2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon Meet Up Recap – A Peek Into This Exclusive runDisney Event

princess marathon meet up epcot group runDisney

You would think it would take some experienced hackers to take down the entire Disney Parks Blog right? The runDisney twitter account hinted that a “sign up” post for the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Meet Up would hit the blog on Friday, February 15th and on that Friday, the Disney Parks Blog went DOWN. Too much runDisney traffic apparently crashed the server. Curious…I’d say there were a lot of runners F5ing the blog that day waiting to nab one of the coveted spots. The Meet Ups after all are pretty amazing! Celebrities, an intimate run thru the parks before opening, food, giveaways, Disney character meets and more! Who WOULDN’T clamour for one of those spots?

princess marathon meet up epcot runDisneyThis Meet Up surely became a very fond memory for the runDisney enthusiasts who made it in. The event took place at Epcot on Friday morning, the first day of Princess Marathon Weekend.  Attendees met up with fellow runners, Jeff Galloway (official runDisney consultant), Tara Gidus (runDisney Nutritionist), Sean Astin (Goonies, Rudy and Lord of the Rings), Ali Vincent (The Biggest Loser) , April Holmes (three-time paralympian) and members of the runDisney Team for the first part of the Meet Up which is the 3ish mile fun run.  The group has the option of either a non-stop run or a run-walk-run. One day I will be able to go with the non-stop group but this wasn’t that day. =) We run-walk-runners waited patiently as the straight run group headed out under Spaceship Earth.

Then it was time for our run-walk-run to begin. We headed straight thru Future World and then hooked a left at Mexico making our way to the International Gateway. Once there, we exited the park and runners made the loop around the Boardwalk Resort Area and then back into Epcot via the International Gateway. Once inside the park again, we hooked another left in the UK and followed the World Showcase path back around finally ending at Germany. Here are some shots of the run

princess marathon meet up epcot runDisney mexico

princess marathon meet up epcot runDisney DPB

princess marathon meet up epcot runDisney Japan

Once the running portion of the Meet Up was complete, guests entered Germany’s Biergarten restaurant for a light breakfast and special presentation.

disney princess half meey up epcot faron kelley

Possibly one of my favorite pieces of information came from Faron Kelley (Director of Marketing and Communications for Disney Sports) who told us that WOMEN are driving the runDisney movement! #GirlPower Makes sense actually, considering Walt Disney World just hosted its first marathon where the ladies outnumbered the men.

Another treat. This little firecracker is four time runDisney Half Marathon winner Rachel Booth. She got up and talked a little bit about her training and fielded questions from the crowd.

rachel booth disney princess half meey up epcot

Season Five The Biggest Loser winner, Ali Vincent rundisney princess half meet up epcot

Season Five The Biggest Loser winner, Ali Vincent had the crowd raising their hands high in the air as she asked audience members who had lost the most weight.  This was a real eye opener for me as someone who has lost 35 pounds. There were so many ladies in the room who had lost as much or MORE weight than I. I still have another 60 something pounds to lose and this was just the motivation that I needed. If these ladies could do it, by god so can I!
disney princess half meet up 2013
Two lucky gals were plucked from the audience to be a part of the next presentation. One of the gals was my girlfriend Susan Pazera. Professional therapists from the new Senses, a Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort demonstrated massage recovery techniques. If you’d like to book a massage or other spa service you can give Senses a call at (407) WDW-SPAS.
senses spa disney princess half meet up
The pinnacle of the Meet Up came when April Holmes, three-time paralympian, took the stage. I was so moved by her talk that I didn’t take one picture and just hung on to every word she said. Here’s a shot of her with just one of her Olympic medals. She relived the story of the moment in her life where she slipped getting onto a train and was subsequently pinned under that train costing her her leg. She then told us how her doctor brought her a magazine in the hospital right after she lost her leg highlighting the paralympics and how that started the fire in her to set some world records. What an inspiration!
April Holmes three-time paralympian disney princess half meet up
and what Meet Up would be complete without a few random draw runDisney giveaways with Sean Astin as the name picker?
sean astin disney princess half meet up
Attendees were gifted a swag bag and park hopper ticket to return and enjoy the parks on their own before being escorted outside for photo opps with the celebrities and Disney characters.
2013 disney princess half meet up
sean astin princess minnie mouse half meey up disney
 Of course I have to share this pic of me making a crazy face because one should always be able to make fun of ones self. That’s MacKidSuze and RunningatDisney looking cool as ever next to me.
Amanda Tinney Susan Pazera Sarah McGovern Luka runDisney
Amanda Tinney Snow White runDisney

If you’d like to participate in a runDisney Meet Up please keep your eyes on the Disney Parks Blog which is where the events are announced. You can also follow runDisney on facebook and twitter where teasers are often announced before the event sign up post goes live!  You can follow DisneyEveryDay on facebook as well as instagram for more runDisney and Disney fun.

I was invited to this event as media for DisneyEveryDay.com. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.

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