The Walt Disney World Marathon weekend began its evolution with a single event, the Marathon. This first event appeared in Florida in January of 1994 as the running boom began its growth spurt, and with this Disney opened the floodgates to many more events at three resort locations across 2 continents.
Before there was RunDisney, there was the Disney Endurance Series, and before that was this singular, spectacular 26.2 miles of running throughout 27,000 acres of Walt Disney World Property. In that first year, 5,588 runners participated, and 71 of those have done so every year since!
While the course has changed slightly over the last 25 years, there was a time when the route ran through Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1999, the course rerouted through this new location, incorporating all four theme parks ever since.
In 1998, you had a choice between running the full marathon or the newly added half marathon, both events firing off at the same time. In 2006, you no longer had to choose, though with the addition of the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, in which you ran Donald’s Half-Marathon on day one, and the full Mickey Marathon on day two. If you completed this challenge, you earned the coveted Goofy Medal. [Read more…] about Walt Disney World Marathon Celebrates 25 years!