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Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Gear up, runners.

Your favorite time of year is just around the corner!

Walt Disney World’s annual Marathon Weekend occurs each January.

The weekend is filled with fun, fitness-centered events for runners and walkers of all ages take place on Epcot grounds.

The runDisney Kids races, 5K 10K, Health and Fitness Expo and the Pasta in the Park Party set a lighter tone for the more advanced Half Marathon, Marathon,Goofy's Challenge and Dopey Challenge.

For all races, entertainment is provided all along the course.

runDisney Kids Races

runDisney Kids races, open to those 13 years and younger, take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the ESPN Sports Track and Field Complex.

Varying lengths, from the short Diaper Dash to a mile long course, these races are inspiring and confidence-boosting for the youngsters in your group.

Participants will receive a finisher's medallion, T-shirt and refreshments.

5K Race

The 5K takes place early Thursday morning.

This is a perfect race for short distance runners as well as a way for families to get out and enjoy a 3.1-mile run together.

This race winds through Epcot.

Participants receive a commemorative T-shirt, finisher medallion, gift bags and refreshments.

10K Race

For a bit longer of a race you can take part in the 6.2-mile race on Friday morning.

Be sure to get a proper night's rest as this race begins at 5:30am.

The course takes you through the entire World Showcase and around Spaceship Earth.

Participants receive a finisher's medallion, race T-shirt and refreshments.

Half Marathon Race

Saturday, January 9, 2016, is Half Marathon Day.

For runners and walkers of all levels, this 13.1 mile race begins just outside of Epcot winding through the Magic Kingdom, before heading back towards Epcot for the finish.

Race finishers will receive a number of gifts including a finisher's medallion, gift bag and race t-shirt.

Sunday, January 16, is the Full Marathon Day.

Full Marathon Race

Sunday, January 10, 2016 is the Full Marathon Day.

At 26.2 miles, this course begins and ends at Epcot, but winds through all four theme parks.

This unique experience is a must-do for marathoners; nowhere else will you find the miles be so entertaining and worthwhile.

Serious thrill seekers can push themselves with Goofy’s or Challenge.

The races take you through 39.3 and 48.6 miles respectively over the course of multiple days.

Running multiple races over day after day requires at least moderate training in order to be successful.

You will find yourself using the energy from the crowds and support of your fellow runners to get through these miles.

This challenge is not for the faint of heart.

Still, participants are handsomely rewarded with many worthy gift items, and if you complete one of the challenges you will receive a special, additional medallion.

Weekend Events

Throughout the weekend, multiple seminars and world class-runner speakers take the stage at the Health and Fitness Expo.

Of course, running gear and related items will be available for purchase.

Just remember not to try anything new on race day.

For carbohydrate loading there is a Pasta in the Park Party which takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.

For carbohydrate loading, attend the Pasta in the Park Party.

This buffet pasta and dessert bar includes a selection of salads (pasta and green), entrees of different pasta selections, chicken, cheeses, potatoes and desserts of fruit and chocolate.

This annual running event is the party-of-the-year for some.

Be sure that you are at least keeping a 16:00/mile pace in order to officially complete each race.

It is well attended and much beloved.

Gear up and take your mark.

By Marie Ospina
Find me on Google+

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