Clank, Clank, Clank goes the medals

imageI’ve been thinking about something for a while now, as I’ve been seeing a growing trend amongst many running events.

Extra Bling!!

Did your eyes get all wide eyed at the thought at more medal madness to add to your collection?

As far as I know, Disney brought us the multiple medal first. Earning a treasured Goofy medal for completing the Goofy Challenge (half and full marathons in the same weekend). Disney also incorporated the Coast to Coast challenge which is running two Disney half/full events (one in California, the other Florida) in the same calendar year. 2013 was a big year for Run Disney fans as Disney dangled more shiny new hardware for the taking for the 2014 races..  First they introduced the Dopey Challenge, which enthusiastic runners everywhere (myself included) signed up promptly. For the gals, Disney didn’t disappoint, as they brought in a very special Coast to Coast ‘Pink’ edition for running both Tinker Bell and Princess half marathons and introduced the Glass Slipper Challenge.

Of course, that’s Disney. There’s a little something extra special in those coveted medals. Would’nt you agree?

So now, I see a trend. Rock n’ Roll series does it. Space Coast is doing it. Even my local Santa 5K race joined in the extra medal fun. Some of these extra medals are earned by running two events in the same weekend series or seasonal series. Rock ‘n’ Roll gives you an extra medal if you run 2 or more of their events in a calendar year.  Run 5 at Rock ‘n’ and your a ‘Rock Star’.  I always wanted to be a rock star!  Space Coast gives you up to 5 years to earn that extra special bling.  Run 3 races in 5 years, and you’ve reached the Milky Way.  Run 5 races, and well, you’ve gone Intergalactic.  Whatever that means!

LA/SF Challenge, Boston to Big Sur Challenge, they jumped in too.

And although they don’t seem to be giving extra medals, there are commemorative items for running the Five and Dime, or Hat Trick at the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon series in Boston.

I’m no stranger to liking the bling.  There was a time when getting a medal signified a mile stone or a notch up my running pole of success.  I still remember the first half marathon I participated in and that medal signifies to me, how far I had come as a runner; as well as how far I had to go to be a competent runner.  Years have passed and I’ve collected my share of medals, most of which sit in a Walt Disney Bag hanging over a shelf by my computer. They aren’t for show-and-tell.  I really don’t have the space to exhibit many of them.  These bags of medals do however make a quick grab as they sure do make a really good weapon. (if ever I needed one)  Think Bam-Bam with a clankity-clank.

Perhaps it’s the next step for those that have done a half or a full marathon and aren’t inclined to make a leap to ultra running.  Perhaps these endurance challenges, tackling back-to-back races in the same race weekend is the next logical step.  The extra bling is not perhaps the incentive, but it’s the challenge itself.  Perhaps if I lived more local to a race such as Space Coast, it would be incentive to register year after year to the same race.  They do have some pretty cool looking medals.

What do you think? Aside from a Disney event, are you lured by extra medals in other running events?  Would you take on an extra event to achieve an extra piece of hardware?


7 races in 11 days and WE DID IT!

Wow!  What a crazy, wonderful, and exhilarating experience.  WE DID IT!  We ran 7 races in 11 days.  A Total of 114.4 kms at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  We earned the rights to brag about our Dopey Challenge accomplishment, and earned our Coast To Coast medal for 2014.


Top left - Disneyland Tinker Bell Weekend - 5K, 10K, Half Marathon  Bottom left - Disney World Marathon Weekend - Dopey,, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Goofy Challenge Medal

Top left – Disneyland Tinker Bell Weekend – 5K, 10K, Half Marathon
Bottom left – Disney World Marathon Weekend – Dopey, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Goofy Challenge Medal

There’s too many medals to fit them all in one picture. 😉

Was it worth it?  In my Fargo accent, I can only say, “You betcha!”

Now the first trip to Walt Disney World didn’t come off without a hitch.  We had our worries even before we were fully packed.  The weather leading up to our Wednesday departure was frightfully cold in the North East.  Airports were cancelling flights on the Monday and Tuesday.  We were monitoring our chances of our own flight taking off first thing Wednesday morning.  We were hopeful as Air Canada’s flights to Orlando were still flying on the Tuesday with small delays, but it didn’t comfort us completely.  I was only going to be completely content once we were up in the air and on our way.  We got lucky and our flight did take off on Wednesday with a slight delay as we sat on the apron.  However, some travellers were not as fortunate.  I Run on Water was one of the stranded passengers who had to make alternative arrangements.  Check out her story here.

Once we arrived, we jumped on the Disney Magical Express which would take us to the Coronado Springs resort on the Walt Disney World property.  This is a beautiful property in one of the moderate categories that WDW offers.  I enjoyed the complex very much.  The only drawback is the size of the complex.  It’s HUGE!  One must walk A LOT to get from their room to the main lobby and dining areas.  We were OK with that, however, I can see why some people who have reviewed this resort are not favourable towards it.  If a person doesn’t like to walk, this place is definitely not for them.

Once we were settled, we headed for the WDW Marathon Expo to pick up our race kits and to do some shopping.  It was pretty easy getting to the Expo as WDW had several shuttle buses.  I don’t think we waited more than 5 minutes for a bus.  Coronado Springs isn’t too far from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex so it was a short drive.

We picked up our race kits and shirts.  The process was a breeze.  We headed to the Dopey booth and got our race bibs.  Once that was done, we walked over and picked up our shirts.  What was nice is that Disney had pre packaged all the Dopey shirts based on the size requested when we registered.  The volunteer just grabbed the appropriate bag of shirts and handed them over.  Done!  I loved the shirts this year.  I’m not sure if this was the first year as I haven’t been to WDW race weekend since 2012, but they decided to change the fabric of the shirts to a much softer material.  As well, I thought the colours were awesome.

Dopey Corrals - 33720 started K corral.  My bib number!

Dopey Corrals – 33720 started K corral. My bib number!

I purchased a few things at the expo – KT Tape, race pins, and a couple of Bondi Bands to commemorate the race weekend.  I also bought a much wanted SPI Belt and Dopey running cap.  I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the clothing selection.  I was hoping to get a nice Dopey shirt in perhaps a purple or green in which his clothing is representative of; however the commemorative Dopey clothing was red and white.  I thought that was peculiar.  My spouse bought a blue Dopey “I DID IT” shirt.  I’m a little superstitious, and refused to buy as I had not completed it yet.  Of course, I lost out on buying the women’s pink edition as they were sold out after the marathon.  No worries, I had a commemorative Dopey necklace I had purchased at registration instead.

Minnie 10K and Dopey pin, Bondi Bands

Minnie 10K and Dopey pin, Bondi Bands

2014 Dopey 48.6 mile necklace

2014 Dopey 48.6 mile necklace

We had little time to spare that afternoon as we had to make it back to our resort to freshen up for our dinner reservation at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Before we left the expo, we attempted to get a New Balance shoe appointment, only to be told they had filled up all the appointments for the day. We were disappointed, but not at all surprised. We also knew we’d have another chance during the Tinker Bell Weekend at Disneyland to fetch the elusive shoes that were selling out. (only to find out later, that many pairs were finding their way onto Ebay….*sigh*)

Our dinner at Sanaa was fantastic. The highlight was the appetizer which featured 9 different dips served with Naan bread. Can you say “scrumptious”?  Indeed it was.

Not only were we full on great food on our first day, we were also very filled mentally to the point of exhaustion.  We had been up since 2am Wednesday morning, and by the time we got back to our resort it was around 10pm.  We quickly put out our race clothes for the Family 5K which was to start at 6:15 am Thursday morning.  Which meant, we had to wake up at 3:45am to jump on the 5 am shuttle bus to the race location.  We were asleep shortly after we arrived…..the adventure was about to begin.

Stay tuned.  I’ll have more on race weekend in my next blog.

Until then, Happy Running.

Memories of Run Disney

Today I went and looked at my Run Disney collection of medals.  aka race bling

Most of the above hangs on the rack below.  A gift my Father made me.  It really does the trick in terms of showcasing my Disney achievements.


A gift from Dad.

However, with all these (cross my fingers) new medals earned in January 2014, It got me thinking about the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend, and how 2014 might be a ‘splurge’ year to purchase a framed medal shadow box from my favourite company called Fond Memories Graphics

In 2010, I purchased two.  One for WDW to commemorate my achievement of The Goofy Challenge (also known to me as 39 miles before turning 39 yrs old) and one for Disneyland as it was the wrap up of my first Coast To Coast Challenge and the 5 year anniversary of the run.

What I like about Fond Memories, is it’s simplicity.  Of course, one can opt for a race picture embedded into the frame or other personal touches.  I’ll be sure to check them out at the WDW race expo.  They are listed in booth 435 in the event guide.  I wonder if they will have something special in store for The Dopey Challengers!

How do you showcase your Run Disney medals?