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Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap

We welcome Kingdom Magic Runners‘ newest Guest Blogger, Beth Kripple, who shares her recap of her very first RunDisney race, Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

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There are few times when you won’t mind starting an adventure off “on a dark and stormy night”! Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World is definitely one of them. I had been prepping to run the race for several months. This was not only my first half marathon, but my first race ever. If I was going to run 13.1 miles, I was going to do it Disney-style. I knew that not being an elite athlete and being new to running was not going to diminish my first race experience if I was at Disney. From the first trip to the Expo to pick up my bib, through the race itself, and to the trip back to Disney Port Orleans Riverside at 3 am, the cast members and volunteers who endured the rainy weather with me had my back.

The support and help doesn’t just start the weekend of the race. On the Run Disney website is a lot of information, including training programs for beginning and intermediate runners, nutritional advice, and advice from experienced Run Disney participants on how to make the best of your time. This kind of support extends into social media and email as well. RunDisney will send out periodic emails as well as update on Facebook and Twitter. You are always in the know, and with the weather the way it was for Disney’s Wine and Dine, that helped with a lot of my first race nerves.

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Arriving at the race at 8:00 pm was a great mix of easy going and nervous excitement. There was no rush and no pressure. People were there to run, yes, but also to have fun. Around 9:30, the rain softly started. 10 pm, the first corral was off and running! Even though I was running alone, I did not feel alone. I had the chance to talk with other runners in my corral. We talked about our Disney vacations, joked about the rain and about how we did not care how rainy it got: if the race was on then we were running. There was exchange of advice and support all along the way. Cast members and volunteers guided areas of the route and manned drink stations in their ponchos, all still cheering us on and bringing smiles to our soaked faces.

It was a magical memory. My favorite part, besides finding that finish line, was running through Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the holiday lights. The lights were so beautiful and had a lovely reflection on the wet pavement. And just as an added bonus, rain makes laser lights look awesome with flashes and sparkles as the raindrops reflect the colored beams.

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Rain or not, I loved every minute of my first race and was so very thrilled it was a Disney race. I’m getting ready for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February! If you’re going to run, run Disney-style!


Guest Blogger – Beth Kripple

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Beth is a mom, librarian, sf geek, new runner, Disneyphile, and past Cast Member. Her favorite place to stay at Walt Disney World is Disney Boardwalk Villas. She has had the chance to visit Disneyland and Disneyland Resort Paris. Hopefully visits to Disneyland Shanghai or Disneyland Hong Kong (which only got a wistful wave as she passed through the city two years ago) are in the future, but Walt Disney World is her favorite!

Would you like to be a Guest Blogger for Kingdom Magic Runners? We’d love to share your race review (Disney or other race), product review or personal running accomplishment here! Feel free to email Carrie@KingdomMagic.com or Donna@KingdomMagic.com!

Running in Paradise On Castaway Cay Challenge

If you’re an avid runDisney fan than you probably signed up for, or at least highly considered the Castaway Cay Challenge that runDisney tacked on to Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend earlier this year.  The Castaway Cay challenge will take place during the 4-Night Bahamian Sailing on the Disney Dream from January 12-16, 2015.

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To be eligible for this challenge you need participate in a runDisney race during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and complete both that race and the Castaway Cay 5K within the allotted 16 minute time frame.  The 5K on Castaway Cay is run on a paved path, through the winding bike route and past lush foliage of palm trees and other tropical plants.  Once you finish…kick off your running shoes and soak in the turquoise blue waters of the ocean either at the Family Beach or Serenity Bay (the Adults Only beach).

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The medal for this challenge was just released and I was able to get a shot of it for you at the Tower of Terror 10-miler Expo.  The detail is fantastic and it has great color to it…I think the designer did a wonderful job.  What about you?

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If you will be participating in this event you will receive:

  • Castaway Cay Challenge Inaugural Event T-Shirt
  • Commemorative Castaway Cay 5K Finisher Medallion* **
  • Commemorative  Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal for participating in one Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend 5K or longer event PLUS the Castaway Cay 5K* **
  • Post-race refreshments
  • Exciting Activities and access to Special Merchandise on board Disney Cruise Line
  • Featured Healthy Menu Options on board Disney Cruise Line

*The number of registrations for the 2015 Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend races and the Castaway Cay 5K is limited and subject to availability. To be eligible for the Castaway Cay Challenge runners must enter their cruise reservation number at the time of registration for the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge race event. All races are subject to age eligibility requirements and capacity limits. All race registration fees are non-refundable. Runners must complete both races within the 16-minute mile pacing requirements and must have an official time for each race to receive the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal. Runners deferring any 2015 Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend 10K or longer races will not be eligible for a Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal. Events/races may be subject to delay, change, or cancellation for inclement weather or other safety concerns.

** A reservation on the January 12, 2015 Disney Dream 4-Night Bahamian Cruise is required in order to participate. It is recommended that you register for your Disney cruise PRIOR to registering for the Castaway Cay Challenge. Cruise Line reservations must be booked by August 1, 2014 or your Challenge Reservation will be forfeited. If your Disney Castaway Cay Challenge spot is forfeited for any reason, the race fee is non-refundable. Please refer to Disney Cruise Line for cruise refund policies.  


carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first runDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

 

Guest Post – One Family’s Journey to the Happy Haunted 5K

Have you ever considered running the 5K races together with your family?  It’s a great way to get in shape, promote a healthy lifestyle and bond as a family.  Read on to find out how this family prepared. – Kingdom Magic Vacations

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Walt Disney World and fitness are not two things that are usually associated with each other.  A few years ago my family and I were living the average life; working, hanging out and planning trips to Walt Disney World. This was not the healthiest of lifestyles, although fun and relaxing.

One day I realized I was overweight and it would only continue to go down that path unless I made changes and the commitment to those changes started.  I thought, how can I make these changes and still enjoy the lifestyle I am living? My wife and I set a goal to complete a half marathon and that it would be at Disney World during the world famous Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We love to eat, so what better way to reward completing our goal than by tasting our way around the world!

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After completing this achievement I learned a lot about a running community I never knew existed, and found ways to live a healthier lifestyle, while still enjoying everything I was in the past. We knew that we needed to pass on this new gained knowledge to the rest of our family!

Fast forward to the opening day of registration for the Tower of Terror 10 miler.  We decided to turn it into family affair by encouraging our 8-year-old daughter to participate in the Happy Haunted 5K. We wanted to stress the importance of trying to live healthy and happy, and she was all in. I guess for adults we say “Will run for wine” for kids maybe its “Will run for Mickey” ?

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She spent parts of her summer vacation training for her very first 5; not to mention the days of walking the parks after the race. My wife and she would train together, using it as a way of counting down the days until the trip.

runDisney sends periodic emails to keep you informed and little tips and tricks for your event. When we would get emails or new information about the weekend’s events she would be filled in. The excitement would continue to build every day that vacation came closer.

Usually when you are around the one month left mark you will get the official race program with lots of info in it about park hours for the weekend, activities, and such. Then about a week or two later you will get your bib number and waivers to print out. For my wife, daughter, and I the excitement got real! We would all be doing the 5K, but I would be doing the 10 miler by myself.

Saturday was an early wake up call for the three of us. It’s not as early as the longer races, but for vacation, 4:30AM comes really fast; followed catching the bus by 5:30AM for a 7:30AM start. The weather was good, a little rain, but temperature was not bad at all. Pre-race entertainment consisted of radio show hosts John Boy and Billy telling jokes, followed by a DJ. The highlight was the Headless Horseman appearance to give us race warnings, telling us to stay on the trail.

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Between myself and my wife coaching our 8-year-old through her first 5K was fun! It was filled with “I’m tired, my feet hurt”, but then she would take off runnning. She loved the encouragement from other runners. Disney events are always filled with such nice people and there are a bunch of them! The course being a trail  with a lot of rain before our arrival the ground was still a bit saturated and had a few mud holes, but still in very good condition. My only complaint would be the course can be very narrow at a lot of places and to trying to get out of the way of runners was not very easy because of all the surrounding trees.

A few character stops were along the way. We skipped all of them pretty much because my daughter didn’t want to stop. Brer Fox, Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen from Snow White, The Haunted Mansion grave diggers and Zombie athletes were along the course.  Once we finished she realized that all her nervousness and worries about it being to hard for her just vanished and she was filled with the excitement of accomplishment! She enjoyed walking around getting the congratulations and telling people she completed her first 5k ever and showing her medallion off. After that it was relaxation time and snacking for me.

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Guest Blogger: Val Carillion

About 3 years ago I decided I needed to change my lifestyle and decided running was an easy, affordable choice. I set my first goal of running in a half marathon deciding The Wine and Dine Half Marathon would be it. Training for it went well because I gave myself almost a year to train for it; completing a 15K and a Half before my goal race. Since I started running I have completed a local race called the Pensacola Double Bridge Run twice (15k), Gulf Coast Half Marathon (twice), Wine and Dine Half, Glass Slipper Challenge, and now the Tower of Terror 10-miler. Through this whole process I started doing crossfit to balance out my overall fitness and would like to try the Dopey challenge when I go all  “Dopey” with my fitness goals.

Stay tuned for this runner’s Tower of Terror 10-Miler Recap!

You May as Well Face It You’re Addicted to Bling

I was running and I had the Robert Palmer Song “Addicted to Love” in my head.  If you replace the word “kiss” with Medal and “love” with Bling, the song really says it all. This is exactly how I feel when I’m ready to hit “send” on my next race registration. It may be my new mantra.

 

Your lights are on, but you’re not home

Your mind is not your own

Your heart sweats, your body shakes

Another medal is what it takes

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat

There’s not doubt, you’re in deep

Your throat is tight, you can’t breath

Another Medal is all you need

Ohh ohhhh

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff.. oh yeah

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough

You know you’re gonna have to face it

You’re addicted to BLING!

 

My Bling obsession started out innocently enough.  I had run a few 5ks because it was a way for our family to have some fun together.  I had participated in the Great Aloha Run a few times when we lived in Hawaii. That’s an 8 mile course from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium. Lots of fun.  No Bling.  I decided that my husband and I needed some common hobby that we could do together, maybe travel a little, and have fun at the same time now that the kids are out of the house. So I started training.

I first heard about RunDisney races in 2010. I decided that we needed to sign up for the 2011 Wine and Dine Half Marathon. My husband being the foodie, wine guy that he is I figured this weekend would make us both happy.  Well, long story short, I trained using the Galloway method and was ready and hubby wasn’t able to go.

That was it. I was hooked.  I wore that first medal with such pride and accomplishment but like a junkie I needed more.  I went right home and registered for the 2012 Princess Half Marathon (can you believe I was able to register that late??? Those days are gone).  Since that first race I have participated in 3 princess Half Marathons, 2 Wine and Dine Half Marathons (finally got hubby there), 1 Tinkerbell Half Marathon, 1 Expedition Everest 5k, Royal Family 5K, 2 Castaway Cay 5ks, and Princess 10k. I have my Coast to Coast and a Glass Slipper Challenge medals that I am very proud to show off.  This January I’ll add the Half marathon medal from Marathon weekend and hopefully Dumbo Double Dare and new Coast to Coast medals later in 2015.

I have also branched out to help fill my Bling need when I can’t get to Disney. I have run the Hershey Half marathon (Helloooooo chocolate at mile 11), the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and the Nike Women’s’ Half Marathon where I received my Tiffany necklace at the finish.  Now, that’s BLING!

It’s an expensive habit, but lets face it, there are more destructive things I could be addicted to that would harm more than just our bank account.  I love the RunDisney races and will try to run all of the Half marathons so I can check them all of my ToDo list.  Problem is they keep adding new races.  It looks like my list will never be complete… and I’m ok with that.

Donna's Bling Collection

Donna’s Bling Collection

 

Donna Genco ~ Collector of Bling

 

Guest Blogger – Donna Genco

donna1-199x300Donna is not only one of Kingdom Magic Vacations Independent Travel Planners, she is also a runner and contributor over at Kingdom Magic Runners Facebook Page. She’s participated in numerous RunDisney Events from the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Expedition Everest and more on the East Coast, but she’s also been to Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon as well.  Her passion may be RunDisney races, but she has also participated in other races as well.

We Want YOU to Write for Kingdom Magic Runners!

You read that right!  We want to hear from our Kingdom Magic Runners Community on Facebook!  We believe there’s nothing more motivating than hearing the stories from your fellow runners.  For awhile now Donna and I have been sharing some of our stories with you through the Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog.  We love writing for you and will continue to do so, but we invite you to join us.

Share with us your triumphs, learning experiences, your equipment reviews etc.  Tell us why YOU started running!  Why is it important to you?  Donna and I will be reviewing races as we run them, but we’d love to get your take on things.  We’ve established some guidelines & ideas to help you out, but feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  Submissions can be sent to:

Donna, Donna@KingdomMagic.com

or

Carrie, Carrie@KingdomMagic.com

Guest Blogger Guidelines

Share your insights on the Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog. Our editorial team is always delighted to consider guest posts. Send us an email with a brief pitch.

Hot topics: running, running tips, running destinations, running at Disney, Universal or other theme parks, race reviews, running apparel and equipment reviews, bucket list running, stories on how you became involved in running, what it means to you etc. and more.

Browse our website and blog to familiarize yourself with our content.  Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog’s guest bloggers gear their content to our predominantly North American audience families seeking incredible vacation experiences. They appreciate our positive perspective and passion for what we do.

Guidelines:

  • Word count 400-800 words
  • All submissions will be edited for correct grammar before publication. We may also break up long blocks of text to increase readability.
  • Keep titles short and simple, preferably no more than eight words.
  • Content is geared to the Kingdom Magic Vacations audience and is unique, meaning it is not posted on or committed to a media outlet or syndication service
  • A balanced viewpoint that doesn’t singularly promote a specific company or service
  • We prefer posts that include resources to learn more and stimulate follow-on discussion by posing a question, etc.
  • We welcome image submissions with your blog, as long as you have the rights to the image and provide a brief caption and photo credit.
  • Please include a short bio (2-3 sentences). Include your twitter handle and other social media info, and a quality photo
  • Please submit draft in Microsoft Word to our Editorial Team

We strive to complete the review process within 48-72 hours of receiving a submission. If needed, feedback will be provided for a revision. Please understand we can’t guarantee publication until the review board reviews and accepts a final draft.  We also respectfully ask that the content you submit is not submitted or published on any other website.

Article Author – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

The Case of the RunDisney Addict | Kingdom Magic Runners

Hello, my name is Donna and I’m addicted to RunDisney races.  Yes, I have a problem.  I’m currently looking for a 12-step program to help me.  I knew I loved the races but I didn’t know how bad my addiction was until the registration for Disney’s Princess ½ Marathon Weekend opened.

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I found myself actually sitting on my hands, trying to control myself and NOT register for this race.  Here I was, sitting at my computer, watching the registration numbers go up, races booking up, watching the posts on Facebook and various blogs, clients calling me all excited because they got in and now they want to book their packages.  It would have been so easy, just enter your name, address and approximate race finish time.  I was doing all I could to control the urge.  I even had a support system of friends reminding me, don’t do it, don’t do it.  At the same time I was texting my running buddy Wendy, “stay strong, we can do it, it’s almost full, we are almost there”.  She was texting me back “ I just want to log on and see how it’s going.” NOOOOOO I’m “Shout texting” back, “Don’t do it, you’ll be tempted to register”.

Fortunately the Glass Slipper Challenge filled up quickly.  To complete the Glass Slipper Challenge you must finish the 10K and the 1/2 Marathon.  If we were going to go that weekend, we would only do it for the challenge.

Medals from the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

Medals from the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

It was a long afternoon waiting for the ½ and 10K to fill up. She signed up for a fitness class at her gym so she would be busy and I went for a walk, I just had to stop looking at the computer.  Later that night she texts me, “You know, the 5K still has slots”. Evil temptress.  “No, we are NOT going that weekend” I told her.  Stay strong.  By the end of the day I was exhausted. I felt as if I had run a full marathon.

We did it!  We both made it through the day.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Disney’s Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend.  It’s a wonderful weekend, the race is awesome, I love the costumes, the camaraderie and I really like the whole theme of the weekend.  The reason we had to stay so strong is because we are both running the month before in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  We are also hoping to register for the Dumbo Double Dare later in August out in Disneyland so we can get our Coast to Coast medals.  (Coast to Coast medals are can be received for completing a Half Marathon or Marathon in Disney World, followed by the completion of a Half Marathon in Disneyland during the same calendar year.)  I already have a Coast to Coast medal, but I’m trying to check off all of the Disney ½ marathons and figured that if we were going to go out for that race we may as well do an East Coast race and earn a Coast to Coast Medal.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this obsession.  Once you run your first RunDisney race, whether it’s a 5K, 10K,  ½ marathon or full marathon, you will be hooked!  It’s unlike any other race I have ever participated in and I’m sure will never find their equal.

Sincerely,

Donna Genco, RunDisney Addict

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Guest Blogger – Donna Genco

donna1-199x300Donna is not only one of Kingdom Magic Vacations Independent Travel Planners, she is also a runner and contributor over at Kingdom Magic Runners Facebook Page. She’s participated in numerous RunDisney Events from the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Expedition Everest and more on the East Coast, but she’s also been to Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon as well.  Her passion may be RunDisney races, but she has also participated in other races as well.

What I Learned From Running My First Ultramarathon – Guest Blogger Kevin Bryniak

It’s now one month since I ran my first ultramarathon, the 50 mile individual of the Keys100 series (Marathon Key to Key West), and thought I’d take a moment to share my memories of the experience. For background, I’ve been a runner for most of my adult life, and though I’ve done numerous half and full marathons, this was my first attempt at a race longer than a marathon.

To start, let me say that this was, without question, the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I knew that an ultra would be tough, but I really can’t describe the mental and physical struggle that race was for me. Beyond the obvious challenge that a race that long presents, I made a slew of stupid mistakes that nearly cost me any hope of finishing. In fact, had it not been for an unusually cool day (only 85 degrees or so, as opposed to the normal 90+ temperatures), I’m certain I would have dropped out.

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So, as for those mistakes, they really were “rookie” errors that I guess I have to blame on nerves. First, I messed up my hydration (sports drink instead of water), which soured my stomach. Then, since my stomach was upset, I wasn’t eating. So, there I was at mile 15 having had 2/3 of a LaraBar and maybe 16 ounces of liquid. Once my crew had the “light bulb” moment that I needed water and switched out my hydration pack, things improved a bit. The problem, of course, was that I had really burned through my energy stores in that first 15 miles, and was fighting an uphill hydration and nutrient battle for the rest of the race. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention how vital my crew was to my finishing the race. Without their support, both verbal and supplies, I could not have finished the day.

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The other thing I realized during this race was how mentally tough it was to be out there for 14 hours with very few people around other than my crew, which I met at roughly 3 mile increments. If you’ve ever run a marathon, you may be used to seeing other runners and many spectators throughout the race. This race was a different animal, due to the length and the location. That said, the people I DID encounter made me understand why the ultra community is such a close-knit group. Any runner I saw took the time to talk to me about the race (how many have you done, how are you doing, etc.), and I started doing the same. It was these people, struggling through the same challenge, which kept me going.

Thinking back on the race, I remember how cramped I was at the end (I had to stop every 15 minutes to stretch my legs to keep the muscles moving) and how tired I was at the finish. I also remember how foolish I felt for going from 26.2 right to 50, without trying a 50K or 40 miler first. That said, I can’t wait to run my next 50.

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In the end, I learned something that I think applies to many of us, regardless of the distance we’re training to run. I learned that the body can do extraordinary things, as long as the mind stays focused on the goal. More importantly, I learned the reason I ran that race, and the reason that I’ll run longer races in the future. After all, until I try a distance and fail…and then try again and fail again…it’s only then that I’ll know my personal limitation.

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So, you’ll keep finding me out there, running longer and tougher ultramarathons until I finally can’t make the distance. It’s the only way I’ll really be able to learn what my body, and my mind, can handle.

Crewing For The Keys 100

Have you ever participated in an Ultra Marathon? Recently myself and a friend of ours served as support crew for my husband who was participating in the 50 Mile Individual race of the Keys 100. Talking to others we soon realized that many ultra-runners consider this the step below the Badwater run in Death Valley.

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The weather in the Keys, while gorgeous if you’re coming to dive or sightsee is brutal for a runner. There is no shade during the race and any breeze you have dies away as soon as you get on the island. With a 9:45am start time for the 50 mile race the sun is already blazing and it’s going to be a long day. The 50 mile racers have until 2:00am to finish the race.

So what does support crew do? The basic answer is you follow your runner in a car, meeting them at approved locations along the route, providing them with what they need at any given point. This might be food, water, sunscreen or even a muscle massage. We had the car stocked with everything from chill towels, sunscreen, first aid items to extra running clothes and food. We were also there for moral support…after all, your runner is facing 50 miles in the Florida Keys….it’s not a piece of cake.

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We learned a lot on that race, our first time crewing. There were things we just didn’t think about bringing, from a chair for our runner to sit on, to a high powered flashlight for crossing 6 lanes of highway in the pitch black lugging a cooler to meet our runner. We quickly started a list on our phones for next time. With it being our first time we weren’t sure what to expect, but we were quickly learning. We had made an error with hydration for our runner, giving him only Gatorade in his hydration pack which quickly soured his stomach after the 7 mile bridge making it hard to convince him to eat. And by mile 20 our concern was things were going to get worse if we couldn’t get some food in him. Thankfully the aid stations had Drip-Drop, a medical grade powder to combat dehydration. We got some of that into him and some food and things started to look up…but we were far from the finish. It’s things like this you have to be prepared for.

The camaraderie on throughout the day is amazing! We talked with other runners support crew and learned about them and their racers. We cheered on our runner, but others as well. We shared supplies with others who might have needed something. You really are a family out there dedicated to getting every runner to the finish safely.

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I wouldn’t have thought it would be so exhausting to crew for a runner, after all, I figured we’re basically there to drive the car and provide supplies. But the hours in the sun, worried about your runner, rushing around to be sure you can give them what they need when you meet them really takes its toll. We were out there for 14 hours with our runner.

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Some tips for those crewing:

1.  Try to think outside the box when you are stocking the car with supplies…a chair for your runner to sit on is essential. Don’t forget safety gear for yourself once it’s dark depending on the race start time.

2.  Bring extra of everything…we ended up sharing some food & band-aids with other teams who either ran out or didn’t have some items packed.

3.  Make sure you are taking care of yourself…we were sunburned quite a bit even though we applied sunscreen. You have to take care of yourself to take care of your runner

4.  Have a plan ready in case your runner is exhausted, physically hurting or thinking of stopping the race. What will you say if they say they can’t finish…you need to know when they truly can’t and when they are tired. We watched other runners that had to take themselves out of the race because they just weren’t able to go on. You need to be able to give your runner “permission” if they ask you if it’s okay to stop or ask your opinion, assess the situation and give your honest answer.

5.  Be aware of what the aid stations have to offer your runner….like us, it may become necessary to take advantage of things like the Drip-Drop to help your runner along.

6.  Drive the race route the day before and discuss with your runner points that you may want to meet them, talk about the expected pace they will have and make sure you have a way to stay in touch with your runner during the race.

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Article Author – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

A Kingdom Magic Runner’s Review of the Fitbit Force

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I’d toyed around with the idea of a Fitbit Force for a long time, not sure if I wanted to commit to the price ($129) and wearing something all the time on my wrist but I was intrigued by everything it could do for me

The Fitbit Force will:

1. Sync with other devices through wireless
2. Track how well you slept & how many times you woke up
3. Wake you with a silent alarm in the morning
4. Tell you how many calories you burned & how many floors you climbed
5. It’s water resistant
6. Plays well with other apps including Spark People, Endomondo, My Fitness Pal and more
7. Track steps taken & active minutes
8. Distance traveled
9. Coming soon with IOS 7 you can receive call notifications when your phone is nearby
10. Tells time

Thanks to my wonderful husband I didn’t have to ponder it any longer, he bought me one for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to get it out of the packaging and start playing with it. It charges rather quickly and one of the things I love is that it holds a charge for a very long time. I charge it maybe every ten days or so…it’s never run out of battery on me yet.

The Force comes with a USB dongle & USB charging cable . The dongle is plugged into your computer and facilitates the sync whenever you are near it and the computer is on. The charging cable…that’s self explanatory.

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You have a Fitbit dashboard online where you can set goals for yourself such as calories in & steps taken, amount of water consumed, and what time your silent alarm should wake you. I was skeptical about the silent alarm…I’m a pretty heavy sleeper. So the first time it went off it actually startled me…it certainly does work, vibrating on your wrist a couple times. The device doesn’t come with a lot of instructions, they are all online, but the interface is really easy to use and I have yet to read anything but the quick start guide which showed me how to charge the device and get started.

But how well does it keep track of steps? It seems to capture more steps than just a regular pedometer does. However, as a runner I was curious how this would fit into my routine. First…it is fairly accurate for the distance run…I find that it’s maybe within a tenth of a mile under what my distance actually is. Since the device is worn on your wrist this presented me with an interesting challenge for outdoor training runs and race day.

I wear a GPS watch on my left wrist…the same wrist I wear the FitBit Force on. So now I had an arm that was lined with my Garmin watch & Force…a bit of overkill it seemed but I was excited to wear it in the Disney World Half Marathon this January. (I know some of you are wondering why I didn’t just switch wrists…it was just too distracting since I wasn’t used to it.)

Imagine my dismay when at the end of the race heading back to the hotel I realized the Force was no longer on my arm?! Turns out it had fallen off someplace out on the course and I never realized it. And herein lies my main criticism of the Force, the band. It’s very hard at first to get the band to fully close without help from a second person.

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This makes it challenging to get on and off when you are by yourself. But it’s also a problem if you happen to hit your arm just the right way when carrying something or walking by or putting on a top…it can rip open the band and the Force will fall off. Now, I didn’t hit my arm on anything while running, so I’m not sure what happened.

I contacted Fitbit to let them know what happened…this couldn’t be good for them…here was a device meant to track fitness etc. that fell off when I was exercising. My brand new $129 Christmas gift was gone. Thankfully they replaced it with the exact same model as the one I had at no charge when I proved my purchase.

So while I love it for everyday wear and training runs around the neighborhood and on the treadmill…I’m a little nervous about wearing it in my next big race. I have a feeling it will be constantly on my mind to check for it.

Do you own a Fitbit?  Share your thoughts and experiences with us.

To find out more about running, runDisney, or running at Disney, visit Kingdom Magic Runners on Facebook!


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Guest Blogger – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniak
I am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

Kingdom Magic Runners Look Forward to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Kingdom Magic Runners Look Forward to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

A week from today runners and their families will converge on Walt Disney World for the running of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  The weekend features Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K, Kids Races, an Expo and the crowning moment…the Half Marathon that evening.  Kingdom Magic Runners will be there to take part in the race and celebrate at the after party!

In fact, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been following the Jeff Galloway program for experienced runners that want to improve their time, and let me tell you…it works.  I ran a personal best at the Tower of Terror 10 Mile race in October and am hoping for another PR in the Half coming up!  In keeping with the training program today was my last long run before the race….a 5 mile run.

My husband and I decided to run together (usually he’s a lot faster than me) and just take our time.  There’s no sense in overdoing things right before the race and risking injury.We ran at a 12 minute pace and kept up a conversation with each other.  Since my training runs and races are usually run alone because I’m at a different pace than my husband and other friends it was nice to have the companionship for this run.  Coming into race week I expect to run 2 more times before the race…one a normal maintenance run and the last run will feature some speed work to get me in the mindset for the race.

Kingdom Magic Runners Look Forward to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Normally we are pretty healthy eaters in my household…but race week always find us concentrating even more on our fluid intake and making sure that we really are eating balanced meals.  I find myself referring to the 2 Nancy Clark books on food & running that we own…Nancy Clark’s food Guide for New Runners and Food Guide for Marathoners, this gives us some great meal ideas.

What preparations do you go through race week?  We’d love to have you share some of yours with us, it could definitely be helpful to other runners!  See you at the race!  In the meantime…happy training and don’t forget to check out our Facebook Page: Kingdom Magic Runners!


Guest Blogger – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

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