NEW YORK, July 2, 2013—Disney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in California from January 16-19, 2014 is getting a new fairy-themed 10K. It follows in the footsteps of the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend all of which will debut new 10K races in the coming months. The 10K distance has been popular with Disney fans, selling out before runDisney’s longer distance races at every event they’re offered.
“We’re excited to add the popular 10K distance to Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend,” said Faron Kelley, director of marketing, Disney Sports. “Tinker Bell 10K expands an already exciting series of events, and adds more opportunities for our passionate runners on the west coast, especially those new runners who are stepping up to the 10K distance.”
The inaugural Tinker Bell 10K will debut on Saturday, January 18. Finishers will earn a new, fairy-themed medal. The race will join the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Never Land Family Fun Run 5K and kids races that have been staples of the race weekend since it debuted in 2012.
The new Tinker Bell 10K will likely draw interest from two key groups of participants: runners not interested in tackling a half marathon and runners who want to complete multiple races in one weekend.
The multi-race tradition started at the Walt Disney World Marathon with the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, where runners complete both a half marathon and marathon in the same weekend. Disney extended the idea in the last year to include formal multi-race challenges at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, adding a 10K to each of those events and the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
However, runDisney has not formalized any such challenge for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend by design, according to a runDisney spokesperson. Instead, they hope to create an opportunity for more runners to compete in runDisney events with the Tinker Bell 10K by serving those people who want to run longer than a 5K but shorter than a half marathon.
But runners who complete both the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in California and Disney Princess Half Marathon in Florida in 2014 will earn a special-edition pink Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge medal for completing a half marathon at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same calendar year.
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is one of runDisney’s two women-focused running events. Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend takes place at Walt Disney World in Florida every February. Though men are welcome at both races, the focus is on women.
Women have been one of the major drivers in the current running boom. A record 7.6 million ladies finished a road race in 2011 and women now account for 55 percent of all road race finishers in the U.S., according to Running USA. While men’s participation in road races has not quite doubled since 1990, female participation has increased more than 600 percent in the same time frame, helping to fuel year over year records in road race participation. Plus, women currently account for 60 percent of all half marathon finishers in the U.S.
Women-focused events like the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend have flourished as a result. In 2011 there were more than 200 women-only events in the U.S., where at least 95 percent of participants were women. More than 21,000 runners participated in the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, making it one of the three largest women’s running festivals in the U.S., behind the Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon and Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon takes runners through Disneyland and California Adventure Theme Parks and the City of Anaheim, Calif. The Tinker Bell 10K will run through the Disneyland Resort.
Registration for 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend opens July 9 at 12 p.m. EST. For more information or to register, visit runDisney.com.
Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runners’ show about running. She has finished six marathons, two triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla at RunKarlaRun.com, The Washington Times Communities, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.
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