Running with the Mouse

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Disney travel experts agree on one thing: relax, take your time. But when it comes to Disney's marathons and other running events, they're wrong. In a race, you can't take your time. And you also can't show up with just your two feet expecting to win - or even finish! Preparing for a Disney marathon requires discipline, hard work, and good advice. We can't help you with the discipline or the hard work. But Robert Mathis, owner of DisneyRunning and one of the few people designated by Disney as 'Perfectly Goofy' for his frequent participation in their running events (since 1996!), has lots of good advice. So relax, take your time, and read his weekly column.

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FROM: Running with the Mouse Published As Needed

Disney Marathon Relay

Robert Mathis needs to take a few deep breaths, and so lucky for him that our roving (and occasionally running) correspondent Roberta Racy is here to pick up the slack with the skinny about a brand-new, team-style Disney relay race.

I know how to run in the sense that I have two legs and reasonably good control over their movements. In times of danger, or whenever I hear motivational sounds like 'hey, we're giving this stuff away', I can build up quite a bit of speed.

But a Disney marathon? Are you kidding?

That's 26.2 miles. Even at a lope, I'd be a loser.

Maybe Disney has been reading my mind - guest mind-reading is their next big announcement, I'm told - because they announced last week a new marathon for those who don't want to run a marathon.

The new race is called the Disney Marathon Relay. It's 26.2 miles long, just like a regular marathon, but you can 'share' the distance with a friend. Each of you runs a mere 13.1 miles. The first runner zips through Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, the second through the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Nice idea!

Disney awards each runner with a new medal in the likeness of Chip 'n Dale. Clever idea!

You've got plenty of time to prepare. The first Marathon Relay is January 8, 2012. The cost ranges from $280 - $320, depending on how early you register. To get the lowest price ($280), register by April 24.

Despite the shorter track, this is not a race for amblers. Disney requires that you maintain at least a 16-minute per mile pace. If you don't, Disney may 'pick you up' and transport you to the finish line. This requirement seems in line with another rule that prohibits canes, walkers, and crutches from the course. No motorized scooters, either - which blows a huge hole in my strategy.

Disney promises a 'Finish Line Experience' for everyone who runs the race. I'm sure it will be magical, but in my nightmares, I see Donald hovering over me with a defibrillator.

And smoking a cigar.


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