A record field of more than 14,000 registered participants will take to the streets of Disneyland Resort and the city of Anaheim for the fifth anniversary of “The Happiest Race on Earth” – the Disneyland Half Marathon. In addition to the 13.1-mile half marathon, the weekend features activities for the entire family, including a Health & Fitness Expo, Disneyland Fabulous 5K presented by the Los Angeles Times, and Kids’ Races.
In true Disney fashion, the fifth anniversary of the race weekend will be celebrated in several ways. Athletes who complete the half marathon will be rewarded with a commemorative edition finisher medal featuring Sleeping Beauty Castle circled by a vibrant number “5” and running Mickey Mouse. Nearly 570 “Legacy Runners” – those who will be running in their fifth Disneyland half marathon – also will receive special recognition throughout the race weekend.
Participants from 16 countries and all 50 U.S. states are set to compete in weekend races. More than 14,000 are registered for the half marathon Sept. 5, and 5,000 are registered in the Family 5K and Kids’ Races, Sept. 4. Participants and the general public can also visit the Disneyland Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel. The expo features the latest in official Disneyland Half Marathon merchandise and more than 90 vendors of fitness apparel, footwear, sunglasses, high-tech gadgets and nutritional products.
The Disneyland Half Marathon features a course unlike any other in the world. Passing through the two Disneyland Resort theme parks – Disneyland and Disney California Adventure – and the streets of Anaheim, participants will experience a race full of inspiration that only Disney can provide, including live entertainers and Disney characters at the start line and along the route. The road race has become popular for its flat loop course and mild climate – ideal for personal best times. Hosted by the Disneyland Resort and the City of Anaheim, it reached registration capacity – for the fifth consecutive year – in late spring.
“We are so proud to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon,” said Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis. “This unique event has become a tradition of fun and memories for thousands of athletes and their families. We share the success of this event with the city of Anaheim. Since 2006, we have jointly brought more than 80,000 participants from around the world to the Anaheim resort area.”
Throughout the race, runners will pass Disneyland icons such as Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Matterhorn, Anaheim landmarks such as the Anaheim Convention Center and Honda Center, and will see themselves on the jumbo screen running on the field inside Angel Stadium of Anaheim before finally crossing the finish line next to the Disneyland Hotel.
An estimated 2,350 runners are eligible to earn a special medal for the third annual Disney’s Coast to Coast Race Challenge. To be eligible, runners must have completed the Walt Disney World Marathon or Half Marathon or Disney’s Princess Half Marathon this year at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., in addition to completing the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon. The Coast to Coast medal showcases the iconic statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse (known as the Partners Statue).
The next Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend will take place Sept. 2-4, 2011. Registration is scheduled to open Jan. 3, 2011, for the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon.