Have you ever thought of doing a runDisney race? It’s one thing that has always been on my bucket list, but something I just haven’t done quite yet. It’s something that I’ve always intended to do someday.runDisney has become this light at the end of the tunnel for me. This race to look at as a goal. This passion to fulfill. And someday I will do it!

runDisney – my motivation


I ran my very first 1/2 marathon 2 years ago in Providence, RI.  It was the most emotional run of my life.  My husband had just found out 5 months prior that he had a cancerous tumor in his abdomen and he had to undergo emergency surgery to have it removed. Dana Farber is where he is being treated and has been on a chemo pill called Gleevec for the last 2 1/2 years. I ran that first marathon to raise money for Dana Farber. I had never run anything more than a 5K in my life, so this 1/2 marathon was something VERY new to me. I wasn’t sure how to train properly, I just followed a running schedule online. I wasn’t sure what to wear for it, I just found something very “cute.” I wasn’t sure how to pace myself for it. I was so nervous that morning of the 1/2 marathon. I just wanted to finish for my husband and raise the money for Dana Farber. That was my mission. Over the last 2 years, I have become bitten by the running bug.


When I became pregnant with my daughter Victoria, it was actually difficult for me to stop training. I went as far as I could while I was pregnant, but then I knew that my body couldn’t handle the running, so I took a break until she was born. This Fall, nothing felt better than lacing up my sneakers again and running. It’s so freeing. It’s so peaceful. It’s my yoga, my zen, my meditation time.

I haven’t run a race since my 1/2 marathon in May of 2012.

After being at Disney for the last 5 days and attending a media event hosted by Disney Sports, I have a new mission… to runDisney. My mother actually did run a 1/2 marathon at Disney a year and 1/2 ago and she had the time of her life! She loved every single second of it. She dressed up! She met tons of friends! She had an amazing time! My mother is quite the athlete… she trains for 1/2 Ironmans and marathons regularly. I’m always so inspired by my mother!

When I was away at the Disney Sports event last week, I became even more inspired. I didn’t know much about the runDisney races and it was fascinating and really cool to find out and hear about all the things that Disney hosts with them.

So what is runDisney all about!?

runDisney is a series of half marathons, a marathon and other distance events that provide runners unique opportunities to run through theme parks at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, earn specially-designed , Disney-themed finisher medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service, and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.  More than 163,000 runners participate in runDisney events each year.

runDisney offers something for the whole family.  While challenge events, a marathon and half marathon races headline each runDisney weekend, other offerings include Disney-themed family 5K fun runs and kids’ races, plus health and fitness expos with guest speakers, product demonstrations and official race merchandise.  From the diaper dash to the 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge, everyone is encouraged to participate and enjoy an entire weekend of activities.

But why do I want to runDisney?


I want to run for my husband and with my husband. He has to undergo surgery again this September to remove a hernia that he got from his last surgery. It hasn’t been easy for him and I’m so proud of him always being so positive about everything. He doesn’t let anything get in his way. I know he will be able to start working out again in November and I’ll be his biggest cheerleader cheering him on.

There’s something I learned in January of 2012… the most important things in life are family, health and happiness. We have our 4 sons heavily involved in sports because it’s something we all love to do together. Swimming, baseball, basketball… these run our life. 🙂 Our oldest son William is a nationally ranked swimmer (he’s seated 7th in country for 9 and under boys for butterfly) and we are so proud of him because he works so hard. It’s important for me and my husband to teach and show our kids how great it is to stay and be active in sports. It’s food for the body, mind and soul. It also brings families together and allows everyone to be together… whether it’s on the swim deck, on the way to the swim meet, stopping for dinner on the way home, it’s the unity of being together that is such a great bond, too from sports.

Disney embodies everything that is special… fun, memories, family, magic and happiness.

How amazing to bring in the running piece, too.

Why do you RUN? Why runDisney?

Let them know over at


Share online! For more information, visit and follow them on Facebook (runDisney), Twitter and Instagram @runDisney.

Check out How to Start Training for a Race!


runDisney was last modified: March 13th, 2019 by Audrey McClelland
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runDisney was last modified: March 13th, 2019 by Audrey McClelland