10 September, 2012

Disneyland runDisney MeetUp & Run Recap

I apologize for taking so long to get these recaps going.  After getting home, grad classes started that same night.  Plus, I found out on my last day at Disneyland that I got the job I interviewed for a few weeks ago!  Beyond excited!  I don't start until later in the month but the last few days I've just been trying to get things ready with the company.  

But anyways... let's get on with the recaps!  And I'll be using many of the professional photos that runDisney provided us.  Apparently my point & shoot is seriously on the fritz, time to look into buying a new one.  

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Disneyland runDisney MeetUp & Run that was held the Friday before the half marathon.  30 Disney Parks Blog readers and other selected media were selected to attend as well.  

After meeting at the Disneyland Hotel, we had a quick introduction to Jeff Galloway and a few of the runDisney employees.  Jeff explained how the run would work and that we'd be doing a 30 second walk / 30 second run interval through the parks.  


Photo courtesy of runDisney

We started out the run from the hotel and made our way through Downtown Disney towards the park entrances.  Our first turn was towards Disneyland and soon enough we found ourselves on Main Street.

Photo courtesy of runDisney
Photo courtesy of runDisney




Photo courtesy of runDisney
Photo courtesy of runDisney

Seeing the park as it's waking up was really cool.  Cast members were bustling around getting things ready for the guests to arrive, putting the last minute touches on a few things.  After making a loop of almost the whole park, we turned back down Main Street and ran across the way to Disney's California Adventure.  Another quick loop through parts of the park and we found ourselves in the new Cars Land!  It was beautiful running through it without any other guests in the area.  


Photo courtesy of runDisney




Photo courtesy of runDisney


After our 2.6 mile run we headed to the Animation Building to hear the invited speakers.  Faron Kelley, Project Development Director for Disney Parks, jumped on stage first to introduce himself and welcome everyone to the MeetUp.  With the runDisney brand only being 2 years old, everyone is amazed at how quickly and well it has taken off.  Part of that success is definitely because so many people want to run through the Disney parks, not to mention the great guest service and awesome bling.  Faron hinted that they are definitely working on additional races on both coasts and are always having active discussions with all parks around the world for future races.  Nothing was promised and no rough dates were announced so don't be expecting anything any time soon!  Oh, and for all of you Dopey runners that are hoping that runDisney will make it an official race?  Not going to happen, I asked! :) 


Mark having a chat with Jeff Galloway

Faron Kelley


Photo courtesy of runDisney

That's my fabulous iPhone :)  Photo courtesy of runDisney

Jeff Galloway got on stage next and he started off his discussion with telling us about his recent injury.  Did you guys realize that he fractured his hip in March??  And that he's ran multiple full and half marathons since?  That's amazing and just proves that running keeps you in shape and allows your body to recover faster!  Jeff explained that he had to follow his own advice that he gives to clients when he was recovering.  Glad to see it worked! 

After some more discussion, Jeff started taking questions from the audience and there are always some great questions asked.  Since it was a warm race weekend, Jeff made sure to stress that everyone needs to hydrate more often and that even fit athletes should take walk breaks in the heat.  One tidbit of information that caught my attention was that you should run 30 seconds per mile slower for every 5 degrees above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  I know a lot of people didn't expect it to be that drastic of a change in speed!  

As for sprinting towards the finish line, Jeff recommends just picking up the pace in the last mile or two instead to avoid injury.  For non-run days during training, keep moving!  If you feel good you can continue to run but if you have any aches or pains, definitely take it easy.  To improve your running form, water running is always a great help.  

Another cool piece of information?  For every 1 hour of exercise you do, you increase your life by 2 hours...pretty cool!  

Jeff Galloway

After a few more questions, including advice for Goofy (take the half EASY!), it was time for our next speakers.  Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea jumped on stage to talk about balancing life and running.  They've written the book, "Train Like a Mother" and help families balance training, raising children, and still enjoying life!

With always busy schedules, Dimity mentioned that you just have to make time.  They both set their alarms pretty early to get out and get some miles in.  It takes dedication to keep running and you eventually will figure out how to balance everything.  When their husbands want to run, they take turns training.  And then when both of them want to run?  Jogging strollers are a life saver!  

When asked about the large number of women that are starting to dominate the sport of running, the ladies talked about how running is very efficient.  It gets the job done quickly and it's a great way to keep being social with friends.  Did you guys know that the Disney full marathon in 2013 will be the first one that has over 50% women registered?  

Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea

Next up was the biggest bundle of energy I think I've ever met!  3 time Olympian Suzy Favor-Hamilton bounced on stage and quickly introduced herself.  She told us a little bit about her background and then started talking about something that I'm sure almost every new mother can relate to.  When Suzy had her daughter at 37, she suffered from post partum depression and stopped running, which is when things got worse really quickly.  Luckily her husband was very supportive after Suzy told him about a dark moment in her day and he quickly helped her get help.  She explained that speaking out was one of the biggest hurdles that she had to overcome and it was a relief when she finally did.  

As Suzy got help, she finally learned how to deal with the stress in her life.  She realized that she was the one that needed to be happy first and she couldn't try to please everyone.  It was amazing listening to her story and it reiterated just how strong and confident of a woman she actually is.  With her speaking about her troubles with post partum, I'm sure there are many women that got the strength to also reach out for the help they needed.  

To lighten the mood, Suzy showed us how she gets warmed up and energized...by dancing!  She dragged a few of the meetup participants on stage and they laughed the entire time that Suzy was showing them her moves.  

Suzy Favor-Hamilton

Suzy showing the gang her dance moves


Bob Hitchcock jumped on stage again after the dance interlude and brought out their boss, MickeyMouse!  It's always awesome to see Mickey in his track suit!  After explaining the next step in the meetup (breakfast!), there was a few minutes for everyone to get some photos with Mickey while everyone gathered up their things.  


Mickey!

For breakfast we headed over to Flo's V8 Cafe for a private meal before the craziness hit Cars Land.  I was really excited to try out their breakfast since I saw they had a chicken tamale.  Have I mentioned how I'm slightly in love with any kind of tamale?  Yup.  I am.

Flo's V8 Cafe is retro and really well themed!  I loved all the old music playing and the 50's decor.  Plus the view when sitting outside isn't too shabby at all.  It overlooks Radiator Springs Racers and you can watch the dueling cars race by!  





After grabbing some breakfast (the tamale, by the way, was YUMMY!) and catching up with some friends that were also at the meetup, it was time to head out with the gang for one big group photo.  What better place for the pic other than the entrance to Cars Land?  It was beautiful!


Photo courtesy of runDisney

And of course Suzy and Kelly decided that we needed a jumping photo!  Love these ladies!  

Photo courtesy of runDisney

After our photos, we got a special treat! We all headed over to Soarin' for a quick ride.  We were split into two groups and while one group rode Soarin' first, the other group got to head downstairs underneath the screen to see how everything worked.  Seeing the attraction from below was amazing!  You don't realize how big everything is until you're really up close to it.  And did you know the screen was made of metal with millions of little holes in it?  Yea...I didn't either.  :) 

I know I've mentioned it in the past, but runDisney just keeps making the meetups more and more exciting.  It's a great way to kick off the race weekends!  

For anyone that is interested in trying to attend the next one, which should be during the Tower of Terror 10-Miler, keep an eye out on the runDisney twitter account as well as the Disney Parks Blog.  They usually announce the meetup about a week or two prior to the race weekend and when they post the information, it's first come first serve for 30-80 people.  So get those emailing fingers ready!  

14 comments

  1. Congrats on your new job!!

    Great recap - I really hope they work out a race in Paris Disneyland! :) Running through Cars Land sounds fantastic! I love the jumping picture!

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    1. Thanks, Emily :) I'm still getting used to the commute but I enjoy it!

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  2. Great recap...I can't wait to see the half marathon! I would love to the Galloway meet-up sometime, it looks amazing!!
    www.diaryofaneverydaygirl@blogspot.ca

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    1. They're definitely a great event! Hopefully you can get to one soon!

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  3. Great pictures and recap of everything.. Are you running in January?

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    1. My friends and I are doing Goofy again!

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  4. Sounds like you had a great time! Can't wait to hear more about the weekend!! :0)

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  5. I'm totally not a runner but even I can see how fun this was! J, I love your sneakers!

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    1. Thanks, Estelle! I love them so much! They're Brooks Pure Cadence and come in some funky colors.

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