Disney Parks Press Release
Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon To Take Thousands of Runners on Magical 13.1-Mile Experience Through Disneyland Resort and Streets of Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2006) – More than 15,000 participants are gearing up for the inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, Sept. 15-17, in Anaheim, an event affectionately dubbed “The Happiest Race on Earth.’’
The event, hosted by the Disneyland Resort and the City of Anaheim, and presented by Kaiser Permanente, is poised for a successful debut. Race registration reached capacity nearly six months ago, attracting participants from 49 states, plus 15 countries. Nearly 12,000 runners will be participating in the Half Marathon and 3,000 participants will be competing in various races, including the Family Fun Run 5K and the Kids' Races on Sept. 16.
In three and a half hours or less, participants will run, jog or walk a course unlike any other half-marathon on the West Coast. The 13.1-mile route takes runners through the two Disneyland Resort theme parks – Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure – and past Anaheim landmarks such as Arrowhead Pond and Angel Stadium of Anaheim, while colorful Disney characters and festive music inspire them along the way.
“We are so excited to deliver this first Disneyland Half-Marathon Marathon Weekend here in Anaheim,” noted Claire Bilby, senior vice president of sales and distribution marketing for the Disneyland Resort. “There's no place in the world where you can run past the Matterhorn, in front of Pirates of the Caribbean and actually through Sleeping Beauty Castle -- this underscores the very unique nature of this event.”
"The flood of entrants and excitement surrounding the debut of this event has been extraordinary, and gives us reason to be tremendously optimistic about the future of this race within the Southern California sports landscape,' said Reggie Williams, Vice President of Disney Sports Attractions. "Utilizing our years of experience and expertise in developing the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend into a first-class event, we similarly expect to build on the initial momentum of the Disneyland Half-Marathon Weekend to produce a successful inaugural event.”
The Half Marathon Weekend begins on Friday, Sept. 15, with the opening of the Disneyland Health and Fitness Expo, a two-day celebration of health and fitness that involves celebrity runner appearances and seminars on training, racing and nutrition, along with the opportunity to experience the latest in running and fitness equipment. Expo hours on Sept. 15 are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 9 a.m. -7 p.m. on Sept. 16. There is no charge for parking or admission to the expo or seminars at the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center.
The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend builds off the successful 13-year history of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekends that are operated by Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. More than 145,000 runners, joggers and wheelchair athletes have successfully completed the previous Walt Disney World Marathons, including 13 marathons and nine half marathons.