Planning For A Run Disney Half Marathon- An Exclusive Interview

January 16, 2013

Are you planning for a Run Disney Half Marathon?  I hope you’re excited!

I recently had the pleasure to connect with Tammy Jacobson – Marketing Area Manager over at Walt Disney World for Run Disney.  We got the chance to chat about the growing popularity of the Run Disney Half Marathon Series and how to plan for a Run Disney Half Marathon weekend.



Run Disney Half Marathon


Right now, Run Disney hosts 7 races per year and are planning continued growth for 2013.  Run Disney will be adding a 10k to Disneyland Half Marathon for a brand new “Dumbo Double Dare” for participants who run in both the 10k on Saturday and the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday.



Run Disney is working to make the running events even more family friendly, and by adding their first 10k they hope to bring in more runners of varying fitness levels- not everyone wants to run 13.1 miles, well, maybe not yet!


Tammy had some great insights when I asked her what sets Run Disney half marathon events so popular that lead to sold out races of over 20,000 runners.  She attributes the success of Run Disney events to the fact that people feel safe running at Disney, not just physically, but emotionally as well.


While many runners do run competitively, the spirit of the race differs from the emotional climate of other races- you might even say it’s magical!  You can run for a personal record, but also stop for pictures with your favorite Disney characters.



planning for a run disney half marathon

Photo Courtesy of


In the spirit of all things Disney, a Run Disney race is geared to be welcoming to runners of all fitness levels, and the events are designed for fitness and fun, not stiff competition.  Additionally, Run Disney has paired with Jeff Galloway – you can run/walk it’s okay!  The point of any Run Disney race is to finish with a smile on your face, challenge your limits and have a great time.


In addition to their Run Disney Training resources that stem from the Jeff Galloway partnership that help runners walk/run/walk to prepare their bodies, they also want to build nutritional resources to help runners eat right and learn about nutrition as they train.  They offer regular videos and blog posts from nutritionist Tara Guida.



Photo Courtesy of


We also go to chat about one of my favorite characteristics of the Run Disney events- the online community.  Not only is the fan base for Run Disney events huge and diverse, but you know you’ll always find friends, honest advice and great resource to prepare for your first Run Disney Half Marathon or answer questions on training for your first 5k.


On Facebook, the Run Disney Fan Page currently has 275,000  Facebook Fans and the Mom’s Panel with Laurie Lovell offers newbies real perspective, and helps answer questions that aren’t always covered on the website.

If you have a question about the best restaurants to try or how to eat healthy while on vacation, if you’re curious on how to put together a Run Disney costume or need running advice- you can find an answer within minutes!


Huge thanks to Tammy Jacobson, Area Marketing Manager and Run Disney extraordinaire, for taking the time to chat with me about one of my favorite things ever!  


So, what Run Disney Races Are On Your Wishlist This Year?



15 comments so far.

15 responses to “Planning For A Run Disney Half Marathon- An Exclusive Interview”

  1. I haven’t run a Disney race yet, but in 2014 it is on my must do list 🙂 Great interview!

    • Shannyn says:

      You are going to LOVE it Beka- no matter which one you choose, you will find a great community of runners and a ton of fun ways to prepare for the race.

  2. Jenny says:

    I ran the Disney Marathon on Sunday as my very first marathon. I’ve run princess, Disneyland, the wine & dine relay & I signed up to run the Dumbo Dare this summer at Disneyland. I love Disney races, they are fun, have lots of spectators but they are not always going to be PR races since there are so many people.

    • Shannyn says:

      Oh my gosh Jenny! GO YOU! I know it’s totally crazy, but I want to do the Goofy next year. I haven’t done a full marathon yet, but I know that if I’m going to go nuts, I might as well go with 39.3 in a weekend!

      Thanks for stopping by- wishing you many more happy miles!

  3. Bobbi says:

    I hop to run Disney someday, it must have been Awesome!!
    Its on my bucket list. 🙂

    • Shannyn says:

      I hope you do too Bobbi! The Tink is my first runDisney event ever but I have read so many happy blog post race recaps I know I’m in for a real treat. Plus, there are so many readers and online friends that will be there, it’s going to be like a reunion… you really build a community around a race, it’s awesome! 🙂

  4. Molly says:

    i’ve done the Wine and Dine, it was awesome! I hope that this year I can do the Tower of Terror 10 Miler!

  5. desi says:

    I’ve wanted to do the Dumbo Double Dare since it was announced, but on the east coast, it makes it hard to get to Cali for the races. I hope to run a race at Wine and Dine this year – my cousin did the half last year and I was so jealous of her. (fb)

    • Shannyn says:

      OOhhh, that sounds fab! It will be weird for me to live in Chicago since I’ll be closer to WDW than my hometown in SoCal! I hope you get to the Wine and Dine! 🙂

  6. Stephanie says:

    I’m fairly new to running, having run in high school and not taken it back up until now (ten years later, ouch!). My first Disney run will be the Royal Family 5k in February, but I have plans to keep at it and do the Tower of Terror 10 milers and the Wine and Dine half later this year!

  7. Janet says:

    I need to do this, 2013 is my year to run at Disney!

    • Shannyn says:

      I know you can do it Janet! If you put the goal down, book it and commit it will be here in no time…it will change your life! 🙂

  8. Audra O. says:

    I’ll be running the Disney Princess Half Marathon next month. I’m super excited! I would also love to do the Dumbo Double Dare, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to convince my husband I need two Disney trips in one year. 🙂


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