Running with the Mouse

About the Column

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.

Disney Swag: The T-Shirt

Get yours now!

Subscribe to Disney Dispatch Digest

And receive a daily email summary of new stuff on the site.

FROM: Running with the Mouse Published As Needed

Meeting A Legend

Robert is lucky to receive some extra perks from RunDisney and in the process, he gets to meet a running community legend.



I happened to be one of the first 25 lucky “qualified” runners to email RunDisney. This “contest” allowed us some great perks to kickoff the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend on the Friday morning before the race. The main thing was a meet and greet with former Olympian and RunDisney Training Consultant Jeff Galloway. He is a legend in the running community who has helped thousands of runners complete their first Half or Full Marathon. This only was adding to the excitement of the upcoming weekend of fun.

Mickey Mouse

The morning started out with me walking the one mile from my hotel to meet up with my fellow 25 lucky winners under the Sorcerers Hat in front of the Disneyland Hotel. It was nice talking with some of my fellow racers. We talked about where we were from and what our goals were for the race. Some were first time Disneyland Half marathon runners so they asked us “veterans” about the course and when they should arrive to get into the corrals.

At just after 10:30, a RunDisney rep came over to give us a quick run down on the itinerary of the morning. We first had to check in and than we were off to the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom where the race expo was being held. There was a lot of last minute setup and construction going on. This made it a little hard to hear the RunDisney reps and speakers.

First up was a RunDisney representative who briefed us ardent Disney runners about the upcoming races in 2012 and a special hint of the festivities around the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World marathon. This got most of us ready to sign up right than and their!

Next up was Rachel Booth who was the Women’s winner of the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon. She was a very nice and humble runner who is very talented as she is a qualifier for the US Olympic Marathon trials. She shared the experience of running the Disneyland Half marathon as well as some cute family stories.

Finally, it was the main speaker Jeff Galloway. He shared his knowledge of getting ready for the Half Marathon two days later. He gave us a glimpse into his past as well as what he is working on now. He told us some anecdotes of running with his wife. He than fielded some questions from the runners in attendance. It was interested to hear his take on fueling before and during the race as well as his take on the “new” fad of barefoot running.

Jeff Galloway

After Jeff was finished we all received a nice RunDisney bag that contained a great RunDisney tech running shirt and a special limited edition Disneyland Half Marathon Pin. We than were able to get a special photo op with Jeff and more importantly Mickey Mouse! Afterwards we were allowed to shop in the race merchandise shop before it opened. It was nice getting first choice or the merchandise as well as not having to fight the crowds in line to purchase our goodies we wanted to purchase.

From here we were lead in the back door to the race packet pickup area so we didn’t have to stand in the long line that had been forming for hours.

This was a great way to start the fun filled weekend that lay ahead of us.