Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Be a runDisney Princess!

Monthly Challenge

Virtual Coast 2 Coast Step Challenge!

Star Wars Weekends

A galactic experience for the whole family!

Fan Girl Favorites

Enjoying Star Wars, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Disney and all things Geeky!

Running With A View

Running, trails, biking, challenges, nutrition; it's all things I care about and love to do.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Must See Attractions at Disneyland Paris!

I felt like Aurora!  Disneyland Paris was a beautiful Dream!   

Tucked just outside the city, Disneyland Paris has two theme parks just waiting to whisk you away into the Magical World of Disney!  Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios bring the best of Disney’s American parks to Europe with a Parisian Twist!  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

How to Volunteer for runDisney races!


Volunteering is the one of the best things anyone can do!  You have the opportunity to give back – especially to those who have helped you along the way.  And that is what volunteering for runDisney does for me… it helps me give back to all of those volunteers who have helped on the many courses of Disney over the last 10 years! 

This past Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend, I volunteered for Noah’s Light Foundation to help during the Kids Races.  It was so much fun and was rewarding beyond words!  I’ve volunteered and run in support of different Childhood Diseases, and was honored that Noah’s Light was apart of the Dark Side Weekend.  For each race, runDisney, has a featured charity, such as Noah’s Light.  They each have a story that needs to be told and cause that desperately needs money and attention.  Noah’s Light Foundation was created to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer by supporting research in pediatric oncology, raising awareness and supporting families who are struggling with childhood cancer.  And I was honored to be a part of it!

So, How Did I Get Involved?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Princess Half Registration Tips

Updated May 2017
Registration for the 10th Anniversary of the Princess Half is just around the corner!! Tuesday, May 2nd, 12 Noon ET - to be exact!

You know this race will sell out!

Registering for a runDisney race seems simple right?  Well it can be, but it can also be stressful when the race sells out in minutes!  And the servers crash!  And you didn't get in!  

So, over the years I have learned my lessons the hard way, and I have some tips to share with you to help make registering easier!

1. Know What You Will Be Registering For:  Don't wait till you log in to think about what you are going to register for, know before you go!
  • Will you be doing the Family 5K and Kids Races?  
  • Do you need the Chear Squad for your family?
  • Will you be doing the 10K or half or both?  
  • Did you want commemorative merchandise?
  • Did you want the Pasta Party?
Make a list and be ready!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Dark Side Half Marathon Course Description

A Detailed Look at What the Force has in Store for You!

April 2017:

You will not be complete in your Challenge to tame the Dark Side until you have completed the Half Marathon!  This was a very exciting and demanding race for me last year, and I know it will meet your expectations this year!

Here are the details:

This year's Half Marathon will have you traveling through 3 Parks:  Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and ending at Epcot.  We went through Epcot early in the course last year, and it will be your last stop this year.

You will be starting in the Magic Kingdom Mulan parking lot.  The buses will drop you off near the staging area, or Welcome Plaza, where you can leave your check-in bag and head over to the porta potties.  From there, you will be guided into your corrals:  this will be about a 20 minute walk, so be sure and include this is your planning.   It will be early and possibly chilly, so plan for layering!

Dark Side of the Course!

A Look at the Dark Side 10K and Half Marathon Courses

April 2017:

Ah! You can not resist the Dark Side of the Force as it rules the 10K and half Marathon Courses this year!  Both races should be awesome, and I can't wait to see the Characters along the way!

I love looking at the race courses!  The Geek in me studies the courses and everything in between!  

So let's get started!

This year's 10K is packed with excitement as you begin on World Drive and head toward Hollywood Studios!  You will run down Hollywood Boulevard, past Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and into Epcot where your journey in the Force will be complete!

Begin Your Journey to the Dark Side... at the Magic Kingdom Parking Lot!

You will be starting in the Magic Kingdom Mulan parking lot.  The buses will drop you off in the Cruella Parking Lot and it's just a short walk over to the Ursula Lot to the staging area and security check.  This Welcome Plaza is where you can leave your check-in bag and head over to the porta potties.  From there, you will be guided into your corrals.   And you will be off!  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Episode 018 - Beyond runDsney: Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

You know, coming to a runDisney race, doesn’t mean you have to do everything at Disney!  I love exploring around Orlando and Los Angeles areas – even if it is just for a day.  One of my favorite things to do is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day!  And I will tell you how to do that today!

I absolutely love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  It is a totally immersing experience, and I love to go as much as possible – even if it is just for a day.  And I encourage runDisney participants to get out of the Wonderful World of Disney and Explore Hogwarts and Diagon Alley!

Now – How do you do it?

1st of all you will need a Park to Park ticket because you can not ride the Hogwarts Express without it!  You will be exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both Universal Studios and Island of Adventure while using the Hogwarts Express for transportation!

2nd, you need a plan so that you can get all of the important things in within your time frame.  I will go over the basic plan today, and then you can download my ebook and guides that goes into more details!

3rd, arrive early – this is not a day to sleep in!  And I suggest to do this after the race, especially if you are doing the half marathon or marathon – you don’t want to go into those races tired and dehydrated from a hot day in Orlando…

The Plan -
I have a See-It-All-In-One-Day Plan.
The purpose of the See-It-All-In-One-Day Plan is to give families an opportunity to experience nearly everything in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ in one day. This plan will ensure that, when you leave, your family had a complete Harry Potter™ adventure!”

Start in DiagonAlley, Universal Studios.

Escape from Gringotts is your first stop.  This ride tends to have very long wait times and there are currently no Express Pass options!  So you need to be in line early!  From here you will head to Ollivanders.  Even though there is an Ollivanders in Hogsmeade, Diagonalley is the where all the students go to get there wands, so I want to be traditional and do it here, also.
You will have plenty of time to wind your way through DiagonAlley.
I suggest a late breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron and end the day in the early afternoon at the train station to Hogsmeade.

The town of Hogsmeade, in Islands of Adventure,  has the most rides and you will want to be there early afternoon to catch them all.  I would plan on dinner at The Three Broomsticks, and plan for the rest of the day here with the ride back to Diagonalley around 7pm.  You will want to stay until the parks close which is around 9pm.

The Best Way to do this adventure is

1-Day Park to Park Ticket with Roundtrip Transfers [Quick Transportation]
This ticket provides roundtrip transfers from Walt Disney World® Hotels and Walt Disney World® Area Hotels to BOTH Universal's Islands of Adventure® and Universal Studios Florida®.
* This special offer is only available for advance purchase through your travel agent.

Very easy and hassel free!

Universal did an amazing job recreating the worlds of Harry Potter™. From the architecture of the buildings, to the artwork of the store signs, and to the walls and ceilings of each store, no detail was left out. There are hidden gems everywhere, and be prepared for surprises! And every time I go, I find something new and enjoy something old.  That’s why this is one of my favorite Beyond the Kessel Run spots!

Now if you want to know more details, download my book from Amazon, 
The Ultimate Fan Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

On my blog on the FanGirl Page, there are free downloadable there to get you started.
If you have any questions, please let me know –
I will be sure and get right back to you!

Join me each week as we explore the runDisney Galaxy! 

You can find my Podcast on these great stations: Podbean, iTunes, Tunein and Stitcher! 

Enjoy these blogs exploring each Broadcast !

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Special Edition of BTKR - A Look at the Upcoming Virtual Running Shorts!

I LOVE Pluto!  You know Pluto made his debut for Walt Disney in 1930 in the Cartoon The Chain Gang; but I am so excited about his debut this Month in the Virtual Running Short Series!
Pluto will be the honorary host this year, and he is inviting not only you but all of your canine friends!!

This Special Edition of the Beyond the Kessel Run Podcast is dedicated to runDisney's Virtual Races this summer.  I know a lot of you may have never participated in a virtual race before – so let’s cover what that is first!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Episode 015 How to Layer for the runDisney Corrals

It’s 3am and the alarm goes off!  I have to be on the bus by 4:00am.  For me… that means not only getting dressed but that I also need to eat and drink coffee!   So I am in a rush to get it all done.  I run out to the bus line just in time for 4am!  And 4am is chilly!  For some races, almost freezing for this warm blooded Southern girl.   Even though when I run I get very hot and sweaty, the seemingly endless walk to the corrals and the hour or more standing in the fog can chill me to the bone.   The one thing that saves me is layering!  And you can do it in really creative ways!

The important thing about layering is to focus on target areas:  hands, head, arms and chest.    If you are just dealing with morning coolness, your approach will be light.  If race day is going to be cold – and I have run on the coldest day ever in Disney World – then your approach will require more layers.  You must remember that you need to be able to get rid of the layer if it’s making you hot – whether that means tying it around your waste or tossing it aside.

I like to put layering in categories…

1.     Disposable
Dump in the garbage can at the water stops

Garbage Bags
-Easy to Find
-Cut arm holes if you need to run with them for a while
-Great Wind Breaker
-Great Rain Coat
- Lawn and Leaf Bags are the best

Mylar Blankets
-sporting goods stores or online
-** Beware: Can’t cross the starting line because they interfere with the timers and your chip

Disposable Running Clothes
-high-tech fabric that provides a durable and ultra-light outer layer of protection.
-Water-Resistant, Wind-Proof and Warm
-Average $10 for each top and bottom
-tear away easy
-plan ahead
-have seen at Expo but wouldn’t count on it

2.     Donate-able
Real Clothes that you toss aside: Disney will gather and donate to charity

-Thrift Store finds/Closet finds
-Long Sleeve Shirts

3.     Costume-able
Build your costume with layers

-knee socks
-gloves / hard warmers
-thin undershirts

However you decide to layer, plan ahead, pack for it, and be ready so that you won’t be panicking last minute!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Episode 014 Is Running for a runDisney Charity Right for Me?

The runDiney race you are looking for is Sold Out!
  •  Half Marathon - SOLD OUT
  •  Challenge - SOLD OUT
  • 10K - SOLD OUT
  •  5K - SOLD OUT
What do you do?  If you didn't get in, there is Hope!  Sign up for a charity and make your run count!

I have had the privilege to run for runDisney charities 3 times! I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for the A-T Children's Project two different years, and Run for Our Sons for the Inaugural Star Wars Light Side Weekend.  These opportunities were very rewarding experiences because I had the chance to be involved in a community that makes a difference, to meet the families I was running for, and to participate in a much deeper way than just running for myself.  In a lot of ways running can be very focused on yourself and your personal records, and your time, and your pace – and this gave me an opportunity to put my mind on something else. 

I know you have a lot of questions – I hope to cover them all here so that you can determine if it is the best thing for you to do, too!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Episode 013 - After The Race: Where to Find my Race Results, Pictures and Certificates!

If you participated in the Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Congratulations!  You were among 52000 participants!  Isn’t that amazing!  I know you had a fun filled, emotion filled weekend! And...
if you are anything like me, you really want to see all the pictures, the race results, and get my certificate! just where do you find all of that info??!! 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

2017 Princess Half Course: A Route for a Princess

February 2017:

It's time to look at the race course and see what we have the Princess Half Marathon has waiting for us!

Even though I won't be running this year, I have lots of friends who are!  And the Geek in me still studies the course and everything in between.  I like to divide it into 4 parts:  Journey to the Magic Kingdom; Dreaming of the Castle ; Trek to Epcot; and Last Miles to Smiles!

So let's get started!

Journey to the Magic Kingdom!

You will be starting in the Epcot Explore parking lot.  The buses will drop you off in the staging area where you can leave your check-in bag and head over to the porta potties.  From there, you will be guided into your corrals.   Disney starts the race on time, and each corral will start with fanfare and fireworks!   And your off!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Episode 011 Being runDisney Weather Wise Part 1

Weather can really impact our races because we are at the mercy of Mother Nature!  And since running in California can be different that running in Florida, we are going to look at being Weather Wise in 2 parts:  Part 1 will be Florida and Part 2 will be California.

Walt Disney World is a unique place to run because of the constant heat and humidity throughout the year.  Humidity can affect your body's ability to cool itself through evaporation.  The more moisture in the air, the harder it is to evaporate the sweat and cool off.

So, if you don't live in a climate like Florida, how can you prepare for it?

1. Know the Average Temperature/Humidity

WDW Marathon:  January high 71 / low of 50 with 84% humidity

Princess Half:  February high 73 / low of 53 with 87% humidity

Star Wars Half:  April high 82 / low of 62 with 87% humidity

Wine/Dine Half:  November high 78 / low of 60 with 89% humidity

These averages give you a starting point for any costume or running outfit you need to plan.

2. Look 10 Days Out

You want to look 10 days before you leave for trending weather:  so you know changes in temperature or future stormy weather.

3. Be Adaptable

You always need to have a Plan B:  What to do if it turns cold?  What to wear if it is hot?

4. Hydrate

The best way to beat the heat and humidity is to hydrate the night before!

5. Stay Warm in the Corral

Bring an old sweatshirt, coverup - anything that you don't mind losing, and get rid of it as you warm up!  Don't worry - Disney will pick up anything discarded and give to charity!

Those are my 5 simple steps for being Weather Wise in Florida!

Episode 012 will cover Being Weather Wise in California!

Check out more info from my guest blogger: The Deliberate Dad 

Need more information?  contact me at

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Princess Weekend Packet Pickup and Expo Tips

February 2017 

It is the final days to your magical race!  Lots of excitement, nerves and unknowns await for anyone who has never run this race or a runDisney race!

Put those nerves aside, and get ready!   Here is what you need to do to be ready for Packet Pickup

1. Print out your waivers.

If you don't have your waivers, you can't get your packet with your race bib, etc.  Very Important!

Tip: Bring a photo ID to the Expo; you won't get your packet without the Waiver and an ID.
If flying, put your waiver in your carry-on bag, and print out an extra copy.

Monday, January 2, 2017

001 Beyond the Kessel Run: An Introduction

Welcome to Beyond The Kessel Run: Your runDisney Galaxy Broadcast!

I am kicking off my new Podcast!  To share my experiences with runDisney and Beyond!

I receive a lot of questions about runDisney, mostly what is it and why would I want to run it!

I believe in the runDisney movement!  It is a movement that is growing by thousands, each and every race.

I participate in runDisney for 4 reasons:

1.  Empowerment
You will find people from all backgrounds and countries, coming together to share their experiences and achieve the impossible!

2.  Motivation
You get to run to the Castle!  And wear a costume and be a kid again!  You will look forward to these things from the moment you sign up!

3.  Family
There is a race for everyone in your family!

4.  Memories
Each race brings a special memory to your life!

runDisney is the Happiest Race on Earth and I want to share this with you!

I've learned a lot through the years, and I want to share my mistakes, my tips, my wins and losses.

I also want to talk about what is beyond the runDisney race... how to manage your run-vacation!  We will explore beyond registration that helps you train, prepare, navigate the expo, the parks and explore beyond the parks into Anaheim and Orlando.

To hear more about my Podcast adventure, check out the first Podcast!

And tell me how I can help you to reach your runDisney goals and Beyond!

Read More:  5 Reasons to Run The Happiest Race on Earth!

Catch Up on my Podcast Here!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Episode 012 Being runDisney Weather Wise - Part 2

Now imagine you are putting on your cutest Tinkerbell Costume!  You were in the parks just yesterday and it was beautiful!  Warm with a light breeze – it just couldn’t get any better!  So you head on out for the short walk to the Corrals and was met with a chilly wall of air as you stepped outside!  You started second guessing the idea to grab something to cover up with; and as you waited anxiously for the start of the race, the air dipped down even cooler … if only the Sun would come up!
And that is life at a Disneyland race!  The temperatures are really cool in the morning,
but warm up quickly!  And any runDisney race can always be an adventure… one year for the Disneyland Half, it was hotter in Disneyland than back home in Mississippi:  it was 95 degrees in Disneyland!  It was so hot for the race!
And on year for the Avengers Race, the wind was extreme: debris and sand from the streets were pelting the runners and the water stations were literally being blown away.  So even though the temperature, is much milder than Florida, Disneyland can be challenge weather wise, too!
how can you prepare for it??
1.     Know the Average temperatures / humidity
Humidity is a constant 60% all year long and the temperature only varies for the Disneyland Half:  the other races are about the same on average.
January – Light Side Race  High 71/ Low 48
May – Tinkerbell High 78 / Low 57
September   - Disneyland Half  High 87/ Low 63
November – Super Heroes High 76/ Low 52

2.    Look 10 days out from the race and see if any unexpected changes are coming.
The Light Side race was so lucky this year – they just missed all the monsoonal rain! 

3.    Be adaptable
I try to make my costumes adaptable by having a short sleeve or sleeveless option or even having arm sleeves available.  I always pack a plan B – because you never know how you will feel race day.

4.    Hydrate
Even though you don’t feel as hot without the humidity, you still need to hydrate.  The dry air whisks away your sweat and you can dehydrate very quickly: be sure and drink plenty of water the night before.

5.    Stay warm in the corrals
This is much more important I think here in Disneyland than in Florida – because you can plan on it being warm for the race, but that wait in the corral can be down right cold!  48 degrees is winter weather for me!  Be sure to plan for that throw away old sweatshirt or cover up.  You will be glad you did!
1.    Know the average weather
2.    Look 10 Days Before
3.    Be Adaptable
4.    Hydrate
5.    Plan for the Corrals
It turns out that you need to think about the same 5 things – wherever you run… Whether it’s Disney World, Disneyland or Disneyland Paris!
Next Week we are going to talk about Running for a Charity… is it worth it?  How to Pick Your Charity and How to Raise money.  So Tune in to the Podcast!