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Hey!! Did Snow White just pass me?!?

by Rod Wheaton on May 15, 2013

mickey cartoon runner

This past January Disney Running turned 20, celebrating it’s anniversary with over 65,000 runners from all 50 states and from 60 countries around the world at the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon. The event included a marathon, half marathon, Family Fun Run 5K, and kid races.

You’ve come a long way, baby

When the inaugural Walt Disney World Marathon started back in 1994, It was a much smaller, very different event than today. Back then, it was one race, a novelty of sorts and only brought in about 8200 runners. Who ever could have imagined the way the popularity of Disney’s running events would positively explode in the ensuing years! Now Disney’s running events have expanded to nearly all year-long, encompassing a series of major events on both coasts featuring themes tied to the Wine and Dine Festival, The Tower of Terror, Disney’s Princesses, Tinker Bell and others. The events themselves gained in popularity so much over the years that event planners saw the need to break out past simply the marathons and half marathons to create events family of all ages and athletic ability could take part in, resulting in the birth of the aforementioned 5K’s and kid events. When you see how many parents and kids run the smaller races side by side you can see Walt’s philosophy of parents and children having fun together carry over.

Since the WDW Marathon’s start, just over 200,000 people have crossed the finish line. Through the years 95 have run every single one of the annual events. They were honored with a ceremony and special ring as part of this year’s festivities.

Did Snow White just pass me?!?

At all the Disney running events, one of the funnest aspects is the Disney spirit the runners bring. Hundreds show up in costumes ranging from the Princesses to Tinker Bell to Mr Incredible to The Beast. On my last Disney run I had to endure the shame of being left in the dust by Toy Story 3 Barbie in her 80’s spandex glory. There was a couple dressed as the Beauty and Beast running together. The man had to be close to 7 feet tall. Personally I considered that to be unfair advantage as he probably covered a mile in 8 steps. Some take such great efforts on their costumes they rival the real park’s costumes. A bit of a surreal moment was seeing Pocahontas stop for a photo-op with Darth Vader and not being completely sure which was the runner.

Up for a Run?princesses running

As the events climb in popularity and more and more events are added to challenge every level of runner from slightly above couch potato to Olympic level athlete, you may have your chance to say “OK, That’s it, I want in. Sign me up!” If you do, you may find you’ve got the running bug and join the thousands who now plan every Disney vacation around the RunDisney calendar.


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