Monday, March 9, 2015

Run Disney History and Discontinued Races

The more Disney races that we run, the more we've become intrigued about all the races that run Disney has put on in the past. We thought that if we were curious, that others might be as well. Let's do a quick run down. 

Run Disney was not always called "Run Disney". It started out as Disney Endurance Series. There is SO much information out there about these event (and some of it we've found to be conflicting) that  this is not intended to be a complete time line, just some fun facts. The text in red indicates events that have been eliminated.

 

1994: The Inaugural Disney World Marathon (of course it only went through 3 parks back then)

1995: The Inaugural and ONLY Disneyland Marathon. Yes, there was actually a marathon at Disneyland. It wasn't actually called "The Disneyland Marathon", and it was only done that one time because there was such a problem with the route and the distance. The race actually had to be re-measured while runners were on it. This is actually a whole story in itself and I'm sure you could find more info on it if you Googled it.

Also in 1995 the WDW marathon course ran through Blizzard  Beach this year.

1996: The first time electronic timing chips were used.

1998: The Inaugural Donald Half Marathon is introduced. It takes place on the same day as the Full marathon and runners had to choose one or the other. The half marathon registration is only $25! Marathon registration is only 50!

1999: The Full marathon route now includes Animal Kingdom Park.

2005: Race for the Taste 10K (Which was formerly Disney's 10K Classic) and Race for the Cure 5K. These races took place in October and were the races that centered around the Food and Wine Festival. At the end of the 10K, runners got food tickets that could be redeemed at the food stands ( from the wine n dine festival) that were set up near the finish line area. In later years this race was of course replace by the Wine and Dine half Marathon.

2006: The Inaugural Minnie Marathon weekend took place in May. This included the Women Run the World 15K, and the Go Red For Women 5K and 1 mile that both ran through Downtown Disney. This event only lasted 3 years before it was eliminated.

Also in 2006 the wdw full marathon and half marathon now take place on separate days. This is the start of the Inaugural Goofy Challenge!

2007: The Inaugural Tower of Terror 13K ( This race had no corrals).

2008: Inaugural Everest Challenge.

2009: Last Year for the TOT 13K -eliminated

2009: Inaugural Princess Half Marathon and Royal Family 5K. (Side note, when we first started running this race there were times when we didn't even register until late November for the race that took place in February. You wouldn't even DREAM of waiting that long now. Also, there were no corrals for the 5K).

2010: The Inaugural Wine and Dine half marathon AND there was also a half marathon relay this year.  This was held in October. The Halloween 5K actually ran through the Magic Kingdom!

2010: The pre- race Pasta in the parks party started.

2011: The One and only Marathon Monday. Registration was so low for the marathon this year that Disney gave finishers a free park ticket as an incentive. People certainly don't need incentives now to run a Disney race!

2012: Inaugural Tower of Terror 10 Miler. (This race will not be returning for 2015).

The one and only Chip and Dale Marathon Relay also took place in 2012. I heard the logistics of this race did not work out very well.

2013: 20th anniversary of wdw marathon.

2014: Introduction of the Minnie 10K, Inaugural Dopey Challenge

2015: 10th year of the Goofy Challenge.

We also found that Disney Endurance series use to hold Tri-athalones (and yes they would actually swim in Baylake). In addition there were also a few cross country events, which they still hold. There were also in-line skating marathons and half marathons. Could you imagine seeing a bunch of athletes zipping through Disney on skates? How fun!

Have you participated in any of these discontinued events? Are there other Disney Endurance running events that we missed on our list?

P.S If you are a Run Disney fan, You might want to check out our Giveaway currently going on on Instagram https://instagram.com/p/0Ap0gmwj_c/

53 comments:

  1. I was so happy I ran the Chip and Dale relay. It is one of the cutest medals and I guess I was just lucky I participated in that one. The triathlons that included a Bay Lake swim remind me of the old days when we used to visit River Country!

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    1. I agree that Chip and Dale relay was one of the cutest medals.

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    2. I understood why Disney was frustrated with the logistics of the Chip and Dale race but we loved it! My twin and I felt a kindred spirit with Chip and Dale (haha). The medal is so cute. It was exciting to be involved on the marathon race day (26.2 is not a distance I can complete).

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  2. This was fun to read about all the events that runDisney has gone through throughout the years...thanks for posting! :)

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    1. Sure! It just goes to show how Disney is constantly revamping their races!

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  3. It's fun looking back and seeing how far runDisney has come! The first Wine & Dine only had 7,500 finishers (or something in that range) and only three or four corrals! Crazy to think what it is now!

    Also, while on the Dream a few weeks ago, we had a panel discussion with Jeff Galloway and runDisney execs. It was confirmed that the ToT 10 miler won't be returning. Whomp whomp. I'm pretty sure I got that on video so it will be showing up in a vlog here sometime soon! :)

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    1. I am so glad that I did TOT even if it was just that one time. Looking forward to hearing more about your cruise!

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  4. That is so interesting! It's hard to believe they had to give away tickets to generate interest. That's not a problem anymore!

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  5. I was sad the Chip and Dale didn't work out. I loved the medal and would've done the relay if rD had kept it. I understand logistics drive the races, but I'm absolutely envious of those who have the medal.

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    1. I would have definitely done the relay too, but then again, if that was an option I may never have felt compelled to do the full marathon!

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  6. This is so cool to look at! I really hope they bring back TOT weekend!

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    1. From what Karen said, looks like TOT is not coming back. I'm sure they will have something else in its place!

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  7. Do you know what past themes were of the Royal Family 5K's and the Princess weekends in general? I know that 2014 was Cinderella and obviously this year was a little frosty with Frozen. Just curious to what the past was to maybe guesstimate what 2016 would be? :-)

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    1. I was considering doing a post on this but since you asked:
      2014 was Cinderella,
      2013 was Royal Mickey and Minnie
      2012 was Tangled
      2011 was Beauty and the Beast
      2010 was Princess and the frog
      2009 was just Royal Family 5K in general and the medallion was the same for the 5k and kid's race.

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    2. AHHH! This is wonderful!!!! I'm crossing my fingers for an under the sea time in 2016! :-) Thanks so much!

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  8. Cool timeline of some Run Disney history :) I'm glad I got to do Tower of Terror before it was discontinued!

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  9. My very first Disney race was the Go Red for Women 5K and the Minnie Marathon 15K. I loved the 15K and I was so sad they discontinued it in favour of the Princess. I also ran the inaugural Tower of Terror (which I didn't care for that much) and then all three runnings of the TOT 10 Miler. I'm so sad they aren't holding TOT anymore. My husband and I were going to try and run that every year and I loved timing the trip with Food and Wine and the Halloween party.

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    1. Yes, I heard that princess initially replaced the Minnie Marathon as the "Women Centered" race. I think it would have been fun to run in DTD!

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  10. What a fun look at a chunk of Disney history! Nice job! I remember I signed up for the Princess in 2012 and we waiting and thought about it- funny how quick things change!

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    1. I know right? If you don't sign up for that race the day it opens you rarely have a chance at getting in.

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  11. Thanks for the run down of the events at WDW... interesting to know a bit about the one time Full Marathon held at Disneyland... bummer you didn't include more information about the Disneyland events that followed. Also - I reread it and maybe I missed it... but when did the events begin under the "runDisney" name? When did they change their branding? Just curious... my first event was Tinker Bell 2013... I am a fairly new runner... just the past 2 years or so... but 15 Half marathons isn't bad since then right? Wish they all could have been Disney!

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    1. Sorry. My main focus was on events at WDW because that is what I was most interested in. But you are correct, I should perhaps do some more research on Disneyland events.

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    2. rundinsey branding started right before Tink 2012 (inaugural year). I dont remember it being branded rundisney for the DL half in 2011 (I also didnt run this race. it sold out about a week before I learned I was definitely moving back to LA) but I definitely remember it for Tink 2012

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    3. The runDisney brand started officially in 2010 at the Disneyland half. I remember because they were still trying to settle on some brand recognition things when we ran the inaugural Wine & Dine in 2010.

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  12. I am so bummed that the TOT10miler will not be returning! I have never been to Disney during Halloween and that was on my race bucket list :(
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. Disney at Halloween was fun. I hope they do think about introducing another 10 mile race as I really enjoy that distance!

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  13. i love this post-so much fun! the articles about the DL marathon are insane-I can't believe they had to re-measure the course while people were running.

    a crazy thing I remember is right after tink 2012, I looked into doing the PHM and it wasn't sold out yet! that was beginning of feb. the issue was flights were really expensive from LA so I opted instead to just plan on doing 2013. Crazy you used to have time to wait before registering

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  14. Coming into this whole 'running' thing late in life, this is interesting to me :)

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  15. I ahve never done a Disney race and probably will never but I am such a running history junkie that this was a super awesome post. And I think you guys are awesome!

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  16. This is interesting, I love learning a little race history!
    When I ran my WDW Marathon in 2005 it was still part of the Endurance Series, I know because I had emails from them weekly for a couple of years, LOL
    But back then, Disney was still struggling to put on a great race, and deal with the crowds and large amount of runners. Back in 2005 they ran the half marathon and the full marathon together, we all started at the same time, they did have corrals, but even though I was in #5 it was insane, as soon as we got off the freeway start and into Epcot it was horrible, runners who spanned 4-5 lanes full on the highway, immediately had to go into the 1 to 2 ish small roads that run through Epcot. You had to run elbows out and use them if you wanted to stay upright and not get pushed into the sides. They also used to run out of water about mid race at lots of stops, I didn't have a problem but so many runners did. At the time, I told myself I would never run another Disney race again, it wasn't a horrible experience it just wasn't anything really memorable.
    The following year I heard they put the 2 races on different days, added the new challenge:) Then a few years after that I started hearing so many good things about Disney, guess they got new race directors who actually knew about running:) They turned them more into an all out event, instead of just a race. Now I hear so many good things, I look at it now, and say, maybe one day I'll try one again:) Sorry long story response:)

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    1. I love hearing how races have evolved over the years. It's funny to think how different things were back then and essentially how "unpopular" the Disney races were. Boy they have really come along way. I wonder if they can attribute that to social media?

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  17. This is so interesting! Some of these are insane to think about and some sound fun enough to bring back. I can't wait to see what events Disney adds in the future!

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  18. I did the Marathon Relay in 2012. It was fun. I was the first runner, so it kind of sucked for the second runner to wait around for 2-3 hours wIting to start. The bonus was that the second runner got to run parts of the course that only the marathoners ever got to run.

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  19. I ran the Women Run the World 15K; it was the predecessor to the Princess Half. First time Disney did a women's race. I've also done two mini-triathlons and Yes...I swam in Bay Lake (Yuck!). I kinda wish they would bring those back. I've done Princess 4 times now. I love rundisney!

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  20. This is fantastic. I knew it had an interesting history, just as the ToT 13K, but didn't know a bunch of these. So cool.

    If you get a chance, you can add this onto the #MagicalMickey linkup this week. Really love the post. http://www.rungeekrundisney.com/2015/03/epcot-international-flower-garden.html

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  21. There were night-before pasta meals offered (probably by some other name) in about 2002-3 but they were horrible. I remember going to one in a parking lot tent at the sports center and hating it. Pasta, a couple sauces, and hard inedible cookies for dessert.

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  22. The inaugural Princess Half also had a lovely post-race hot breakfast (billed separately) in a tent close to the finish line with meet-and-greets for 3+ princesses. It was lovely. Popularity probably killed it.

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  23. A history of the triathlons at WDW would also be helpful, yes! I did two (Danskin and a WDW triathlon close to international distance in 2007, I think) but I know that there were also IronKids triathlons there and some other groups. It's a shame they stopped due to the amoeba scare.

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    1. Thank you nancytoby for all this great background info!

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  24. Wow that was some great info!!! I think I read somewhere that Ironman Florida was originaly held at Disney World Resort as well. Always cool to learn some history.

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  25. Love seeing all the old races!

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  26. My run buddy did the Tower of Terror ten miler and it's what hooked her on Disney races :) She did say it was unbelievably hot! She loved that they let you in the park after the race.
    The Princess half was my first one!

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  27. This is really interesting! I didn't realize there were so many races that didn't exist. I was super bummed when they removed the TOT 10 miler this year. That was on my bucket list. I would love for them to add a full marathon to Princess Weekend....

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    1. Oh no! Not a full marathon during princess weekend. I won't be able to take that kind of pressure...lol

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  28. Great post, I LOVE stuff like this! I had no idea there was ever a full marathon at DL! I'm really hoping ToT comes back...I was registered for last year's race and had to defer, so I missed my last chance! :(

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  29. I still have my 2005 Race for the Cure shirt and I love it! :-) Animal Kingdom is a tough park to run/walk through though.

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  30. I still wear my Minnie 15K t-shirt - that was lots of fun. Had done the WDW full marathon a couple of times and decided I wanted the 1/2 marathon shirt because the "Duck stops here" of course when I decided to do it was the year of the Inaugural Goofy challenge so I had to do that. Did the Inaugural Wine and Dine and swore I would never do it again because it was so awful but of course they are making it a day time race this year so I am signed up. I try to do all the inaugural races now so will be at the Dark Side next week and Paris in September! Missed ToT.

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  31. There was also a race called the "Disney 10k Classic." I know this with absolute certainty because I did my College Program in Fall 2004 and did a VoluntEars shift cutting the chips off of runners' shoes. It was presented by Foot Locker. I know I have the shirt somewhere. Not sure if they did it more than one year though.

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  32. I found this very interesting! Thank you for putting this timeline together =) It's neat to see how something like this matures through the years. One thing though...I'm a triathlete and it's not Tri-athalones..it's triathlons.

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    1. Thank you. I am glad you found this interesting. I will make the edit!

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  33. There was also an ESPN 5k in 2010. I don't know if it existed before that year, but I think it was gone by 2011.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.