Sunday, March 23, 2014

My runDisney DisneySide Party

I received free product in the form of a celebration party kit in order to host my Disney Side @Home Celebration. This promotion was conducted in conjunction with Disney Parks and MomSelect. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

When I found out that I was going to be a host for one of the approximately 2000 #DisneySide @Home Celebration my mind immediately started spinning.  Of course I found out the day I got home from WDW after finishing the inaugural Dopey Challenge!  

My first decision: where was I going to host my party?  I considered hosting it at my house, at my local running store, at the Y and then I could always go big and head to everyone's favorite house of the Mouse!  Since I wanted to throw a runDisney party and the Princess Half weekend fell in the middle of the two week party window it seemed perfect!  That is when the planning really began!  

The fact that the #DisneySide party kit came in an American Tourister suitcase meant that a WDW destination party was almost predestine! Dopey was chosen as my prefect party co-host, after all I had just completed my greatest runDisney challenge in January. Chef Mickey and runDisney Mickey came along for the trip.  

My runDisney DisneySide party arriving at MCO in style 
in it's American Tourister luggage!

I booked a room at Disney's Contemporary Resort 
Convention Center for our party! 
It was a good thing right off the bat.  
The sky opened and it dumped 
right after we took this picture!

The staff at the Contemporary were amazing! 
They helped us out with our DisneySide party balloons!

We loved being an official event! 

The #DisneySide party swag on the gift table.  
We did a raffle for all of the kit swag, plus a few extras!

The chef's made us an amazing DisneySide cake! 
I wanted to bring my Dopey Challenge 
experience together with Princess Half weekend! 
They did a beautiful job don't you thing!

Check out the bling that was already adding up!

The ladies had a great time being able to relax and chat 
while working on their runDisney DisneySide ChEar cards!

Before too long it was raffle time! 
The HP Printer cards were a big hit! 
Melissa was excited to use her cards as 
thank you notes for her runDisney charity team!

Bring on the cake! 
I went with a marble cake with 
chocolate icing between the layers 
and a butter cream icing.

Chef Mickey, Dopey and runDisney Mickey 
approved of the chef's work!

We used our cupcake papers for our raffle papers.

Happy party guests!

After the formal portion of the party 
we took our balloons and signs on the rail! 
Seven Seas Lagoon Monorail Tour up next! 

We were off to say Aloha to the fountain at the Polynesian!

This was also the final stop for our balloons! 
We gave half away on the Monorail 
and the rest went to children at the Polynesian! 
Handing out balloons to kids is a lot of fun!

One final fun moment! 
The pilot meets the Monorail drivers 
(future job)! 
Yes she is tickled pink!

You can throw your own #DisneySide party when and wherever you want.  If you want some ideas check out the amazing ideas on  Simply run a search for DisneySide or start with this great post by the @DisneySisters!

How To Throw The Perfect Disney Side Party in 6 Magical Steps

I received free product in the form of a celebration party kit in order to host my Disney Side @Home Celebration. This promotion was conducted in conjunction with Disney Parks and MomSelect. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Glass Slipper Challenge ChEar Weekend

runDisney events are amazing! They are running festivals of fun with friends new and old all wrapped up in Disney! Over the years I have been lucky enough to race Princess Half weekend 3 times, more than any other race weekend. This year I was unable to register due to potential work conflicts, but found myself able to go at the last minute to chEar on my fellow runDisney lovers.

I took the low expense approach and was able to use flight vouchers from previous trips to save on travel costs. Plus I was hoping to earn more vouches on my return flight. (More on that later.) 

After a morning meeting on Friday, which was conveniently located at a hotel near the airport, I hopped on an afternoon flight to WDW! It was already past 9 pm by the time I arrived at the resort. It was strange arriving mid-event! The 5k was already over and most runners we're already in bed getting what sleep they could before the 10k. 

Of course morning came bright and early...well not so bright. We got up and out the door headed to the event transportation buses. The lines were not that bad and we were on our way with ease.  I know what these early morning are like, but I have new found respect for the support crews that come out to cheer for their racers.  There just is not as much adrenaline flowing among those who are cheering vs. racing. 

Since I was not racing my plan was to move around the course chEaring and take photos of other runners having fun! I really like the new 10k course at WDW. It is more of a runners course with longer stretches of open running.  Plus it incorporates the Boardwalk which is one of my favorite places on property. 

After I wished my roommates well and saw them off to their corral I headed to the parking lot to get another perspective on runDisney races. They really are an amazing parade! Watching the event start and the runners stream across the start line was spectacular! 

I chEared as corral A and B runners set out on the course. I tried taking pictures as you all streamed by. Some of them came out, but most did not. It was still so dark and you all were moving! 

After the B corral went by I moved on down the course around the parking lot and out onto the road. It was a very humid morning and there were very few folks out chEaring. I did my best, but you all needed more fans out there!

runDisney has never been about the bling or the stuff for me.  It has always been about the brand's ability to motivate folks to be more active.  Simply put having fun on the run!  After this experience I am contemplating shifting my event participation towards a more formal support roll...possibly working as a coach/trainer/motivator for a charity team.  I love being out there chEaring others on to do great things!  I am still planning to run some of their events as well, but I am going to continue to explore the other aspects of runDisney!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the morning...with a few more thoughts below.

It was bizarre being at a runDisney race weekend and never getting my picture taken with a character at the event.  At the same time it was very liberating.  On occasion runners did ask me if I would take their picture and I was more than happy too.  I am always asking strangers to take my picture for me while I'm running.  So it was par for the course given that the tables were turned.

You all are an inspiration! I really enjoyed chEaring for you.  Next up is the Princess Half and even more chances to chEar!  Bring on Main Street and "It's the castle!"

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Are you Disney Fit? This is your all around challenge at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex! We are not talking Trivial Pursuit here. This is full on CrossFit competition!

"ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts over 350 events each year, and since 1997, we've seen athletes compete in more than 70 different sports. But never in our 17-year history have we hosted a competitive fitness event. That is about to change.

Today, we are excited to announce the Disney Fit Challenge, a three-day event hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® Resort, September 26-28, that will test speed, strength, skill, endurance, balance and power. Competition schedules will leverage I AM CrossFit workouts, designed to test the fitness and skill of our competitors. I AM Crossfit is one of the leading competitive fitness organizations in the Southeast. 
Disney Fit Challenge With I AM CrossFit Workouts
COMPETITION: AGE & SKILL DIVISIONSUnique to the Disney Fit Challenge, competition will be designed so you may test yourself against other athletes with similar abilities. Divisions will be split by age groups and skill levels. Likewise, challenges will be designed to match your abilities, whether you are an elite athlete who is experienced in competitive fitness, or just beginnig your journey. For example, experienced athletes may be required to perform muscle-ups and double-unders, while recreational participants will compete in movements like box jumps, kettle bell swings, push-ups, squats and broad jumps.

Across all divisions, athletes will compete in the first two days of competition. Athletes with the highest scores will then advance to the Finals on the last day of competition. 

Spectators are encouraged to attend and support their athletes. And all athletes and spectators will be invited to join us at the Health & Fitness Expo, featuring the latest fitness products, event merchandise and apparel.
Registration for the Inaugural Disney Fit Challenge opens at Noon on Tuesday, March 18. Event details and registration information will be available approximately one week before registration opens. Share the announcement on Facebook and Twitter with the links below, and get ready test your fitness at the Inaugural Disney Fit Challenge!"

Sunday, February 9, 2014

runDisney Princess weekend and ME!

I'm coming to Princess Half Weekend!!! 

Thanks to Southwest vouchers (and yes some of my own money)
 I am going to be there to cheer all of you on 
and have a ton of runDisney fun along the way! 

I am working very hard to get all of the details into place, 
but I could not help but share, 
because that is what runDisney social media lovers do best!
(Disclaimer: My daughter was watching Pooh Bear 
and if Tigger bounces, runDisney Social Media lovers share!

I get in on Friday night and leave Monday night.  
See you real soon!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Race Schedule - Planning

So here is what I have on the 2014 race schedule for this year.  This is very much a work in progress.  I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts.  Which other races should I be looking into? I am staying mostly on the East Coast.  New England, DC area, and Florida primarily. 

Princess Half - runDisney; 
Sunday Feb 23rd
chEar team / DisneySide 

Tour de Patrick; Providence, RI;  
Saturday, March 8, 2014 

The Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon; Matunick, RI;  
Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run; Credit Union Cherry Blossom;
April 6, 2014

Boston Marathon; Monday, 
April 21, 2014; spectator only

Fort Adams, THE 10 MILER; Newport, RI; 
April 27, 2014

Navigant Credit Union Running Festival Half Marathon; Pawtucket, RI;  
Sunday, May 4, 2014

Boston's Run To Remember Half Marathon;  
May 25, 2014

Runner's World 5K; Newton, MA; 
June 7th, 2014

Runner's World 10K; Newton, MA;  
June 7th, 2014

Newton, MA; Sunday June 8, 2014

HarvardPilgrim Finish at the 50; Gillette Stadium, MA; 
JULY 3, 2014

Blessing of the Fleet Road Race, Narragansett, RI; 
July 25, 2014

Narragansett Bay 1/2 Marathon & 5k ; E. Providence, RI;  
Sunday August 17, 2014

North Falmouth, MA; Saturday, September 27, 2014

B.A.A. Half Marathon; 
Sunday, October 12.

Marine Corps Marathon (Lottery); 
Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wine & Dine Half 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ZOOMA Nape - Please Vote

I threw myself into the running to Run to Napa, powered by ZOOMA and fueled by wine. Please vote 4 the purple Dopey! I get to bring a friend!

Mile 19 of the WDW Marathon
fourth leg of the Dopey Challenge

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

WDW Fun Run 5K

Before the Fun Run 5k dressed as Elsa from Frozen

The WDW Fun Run 5K was the first leg of the Dopey Challenge! There were 7,000 Dopey runners in a field of 10,000 runners.  I was placed in Corral B for the 5k and the 10k.  Both of these races shared a bib if you were registered for the Dopey Challenge.  The bib was chipped, but it was unclear to me if they were really going to be timing us.  I had never run a runDisney 5k where they timed the runners.  I don't think the other 3,000 runners who were running the 5k and were not Dopey had a timing chip on their bibs.  

In front of the start line before they brought the corrals forward.

Corral B waiting in the corral
(Dark January morning for a 6:15 start)

Anyway...I really did not think much of it and ran the race with a total disregard for my finishing time.  That was until another runner reminded me that Dopey runners were supposed to maintain at least a 16 minute pace.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you think about it, I had already blown the 16 minute pace after waiting 20 plus minutes in the Dopey character line. I calculated that if I ran flat out from Remy in France to the finish I would still exceed the 16 minute pace. So I reassured myself that runDisney would not disqualify all those Dopey runners who waited to see him and I enjoyed the rest of my slowest 5k ever!

My favorite picture from the Fun Run 5K

Runners speeding past the Dopey line

Runners waiting for Dopey
(the line went all the way across the front of Germany
 from left to right)

The best part about waiting in line for Dopey
was waiting with Dopey!

After at least 20 minutes I got my chance with Dopey

Still happily goofing off
forgetting the 16 minute pace requirement

Stopped to do a selfie with the medics
they have bicycles - bicycles are cool!

Run buddies on the course

Does pace matter?
I asked the rats, but they did not know!
Neither did any of the Dopey runners in line waiting for pictures.

Run buddies at the finish line
(I beat Santa! I bet he stopped for Dopey as well.)

With Bob Hitchcock at the finish line!
He liked how much fun everyone was having on the course.

runDisney volunteers make the races happen!
Thanks to my volunteer for a great photo finish!

Your questions:

Competative 5ks? At Disney?
Snow Cream and Syrup @SnowCreamNSyrup
@LoveDisneyRun @runDisney is it possible to run a competitive race? They call it a "fun run" and I have heard its not timed.

Well for the first time ever a runDisney 5k was timed, but only because it was part of the Dopey Challenge. There are only 5k times listed for the Dopey Challengers WDW Marathon weekend. There are no 5k times listed for other runners at either WDW Marathon Weekend or subsequently at Tinkerbell weekend.  So I would say runDisney intends to continue with their un-timed 5Ks.  That said, you can certainly qualify for Corral A with a great qualifying time and run your race from the start of the corral. You will find wide open running from the front and the course is gun timed. 

Characters on the course:
@MPStephanie: "@LoveDisneyRun what characters did you spot?"
The only characters that I passed on were Flik and Princess Atta. They were out between the parking lot and the back entrance to Epcot. They have never had character's outside of Epcot on a 5k course that I am aware of so I was caught off guard not even looking. I thought for a brief second about doubling back, but I let them go. All of the other characters are pictured above.

My Elsa Costume:
Amanda Nichols Bumm Do you make all your running costumes? They are just great!
For the love of Disney running I do Amanda! They are functional and fun! Thanks!
Amanda Nichols Bumm Do you use a pattern or just free style it? I loved your Elsa too!
For the love of Disney running I use a favorite running dress that I bought as a pattern for the base and then I let my creative side run wild! My Elsa was just a long version of the running dress with slits up above the knees on the sides.  The sparkle overlay is just one large square of fabric cut into 2 triangles.  The front triangle was safety pinned to the top of my bra in the center and at the sides of my bra to create a bodice effect.  The back triangle was pinned at my shoulders to give a draping cape effect.  Other runners told me the shimmer could be seen at quite some distance.