More than 300 U.S. military personnel in Iraq will take part in a Disney half-marathon in Baghdad during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA, which will feature more than 53,000 runners at Walt Disney World in suburban Orlando this weekend. Last year, the WDW Marathon and Half Marathon became the largest M/h combo all-time with 34,055 finishers.
The runDisney Heroes Race in Baghdad on Saturday will involve service men and women based at Victory Base Complex trekking 13.1 miles through the Iraqi desert while simultaneously more than 27,000 runners – a new race record – run the same distance during the Disney Half Marathon. Both races will be linked by satellite so runners and spectators at both events can view live video of each race. Runners in both races will receive official runDisney race bibs, shirts and finisher medals.
The companion race is just one of the many new twists to this year’s Disney Marathon Weekend. In addition, runners who finish the 26.2-mile Disney Marathon will receive complimentary entry into Walt Disney World the next day as part of Marathon Monday at Disney. Also, finishers will receive a new Mickey Mouse medal.
“The runDisney Heroes Race is our way of honoring the courageous men and women of our armed forces who put their lives on the line every day,” said Kathleen Duran, runDisney Sports Area Manager. “With the salute to the troops and new features like Marathon Monday and the new race medal, the Disney Marathon Weekend is unquestionably our signature event among the four runDisney events we stage each year.”
In addition to a tremendous sense of accomplishment, a magical reward will await everyone who completes the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna in 2011: a new Mickey Mouse race medal and a free day at Disney.
As part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to encourage guests to celebrate the milestones in their lives at a Disney park, finishers at the Disney Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011, will receive complimentary admission to a Walt Disney World theme park the Monday after the race.
And for the first time ever, runners and fans can choose the official 2011 Disney Marathon medal, which will be their unofficial “ticket’’ to Disney on “Marathon Monday.’’ Through online voting this summer, fans can vote for their favorite from three medal designs, all created by Jostens Inc., which has designed Super Bowl rings and college football’s prestigious Heisman Trophy. The medal with the most votes will become the official medal of the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon.
Voting is underway now and runs through July 28 at disneyworldmarathon.com. The winning medal will be announced in early August.
“Running 26.2 miles is quite an accomplishment even if you’re energized by Disney entertainment along the way, so what better way to celebrate such an achievement than a complimentary fun-filled day at Disney where you can show off your new medal,’’ said Faron Kelley, director of marketing for Disney Sports. “These new features are just more ways runners and their families can combine their passion for running with a memorable trip to their favorite vacation destination.’’
Registration remains open for the 2011 Walt Disney Marathon Weekend (Jan. 6-9), which is approaching 50 percent of capacity. The Disney Marathon Weekend (typical race start temperature 48.6 degrees) will once again include a variety of events for all ages and running abilities – kids races, a Family Fun Run 5K, the Goofy Race & a Half Challenge, the Disney Half Marathon and the Disney Marathon, plus the Health & Fitness Expo. To sign up for any of the weekend events, go to disneyworldmarathon.com.
Last year’s Disney Marathon Weekend, which drew a record 55,500 registered runners from all 50 states and 50 countries, was highlighted by Adriano Bastos’ sixth consecutive Disney Marathon victory and Lisa Mizutani’s second straight women’s title.
Thousands of runners braved record cold temperatures to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna and left behind a trail of donations that will benefit Central Florida charities.
Disney Marathon organizers collected more than 26,000 pounds of clothing shed by runners who layered on winter attire to keep warm along the 26-mile race route. From Epcot to Magic Kingdom, runners left behind approximately 30,000 pieces of clothing including coats, hats, sweaters, shirts and gloves that will be laundered at Disney textile services and later delivered to Central Florida organizations such as Harvest Time International, Salvation Army and Coalition for the Homeless.
Some runners also used the weekend as a way to raise funds for charitable causes. For example, several groups of runners collectively raised $5.4 million dollars for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Locally, friends and colleagues teamed up to put their best foot forward. The Burnham Institute’s Team Burnham raised $140,000 for blood cancer research, while two teams from Florida Hospital raised more than $54,200 for the Florida Hospital for Children. “I have never been a runner but decided since this was for a good cause to give it a try,” said Samantha O’Lenick, organizer for Florida Hospital’s Females in Training or F.I.T. team.
More than 55,000 runners registered for events such as the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney Pixar Up and Away Family Fun Run 5K, Disney’s Kids Races and a Health & Fitness Expo, marking the largest Disney Marathon Weekend since the event’s debut in 1994.
Registration for the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon is now open.
Entree fees and age minimums are as follows:
Walt Disney World® Marathon – $135 – Ages 18+
Walt Disney World® Half Marathon – $135 – Ages 14+
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – $310 – Ages 18+
Disney Family Fun Run 5K – $45 – No age requirements
Mickey’s Marathon Kids’ Fest – $10 – Ages 13 and under
Mickey Mile – $25
For more information and to register, visit the official page for the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon
With a total time of 02:28:08, Brazil’s Adriano Bastos, 31, captured his seventh win at the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon today. Lisa Mizutani, age 24 from Tsukuba, Japan, was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 02:51:18 and an overall finish of 18th place.
There must be something in the water in Rochester Hills, Michigan. In yesterday’s Half Marathon, Chad Johnson, 33, of Rochester Hills just edged out fellow resident Sage Canady, 24, by 18 seconds to take first place with a total time of 01:07:02. For the women, Emily Mortensen, 27, also from Rochester Hills, took first with a total time of 01:20:58.
Registration for the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon opens on January 11 at noon EST.
To see the full results of all of the races this past weekend, check out the Walt Disney World Marathon Results page.
More than 55,500 expected runners – Disney’s largest marathon weekend field ever – are registered for the 17th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA Jan. 7-10, 2010. This year’s capacity field tops last year’s record by 10,500 registered participants and aims to place the marathon weekend as the top combination race weekend in the country.
A record 55,500 athletes have registered for the variety of events that make up the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. In 2009 the Walt Disney World Marathon was the eighth largest in the nation and the second largest combination race weekend. The main event – Sunday’s 26.2-mile journey through Disney’s four major theme parks – starts at 5:40 a.m. near Epcot.
Runners can look forward to VIP treatment as new “More Magic” options have been added. A pre-race pasta party and a post-race private celebration are new ticketed events available to those in attendance. On Thursday, Jan. 7, the Pasta in the Park Party at Epcot will give runners and their friends and family a chance to “carb load” before the race and see a special viewing of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” a nighttime fireworks display. After the marathon on Sunday, the chance to ride select attractions and unwind with a live DJ and Disney characters is available when Disney’s Hollywood Studios hosts a private Victory Lap Celebration.
The VIP Race Retreat package is available again this year offering special race-day upgrades for participants and their friends and family, such as exclusive meet and greets with Disney characters and pre-registration for next year’s marathon.
Jaeyung Hyung, 38, of Las Cruces, N.M., celebrates his victory Sept. 6, 2009 at the Disneyland Half Marathon, held at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. Hyung finished the 13.1-mile race in a time of 1:10:44. Thousands of participants from every U.S. state and 13 countries took part in the fourth annual event that is part of a three-day celebration of health, fitness and family fun. More than 18,000 athletes were registered in various races throughout weekend, including 13,500 for the Disneyland Half Marathon. (Will Norton, photographer)