Successfully running a marathon is one of the most rewarding feelings in sports, but that feeling gets exponentially better when the event’s course runs through different portions of the Disney World theme parks.
The 2014 edition of the Disney World Marathon will be one of the most exciting to date.
With several precursor events—including Friday’s 10-kilometer run and Saturday’s half-marathon—the main focus of the annual weekend festivities is the 26.2-mile main course, which runs through the heart of the biggest attractions at the parks.
Here is all the vital information for Sunday’s main event, a map to track where runners will be competing and a preview of what to expect.
*All stats and information via RunDisney.com.
Where: Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
When: Sunday, Jan, 12 at 5:30 a.m. ET
Watch: Not nationally televised
*Map via WDWInfo.com.
2014 Disney World Marathon Preview
Competitors who complete any 26.2-mile race should be proud of the accomplishment, but an underrated confidence comes from competing in an event that features a large crowd of supporters with genuine smiles on their faces.
Few runners won't enjoy the race when Mickey Mouse is the one handing them water.
The real highlight of this event is the course. While temperatures will be warmer than expected, according to the race’s official blog, the attractions along the route will be a dream come true for most competitors.
Not only will the runners go through four separate Disney World theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, but the field will also visit ESPN’s Wide World of Sports and Walt Disney World Speedway.
While this event doesn’t have the same lineage as some other races that take place in the United States or abroad, the sheer fun makes this one of the most worthwhile ventures in sports.
Runners may not set their career-best times this weekend, but there is no doubt they will have more fun running Disney World than any other marathon in the world.
Add the fact that characters such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and others will be on course getting pictures with fans and competitors, and it’s very clear that this event is more about having fun that setting a career benchmark.
With over 55,000 runners participating in the weekend events in 2010, per WDWInfo.com, the event is one of the biggest in the nation.
For this one week each year, the spirit of competition is replaced with pure, unadulterated joy.