Getting Crafty with Running Bling

I decided to get crafty this past week and do something with my Walt Disney World running bling.  While I love what Fond Memories can do in terms of a professional shadow box, I decided to save a little dough this time around, and try my hand at creating my own shadow box.

Michaels was having a sale on shadow boxes this month, so I purchased two for the price of one.  Since Kari and I both have the Dopey and Tinker Bell race medals this year, I thought it would be a bit redundant to create two of the same shadow boxes; therefore, I’m just making one of each race weekend.  I downloaded our certificates from the Run Disney website, and I am using them within each box.

It took a while to get the ‘perfect fit’.  I must of tried 20 different layouts.  I’m one of those people who like equal sides, and figuring out a layout that wasn’t too heavy or busy on one side versus the other was making me crazy.  I finally found a layout I could live with.  It was a challenge with the Dopey medals as I underestimated the size of the shadow box vs the size of the medals.  As well, I had to fit in the certificates.  I first tried hanging the medals from the top of the box, however, soon realized, even staggering the medals in a hanging position within the box, would not work.  I then removed all the ribbons and proceeded to lay out the medals in some kind of order.  I felt that the Dopey and Goofy medals were the highlight of the six, so they are up against the black background.  The others I placed on top of the ribbons.  I would have liked to have fit them level across the box, however, the marathon and 5k medals are bigger than the others, so I had to stagger the middle two to be able to fit everything in.  HA!  Who ever complained about medals being too big?  (shadow box makers, that’s who!) Tons of two sided, heavy duty sticking tape was used under the medals and the ribbon.  Oh boy, let’s hope they stay!  🙂

One down, another to go at a later date.  What do you think?  Have you attempted your own running medal shadow box? 

2014 Dopey Challenge Shadow Box

2014 Dopey Challenge Shadow Box

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2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Prices are up!

Today Run Disney updated the registration prices for 2015.  For those who are thinking about registering, you’ll notice there is quite an increase over 2014 prices.  Dopey went from $495 to $530 and Goofy went from $320 to $360.  (does not include Active’s processing fees)

How do you feel about these prices increases?  Do you think it’s fair, or do you see this as price gouging?  Will you rethink your Run Disney race plans and opt out of a race challenge?  (Dopey/Goofy)

I’ve done a short poll below.  Would love your feedback.

Entry Fees and Deadlines – Walt Disney World Race Weekend 2015

Dopey Challenge

  • $530 by June 24, 2014
  • $560 between June 25, 2014 and August 19, 2014
  • $590 on or after August 20, 2014

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

  • $360 by June 24, 2014
  • $380 between June 25, 2014 and August 19, 2014
  • $400 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World® Marathon

  • $170 by June 24, 2014
  • $185 between June 25, 2014 and August 19, 2014
  • $200 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World® Half Marathon

  • $170 by June 24, 2014
  • $185 between June 25, 2014 and August 19, 2014
  • $200 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World® 10K

  • $105 by June 24, 2014
  • $120 between June 25, 2014 and August 19, 2014
  • $135 on or after August 20, 2014

Disney Family Fun Run 5K

  • $60 per participant by September 23, 2014
  • $70 on or after September 24, 2014

runDisney Kids Races

  • $15 per child by September 23, 2014
  • $20 on or after September 24, 2014

Mickey Mile

  • $30 per child by September 23, 2014
  • $35 on or after September 24, 2014

Race Retreat Packages

  • $120 Half Marathon Package
  • $120 Full Marathon Package
  • $200 Goofy’s Challenge Package

When exactly does the marathon start?

I must admit, I keep my eyes open when it comes Run Disney information.  As well, I read multiple Facebook pages devoted to the events to keep informed on people’s opinions and travel plans.

As much as I benefit from others’ insights in terms of helpful tips, some of it has started to wear me down and here’s why….

Annual Pass and DVC members have the benefit to register a week early for races.  I am not one of them. *sigh*

People are reserving Disney World and local Disneyland hotels prior to registering for a race 9-10 months out.  Despite the fact that Run Disney offers special packages for participants after registration begins.  I’ve read multiple people have already booked their hotel and flight for the Wine and Dine in November, and registration doesn’t open until March 4, 2014.

Registration for Run Disney events go online at their designated day and time and some sell out within an hour.

Sure, I have plans for 2015.  I am hoping to register for a Dopey Challenge repeat, as well as other Disney events.  Have I started to plan for it?  In my mind I have.

Given the current environment which seems madder than a Mad Hatter, I’m starting to write down budgets, research hotels, figure out accommodation plans and search out current prices for airline tickets.  This is all for 2015.  I haven’t even thought about this year’s vacation.  But then again, I don’t have any more Disney races planned.

I almost feel like Mr. Rabbit.  I’m late!

Do I need a plan of attack?  I think I do.

I’m starting to feel like I’m at one of those crazy bridal gown sales where all the brides stand at the front of the store, in anticipation; waiting for the guard to let them attack run and stock pile the multiple racks of gowns, looking for a deal on a wedding dress.  With no guarantees that by the time I get in, I’ll find my perfect dress.  Or any dress for that matter. This to me, is true TERROR!

I’ve started to realize, the marathon doesn’t start at the time of the race.  The marathon starts months in advance during the registration process.  It compels me to take a vacation day off work, so that I am sitting at my home computer, waiting for hunting season to begin.  aka April 22nd at 12pm EST.

Must channel my inner Merida.  With my bow cocked mouse in hand, I’ll shoot click off rounds of information and hope that the URLs click seamlessly without hesitation.  Who knows what craziness could unfold when thousands of people are registering on a site at the same time.  I hope I hit a bullseye!

In the spirit of the Olympics, registration is almost a qualifying event.  You can’t go to the big event unless you train-and I’m not even referring to actual running itself.  Check your equipment.  Internet working ok?-not the right time to forget paying a bill.  Ensure you’ve trained on the race course, AKA: know how to navigate on active.com.  Wait for the gun to go off-12pm EST/9am PST.  READY!  SET!  GO!

If you qualify, you make the podium.  We all get medals for finishing a Run Disney race.

Ahh…Countdown begins.  65 days to GO TIME!

KEEP CALM AND PLAN YOUR REGISTRATION!

Time to go running to burn off the anxiety. 😉

Any one else having sleepless nights over registration?  How early are you booking your travel plans?

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 – The Finish and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

This was it. The 7th and last race of our 11 day race schedule. The Dopey Challenge was complete. The 5K and 10K Tinker Bell races were complete. It was time to finish the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and congratulate ourselves on our test of endurance. (oh, and to ice our tired muscles, and rest our weary heads)

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Course Map

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Course Map

We were ready. More than ready. We found our sleepy selves in Corral B. Kari went as Peter Pan, and I had on my Tinker Bell wings. I liked these wings as they were meant for kids. Not too big so they didn’t flop around. Powered by pixie dust, (as my Bondi band said so) I was ready to go! tink half pre race sign

Pre Race in B corral

Pre Race in B corral

We started the race on Disneyland Drive, with a short portion on Ball Road to Harbor Blvd. Before we knew it, we entered California Adventure.

Miles 2-3 in California Adventure

Miles 2-3 in California Adventure

It was pretty dark so we didn’t stop for too many photo breaks. Most of which were repetitive from previous days, so we kept running towards Disneyland’s Main Street. Along the way, we came across a few familiar faces.

Tinker Bell, Pirates and Smee, Oh My!

Tinker Bell, Pirates and Smee, Oh My!

We ran down Main Street and stopped briefly for a picture outside the castle. Unlike the previous day, the castle lights were on which was pretty awesome.

Disneyland's Main Street and Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Disneyland’s Main Street and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

It wasn’t too long before we ran through the castle and then ran into a few Lost Boys.

The Lost Boys at the Ferry Go Round

The Lost Boys at the Ferry Go Round

Now, this guy was pretty close by, so I’m sure he kept a watchful eye on those crazy kids.

Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and a Running R2-D2

Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and a Running R2-D2

Our next stop was at It’s a Small World. Again, this is one of my favourite sights in all of Disneyland, so I had to stop and take a couple of pictures.

Just outside It's a Small World

Just outside It’s a Small World

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

We finished up running through Disneyland from mile 4 to 5 going through Fantasyland, Frontierland and I think a bit of New Orleans Square. Before we left we found these characters.

dl tink half character

Our next stop was Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is where the infamous Red Hat Ladies cheer on the runners. I have no idea how this began at the Disneyland races, but their group sure seems to grow in numbers year after year. Any runner who passes by them was sure to have gotten a jolt of energy.

Red Hat Ladies

Red Hat Ladies

After mile marker six, the course changes, and we find ourselves running on the quiet (and not so quiet) streets of Anaheim. Some would say it’s the boring part of the course, however, I quite enjoy it. A part of it is residential housing, so it can be quiet, but on the more busier streets, there are numerous marching bands and cheer squads to get our energy pumped. I like a good marching band, and these groups are really fantastic. If you happen to be using video as you go by, most will give an extra special loud cheer. They are a very energetic bunch.

Here are some of the sights of Anaheim.

Shhh...Running down residential streets of Anaheim

Shhh…Running down residential streets of Anaheim

Cheering Squads and Marching Bands

Cheering Squads and Marching Bands

The time really flew by in the second half. Before I knew it, we were coming up to the finish. I was really pleased with our times given all the stopping we did along the way for pictures. As well, this was our 7th race in the last 11 days. One would think our times would be much longer, however, next to the 10K the day before, our time on the half was second best. Who knew? Our chip time was 2:36:35 and my place overall was 3412/11490. Not my best time, but a decent time for a Disney race.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finish Line

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finish Line

Of course, before we left the finish line, we had to pick up this little guy…

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

It was indeed….

facebook_cover2

On a side note – This was the last time the Tinker Bell race weekend was to be held in January as it’s moving to Mother’s Day weekend for May 2015. I suppose this enables other runners who have opted for the Walt Disney World marathon weekend in January to perhaps consider Tinker Bell in future race plans. In it’s 3rd year, I’ve really seen it grow and become a popular race amongst the Run Disney family. I can only see it gain in popularity and it’s a great addition to the Disneyland run schedule.

Until we meet again Run Disney, Happy Running.

Tinker Bell 10K Race Recap

The inaugural Tinker Bell 10K started at 6am on Saturday January 18th. 15 minutes later than the 5K the day before. You know what that meant; 15 more minutes of sleep time. My inner Sleeping Beauty was really enjoying these later corral times. We were excited to experience the inaugural 10k for the Tinker Bell race weekend.  The only down side is that Run Disney didn’t market this as a challenge as they did with the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge (running 10K & half).  Oh bother!  We were happy to be a part of it. Perhaps in the future Run Disney will do something similar?

We left for the corrals around 5am. The short walk to Disneyland Drive to the start of the race was enough to shake out our legs. Upon arrival, we saw a path leading to the runner stage area with several tents, port-o-potties, race information and lots of volunteers. We continued on the road as we aimed to find ourselves in A corral.

On our way to the start of the 10K Tinker Bell race

On our way to the start of the 10K Tinker Bell race

Biding our time before the race.

Race Selfie

Race Selfie

As with the WDW Marathon weekend and two other Tinker Bell races, I didn’t have a costume for this race. I decided to wear blue. Blue compressions socks, blue Sparkle Skirt, Blue tech shirt. I topped it off with a Blue Bondi Band that had the words “Just Livin the Dream” printed on it. I slowly came to realize I must have been channeling my inner Sully. That played out delightfully later on during the race. (read on for my most favourite pic of the day)

In our corral above, there was a big screen indicating we had arrived at the correct place.

Big Screen - We knew where we were, whew!

Big Screen – We knew where we were, whew!

Once the race began, we found ourselves running on Disneyland Drive towards the backstage, then onwards around It’s a Small World, Mickey’s Toontown, Critter Country, Frontierland and then around Fantasyland.

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

Mile 1 - Only 5 more to go!

Mile 1 – Only 5 more to go!

Outside The Golden Horse Shoe in Frontierland

Outside The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland

Front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and onwards down Main Street.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Running Down Main Street towards California Adventure

Running Down Main Street towards California Adventure

We entered California Adventure at the main entrance and continued our journey to Condor Flats, and Grizzly Peak areas. Soon we arrived at mile marker 3 as we were coming towards Paradise Pier. A perfect time to stop and take a few photos.

Paradise Pier at California Adventure

Paradise Pier at California Adventure

Soon after we were deep into Cars Land passing by the Cozy Cone Motel and Flo’s V8 Cafe.  Unfortunately, this is where I was almost taken out by an overly revved up Car runner, who decided to suddenly cross in front of me.  I got lucky and I shifted into first gear before I ran into him.  Whew!

Cars Land

Cars Land

The last part of California Adventure was through Hollywood Land and then outside, onto Harbor Blvd for the last two miles of the course.  I can’t remember if I saw Mike and Sully first or the Tower of Terror first.  In any case, both of them were within short distances of eachother.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

I think I fit in here!

I think I fit in here!

Soon enough, we found ourselves outside of California Adventure at mile 4. We had two more miles along Harbor Blvd, Disney Way and Katella Ave, to arrive at the finish.

Before we got to the end, I saw this sign…

Hmm...Maybe if I was still a pirate?

Hmm…Maybe if I was still a pirate?

Onwards to the end…

Tinker Bell 10K race complete

Tinker Bell 10K race complete

I have to say, I really enjoyed this course. We snapped tons of photos along the way and we took our time to really enjoy the sights. We still managed to get a decent time of somewhere around 1:13 for the race. Not super fast, but given the stopping, we were much happier with this time over the WDW Minnie 10K which had tons of traffic.

Next on the Tinker Bell Race weekend coverage – The Tinker Bell Half Marathon and race wrap up!

Until then, Happy Running.