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The Hudsucker is an online magazine made up of unique and dedicated writers with fresh voices from across the country and overseas. Our team of writers are passionate and driven, bringing forth their personalities in each article. Since its inception in 2012, The Hudsucker has continuously proven how writing is our strongest fingerprint. By creating a smart and ambitious environment for readers, the digital magazine focusing on popular culture aims to be relatable through experiences and passions.

A Little Bit of Pixie Dust, and a Pair of Running Shoes

A little less than a month ago, a pair of Mickey Mouse ears and a tiara were packed into my suitcase. The reason? I was traveling to the Disney Half Marathon Princess Weekend to compete with 15 runners that I coach for a unique racing opportunity like none other. The race took place on February 22-24 and was located directly in the middle of Disneyworld in the sun-shining state of Florida. It was a combo event weekend (meaning on Saturday there was one race- the 5K, and on Sunday there was another race- the half marathon).

Image Credit: Kelly Kavanaugh

Image Credit: Kelly Kavanaugh

Runners come from all over the country to take part in this annual magical race that really does make some adults “dreams come true”. For the non-runner, a half marathon is 13.1 miles-  a huge accomplishment to achieve. Runners not only competed in the long distance race, but they also did it in style. Almost 90 percent of the runners were in costume, bright colors, or matching team t-shirts.

Both races started very early in the morning. The 5K was first. On Saturday at 6:30 a.m. the first coral was released. Coral by coral, from E to A, they were then released, with anywhere between 800 to 1,000 in each coral. It’s crowded quarters and mass of people, along with the blackness of the sky and the brightness of the lights (and also the buzz of the loud music) really more like resembled a rock concert than a running race. An awe-striking rock concert, where the music surrounded you from all angles, and fireworks lit up the sky repeatedly to let you know it was time “to go” (to cross the start line with your coral and begin your race).

The 5K itself laced through the streets of Epcot’s diverse countries. Along the way, Disney princesses were present that you could wave to, say hello to, or even stop and get a picture with wearing your running bib. A lot of runners did stop to get these pictures, as the 5K (officially named the Minnie and Mickey Royal Family 5K) was more a fun race, not necessarily a competitive one for time or place. A nice thing about the 5K was that professional camera men and woman were placed along the course, taking pictures at random of almost every person. Immediately afterwards, these pictures were then uploaded onto the Disney site and individuals were tagged, and emailed directly, based on runner’s bib number.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon was a little different; it started at a cracking 5:30 AM (first coral) and then repeatedly released corals until the last one was let go at 6:30 AM. Thousands of people packed into a small (relatively small, football sized parking lot) and the crazy rock concert seemed to turn into a giant insane musical festival at this point. At the end of the Disney Princess Half, no matter if you finished in two hours or four hours, there was no shortage of happiness, pride, and tears (of joy). Runners received a box post run of goodies to snack and and a medal that received nothing but excellent reviews by the runners.

Whether the runner was competing for the medal, the t-shirt, a chance to accomplish a goal they had been long thirsting after, or just a chance to get to Disney World and say hi to Mickey, the weekend was definitely one of a kind. It was one of magic, atmosphere, and ambiance that left even spectators breathless, and most persuaded or eager to join next time, and it seemed like the crowd just might have been under a spell, and pixie dust could have been the magic touch.

For a look at the Disney Princess Half Weekend, or if you’re interested in signing up for next year’s magical event, go to runDisney: Princess Half Marathon


Expedition Everest Challenge: Saturday, May 4, 2013 @ 10:00 p.m. Distance: 5K (3.2 miles) with obstacles. A “run on the wild side”; runners participate in a 5K run and also have the added challenge of a scavenger hunt and an obstacle-strewn course. Start/Finish: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Disneyland Half Marathon: Sunday, September 1, 2013 @ 5:30 a.m. Distance: Half Marathon (13.1 miles). A 13.1 mile run with Disney Characters and entertainment along the way; course travels through all the famous sites of Disneyland and the City of Anaheim, California. Start/Finish: Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland 10K: Saturday, August 31, 2013 @ 6:15 a.m. Distance: 10K (6.4 miles). An all-new event that follows almost the same route as the half but is a little shorter; Disney Characters and entertainment are also present along the course. Start/Finish: Disneyland Resort.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler: Saturday, October 5, 2013 @ 10:00 p.m. Distance: 10 miles. A night-time race through the dark of the night ending in Hollywood Studios at the Tower of Terror; Disney Villain Characters along the way. Start/Finish: Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run: Saturday, October 5, 2013 @ 8:00 a.m. Distance: 5K (3.2 miles). A fun, family friendly 5K along a haunted trail with characters along with way; good for all ages and levels. Start/Finish: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon: Saturday, November 9, 2013 @ 10:00 p.m. Half Marathon (13.1 miles). A night-time race “under the lights”; runners complete an entire half marathon through lit Disney Theme parks; Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Finish Line Party at finish. Start: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Finish: Epcot.

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K: Saturday, November 9, 2013 @ 7:00 a.m. Distance: 5K (3.2 miles). A family friendly 5K through Disney’s Animal Kingdom; run past exotic animals and Disney Entertainment; good for all ages and levels. Start/Finish: Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

See runDisney to register or for more details:

“All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”  — Walt Disney



About the Author

Kelly is a staff writer here at “The Hudsucker”. She is currently a senior at George Mason University finishing up her B.A. in English and writes at her own blog, “How I See It“. Kelly hopes to be a professional writer and author some day that not only inspires but helps change the world for the better. Follow Kelly on Twitter as @Kelly_Kavanaugh.

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