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A Royal Meet-Up

by Meghann on February 24, 2012

What an awesome morning with the gang at RunDisney!


I’m just putting this out there – I’m a huge fan of RunDisney. I think they put on awesome races and they’re great at creating magical memories at all of their events.

Something I’ve known about RunDisney – but have never taken advantage of – are the meet-ups they host with Jeff Galloway before all of their major races. The meet-ups are announced on the Disney Parks Blog (which I’m a faithful follower of) the week or two before race day and are open to the first XX amount of people who respond to the call out. In years past, they usually cap at 50, but they upped it to 100 for the Princess Half Meet-Up.


The meet-ups are open to anyone who responds before the cap is reached (with a minimum requirement of being able to hold at least a 12:30 pace), are completely FREE, and include a free RunDisney shirt, 2 mile run with Jeff Galloway, and breakfast.


This morning’s Princess Half Meet-Up started at 7:00am at Epcot. We were shuttled to the park entrance, provided a waiver to sign, and handed a goody bag with our RunDisney shirt and a Fitness Magazine. The large plastic bag also served as a ‘checked bag’ for the short run.


Aren’t the cute shirts? They’re so soft too!


The large group gathered in front of the Epcot ball and were divided into two groups of runners.


We had the option of running with Jeff Galloway using the Galloway or running with Olympian runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, Disneyland Half Marathon champion Rachel Booth, and Fitness Magazine editor-in-chief Betty Wong at a slightly faster non-stop pace.

IMG_7309.JPG IMG_7304.JPG

Though I would have loved to run with Jeff Galloway, his group was a little overwhelming. Besides, running with an Olympian and a half marathon champion is kind of amazing.


The run was just a short two-mile loop around Epcot. I was expecting an ‘easy’ pace, but our group took off! I wasn’t wearing my Garmin so I don’t know the exact pace, but it was QUICK.


It was fun to run around the park with our small group before any of the guests had arrived and we got to enjoy a few surprises along the way.


Two miles later, we ended the run in Germany.


Just as we were entering the restaurant for breakfast, I found Rachel Booth and had a chance to chat with her a bit. She’s a fellow FSU alum (GO NOLES!) and a mom to a 4 year old and a 6 year old. How does she plan to spend her time before her big race on Sunday? Seeing the parks with her kids! She recently WON the Disney Half Marathon in September (her second year in a row!) and if she wins on Sunday, she will be the first back-to-back for champion. Go Rachel, Go!


RunDisney provide a continental breakfast spread to all meet-up participants.


There were plenty of fresh fruit, pastries, bagels, and coffee for everyone.


My plates – lots of fruit with yogurt and half a bagel with strawberry preserves and orange marmalade.


They also provided princess crowns! I love how they were adult size and not children’s size – a size that’s almost impossible to find in the stores!


While eating breakfast I finally had a chance to say hi to Jeff Galloway. He’s such a sweet guy in person and wished everyone luck at the big race.


Jeff actually gave us a great pep talk for Sunday. He told us to race the best race for us and not for anyone else. It’s our race – not our neighbors. I liked that.


Rachel was up next and gave her best pointers for prepping for race day, like starting to hydrate NOW and to not shock our systems with crazy food for the next couple of days.


Suzy Favor Hamilton went last and I loved her crazy, spunky personality. She started off seriously with her new partnership with Lady’s Foot Locker and her run club’s philosophy of empowering women out of depression (such a great cause – more info can be found at, then got silly with a group dance to Firework by Katy Perry.


The festivities ended with a royal meet and greet.



The RunDisney Princess Half Marathon Meet-Up was so much fun! And I love that it’s all free and open to anyone who wants to join in on the fun. I’ll definitely be stalking the Disney Parks Blog for the next one before the Wine and Dine Half in November!

Oh, and I have to give a shout to the my Droid Razer that I’ve been testing out for Verizon this month (full disclosure: I’m an ambassador and they sent me the phone for free).


Verizon is the official cellphone coverage provider of Walt Disney World and I can definitely tell there’s a link when I’m in the parks. Everyone’s phones were having problems with their service at Epcot this morning (including my Sprint phone), except for the Verizon users. My phone had full bars the entire time and had no problems uploading photos to twitter.

So – FYI – Verizon service ROCKS at Walt Disney World.

1 Caroline February 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

YAY! If I lived closer and was running a race there I would be all about this runner meet up. It sounds like a great time:)
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2 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life February 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

Your trip is getting better and better! Such an amazing, and fun, opportunity! ๐Ÿ™‚
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3 Karen :0) February 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

Aaah!! I was following you and heathers twitter updates this morning! We’ve been driving since 3:30 am this morning and the twitter updates kept me excited! ๐Ÿ˜€ Looks like you had a great time!

4 Joss February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

cute picture with Minny! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have fun!
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5 Victoria @ Running Peanut February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

I’m green with jealousy right now. Just FYI. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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6 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope February 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Sounds like a very fun morning so far! I love Disney! ๐Ÿ™‚ The best is being in the parks first thing in the morning before they open. I did a Segway Tour around the World in Ecopt with my fiance and it was such an incredible experience!
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7 Caitlin February 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

WOW what a great event for half participants!!! You all look so cute in your running shirts and tiaras. Glad you are havnig a magical time!
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8 Krystina (Krystina Zena) February 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You have so many amazing opportunities.
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9 Cait @ Cait Strides February 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This is so cool. I didn’t know Disney had meet ‘n greets like this. I’m obsessed with Disney races too (ever since I ran the Disney World Marathon last year) and I wish I lived in Florida so I could do more. Good luck with the half on Sunday!

10 Jeanne February 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Loved this post! And all the pictures ๐Ÿ™‚
I am a big fan of Disney, especially after running my first marathon there in ’08. I would like to follow the Disney Parks Blog–I clicked on the link but it seemed to bring me to a main website. Can you tell me how to get directly to the blog? I’d love to follow it!
Wishing you a great run this weekend, and even more Fun!

11 Meghann February 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Oops! Sorry about that – the link is

12 Carolyn February 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm

What a fun experience! Disney races, though pricey and crowded, are top notch. Everything from the shirts, to the on course food and entertainment, to the expos, to the post race parties. It’s pretty special.
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13 Anne February 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

YAY! Thanks for the tips! I’m getting so pumped for Sunday’s race! We leave for Orlando tomorrow morning!! AHH!!!
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14 colleen February 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Running around Epcot sounds like so much fun! Definitely right about Verizon’s service in the parks. Had no issues in December!

15 Kelly February 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

How was that such a great meet-up? Someone would be forced to stick with the run/walk group if they were not fast enough to keep up with the other group? I would be pissed.

P.S. Jeff Galloway is a former Olympian too.

16 Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

This looks like so much fun!! I’m not a runner, but I would totally do this just to be able to run around Disney!
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17 Caitlin @ Chasing A Mile February 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I have been thinking about doing the Disney Wine and Dine Half as my first Half Marathon. Now I know I want to do it for sure! Good luck this weekend!
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18 Kristy @ KristyRuns February 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Looks like so much fun! Jeff G. is a fellow Atlantan…love him!
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19 Krissy @ Shiawase Life February 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Great recap! This gets me sooo stoked for this weekend AND hopefully for the Wine and Dine weekend!!
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20 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City February 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

What an amazing morning!! I’m glad you speak so highly of Run Disney, I am planning on registering for the Goofy Challenge next winter and can’t wait ๐Ÿ™‚
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21 Cait's Plate February 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm

This looks like so much fun!! I actually really like the RunDisney shirts!
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22 Army Amy* February 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

What a cool opportunity!*
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23 Emily February 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm

hooray! it seems like you have had a GREAT day!
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24 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

That sounds like such a cool event, I can’t believe it was all free! Gotta love Disney…
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25 Hillary February 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

This is SUCH a cool idea. What an awesome, fun experience!

26 Poptartyogini February 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I love Disney. That morning run looks amazing and I am not even a runner. Have a great time and tell Mickey that I’ll see him in November!
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27 Christie February 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

That looks like so much fun! How awesome to meet such amazing and inspirational runners ๐Ÿ™‚
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28 Heather February 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

OMG! I am so jealous! What an amazing day you had.

29 Erica February 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

This looks like so much fun! And that’s awesome that’s it’s free!

30 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

CUTE shirts!! WHat a great event and how fun! Good luck!

31 Alaina February 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I would so attend this if I lived closer! Shoot, I should just save for my plane ticket now. ๐Ÿ™‚
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32 Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon February 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I’m so jealous!! Running through epcot with that kind of company?!?!?!?! Incredible!
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33 Emily @ The Swallow Flies February 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

That sounds like an amazing event! I’m super jealous you got to meet Jeff Galloway – he’ll be at our marathon expo in Des Moines in October, and I can’t wait!
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34 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Disney really knows how to roll out the red carpet! Sounds like a great event with fun entertainment.
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35 Sam February 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm

ew. Classless product placement.

36 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

That looks like so much fun! I’m such a kid – I LOVE DISNEY! ๐Ÿ™‚
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37 Sarah February 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Looks like so much fun! Wish I lived closer!
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38 NJ February 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I have gone to Epcot six times (drink around world-ing) since last summer and my Sprint phone has never had an issue.

I love Germany!

39 carissa February 25, 2012 at 4:07 am

That’s looks so fun! I’m a huge Galloway fan!

40 Marie February 25, 2012 at 11:46 am

Wow, that all sounds so fun! We can’t wait to take our kids to Disney World one day! We have Verizon and can vouch for the reception anywhere! We are waiting for the new iPhone; we still have flip phones (the horror!) and just use our iPod Touches.

41 Cate February 25, 2012 at 8:18 pm

It’s so cool that Disney does this! Just another reason to love Disney, right?
My mom was actually there that morning too. I actually see her in a few of your pictures!
I want to do another Disney race so I can join in on such a neat meet-up! ๐Ÿ™‚
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42 Courtney February 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I was at the meet up too and absolutely loved it! I spotted myself in a few of your pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

43 jessica April 25, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Odd question but are any shop and stuff open during the race? I want to run the 2013 half marathon and mom will be attending but not running. Trying to find her something fun to do! (:

44 Meghann April 26, 2012 at 7:35 am

There’s a shop set up at the finish line, but it’s also a great race for spectators do she’ll have a few opportunities to see you running.

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