NEW YORK, May 17, 2012—When runDisney promised new features for the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, they weren’t joking. Disney Sports announced that the Walt Disney World Marathon course will be modified for the race to take runners not only though the four Walt Disney World theme parks, but also through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex including Champion Stadium, a major-league style ballpark that the Atlanta Braves call home for spring training.
“Running through the speedway and the ballpark should provide quite a thrill for the runners,’’ said race director Jon Hughes. “These very creative enhancements should make for a pretty memorable 20th anniversary marathon that people will probably be talking about for 20 more years.’’
Other changes unique to the 20th anniversary include extra entertainment along Mile 20, a specially designed 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse medal and a new post-race party at Downtown Disney.
The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon will take place on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. The 26.2-mile race will start outside Epcot and take runners to Magic Kingdom between miles 5 and 7. After Magic Kingdom between miles 8 and 9, marathoners will run on the high-banked one-mile track of the Walt Disney World Speedway, where stock cars, Indy cars and exotic supercars usually race. The course then continues on to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park between miles 11 and 13 before turning into the ESPN Wide World of sports complex from miles 17 through 20. While inside ESPN, runners will dash around the track, jog through baseball fields and soccer fields before running through Champion Stadium itself, a major-league style ballpark. The marathon will then travel through Disney’s Hollywood Studios between miles 22 and 24, and finally finish with a run through Epcot from miles 25 to 26.
In addition to the marathon, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna from Jan. 10-13, 2012 will feature events for the entire family such as Kids’ Races including the Mickey Mile, a Family Fun Run 5K, a Half Marathon, and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which dares runners to complete the Half Marathon and Marathon in the same weekend.
Runners can register at www.rundisney.com. Fees for the marathon are $150 per runner now through June 19, when a price increase goes into effect.
Karla Bruning is a veteran journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.
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