More than 56,000 people are scheduled to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon this weekend, Jan. 5 to 8, including reality TV stars and wounded military soldiers.
Reality TV personalities that have signed up to race the half marathon on Saturday include: Ethan Zohn (Survivor / Amazing Race), Jenna Morasca (Survivor / Amazing Race) and Trista and Ryan Sutter (The Bachelor). The reality show stars will run along with four wounded veterans who are part of the Achilles Freedom Team, which supports disabled runners. Workout guru Tony Horton, founder of the P90X workout, will be on hand to prepare runners for their race.
The marathon weekend features a new relay option that allows runners the opportunity to pair up and split the 26.2 mile journey through all four Disney theme parks – Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios – and receive a special Chip and Dale medal. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the half marathon, all finishers will be awarded a one-of-a-kind Donald Duck half marathon medal.
The 56,000 total runners – a new Disney marathon record – includes more than 26,500 registered runners for the half marathon, 16,500 for the marathon and 8,000 for the Family Fiesta 5K featuring the Three Caballeros – 3,000 more runners than last year. Approximately 6,500 runners will compete in Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday – 39.3 miles. And about 3,000 young runners will join in the fun and participate in the Mickey Mile and Marathon Kids Fest events on Friday and Saturday.
A Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will take place this Thursday through Saturday. Vendors will showcase the latest running merchandise and equipment. There will also be seminars lead by health and fitness authorities, including marathon training expert Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.
For more information on the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend or future runDisney events, visit rundisney.com. For coverage throughout the event follow us on Twitter (@disneysports), on runDisney Facebook and at disneysportsnews.com.
Here’s a look at last year’s marathon:
And here’s a guide to running Disney by marathon veteran Don Gworek: