NEW 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Details!

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Stop everything you’re doing! RunDisney has just announced brand new details for the 2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon and they are OH SO MAGICAL. Here are the big things you need to know about this update.

  • Registration will open on March 29, 2016 at noon. Be at your computer ready to register at 11:58AM because the race will sell out fast.
  • The race will take place November 3-6, 2016.
  • There will be a brand new inaugural Disney Wine & Dine 10K AND a new challenge called Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge which will include the 10K and half marathon.
  • All of the races will move to a morning time, but the Post Race Party will still take place on race day in the evening with extra hours to spend in Epcot for the International Food & Wine Festival. The post-race party goes until 1AM and runners can enter the park starting at 8PM. The party will include character meet and greets, musical performances, entertainment, select attractions and a live DJ. Runners will also still receive a $15 gift card with race entry.
  • The 10K will be Ratatouille themed.
  • There will be an extra day of runDisney Kids Races which will take place both Friday and Saturday
  • The new Frozen Ever After ride will be open at the Norway pavilion in Epcot along with the new Rivers of Light show at Animal Kingdom.
  • This is going to be amazing and we are definitely going! SEE YOU THERE!

-Amanda

 

2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

FullSizeRenderHi there team tutu! Last week we did a part one recap of the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. To read about the Expo and the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, check out part one here. We completed both the Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half Marathon to earn the 19.3 mile Glass Slipper Challenge medal. When anyone asks me if they should participate in the Princess Half Marathon, I always answer with an extremely enthusiastic YES! That’s because this is the happiest race on Earth. Here are all the most magical moments of our 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Pre-race Events: The night before both the 10K and the Half Marathon, runDisney holds an event called Pasta in the Park. It’s a separately ticketed event that includes a buffet pasta dinner, Disney character appearances, entertainment, and dancing. You also receive entry into Epcot at 6PM and a reserved viewing area for the fireworks show IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. We went last year and the party had an Arabian Nights theme with Aladdin character meet and greets. Melanie and I figured it would have the same theme as last year, so we went to a different character dinner while Christine and our other friends attended Pasta in the Park. It turns out it had a HERCULES theme this year! Melanie and I had some serious Disney envy when we realized all the Pasta in the Park attendants got to meet some of the most rarely spotted Disney characters including Megara, Hades, Pain and Panic. We LOVE Megara, and who better than Herc himself to tell you to go the distance? The moral of the story is that this event is probably worth going to every year. You never know who will show up…

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Race Day: On the morning of the Princess Half Marathon, I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. It’s the only reason I would ever happily set my alarm for 2:30AM. First let’s talk about what really matters – our costumes. We all busted out our sewing machines and made our own running costumes. Christine went as Mary Poppins, Melanie went as Agent Carter, and I decided to go as yellow dress Belle. For once, I just wanted my hair color to match the character which is really difficult when you’re an Elsa loving brunette. (#DisneyNerdProblems)

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Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Christine!

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All the women who independent, throw your hands up at me!!!

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Dress like a Beauty, run like a Beast!

Before heading to the start line, we participated in the usual pre-race dance party. Big shout out to the DJ who wore his tutu on stage!  The dancing was especially helpful for staying warm in the chilly weather! (Race tip for chilly mornings: pack a mylar blanket and bring it with you to the start line. You can stay covered up until you start running. Just be sure to get rid of it before you cross the start line since it can mess up your runner tracking.)

It might just be me, but it felt like runDisney put much less time between the corrals this year. I thought that made a HUGE difference. It felt like we spent much less time standing in our corrals waiting for our turn to cross the start line. In my opinion, that was a big change for the better.

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That much anticipated moment when it’s finally time to start running!

 

IMG_8306The course starts near Epcot castle2016and heads toward Magic Kingdom. The most magical moment comes around miles 4-6 when you run through Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Cinderella Castle and Frontierland. Elsa, Anna and Kristoff were standing on the balcony of Cinderella Castle talking to all the runners as they passed. We also saw the Queen of Hearts by the Mad Tea Party, Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland, Woody in Frontierland and more!

After running through Magic Kingdom, the course moves into the resort area. Christine and I knew Mary Poppins would be standing outside of the Grand Floridian, and we could not wait to take a picture with her! It was practically perfect in every way.

“Stand up straight. No slouching.” -Mary Poppins right before this picture

We also ran past THE Glass Slipper displayed on a pillow by a group of men in tuxedos. Then we continued on past the Disney golf courses and we even got to take a picture in this amazing Mickey golf cart. Where can I get one of these? I would like to use it to commute around Washington, DC.

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The Green Army Men from Toy Story were another memorable moment in the race. They were standing at the top of a big hill yelling at all the runners to move faster. Christine stopped and asked for a picture. One of the soldiers yelled, “I don’t think so jolly holiday! If you want a picture you’re going to have to work for it!” They made her do three push-ups in the grass. She got a few grass stains on her costume, but it was totally worth it. 

It’s hard to talk about a runDisney race without talking about the amazing spectators and fellow runners. The Disney cast members and the cheering crowds play a huge part in making this race so memorable. You won’t make it very far before you hear a stranger cheer for you or offer you a high five with a big Mickey glove on their hand. I’ve also seen the best spectator signs in this race. Kudos to all the amazing spectators for their love and creativity. And shout out to the runners for the camaraderie and supportive community. We loved running into some of our Instagram and blog friends on the course.

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The end of the Princess Half Marathon course makes a loop and heads back toward Epcot. It finishes with a short run through Epcot past the fountain and the big Epcot ball. The course then takes you out of Epcot toward the parking lot area for the big celebratory finish line! My favorite part of the Princess Half finish line is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique crew sprinkling everyone with Pixie Dust (aka lots of glitter.)

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Sprinkled with glitter at the finish line

Congratulations to all of the runners who participated in the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. Whether you ran the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or all three race, we here at Runs in Tutus are proud of you for your magical accomplishment. We hope to see you at another runDisney race soon. Our next race will be the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in Anaheim. I cannot wait to spend another magical weekend with my sisters and with all the amazing friends we’ve made through the runDisney community. Keep on running princesses!

-Amanda

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2016 Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and Expo Recap

FullSizeRender-1The Runs in Tutus team has just returned from our trip to the 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. This is our version of the Super Bowl. We wait all year for this race because it is our absolute favorite. Now that we’ve said goodbye to the Princess life and returned home, we are so excited to relive the magic on the blog! Since this adventure was so extensive, we’ll be publishing a few posts over the next couple weeks to recap all the different events.

runDisney Health & Fitness Expo Recap

This was our third time participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge which includes both the Enchanted 10K and Princess Half Marathon for a total of 19.3 miles. The weekend began with the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo which is one of the BEST race expos around. There is nothing like the goofy photo ops that you find at the Princess Expo!

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The energy and enthusiasm at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo is unlike any other race event I’ve been to, and it brings out some of the very best race vendors. We were able to visit a lot of our favorite booths including Raw Threads, Sweaty Bands, Sparkly Soul and The Stick. We also ran into a few new booths including Disney Style and the BFF Miracle Body Buffer (I purchased this and I’m obsessed with it, but I’ll save that for another post.)

Melanie and Christine arrived on Thursday hoping to snag some of the official runDisney merch before it sold out, but the popular items were gone a mere 30 minutes after the expo opened. We shook it off though and still had a great time. Here is some of the cute merchandise we did get to see:

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Expo merch from runDisney, New Balance & Raw Threads

At this year’s Expo, New Balance was selling Dumbo, Mickey, Minnie and Ariel inspired shoes in collaboration with runDisney. I was so excited to purchase the Ariel shoes! I signed up on the virtual queue for Friday and the process was surprisingly well organized. The shoes came with purple seashell clips and you had the option to purchase Flounder clips for $5. These are the most comfortable New Balance shoes I’ve purchased so far from the runDisney collection.

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New Balance Shoes

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Close-up of Ariel inspired shoes

Disney Princess Enchanted 10K Recap

After finishing up all the expo shenanigans, it was time for race day! The Disney Princess Enchanted 10K is the first race in the Glass Slipper Challenge. Since this year’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend was Ariel themed, we decided to dress up in costumes inspired by The Little Mermaid. Melanie dressed up as Ursula, I was one of Ariel’s sisters Alana, and Christine made an awesome Ariel with her red hair!

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Christine finishes strong as Ariel

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Melanie sporting a tutu as Ursula

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Me representing Daughter of Triton Alana.

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Group shot with our friends

This race was extra special for us, because we were lucky enough to have three of our cousins join us! Our cousins Don, Bernadette and Deidra completed their very first race at the Enchanted 10K! We are so proud of their accomplishment – and their impressive costume design skills. It can take a lot of courage to register for your first race, but all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and then before you know it, you’re at your first finish line!

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Congratulations Don, Bernadette and Deidra!

The Enchanted 10K was action packed with magic, so it’s hard to narrow down the best parts. After much deliberation, here are a few of the most memorable highlights for us!

  • Meeting some of our blog and Instagram friends – We were lucky to run into some of our virtual friends at this race. We’re always excited to finally meet the supportive friends we’ve found in the online community. These friendships are what really set a runDisney race apart from any other race.

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    We ran into @disneymom05 at the 10K! We LOVED her Ariel costume

  • The Fairy Godmother and fireworks at the start line – “Salaca doo la menthicka boo la, 3, 2, 1!”
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Start Line

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Fairy Godmother starts the race!

  • Elsa and Anna giving shout-outs from the overpass and making SNOW!

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  • Running around the Epcot World Showcase – This was one of my absolute favorite parts. I love running past the different pavilions, and we even ran into a few characters along the way like Pinocchio in Italy and Lumiere and Cogsworth in France!
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Lumiere and Cogsworth

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Characters in Italy

  • THE FAIRIES – always a crowd favorite

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    Fairies!

  • Running on Disney’s Boardwalk – It’s beautiful AND a little easier on the joints than all that pavement. It would be fun to stay in one of the hotels here one time!

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    Courtesy of Disney.com

  • The incredible spectators and fellow runners. There is nothing like the camaraderie that you find at a runDisney race. You don’t have to go far to find a friend. There is always someone close by to give you support or tell you to keep going. The spectators also seem to go that extra mile to help get you to the finish. This is always a runDisney race highlight for me and one of the reasons I keep going back.

What were some of the Enchanted 10K highlights for you? We’re looking forward to attending again in 2017! We hope to see you there with us!

-Amanda

10k finish

One of my favorite things in life is crossing a finish line with my big sister. I was so happy to do it again at the 2016 Enchanted 10K.

Princess Half Marathon Preparations

7bd6a6cf-060a-4df2-b1ad-8c4dd5679936Guess what?!! The Disney Princess Half Marathon will be here in 2 weeks!!! This is the point where my Disney anticipation reaches a level where I am unable to discuss anything that is not relevant to ultimate princess magic. I’ve got my Spotify on nonstop Disney tunes, and I spend a large part of my day texting my fellow Runs in Tutus bloggers about all of our magical plans for race weekend. The Glass Slipper Challenge is our version of the Super Bowl. We can’t wait to see all of our friends and earn that epic bling!

In preparation for the royal weekend, here are a few ways to make sure you are prepared for a practically perfect princess half:

1. Stay hydrated: This seems like a no-brainer, but proper hydration is crucial for a successful run. If you are traveling by airplane to the race, be sure to drink extra water before and during the flight. If you head to the parks before the big race, don’t let the pixie dust distract you from chugging that H20.

2. Pack like a pro: Pack your race day essentials in your suitcase first. Nothing ruins a race-cation like realizing you’ve left your running shoes at home (Trust me. Been there. Done that). I like to keep my running shoes in my carry-on bag so that I have them with me in the event the airline loses my checked bag. The Florida weather can be pretty unpredictable so I leave most of my wardrobe packing until I can get a look at a reliable weather forecast. Here are items I’ve added to my packing list since I started traveling to runDisney events:

– A poncho for use in the parks and in case it rains on way to expo

– An empty water bottle

– Extra socks (again, in case of rain)

– Small pair of scissors for costume adjustments

– Sunscreen

– Small foam roller

– Snack food (e.g., granola bars, protein bars)

– Magic bands and transportation documents (e.g. magical express paperwork)

– Hotel room decorations (princess themed of course)

-Tiara

3. Print race waiver: RunDisney requires each participant to bring their photo ID and a signed race waiver to the race expo for packet pick-up. Race waivers are available on the runDisney website a couple weeks before the race. Each participant has a personalized race waiver that can be found by typing your name and birthdate in the search boxes on the race waiver webpage. RunDisney typically sends an email to participants with subject “Final Race Instructions” when the race waivers are available. Keep an eye on your inbox and make sure those runDisney emails aren’t going to your SPAM folder.

Worst case scenario you can print your race waiver at the race expo (but who wants to wait in an unnecessary line).

UPDATE: Race waivers are available! Print your waiver here!

You will see your bib number in the bottom right corner of your waiver. For Princess Half Marathon follow this link to check your corral placement based on your bib number. For Glass Slipper Challenge click here.

4. Double check your costume: If you are wearing a costume, make sure you take it out for a test run before you pack it up for the race. It’s also a good idea to take a look at the updated costume guidelines to make sure your race day fashion is runDisney approved. Here is the link to the newest runDisney costume guidelines.

5. Plan your pre-race meal: It’s never a good idea to try anything new before a race. This advice includes your pre-race fuel choices. A lot of Disney restaurants require advance reservations. Take a look at the restaurants and meal options available before you head to Disney so you can pick a meal that will be the best for you. Remember you can also choose to participate in Pasta in the Park the night before the 10K or Half Marathon. This is a fun way to get fueled up for the race and have an awesome pre-race party!

6. Have courage and be kind: You’ve been training and working towards this race for a long time. No race journey is perfect, but if you remember to have courage and be kind you will have a magical weekend. Trust your training, take a deep breath, and enjoy the magic! If you miss out on official merch because an eBay troll scoops it up before you can get to the expo, adjust your tiara and shake it off. If you have to wait in a line for a bus, sing a happy song. If you have to hang out in your corral for a long time before the race starts, make friends with a fellow princess. If the weather is less than ideal, let it go. You get to run a race in the happiest place on earth!!

See ya real soon, princesses!

-Christine

Cupid’s Undie Run

FullSizeRenderI am very proud to say that this year will be my third time participating in Cupid’s Undie Run. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Cupid’s Undie Run is a mile run in your undies (or whatever goofy interpretation of that you prefer) that takes place in cities around the globe on Valentine’s Day weekend. I know what you’re thinking – why would anyone want to freeze their butt of in the middle of winter for a mile run??

Cupid’s Undie Run raises money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation in an effort to bring an end to Neurofibromatosis (NF), a debilitating genetic disorder which causes tumors to grow all over the nervous system and can cause blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain. There are millions of children out there suffering from this painful disorder, and I think it should come to an end.

This event doesn’t just raise pocket change for the cause – it has raised over 8 MILLION DOLLARS since the first event in 2010. When Cupid’s started, there were ZERO clinical trials for NF treatments; fast forward 5 years and there are TWENTY FIVE! That is HUGE. This is really making an enormous difference.

Many of the staff and volunteers for Cupid’s Undie Run have kids or family with NF – or even have it themselves. Here’s a quick look at the personal story that led the founders to create Cupid’s Undie Run.

You also may recognize co-founder Bobby Gill from Runner’s World. Last year, he was featured on the cover after winning the Runner’s World cover search!
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It’s definitely a cause worth joining. But I have to add – this is also a RIDICULOUSLY FUN event. I very loosely refer to it as a mile run. It’s more like a goofy mile long parade down the streets of your city followed by a party. You even win really fun prizes like plush robes, backpacks and tundra hats based on how much money you earn.
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2016 Fundraising Incentives – photo courtesy of cupidsundierun.com

This event is now in cities all over the world – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, San Diego, Sydney and more! Check out the website here to see if it’s in your city and to register.

If you aren’t participating in the event, you can also help by making a donation to a runner’s page. See if you have a friend participating, or you can donate to my page here: https://my.cupids.org/AmandaSchmidt

If you’re in Washington, DC, join us at Balance Gym on Saturday, February 6th for a three hour Zumbathon® benefitting Cupid’s Undie Run!

Let’s use our joy of running to make a difference this year!

-Amanda