This is part 3 of our series on the Runner’s World Challenge during the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. For previous posts, see Runner’s World Challenge Overview and Runner’s World Challenge Issues and Concerns.
UPDATE: For 2015, Runner’s World Challenge is only available for the Dopey Challenge. It does not include the resort package as it did in 2013.
Before we knew it, Marathon Weekend was upon us! With excitement of participating in the inaugural runDisney Runner’s World Challenge and being a part of the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon, we were on our way!
We arrived at the Beach Club Resort and were granted our request of rooms near each other. These were standard rooms which we were aware of when we purchased the package. However, our rooms were quite a hike from the main lobby – one of the main disadvantages of Beach Club is the possibility of being placed in a room that is far from the lobby and elevators.
After checking in, we decided to visit the Hospitality Suite which was located in the Yacht Club in a 2-bedroom suite. The Hospitality Suite was available each morning for a continental breakfast and one evening for cocktails (see schedule below).
The Hospitality Suite was also available to VIPs including Jeff Galloway and Runner’s World editors and staff! This was a fun addition to our package as we were able to interact with many fellow runners throughout the weekend. The VIP Hospitality Suite was not available to those participating in the 2013 basic Runner’s World Challenge and is not listed as an inclusion in the 2014 Runner’s World Challenge package at this time.
After visiting the VIP Suite, we headed over to the Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Runner’s World Challenge participants had a separate area at the Expo which was located in the Mezzanine area of Champion Stadium. This area was staffed by Runner’s World personnel who were amazing! They were very knowledgeable about every aspect of our packets and could guide us in the right direction. Our packets included VIP credentials (for entering the Hospitality Suite), Pasta in the Park bracelets and tickets, VIP bracelets, Race Retreat bracelets, race bibs, safety pins, race shirt, bag check bag and sticker.
We attended the first course strategy session on Friday afternoon. Bart Yasso and Runner’s World editors spoke about what to expect on the course and how to properly fuel and hydrate. Since temperatures were expected to be warmer than normal January races in Florida, panelists gave advice on how to handle the heat without doing bodily harm. Everyone on the panel stayed after the strategy session to answer our personal questions and take photos.
Note: There was another course strategy session on Saturday afternoon. However, we had another event to attend.
Included in our package were tickets to Saturday’s Pasta in the Park. Pasta in the Park is offered several nights during Marathon Weekend. It is typically meant to be a pre-race meal. However, Runner’s World Challenge participants who participated in Goofy or the Half Marathon attended Pasta in the Park on the evening after the Half Marathon. Pasta in the Park is located in Epcot at the Odyssey Pavilion (in the United Kingdom area). In this large building, there was a buffet meal that included multiple pasta dishes, chicken, vegetables, salad, desserts and drinks. (Megan was able to get a gluten free dish.) There was a DJ keeping us entertained (however the music was VERY loud) as well as characters to take photos with. The event started at 6:30 and was already starting to clear out by 7:30. There was a private viewing location for Illuminations that evening, but we chose to go back to our resort and get to bed early.