A Royal Reward for Charitable Princesses (and Princes, too).

To me, running is something I do for fun. Yes, I know, that makes me sound a bit off my rocker, but it’s true: I love the rush of the air, the sound of my feet rhythmically tapping the pavement, and yes, that effervescent wave of the elusive “runner’s high” that follows, whether I’m running a 6-mile training run, or crossing the line at a full marathon.

Leesburg 20K, 2012.
Leesburg 20K, 2012.

…but with all that said, I know that some people don’t share the glowing adoration of the sport that I do – and that’s okay. Wait…what? No, really. I get it. Some people still run, despite their distaste in early morning wake-up calls, consuming packages of Gu on long runs and the aches and pains for something BIGGER. Something GRANDER: running for charity.

Since I started running, I have made it a personal goal to give back to the sport as much as possible – whether that’s contributing to friends’ fundraising efforts, volunteering at events, or committing myself to a charitable cause (I’ve run for both Team in Training and the WDW Radio Running Team) there is no way to possibly describe how incredible it feels to run for something bigger than you. It’s really life-changing…and fortunately, it’s something that I firmly believe is within the grasp of more people than they might realize.

If you’ve ready my blog for any amount of time, you surely know how much I enjoy runDisney events – and if you’ve been thinking about registering for one – you definitely know how fast they can sell out! Well, inspired by a past post by my pal Ashley, I thought it’d be helpful to share a little known fact about the upcoming 2014 Princess Half Marathon Weekend…especially if you thought that this:

(source)
(source)

…was the “Final Answer” – because – guess what: it isn’t! Some charities STILL have spots  – and I’m here to tell you how you can land one.

Getting Started with Running for a Charity for the Princess Half Marathon, Enchanted 10K or the Glass Slipper Challenge

charityreg

  • First of all, you want to visit runDisney.com and select the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
  • Next, navigate to the “Registration” tab – there you will see a sub-divider for “charity groups”
(source)
(source)
  • All of the charities listed have been pre-approved by runDisney as official partners, and once you click over to their respective webpages, you will see different criteria for eligibility – it is up to that charity. Some registrations include travel packages (such as airfare, hotel, theme park tickets and other discounts) and some do not.
  • The important thing to note about all of these charity registrations is this: you are still eligible for any runDisney participant benefits you would have accrued from the standard registration period (transportation to race events, participant t-shirts/medals) on top of whatever incentives your charity partner provides.

I created a chart (full doc available here) regarding availability and information of the listed charity partners, to give you an idea of what kind of numbers you are looking at for fundraising/fees and what that all entails:

(updated version available here)
(updated version available here)

Each partner has their own contact information available on their respective sites, so please, email or call them if you are serious about becoming involved.

Of course, for fundraising to be a success, it is important to be passionate about the cause you are fundraising for – your potential donors are more apt to contribute if they know WHY you’re raising money for the event.

Have you ever run a runDisney race for charity? Any tips for others?

* I am using the example of the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, but these options are available for all race weekends on the runDisney calendar. Also, Please note: I did not include Team in Training (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) because that organization requires registration to the site, and fundraising amounts may vary due to geographic location, also, I could not locate information on the last listed charity on the runDisney.com page and am still awaiting information from TAPS regarding their availability.

Princess Week 2013 (Surprise + Giveaway)!

princessweek

CONGRATULATIONS, LAUREN! YOUR PRIZE WILL BE SHIPPED OUT ASAP!

Hi everyone and Happy St Paddy’s Day! I hope you enjoyed Princess Week just as much as I did…I know that yesterday was planned as the finale, but I had to add just one more Disney day – and share something FUN with all of you!

You see, as you read this post, I will be en route to a whirlwind 44-hour impromptu trip to Walt Disney World with my pal and Princess Week Contributor Morgan. While I wish I could have brought you ALL along for the trip with me, I thought of the NEXT BEST thing: a fun giveaway!

Now, this giveaway is not your ordinary giveaway…it’s a scavenger hunt – both through words and pictures – from the contents of this week’s Princess Week and your PRIZE will be customized FOR YOU! There will only be one winner so read closely and here…we….go!

HERE’S THE IMPORTANT STUFF:

Responses must be submitted via email to khiguchi at gmail dot com and timestamped by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, SUNDAY MARCH 17th – winner will be chosen at random via random.org and email notification will be sent to winner shortly thereafter. Responses left in blog comments will NOT be counted!!

Up for the challenge? Just answer these 5 questions:

  1. What time was Lisa’s alarm set for on Princess Half Marathon morning?
  2. At what park did the Family 5K take place?
  3. What celebrity did Lauren meet at the ‘Fit for a Princess’ expo?
  4. What Princesses did Rachel meet at the runDisney Meetup?
  5. Which runDisney event will Janet’s son take part in this fall?

Easy enough, right?! I cannot wait to see your  – and YES, Princess contributors…you are welcome to take part, too 🙂

Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013

it’s almost here!!

(source)
(source)

The countdown is ON! Just two more days until the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend kicks off at the Walt Disney World Resort!  Along with the signature 13.1 mile race, there are a bevvy of fantastic weekend events for the whole family, including the Royal Family 5K Fun Run, kids races, the ‘Fit for a Princess’ Expo and more!

Although I am not making the trip down this year, (check out my recap from 2012 here) I am INCREDIBLY excited to announce that Outrunning the Monorail will be! Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you – I am pleased to share that a fabulous group of Practically Perfect Princesses will be covering the weekend events – from expo, to races and meetups – and sharing their adventures right here on the blog! It’ll be a week of recaps to remember, so be sure to check back the week of March 10 – 16 for what I am dubbing as the first PRINCESS WEEK! 

Another really cool feature of this year’s princess events is that it’s the FIFTH running – which means special  special perks for those who have run every year in a row, dubbed “Perfect Princesses.” And, of course, NEW BLING! Now, I think last year’s was pretty neat…

Me + last year's medal
Me + last year’s medal

…but would you take a look at 2013’s medal? Tell me that’s not one of the most Princessy-y you’ve ever seen!

WOW!
WOW!

This is just ONE of the big things I am looking forward to reading and seeing all about this coming weekend – what fun it will be!

Have you ever run the Princess Half Marathon? 

Twitterpatted about getting into the next runDisney meetup?

… well, you’ve come to the right place!

In previous posts, I explained a little history about the meetups, shared some strategy and also recapped an experience…and thanks to popular demand, am back with another exciting chapter in the world of runDisney meetups: their twitter component.

runDisneytwitter

Now, the official twitter is where many will find out about the post going live on the Disney Parks blog, but you asked…what are we looking for on twitter? When can we expect information to be posted? Is there a correlation between ‘teaser’ tweets and actual “go times” on the blog?

tweetsrunDisney

Well, glad you asked! Together with my pal Patty (and submitted for your approval…) we’re pleased to present, some twitter investigation…newest to oldest – please note these times are CENTRAL:

2013 Tinkerbell Half Marathon (#TinkHalfMeetUp)

runDisney @runDisney
Do you have your pixie dust? It’s time for the #TinkHalfMeetUp @Disneyland.
Jan 11 @ 1:31pm

runDisney @runDisney
We’re getting closer to #TinkHalfMeetUp time… Make sure and stay tuned to Disney Parks Blog.
Jan 11 @ 1:15pm

runDisney @runDisney
We haven’t forgotten about #TinkHalfMeetUp… have you? Look out later today on the Disney Parks Blog.
Jan 11 @ 11:42

runDisney @runDisney
Sprinkle your pixie dust and look out tomorrow on the Disney Parks Blog for #TinkHalfMeetUp opportunity @Disneyland.
Jan 10 @ 2:28pm

runDisney @runDisney
We have not forgotten about #TinkHalfMeetUp. Look out later this week for our next opportunity tied to #TinkHalf @Disneyland.
Jan 9 @ 7:54pm

2013 WDW Marathon (#WDWMarathonMeetUp)

runDisney @runDisney
The wait is over! The Disney Parks Blog Post for #WDWMarathonMeetUp is now live.http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/
Jan 4 @ 10:33am

runDisney @runDisney
UPDATE: We’re getting close to the time for #WDWMarathonMeetUp post on the Disney Parks Blog.
Jan 4 @ 8:51am

runDisney @runDisney
Tomorrow’s the day. Keep an eye out on the Disney Parks Blog for details to be a part of #WDWMarathonMeetUp.
Jan 3 @ 5:52pm

runDisney @runDisney
The upcoming #WDWMarathonMeetUp is on track to be biggest and best yet. Make sure and stay tuned.
Jan 3 @ 8:34am

runDisney @runDisney
Who wants to attend the upcoming #WDWMarathon Meet-Up? Keep an eye out later this week! #WDWMarathonMeetUp
Jan 2 @ 1:34pm

2012 Wine and Dine Half (#WineDineHalfMeetUp)

We have reached capacity for #WineDineHalfMeetUp with @DietDivaTara. Names will be posted soon on the Disney Parks Blog.
Nov 1 @ 9:12am

runDisney @runDisney
Visit the Disney Parks Blog now for an opportunity to be a part of our #WineDineHalfMeetup. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/
Nov 1 @ 8:07am

runDisney @runDisney
Don’t miss your chance for the #WineDineHalfMeetUp. Stay tuned and follow the Disney Parks Blog later this morning.
Nov 1 @ 7:19am

runDisney @runDisney
Want to join us for #WineDineHalfMeetUp? Stay tuned for details, and watch the Disney Parks Blog tomorrow.
Oct 31 @ 3:25pm

runDisney @runDisney
Keep an eye out later this week for details on our #WineDineHalf meetup. Is that enough to whet your appetite?
Oct 30 @ 8:19pm

2012 Disneyland Half Marathon (#DLHalfMeetUp)

runDisney @runDisney
Thanks to everyone who submitted RSVPs to the #DLHalfMeetUp. Names are now posted at http://bit.ly/PrGYO8 .
August 17 @ 3:17pm

runDisney @runDisney
It’s ‘Go time’ for #DLHalfMeetUp. Race over to the Disney Parks Blog – http://bit.ly/MCulQH – for details.August 17 @ 12:01pm

runDisney @runDisney
UPDATE: Check Disney Parks Blog at 11am PT today for #DLHalfMeetup. Space is limited; don’t be left in the dust.http://bit.ly/LZglMT August 17 @ 9:24am

runDisney @runDisney
Do you want to get your engine running for #DisneylandHalf? Keep an eye out on Disney Parks Blog Friday for #DLHalfMeetUp info.
Aug 16 @ 8:40pm

Now, there may not be any scientific backing to our extensive analysis – but it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra help, right? Thanks, Patty for your excellent work!!

Princess Half Marathon Recap!

1:47 - new PR!

Okayyyyyy!  Now the pics are rolllling in and I have a story to tell – and yes, I am a GIANT dork and will likely buy a handful of these pics, since it was my first costumed race…and..yeah 🙂 Anywho, since I got the stats outta the way already, here’s my OFFICIAL 2012 PRINCESS HALF MARATHON RECAP…in 3….2….

Alarms galore.

After an early-ish night, I had set my alarm AND a wake-up call for 3 AM – see, shuttles start at that time, and you are *supposed* to be in your corrals by 5 AM, though the race doesn’t begin until 5:45 – heh, you will hear more about this later, but I digress – and whattaya know, I had these crazy jitters that I wouldn’t get up on time, so I was wide awake at 2:45.  It was a weird feeling because I wasn’t nervous at all about the actual race, but I kept thinking, “how terrible would it be if I traveled all the way to Florida and I missed the race?”

Anyhow.

I cancelled my wake up call, turned off my alarm and got ready…my outfit was all laid out for me from the night before:

Ready to wear.

Custom tank (repurposed/reconstructed from three tank tops!), Champion c9 (Target!) Sports Bra, Oiselle armwarmers, iFitness belt and my lucky Lululemon skirtwhich, on a side note, is about to be retired from racing – plus my unpictured Zensah compression socks + Saucony Ride 3 shoes…good to go! Busted out the Body Glide, fixed my Mulan hairstyle and was out the door by 3:10.

When I arrived to the shuttle stop, the bus was already there – I just climbed right on!  The ride over to Epcot was quick and DARK! We were dropped off on the right hand side of the massive parking lot and walked over to the race start area like zombies…okay, most people did!  I had weird adrenaline going and was powerwalkin’ my way to the Race Retreat.  After all, I paid extra, darnit, I was gonna maximize my usage!

After showing my wristband, I entered the fancy tent – it was HUGE! There was food, movies, big TVs showing the action outside, a character greeting location and our own portapottie and changing area.  Nice!  After grabbing a plain bagel, a pack of PB, a bottle of water and coffee, I quickly found Malinda and Leah and sat with them 🙂

Quick refreshment note: The food was fine, but the coffee?!  WOW. Terrible! I need to remember to bring my own next time…

Before we knew it – it was time to leave our plush accommodations and head out to the start line.  Since I was in Corral A, I knew it’d be important to head out extra early…but as Murphy’s law would have it, the crowd was MASSIVE – though if the crowd were a cloud, there definitely was a silver lining: I ran into a few people from Charlottesville (RANDOM!) and even saw my friend Ashley from my MK days!

Me + Ashley!

We were trudging along when we head a very unwelcome announcement…it was a 5-minute warning!  We had to speed up into a bit of a jog…once we broke free from the slowness, we had to book it! Right at the 2-minute warning, we had edged into Corral A…phew.

Just as all runDisney events begin, there were AWESOME fireworks!  It was cool to hear the Fairy Godmother begin the race….and we were off….

The first few miles could be described in three words: DARK, CROWDED and DARK.  The longer stretches of road had lighting sporadically, but you definitely had to watch your footing. I was trying to minimize my weaving but it was pretty unavoidable, especially in the more narrow spots of road – some offroading was necessary! Still, I was keeping what I thought to be an even pace, and before I knew it, we were passing though the Magic Kingdom autoplaza, and on our way to one of the most exciting parts of the race…MAGIC KINGDOM!

Running past the Speedway!

We entered the park through the front vehicle entrance, where I used to drive guests in when I was a VIP guide, so that was nostalgic…and then we were backstage of Mainstreet, and entered in the Tony’s Town Square gate!  Running down Mainstreet was awesome…cowbells, lots of support and signs…just a great excitement in the air!  We powered through Tomorrowland then and past the new construction of Fantasyland…eventually to the main event itself: the Castle!!

Hahha this pic makes me laugh!!

I honestly tried to slow down a bit so I could get a good pic out of this part, but it was just so exciting that I doubt there was much difference…

Sorry Charming, gotta run!

On the other side of the castle, I cruised down and out, through Liberty Square, Frontierland and out the gate to where parade floats are…there were  a great deal of characters there, and it was about that time that I noticed that there were two women near me wearing all pink – one was keeping a pretty even pace, and the other was juicing it, but then stopping to take pics with nearly every character!  I was glad to have them both nearby, because I think they kept me anchored through that part of the race, pacing-wise…

Mile 7, Kelly Clarkson’s STRONGER blared out, which I thought was a nice distraction!

On the way back to Epcot, I began thinking that my splits were off with the mile markers, but I was trying not to concentrate on that so much, but to just take in the event…it was definitely awesome to be surrounded by so many strong women, and it wasn’t until that stretch down World Drive that I began to notice them men falling in and passing (they weren’t allowed to start until Corral C). The miles rolled on, pretty uneventfully, and I was glad to have trained in Charlottesville since the ‘hills’ (highway ramps) were known to be the bane of many princesses’ existences….

Finally, I saw Spaceship Earth and I knew I would be finishing soon!

Futureworld!

We came in on the right side of the park, and I shouted out to my friend Jase who was working the event!  It was so awesome to see a familiar face and it definitely perked me up…coming in Epcot, I really felt at home…and I could so absolutely visualize the each next turn, like the back of my hand…we jetted through to the juncture of Futureworld and the World Showcase, and made the turn around…

Innoventions Fountain...leisurely jog?

Back down to the Guest Relations lobby, I shouted out my friend Amanda’s name, since she was working, too!  Yay!  Now on, on on!  Almost outta the park…

Wish every race photo I had included a monorail....

past the gospel singers….out the gate…Mile 13!  And then…I could see the finish!!

Ludicrous Speed!*

I knew I could sprint to the finish, but just as I amped it up, I pulled my earpods right out!  They were hanging everywhere, and I tried to gather it all back up…this song came on..

…power up!

Done!

BAM, crushed those 13.1!!

The race was definitely excellent…wayyyy more crazy crowded than I imagined (and that comes from me, a former CM) but great, nonetheless!  I walked through the chute, was pixie-dusted by a fairy godmother in training, then received my medal from a nice grandfatherly type gentleman before picking up my post-race snacks and drinks…nice!

I headed back into the retreat to retrieve my items (they have a private bag check, very convenient and fast!) and then hung out in the tent for a while, noshing on a delicious muffin and called my parents.

This race really was a fun one, and I’d definitely recommend it 🙂

Who’s in for 2013? 😉