I just checked the website...The Walt Disney World® Marathon and Half Marathon are close to being sold out. I have completed the marathon twice myself. (Check my race history...2009 and 2011.) My wife has completed the half marathon. Most runners at one point or another have thought about entering this race. Why?
Well here are 5 reasons why you should put the Walt Disney World® Marathon on your bucket list.
- It's Walt Disney World®! Running a race through the 4 parks of Walt Disney World®...starting and finishing at Epcot®. It really can't be beat. Definitely a once in a lifetime type opportunity. Unfortunately, I don't think Disney is going to allow me to film the course anytime soon, but I can give you an idea. Most of the race is on access roads and areas around the parks where you would never go as a guest. These areas are not that exciting but during the 26.2 miles you get to run around the Epcot® circle, right through Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom® Park, through Disney's Animal Kingdom® Park, and through Disney's Hollywood Studios.
- The course! Not only do you have the sites and sounds of the different theme parks to take in you also have a fairly easy course. There are just a few rolling hills on the course. No big climbs at all. There are a lot of twists and turns especially through the parks but not too bad. I really have no complaints about the course. Another cool thing about the course is the 5:30 AM start time. Now if you are not an early riser getting up at 3 AM to get ready for a race may not be what you consider a highlight of this event. I liked it because you get to run the first hour of the race in the dark. It is really cool running through Epcot® in the dark.
- The weather! The weather in January in Orlando is usually ideal for racing. There has been a recent example where the weather doesn't always cooperate. In 2010 (the year in between my 2 Disney finishes) the weather was 30 degrees for the race. Both years I did it the weather was around 50 (perfect) at the start and warmed up to 60-70 at the finish. It did get hot both years towards the end of the race, but overall I think the weather is typically perfect for racing.
- The Destination! Another great thing about Walt Disney World® in January is that the race is in Orlando, Florida. If you live in the Northeast or another area of the country where you do not see 60-70 degrees for 6 months it is very easy to talk the family into turning your Walt Disney World® Marathon dreams into a little mini vacation. I have found airfare prices to be reasonable and have enjoyed extending my stay to 3-4 days. Obviously there is plenty to do if you have children, but even if you don't care to visit the parks there is still plenty to do in Orlando.
- The Medals! I usually don't put a lot of importance on a finisher medal at a marathon. Believe me..I want one...it's just as long as I get one I don't really consider that a factor on whether I enter a race or not. But I have to admit the Disney medals are cool....take a look at my hardware....