Try running for a favorite charity at sold-out NYC, Disney marathons

Runners can still enter popular sold-out races like the ING New York City Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon by running for a favorite charity. Photo: runDisney

NEW YORK, September 13, 2012 — The Walt Disney World Marathon on Jan. 13, 2013 sold-out four months before the event with a record 25,000 runners slated to run the house that Mickey built. It’s a common theme among the 10 largest marathons in the U.S. Eight of the nation’s biggest marathons had more than 10,000 finishers in 2011, according to And many of them, like the Walt Disney World Marathon, continue to grow year-after-year.

But even as races allow more entries, they’re still forced to turn runners away. The 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7 sold-out in just six days with 45,000 runners taking the plunge. And the country’s largest marathon? Fuggedaboutit. The 2012 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4 had 140,000 applicants in its lottery for 47,500 spots.

But one of the best ways to get into a sold-out race like New York or Disney is to run for charity. Even the Boston Marathon, which only registers runners who meet their stringent qualifying standards, has spots for charity runners who aren’t necessarily fast enough to qualify. Runners raise a set amount of money for the charity in exchange for a guaranteed spot in the race.

Below are just a few of the good causes that will help you run the marathon on your Bucket List this fall and winter.

Marine Corps Marathon — Oct. 28, 2012

Marine Corps was the fourth largest marathon in the U.S. in 2011, with almost 21,000 finishers. The 2012 race sold out in three hours. But there are charities still looking for a few good men.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure

Medals 4 Mettle

For a complete list of participating charities, click here.

ING New York City Marathon — Nov. 4, 2012

In 2011, charity runners in New York raised $34 million for over 200 causes. There’s still time for you to be one of them.

Team Continuum

Touch Foundation

Arthur Ashe Foundation

Many more charities still have spots available for the biggest marathon in the world. For a full list of charities participating in the ING New York City Marathon, click here.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna — Jan. 10-13, 2013

With the marathon, half-marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge sold-out, runners still have a few ways to get into the game. Registration is still open for the Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids’ Races and the Mickey Mile during Disney Marathon Weekend. But if you want to run the marathon or half-marathon, running for charity might be the answer.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training

A-T Children’s Project


For a complete list of charities that run Disney, click here.

Karla Bruning is a veteran journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, two triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is the host of On The Run, a TV and web show from New York Road Runners. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, American Athlete Magazine,,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and two dozen other outlets including ESPN2, Universal Sports and ABC in New York. She and her work have also received mentions from The New York Times, Runner's World, Fox Sports, Canadian Running, The Baltimore Sun, and PBS among others. She also covered the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times.


A former Newsweek reporter, Karla has won a Fulbright scholarship for American journalists and reporting grants from the Scripps Howard, Carnegie and Knight Foundations. Karla holds degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


When not pounding the pavement as a reporter, Karla is pounding the pavement as a runner. She has completed seven marathons, four triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. She is a writer, editor, and on-camera reporter dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. Find Karla on, Twitter@KBruning, Facebook and Google+.

Contact Karla Bruning


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