Marathon after running various runDisney events in the past. Jennifer Walton of Wesley Chapel, Florida, was second (3:01:38) and Corina Canitz of Brookfield, Wisconsin. (3:03:48) was third.

“I have raced Disney in the past and always loved it,’’ said Yaremczuk. “Today, I found myself taking more water breaks than ever before due to the humidity.”

Also among the field of more than 26,000 runners Sunday, was Cedric King, a U.S. Army retired Master Sergeant who is a decorated war hero and double-amputee as a result of injuries during combat in Afghanistan. King, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient from Fayetteville, North Carolina, completed the 26.2-mile race despite his disability.

In all, more than 100,000 runners and spectators took part in the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. More than 7,500 runners ran in all four weekend events – the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon and the marathon, completing the popular “Dopey Challenge’’ (48.6 miles).

The Disney Marathon featured events for the entire family such as runDisney Kids’ Races, the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, the Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday. A Health and Fitness Expo ran throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and featured the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running expert Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney, and Tara Gidus, the official runDisney nutritionist.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the first race in the 2016 runDisney series, which includes eight weekend events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts, plus the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend, Sept. 23-25. Next up in the runDisney series is the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, Jan. 14-17. 


Forum to feature the world’s foremost running industry leaders tackling a variety of relevant topics; Event part of new runDisney Race Director Series; 2017 Running USA Industry Conference up next for Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - State of the Sport Forum

Photo: © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Jan. 6, 2016) – Global running industry leaders are converging on the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna this weekend for runDisney’s first-ever State of the Sport forum and Race Director Series.

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 during Saturday’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.


Choosing your Walt Disney World Resort Room Type

When planning your runDisney trip, it’s easy to focus on which resort to choose. However, once you choose your resort – it’s time to focus on the room type!

Choosing your Walt Disney World Resort Room Type

Each resort offers various room types, including different views or room sizes. Here is a look at some of the options to choose from!

Regular Rooms

When looking through the various Walt Disney World resorts, the regular rooms are the most common. These range in size, depending on the resort type. For example, most value resorts offer rooms at 260 square feet and deluxe resort rooms can be up to 448 square feet.


For those wanting a little extra room, many resorts offer various suites. If you are on a budget, All-Star Movies Resort and Art of Animation Resort offer family suites. These family suites include 2 bathrooms, a bedroom and a living area that includes more beds, accommodating up to six people. All of the deluxe resorts offer suites as well, including 1 and 2 bedrooms as well as the various presidential suites. All deluxe resort suites include Club Level access, adding to the luxurious experience.


The Disney Vacation Club resorts offer villas, which include more room as well as kitchen-type accommodations. The villas offer a deluxe studio (similar to a regular room), 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom and Grand Villa options. For those wanting to make their own meals, the 1-Bedroom and up villas offer a full kitchen. And if you are participating in a runDisney challenge, you can take advantage of the washer and dryer in the room!

Room Views

After you choose your room type, the next decision will be the various views. For those using their room just to sleep in, the view may not be very important. However, a view of Cinderella Castle along with a view of the fireworks may be worth the extra cost to some! One thing to consider during a race weekend – a view of the pool may not be best for those wanting to get to bed early.

Choosing your Walt Disney World Resort Room Type

When choosing your room type, be sure to think about who you will be traveling with and how often you will be in the room. For a runDisney vacation, you may be spending more time in your room as you prepare for those early morning wake up calls. If you are traveling with a group, a larger room may be what’s needed. Regardless of your choice, you will be immersed in the Disney magic throughout your Walt Disney World stay!


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Recovering after a runDisney Race

After crossing the finish line of a runDisney race, there is sure to be a big smile! The excitement continues as you get your medal, grab some refreshments and see your family and friends.

Recovering after a runDisney Race

Yet as you continue on with your day, you may notice the race catch up with you. That’s right, the soreness begins. And you still have to enjoy the parks or even run another race the next day. Take a look at a few of our suggestions when it comes to recovering after a runDisney race!

Keep your legs moving. Whether it’s one of the longest races you have ever run or the middle of your runDisney challenge, your first thought may be to sit down or even take a nap. While a slight rest is okay, it is actually better to keep moving! Sure, your walk pace may be a little slower than normal, but keeping your legs and muscles moving will continue to work out the lactic acid that is building up. During your time in the parks or around your resort, keep your feet comfortable as well. One of our favorite recovery shoes are Oofos sandals. Not only are they extremely comfortable, but they are engineered to aid in recovery!

Hydrate and refuel. After a race, you may down a bottle of water or Powerade immediately. However, it is important to also refuel, specifically within 30-60 minutes after a race. A combination of protein and carbohydrates is best. But don’t stop there! Make sure that you are keeping hydrated throughout the rest of the day, especially if you have another race the next day.

Compress those muscles. Many runners find that compression gear is one of the best ways to recover after a race. Pay close attention to the muscles that tend to be the most sore after your training runs and get compression gear that will help those areas. For example, if your calves and shins tend to be sore, get a pair of compression socks. There are also compression shorts or tights for the sore quads, hamstrings or glutes. A few favorite options are CW-X for shorts and tights, along with CEP and Zensah for socks and sleeves.

Stretch it out. When your muscles are sore, your first thought may be to stretch them out. While static stretching tends to be the first option we think of, there are lots of other great ways to help your muscles. Some runners take an ice bath after a race. Others use a foam roller to help with the sore areas. Another great option is dynamic stretching, which helps prevent straining to already tight muscles.

Get some rest. You’ve run your race. You’ve had fun in the parks. Make sure you also get some quality rest – you deserve it! If another race is on schedule the next day, don’t spend too much time in the parks. You will want to get off your feet and ensure you have enough energy for the next day. And no one will judge you if you have an early bedtime – we know how early those runDisney races are!

Recovering after a runDisney Race

No matter if you are enjoying the parks or running another race, recovery is extremely important after a race. Make sure your body is ready so that you can keep enjoying the magic!


Magical Miles Buy Now 2016