2015 Disneyland Half Marathon and Dumbo Double Dare Training

Good morning, everyone!

Fresh off the heels of my own second 50K, and following vicariously the goings on of runners participating in the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon weekend this weekend, I am feeling PUMPED about running and racing! I’ve been revisiting training plans, reviewing past race recaps, and just smiling ear to ear, thinking about the memories, the triumphs, and the people that make each race weekend special.

Follow your dreams!

With that welling energy and enthusiasm, I am proud to announce the launch of training plans and packages for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon and Dumbo Double Dare! I’ve run the Disneyland Half twice (the first time in 2011, as the second part of my first Coast to Coast Challenge; second was with the Inaugural Dumbo Dare in 2013) and I can honestly say that this is my FAVORITE half marathon. Not just favorite runDisney half, mind you, but, of the 17 halves I’ve run, my FAVORITE, all around.

Here are the details of these specific plans:

  • Capacity is limited to 5 Dumbo Double Dare runners and 5 Half Marathon runners (these numbers can be flip-flopped based on demand – basically, I am taking on 10 runners.
  • Each package includes a runner survey, 30-minute consultation, a personalized training plan, access to a private FB group specifically for Disneyland Half and Dumbo Double Dare runners, unlimited email/text access for coaching/advice, plus a race-day strategy session.
  • These packages are fully adjustable to your schedule, your ability and your goals.

To register, visit THIS LINK today.*

ETA:

Also new this year: a “FASTPASS” option for runners who need guidance in the form of a training plan, but don’t want/need extra support.

Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have in the comments, or email me at khiguchi at gmail dot com.

* General registration for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend opens on rundisney.com on February 10. Early registration (DVC, AP) launches January 27th. Outrunning the Monorail training plans and packages will be available for purchase while spots last.

Training plans and packages launched for 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

Chip n Dale in Frontierland!
Chip n Dale in Frontierland!

If you are interested in training for the half marathon or Dumbo Double Dare during the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend this September and are looking for:

  • A place to start, training-wise
  • Support, through the form of a personalized training plan and email/text support
  • A community of other runners

…then this may be your chance to get into gear for a fabulous race weekend!

I am happy to announce that I’ll be taking on 10 new clients with packages launching TODAY* on my coaching site.

For additional questions, comments, etc, please feel free to comment on this post, or shoot me an email at khiguchi at gmail dot com.

General registration for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend opens on rundisney.com on February 10. Early registration (DVC, AP) launches January 27th. Outrunning the Monorail training plans and packages will be available for purchase while spots last.

2015 & 2016 runDisney Training Plan Packages COMING!

WOW.

It’s been way too long since I last updated this blog, but here’s a quick update on what’s happened since my last Outrunning the Monorail update:

  • Created another video submission to Disney Parks Moms Panel
  • Cheered on more friends to their inductions to the panel 🙂
  • Coached an incredible first group of Outrunning the Monorail runners through the fall
  • Ran the 2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon and 2015 Goofy Challenge
  • Proudly saw 14 runners accomplish running goals they didn’t imagine they could before!

Now, it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t perfect, but in these past three months, I’ve learned a lot, and I can’t wait to KEEP MOVING FORWARD into the new year, with running and Disney, so I am very excited to announce that starting JANUARY 18th, new training program packages will be dropping!

Look for more details and information soon! 

RECAP: 2015 Goofy Challenge

I am SOO behind on recaps…and blogging in general.Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 5.29.26 PM

But I mean…I guess I have good reason…between moving, settling in, family visiting, running, racing and y’know, paying the bills (LOL) life has been a whirlwind. But a good whirlwind. And it definitely isn’t slowing down anytime soon…which is why I thought, well, I think it’s time to crank out a bit of a recap.

First of all, my initial thoughts about the Goofy Challenge – can be summed up in three words: It. Was. Awesome. Really, I mean I expected to enjoy it, but had no idea how much I’d learn and grow from it.

You see, in 2011, I embarked upon my very first distance event – the WDW Half Marathon (see more runDisney posts here). It was the longest distance I had ever run in my entire life, and it was within hours after accomplishing that feat that I decided that a marathon was in my future. However, I never would have imagined that a Goofy Challenge was…

You see, before the days of the Dopey Challenge, the most hardcore thing you could do was Goofy (13.1 on Saturday, and 26.2 on Sunday)…and though I’ve said I was not interested before, I have to admit that after this year…my mind has changed a little on it...because honestly, each hour that was spent on the courses this past weekend were truly amazing.

From the spirit of the spectators, the energy of the volunteers, and the determination of all runners – whether they were embarking upon the Mickey Mile, gearing up for their first 5K or 10K, or stepping up to the challenge of 13.1 or more, there was a sort of presence this weekend that I just can’t describe. Sure, not everything went perfectly (um, crazy bus driver that took us on a tour of the Animal Kingdom Lodge parking lot), but perfect isn’t life.

With all that being said, I will *attempt* to encapsulate the sights, sounds and wonder of 39.3 miles as concisely as possible…and though I’ve not yet purchased my picture package, I will (if you haven’t seen enough pictures from this race already)!

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Darla from Finding Nemo!

Day 1: The WDW Half Marathon (AKA Donald Half)

My alarm went off at 2:30 AM, followed shortly by the wake up call service. I sprung out of bed, and did all my pre-race preparations – though this morning was a little different, as I had to adjust my faux headgear for my Darla costume!

I was able to move quickly enough to jump on the first bus of the morning, and much to my surprise, we took off with only about 5 runners total (I was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House – for this trip) before driving (loops through the parking lot) to Kidani Village, where a steady stream of runners boarded the bus.

Once we made it to the Epcot lot and race start area, I wandered around in my PJs (which were my throwaways) before coming across Jen and Adam (and their friends, the Giffords), who I hung out with for a while before stopping to chat with Kyle, Katie and other pals from the WDW Radio Running Team…and soon enough, it was time to head to the corrals!

I was in D – which, again, was meaningful and nostalgic, as it had been my corral for that first half marathon! I even contemplated going for the exact same finish time (2:04) but a few miles in, I thought I’d opt for my standard “dash to characters” strategy and not pay attention to my watch.

Although not my favorite course (that honor belongs to Wine and Dine! See my 2012, 2013 and 2014 recaps) I still enjoyed this race. And as in every runDisney race, I definitely enjoyed my prior CM knowledge of property by utilizing “real” bathrooms (hello, Ticket and Transportation Center – (TTC)!!) and, even more, there is definitely something that sends chills up my spine running through a dark Magic Kingdom!

In Frontierland, I heard someone call out my name and was happy to see fellow Disney fan and friend Meghann (check out her recap here)! We ran together for a few minutes, and chatted until I had to stop again to take a pic with the princesses and she kept going.

Around the time we hit the road back toward Epcot, the sun was starting to rise over the Magic Kingdom area resorts. I actually enjoy this part of the race – seeing runners making their way toward MK, as we made our way back. There was a lot of cheering on both sides, and a generally good vibe going on.

Soon enough, it was the “hill” (complete with Green Army Man) and the path back to Spaceship Earth was almost illuminated. I kicked it in for the finish, and despite fighting a bit of a cramp in my right leg, I let the cheering take me in to my 13.1 finish in 2:01.

collage_20150110083203396After exiting the race chute, I headed to the character greeting area and got my picture with Goofy (after all, it was his race challenge!!) and had the pleasure of seeing my friend Jeff as well.

It was hard to believe, but 1/3 of the challenge was already complete! I returned to the resort for a shower and a nap before heading out for some Epcot fun (including the Pasta in the Park party – future post coming on that!!) that evening.

Day 2: The WDW Marathon (AKA Mickey Marathon)

Beep beep beep.

After a surprisingly restful sleep, I was up again at 2:30 on Sunday morning, ready to take on the second race of the Goofy Challenge!

For this race, I’d be joining my pals Megan and Carlee (spoiler alert, you can basically read her recap for all the pics and amazingly described details) for 26.2 miles of Huey, Dewey, Louie fun!

And FUN we had!

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Ducks…duckface.

With concept of a “PR in FUN” embedded firmly in our minds, we rocked the course with Megan’s training method of 2/:30 Galloway run/walk, and with another potty stop (at TTC of course!) we made our way through all four parks, the speedway, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the Boardwalk area, you could NOT wipe the smiles off of our faces!

One of my favorite things about this marathon, truly, is the excitement you can see in fellow runners, spectators, volunteers, cast members, and everyone else in between. You honestly lose yourself in the environment, and though it’s still 26.2 miles, you never feel “alone” and in fact, as each mile clicks off – at least for me – you start to almost feel sad that it’s coming to a close (unlike a regular marathon…that you might just want to hurry up and end!)

From the on-course dance parties, to the chocolate at Hollywood Studios…the goats, pigs and donkeys cheering you on at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the endless “High-4’s” from Mickey-gloved chEAR squad members – there honestly was magic in every mile – and I didn’t get paid to say that! 🙂

goofy

As a runDisney fan, I knew that I’d enjoy the 39.3 mile journey, but, as I mentioned above…there really was no way for me to imagine how I’d feel at the conclusion of it all! If post-marathon depression is a thing, I can’t even begin to describe what it’s like to be immersed in the excitement and energy of tens of thousands of like-minded individuals in the place where dreams come true.

What’s your next big race event?

What’s Next?

This past weekend’s Chicago Marathon marked the first event in what I anticipate to be a pretty exciting Fall/Winter Racing Season. After this week’s rest (still sick, ughhhh), the schedule kicks into gear later this month, with the following:

  • October 25 – Boo Run – 5K – Lakewood Ranch, FL (graduation race for our No Boundaries program)
  • October 26 – Bill’s Beer Run – 5M – Casey Key, FL (graduation race for our No Boundaries program)
  • November 8 – Jingle Jungle 5K & Wine and Dine Half Marathon – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • November 30 – Space Coast Marathon – 26.2 –  Cocoa, FL
  • December 14 – Best Damn Race – 13.1 – Cape Coral, FL

Moving into 2015…

  • January 10-11 – Goofy Challenge – 13.1 + 26.2 – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • January (sometime) – Celebration Virtual Marathon – 26.2
  • January 18 – Clearwater Distance Classic – 50K – Clearwater, FL
  • February 15 – 26.2 with DONNA – ?? – Jacksonville, FL

Wait…what….what’s going on with DONNA? Well, the original plan was 110. Then, there were whispers of it going away…I had to think about what to do next…and so, I thought I’d do what I did this year – 5K on Saturday, and 26.2 on Sunday…but then, I see it is back, officially…but, I may or may not have another possible race going down the next weekend (more on that as soon as I have more concrete details) so at this point, I find myself laughing at the fact that I may be running “only” 29.3 miles…oh, life. 😉

So, as I attempt to expend energy in ways other than running the next few days, my mind is all mixed up with grand plans, ideas, costumes for Disney races, and some rough plans about training schedules and goals for the next few months. It’s a crazy feeling…and a privilege…to continue to do what I love, and share the experience with so many.

What’s next for you?

 

2014 Cupcake Meetup at #runDisney #WineDineHalf Weekend!

I am so excited to announce that, in partnership with DVC Central, the Cupcake Meetups are BACK!

Last year, I co-hosted this inaugural event at Disneyland to great success!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, 2013.
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, 2013.

We had cupcakes, chatted, gave away a lot of really awesome prizes, and donated a lot of money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – creating a WIN WIN WIN situation, if you ask me.

After the meetup, I sent out a survey for those who participated, asking what things people loved, as well as what things we could improve upon WHEN and IF another meetup was to be planned, and this is what we learned:

  • People LOVED the idea of MINI cupcakes – so will be doing a variety of MINIs again!
  • People found the registration fee to be very reasonable – so we are keeping that $20 price tag!
  • People LOVED helping out a charity – so we’re back to pitch in and raise money – this time, we’re fundraising for Noah’s Light Foundation, as part of our good friend Meredith’s drive to reach her GOOFY goal!
  • …and since we also received feedback that they’d LOVE a structured activity/icebreaker to amp up the fun quotient at the meetup, we’ll be hosting some yet-to-be-announced social fun!

Are you excited yet?

Cupcake2014This year’s Cupcake Meetup will be held on Saturday, November 8 (Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend) from 1 to 2 PM on the Boardwalk Lawn.

Registration is OPEN NOW and includes:

  • Entry to Cupcake Meetup
  • 3 mini cupcakes (+ water and a few healthy alternative snacks)
  • 1 raffle ticket for FABULOUS prizes ($300+ total cash value)
  • Donation to Noah’s Light (final amount will be at least 50% of registration fee – final amount determined by cost of food/materials – all prizes are donated, and event organizers make no profit)

I don’t know about you, but running + Disney + cupcakes…I really don’t think it can get any better than that!

I can’t wait to share EVEN MORE DETAILS (I will share more on the Outrunning the Monorail Facebook page – give us a LIKE if you haven’t yet because we’re giving away TWO FREE ENTRIES when we hit 500 likes!) as they are confirmed.

Sure hope to see you there!!

Have questions? Drop a comment here and I’ll answer ASAP!

 

RECAP: 2014 Expedition Everest Challenge

What a blast!

EE5K.jpgLast night, I had the pleasure of participating in the 2014 runDisney Expedition Everest Challenge, an adventure 5K which blends running with obstacles and a park-wide scavenger hunt. Although the EEC has been running since 2008, this was the very first time I have been able to compete in the challenge, so it was an awesome experience to share with my good friend Theresa (it was her very first runDisney)!

The event, like the other night events (Tower of Terror 10 Miler and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon), the festivities kicked off at 10 PM, which meant a day of relaxing leading up to the race. Since we were staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we planned on leaving via host resort transportation by 8:20 PM, as we were supposed to be on site, and in our corrals around 9 PM.

Now, when we first planned on running EEC many months ago, we never would have imagined that in May, in Florida, the temperatures would be peaking under 60 degrees. Now, that might sound a bit warm for most Northerners, but it was also raining, and windy – and of course, just a few days ago, we were hovering in the 90s. Needless to say, our corral wait (we were in “F”) was a bit cold and wet. Thankfully, our fellow runners seemed okay with our strategy of huddling 😉

preraceselfie.jpgCorrals set off on time, and in an orderly fashion – and we had to crack up, because we could see the earlier corrals already finish the run portion of the race before our corral was even let go – but the wait was worth it because once we set off, the rain slowed a bit and we were on our way!

Since it was Theresa’s first race, it was all about her comfort level. Our pace was easy and controlled – and it didn’t hurt that her legs were oh, about double the length of mine 😉 Hehe! But really, she was doing awesome, and we even participated in 2 out of the 3 the obstacles (hay bales and tires – we skipped the crawling net thing near the end) without them slowing us down too much. Even with character stops, we crossed the race portion in 35:09 – woot!

After passing through that “first” finish, we ventured back into the park, with our clues, our mini-Sharpies and keychain flashlights. Without giving TOO much away – let’s just say the clues are challenging, but not impossible. (Let’s also say – I am so glad that Theresa was my partner because she rocks at the kind of stuff).

After conquering the four clues, and making our way back through the park (the paths are separated by cones in the park) we strode out in triumph, completing the second leg of the portion and crossing the finish of the combined challenge in 1:10:25!  (Did you run? Check your results here) We even got a shout out from the awesome Carissa!

finishersEECThe medal is pretty darn neat – it opens up as a compass, and the medal followed the scheme of the bib. Bonus? The tech finisher shirt is not only attractive, but comfortable, too! I wore it today as we celebrated in Downtown Disney.

I really enjoyed this event, and am glad I had a chance to experience it – the best part was spending time with Theresa, and seeing her accomplish something awesome.

If you’re thinking about adding this race to your schedule in the future, here are just a few tips I’d recommend:

  • Pack lots of layers/options for this race. I usually do this, but was almost certain it’d be a warm or hot race – not a cold one. Bring throwaways or easy pieces (like armwarmers/hats/long sleeves) JUST IN CASE. I really wish I had!
  • Don’t stress. Of course, you never should unnecessarily stress, but this one, especially – you see, we had no idea what corral we’d be in, and once we found out we had “F” – we had no idea how we were assigned this. Although it was Theresa’s first race, she also had trained well and was fully able to run the entire distance – and many of our corral mates (as well as in corrals ahead of us) were walkers. Walking, in any race, in my opinion, is totally fine – but not safe, or efficient when it is not being done in the “correct” corral, or to the side. Now, since we don’t know why we were in the corral we were, those people probably didn’t either, but it was definitely befuddling. We were not “in it to win it” but if we wanted to “straight run” any faster, it would not have been possible. Since we stayed stress free, we were able to have the maximum amount of fun.
  • Make your race plans carefully– Since EEC is a smaller event (compared to, say WDW Marathon, Princess Half, etc) there are a shorter list of “host” resorts that provide transportation to the expo/race) so be sure to check that list out (available here) unless you have alternative transportation options (i.e. your own car/rental/taxi cab). This year, the hosts were limited to Pop Century, Caribbean Beach Resort, and the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
  • Bring something to change into afterward – Now, this is where I, in contrast to my point #1 – overcompensated. I packed a fresh pair of shorts, another sports bra, another shirt, a jacket, and flip flops. This complete outfit change would’ve been perfect if I had been hot and sweaty afterward – but really – all I needed was that jacket, so I could warm up! So, pack a few options – and, for the sake of your fellow after-partiers..throw a stick of deodorant into that race bag, too 😉

As stated above, I found this event to be very enjoyable, and would recommend it to anyone looking for an experience a little out of the ordinary!

Have any questions about the Expedition Everest Challenge? Drop a line in the comments!!

“Pinnable” runDisney Flash Card Facts

Recently, I was perusing the runDisney website, searching for some information for upcoming blog posts and updates when it dawned on me that although there is so much valuable data, it sometimes can be a challenge to know where certain tidbits are tucked away. I started taking notes, and as I dug deeper to find the answers to other burning questions, I found that there were a few things that I couldn’t find, and if I was curious about these things, I was surely not alone.

As I saved dates, instructions and other materials, I racked my mind for a way to share this information in an efficient way. Although sharing the information in a blog post would reach a certain audience, I wanted to find a way to share…and that’s when I came up with a new idea: Flash Cards!

FCF_COLLAGE
(see more here)

With shortened format, and posted directly to Pinterest, these cards can be saved as images, pinned to boards, or shared easily through social media channels.

As I continue to keep my finger on the pulse of runDisney events, I hope to add more cards to share with my fellow runners and enthusiasts. Additionally, I’m open to suggestions as to what subjects would be appropriate for future flash cards!

 

 

runDisney Anniversaries

Wondering when some of your favorite runDisney races began, and when they might celebrate their special anniversaries? Check out this handy guide!

2013-10-25 07.52.03-1

 

January

Walt Disney World Marathon – 1994 (20th anniversary was 2013)

Goofy Challenge – 2006 (10th anniversary will be 2015)

Dopey Challenge – 2014

Tinkerbell Half Marathon – 2012*

Tinkerbell 10K – 2014*

February

Princess Half Marathon – 2009 (5th anniversary was 2013)

Enchanted 10K – 2014

Glass Slipper Challenge (13.1 + 10K) – 2014

May

Expedition Everest Challenge 5K – 2008**

August/September

Disneyland Half Marathon – 2006 (10th anniversary will be 2015)

Disneyland 10K – 2013

Disneyland Double Dumbo Dare Challenge – 2013

October

Tower of Terror 10-Miler – 2012***

November

Wine and Dine Half Marathon – 2010 (5th anniversary in 2014)****

Avengers Half Marathon – 2014

*Tinkerbell Weekend will be moving to May in 2015.

** Everest Challenge has moved all over the calendar in the past! September, June and May have all been hosts of this event!

*** Inaugural Tower of Terror 10-Miler was held in late September; in 2013, the race was moved to October. Additionally, this race distance was introduced after the Tower of Terror 13K (2008 & 2009).

**** Previous Food and Wine Festival Races include: Race for the Taste 3K & 10K (2008 & 2009).

Other fun facts:

  • Did you know there used to be a Fall Challenge medal? Yes! It was a cool extra medal you could earn for running EEC + Race for the Taste 10K or the Tower of Terror 13K.
  • There are a variety of other races that have come and gone on Disney property, including a full marathon at Disneyland, triathlons at Walt Disney World, as well as a sprinkling of various 5Ks.

The Next Step for Outrunning the Monorail

disneyraces
What do these characters have in common?

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

In 2012, Outrunning the Monorail was launched as a way for me to document my adventures in applying to the Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel (now known as the Disney Parks Moms Panel). It was my second year of working toward becoming the runDisney Specialist, and though that journey is one that is still ongoing, the connections, support and fun that I’ve had between this blog and the accompanying Facebook page pushed me to work toward another goal…coaching!

So, in 2013, I worked to obtain my RRCA Coaching Certification and earlier this year, I launched Outrunning the Monorail Online Coaching. With a growing roster of runners, I could not be more excited about helping others achieve their goals, whether runDisney or not…though let’s be honest here, runDisney is where it all began, so it only makes sense that it is still a big part of what I do!

With all this said – it is my pleasure to announce a SPECIAL new offering from Outrunning the Monorail: 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Coaching Packages! From 10K to Dopey, I’ve got you covered! Details have been posted on the site, and registration will officially kick off on April 1, 2014 (no joke) 😉

Deciding to hire a coach is definitely a personal decision, but with Outrunning the Monorail, I aim to bring a personalized experience that allow participants to remove the “guess work” and doubt from their training cycle and really focus on training, and goal-setting.

WDWmarathonwkndI do also understand that every dollar counts; especially when planning a runDisney racecation. That is why I am launching the packages this early – you see, all my training plans do not officially kick off until September 9, 2014, which allows for an 18-week training cycle – however – the earlier you register, the earlier I can help you plan your “base.”

But, wait…that’s not all!

I couldn’t resist a little “sales pitch” add on, but I *am* celebrating a big birthday this year…30! Yes! In one month, I will officially bid adieu to my 20’s, and I want to celebrate with you – so if you register anytime during the month of April, use promotional code: BIRTHDAYBONUS to take 10 percent off all WDW Marathon Weekend packages! Yes! I repeat, from April 1-30, the packages will be discounted as follows:

  • Minnie 10K: $100 –> $90
  • Donald 13.1: $125 –> $112.50
  • Mickey 26.2: $150 –> $135
  • Goofy 39.3 $175 –> $157.50
  • Dopey 48.6: $175 –> $157.50

As always, leave your questions or comments here, or email me outrunmonorail at gmail dot com if you have any other questions that are not answered here. I am excited to help YOU reach your 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend goals!