Create your own ‘officially licensed’ Disney merchandise

Q: What is the most popular area at a runDisney expo? 
A: The official runDisney merchandise booth, of course! 

How many of us make a beeline to the official merchandise booth the minute we set foot in a runDisney expo? I know I do. Most people I know do as well. This is because race logo shirts, wine glasses, hats, and magnets are highly sought after items. We all want them. And we know they sell out quickly.

Now what about a new race? Excited about Dumbo, Dopey, the WDW 10K, and others?

There are no shirts or mugs available yet, and experience tells us there won’t be any of these items until the expo the week of the corresponding event.

But there is good news!

What you may not know is that has an officially licensed line of Disney character images. You will see that tell-tale registered trademark: Disney ® on all of the product designs.

Simply enter your desired character in the search box. Several pages of items will appear. I don’t narrow my search usually, as I like to see all of the stock images available. However, you can narrow your search if you wish by mugs, messenger bags, shirts, stickers, or other. It takes no time at all to select an image, choose your item, add custom text, and place an order.

These are a few products I created in mere minutes.

I love that there are wicking performance shirt options available for men and women – mostly in white, but some in colors. These would be perfect for the many training runs we have coming up.

Yes, there are many custom t-shirt vendors available online. But keep in mind, if you want a picture of a Disney character on your shirt, a reputable vendor will not violate intellectual property laws by using unlicensed images. offers so many licensed images, you are sure to find the perfect one to come up with your custom product.

So, what do you think? Do you have some great ideas your upcoming runDisney event? Will you be creating a mug, shirt, sticker, or something else?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  I have purchased products with my own funds and have always been pleased with the quality. This post was written for informative purposes only.

Esprit de She Ambassador

So excited to write this post!  I was recently selected to be an ambassador for Esprit de She.

What is Esprit de She you ask? Until a few months ago, I hadn't heard the name either.

Esprit de She means "Spirit of Her", and what a perfect name for this incredible new women's race series.  Now you know from all my Disney Princess Half Marathon excitement - I do love a girly themed run.  Esprit de She delivers this, and more.

Not only are there running events, they offer cycling, duathlon, and triathlon events also.  The environment is fun and welcoming to a beginner athlete, yet competitive for those  that want to push themselves to a PR.  While I do have my eyes on the tri-s, those are down the road.  Right now, I'm really interested in the participating in one of their runs.

Happy hour begins with a fun 5K or 10K run and ends with a post-race night market of festive proportions! Salute your success with a drink at our bubbly bar and enjoy tasty tapas and energetic tunes while browsing our bustling, community night market showcasing fresh produce, local artisans, creative projects and more! (from
Bubbly bar! Tapas! Tunes! Night market! Sign me up!

And not all events are created equal: the cycling, duathlon, and triathlon races will be set up differently. All duathletes and triathletes do receive finisher medals.  I do love me some race bling, and this may just give me the push to bump up to a duathlon event.

These are some highlights from the most recent Esprit de She event: the May 4th duathlon and triathlon in Tempa, AZ.

That really looked like a fantastic day, and what a unique medal!

Something I really like is the support you get to prepare for one of their events.  The website can refer you to coaches if you need them.  Having worked with a running coach myself to prepare for my first half marathon, I can say the experience was worth every penny.  Additionally, the parent company, Life Time (not the cable channel) will offer training programs for free to registered participants.  Runners lucky enough to live in a city hosting one of these events can join a 5K/10K class.  The classes are eight weeks long, and are scheduled to end with the Esprit de She event.  I've been enviously reading tweets from women enjoying their weekly training group, meeting new friends and motivating each other.  Sounds like so much fun!

Unfortunately for me, I do not have an Esprit de She race in my city of Tallahassee.  So, for my event I will travel to Atlanta, Georgia for the 10K this November 7, 2013.  There is also a 5K race that evening.  Yes, I said evening.  This particular race is a nighttime event. Pretty cool, huh?
And there is more.

The race shirt is a fantastic racerback tank, and the super cute race bag will make an awesome shopping tote for the night market.

Last but not least, Athleta Espirt de She is partnered with the very worthy charity: Girls on the Run. This great organization is all about empowering and motivating young ladies aged 8-13.  More info can be found here.

It is clear that organizers have worked hard to design a race series tailored towards women's likes and interests.  I for one can't wait until November.

So to sum up:

  • Fantastic women's only events
  • For runners, cyclists, duathletes, and triathletes
  • Excellent training support
  • Partnered with Girls on the Run
  • Cool swag
  • Post-race Night Market

Also, as part of my ambassador duties, there will be Esprit de She updates and giveaways coming up on the blog in the months ahead.  Anyone want to join me in Atlanta for a girls weekend?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one race entry for free in hopes that I would mention the race events on my blog. All opinions stated are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Head-to-Toe Runner Giveaway: We've got you covered! {Closed}

This Giveaway has closed.  Check our most recent postings for other great giveaways.

We hope you like our next little giveaway.  We've thought and thought about things we like and use often with our workouts and running.  So we decided to put together a fun set of runner goodies.  If you love this package but don't win this time, not to worry.  We've STILL got you covered, with a 'nearly identical' giveaway coming up later this summer.

This is what you are entering to win:
1) one Bani Bands headband
2) one Gone for a Run race belt – has toggles for your bib, and six elastic loops for your GU.
3) 6 packets of GU (assorted flavors)
4) one pair Sweat Pink shoelaces
5) one pair Nike dri-fit ‘no-show’ stability running socks (sized M: women sz: 6-10, men sz 6-8)
6) Athleta ‘Power to the She’ word magnet set
7) Saucony drawstring backpack. This is a large bag, and it comes with a little zipped pocket inside.

Belt, bag, headband, and socks were purchased for purposes of a giveaway. Sweat Pink shoelaces, GU packets, and Athleta magnet set are promotional items. 
To enter, just use the handy dandy rafflecopter link below.  
Last day to enter is May 30th.  Winner will be announced May 31, 2013.

Please note:  We will ship to US and APO/FPO (military post office) addresses only.  We are trying to avoid issues with shipping GU outside the country, as there are restrictions on foods/liquid substances.

Rock City Skirts Winner! and a little announcement

Congrats to Anna Miller! Winner of our first giveaway: a Rock City Skirt.  I'm sending you an email today with more info.

Thank you everyone who participated in this running skirt giveaway!  And a really big thank you to Amy Maust of Rock City Skirts for providing me with the chance to review one of her sparkly running skirts, AND to provide a skirt for the winning reader of this blog.  You rock, Amy!

I also want to announce that we have another giveaway planned for next week.  The theme is Head to Toe.

So please stayed tuned for a chance to win some more goodies for your summer running.   Remember you can follow us via blog, facebook, or twitter! 

Clearwater Iron Girl: my mother's first roadrace

On April 14, 2013, I got to run my first Iron Girl event, the Clearwater 5K Run and Walk.

Originally this event was on my radar for the Iron Girl Half Marathon also scheduled this day, and my plan was to convince my sister and mother to run the 5K as a mother/daughter team.  That way the three of us could make a girly day of it.  I was inspired by the very awesome running team over at We Run Disney.  But, my sister was unable to run this particular event, so I signed up for the 5K instead with my mother.  DG and I traveled to Tampa this weekend in particular to meet our newborn nephew - and happy coincidence I could also attend my first Iron Girl.

With her failing health issues, including early onset dementia, I may not get too many chances to run with my mother.  Plus, we are not 'close' really, so this mother/daughter team was important to us both.  To create a new and happy memory.

Because I love costumes, we dressed up.  For our team name, we went with: Las IncreĆ­bles!  (The Incredibles in Spanish)  Because I could not find tech tees with an Incredibles logo, I bought plain red tech tees from Target and made logos from black, orange, gold, and white duct tape. 

Unfortunately I could not get my mother into a sparkly running skirt.  She claimed 'that's not for ladies in their 70s'.  While I disagree, I didn't fight her.  If I am lucky enough to still be running in my 70s, I hope to still be rocking a sparkly skirt.

Things I liked:
Course: running over the causeway = spectacular views of Clearwater and the bay
Medal: made by the awesome Ashworth Awards, metal and stained glass, glittery and shiny. LOVE!
Venue - the waterfront park was a large open space. Perfect.
Stage - Made awards presentation easy for all to see and hear
Finish Line:  They announce YOUR NAME as your cross, just like at runDisney events. (They also announce your age.... fyi, in case that bothers anyone.)
Outdoor expo - very windy morning, but vendors catering to female runner made it a lot of fun!
PANCAKE breakfast - multiple grills onsite = freshly made pancakes with delicious toppings.
Super organized - things flowed smoothly and ran on time.  I didn't notice any hiccups.
There were many enthusiastic spectators/self-appointed cheerleaders throughout the course.   
Husbands of runners pushing baby strollers, and following their wives alongside the 5K course .  This was just too cute.  

Didn't Like:

Super long portapotty lines.  There just weren't enough portapotties for this many women.
Parking.  An issue at nearly all downtown races.  

The big surprise of the day was the conversation I had with my mother.  She told me she used to be a track and field athlete at her prep school: 200m and 400m events.  She told me about the jerseys, shoes, and bibs they wore - this was late 1950s.  I had never heard any of this before, so it was interesting to say the least, finding out she had been a runner.  She had not done any road races though, so this 5K was a first for her. I've mentioned this before: while my mother may be 70, she has the energy of a 10 year old boy on Christmas morning with a brand new bike and a pocketful of pixie sticks.  When race ended, she immediately asked me when we can do another.

Thanks to my dashing DisneyGroom.  He followed us along much of the course, running ahead to get good photos, and cheering his heart out. Always the jokester, see the crazy sign he made, and the message he was yelling out to all the runners. At least no one took offense, that I know of.  To his credit, his other sign was actually pretty sweet.

sign reads: Show me Your BIBS!

The Mother/Daughter Team option was AMAZING.  Dozens of moms with little girls dressed in matching tutus.  And a middle-aged woman pushing her 80-something year old mother in a wheelchair brought tears to my eyes.  (Especially on those brutal causeways hills.)  There were even a few three generation teams!

I would definitely do this race again!  I'd love to run or walk this with my sister. If you are reading this - hint hint - nudge nudge.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms, soon-to-be moms, and the 'forgotten' moms of angel babies.
Thanks for reading!

Tallahassee Tails & Trails 2013 Race Recap

Before starting this race recap, a little history is needed.  It is April 2011, DisneyBride is still DisneyGirlfriend and we have been dating a little over a year.  DB enjoys 5Ks often and DG enjoys not running 5Ks at all.  DB keeps asking to sign us up for a race, trying to get me into racing.  I won’t run a 5K, because it has been entirely too long since I had done anything resembling running.  So DB signs us up for the Tails and Trails 1 mile fun run.  We walk the 1 mile and as we cross the finish line, they give us our first piece of “runner bling”.  It will be a year and a half until we do another race together.

our 2011 medals

Now on to the 2013 Tails and Trails.

This race benefits the Tallahassee Animal Shelter Foundation, supporting our local animal shelter.  The course also runs on one of my favorite trails. (If you are ever in Tallahassee I highly recommend all the trails within Tom Brown Park.)  The race organizers are genius about the packet pick-up.  Participants must walk through the kennels to get your bag, past the cats, kittens, birds, dogs, and puppies.  I had to leave DB in the Jeep or she would adopted and brought home every dog in the shelter.  I signed up for the 10K and DB signed up for the 5K.  We elected to pick up our packets on Friday night to avoid any crowds trying to get their stuff on Saturday morning.  Normally, I don’t like picking up my packet on race day.  Too much rushing around or waiting in lines before a race makes me anxious. 

Like most local races, the 1 mile is run before the other races.  DB and I reminisced about how just two years ago we both ran the 1 mile together.  And since taking up running last year, in a relatively short time, we have completed a half marathon.  As the runners crossed the line, they were handed a medal similar to the ones we had received in 2011.  We were now really looking forward to receiving our medals later.  

We also run into some friends and discuss our race strategies.

Start time approaches. DB and I line up, share a good luck kiss and we are off.  I may never get used to the lack of fireworks to signal the start.  RunDisney has really and truly spoiled us.  The weather is perfect for running.  I'm not sure who arranged the weather, but they should be retained by every Race Director.  It was nice and cool, with a glorious breeze, and the threat of rain.  I take off from the starting line and head out on the course.  The 5K and 10K split from each other after about a mile.  This split is where the course enters a wooded trail.  I truly enjoy trail running, it forces you to pay attention to every step.  Apparently, several runners forgot this as many people had bloody knees and arms at the finish line. 

photo credit: Fred Decker of Gulf Winds Track Club
The race had water stops at two locations that you hit on the way out and the way back. Complaint Alert!  The water stop near the turn around point did not have any water on the way back.  Race Directors: Please ensure that water is available for all runners, not just those that are at the front of the pack.  There were many runners behind me as I continued on my way back to the finish line.  I hope the lack of water was not a major issue for any of the runners.  Fortunately, I know this trail system well, and I took a minor detour off the course to a nearby water fountain.  Those unfamiliar with this park most likely went without water until the finish. 

The final 3 miles were beautiful, by this time the crowds had thinned out and one could enjoy the run.  For about 10 minutes a very light shower helped keep things cool. I kept up with my intervals and begin to realize that I am running my fastest pace yet.  As I approach the finish line I see DB and a friend of mine waiting to cheer me to the finish line.  I finish the race in 1:07 and change.  

photo credit: Fred Decker of Gulf Winds Track Club

I take my sub 11 min/mile time as a victory and grab a couple of slices of bagels.  After grabbing my bagel I realize they haven’t given anyone a medal.  I guess that the medals were always only for the 1 milers and I didn’t notice this last time.  Apparently, they assume only children run the 1 mile and that adults don’t want medals.  Anyway, I had been looking forward to adding more bling to our medal rack, but get over it pretty quickly. 

The finish area was well stocked with water, Gatorade, bagels, fruit, Chobani, and other snacks - including Disney cookies.  DB was WAY too excited about that.  

As a very nice touch that I have not experienced in any other local races, the race organizers waited until the last person crossed the finish line to give out the awards.  It was nice to be able to see people receive their respective awards. With my love of the Tom Brown Park trails, and DB’s love of animal charities, this is a race that we will do again.  Perhaps next time we will walk the 1 mile before the other races to add another Tails and Trails medal to our collection.

Hopefully we’ll see a few of you at the next Tails and Trails on May 3, 2014.


Wordless Wednesday: DisneyGroom the Bacon Runner

photo credit: Fred Decker of Gulf Winds Track Club, May 2013

Rock City Skirts Review and Giveaway! {Closed}

This Giveaway has closed.  Check our most recent postings for other great giveaways.

Looking to add a little sparkle to your runs?  Of course you are!  This past month I got to add some sparkly-sparkly to my running, via Rock City Skirts.

I discovered the runner-owned and operated Rock City Skirts on twitter.  As a runner, Amy Maust knows what what works and what doesn't.  What caught my eye right away was the new offering for St Patrick's Day runs - that featured three tiers of color - in that case: representing the flag of Ireland.  Many of the skirts have fun, creative names! I also noticed on their website that they will do custom color combinations.  This was too good to resist so I contacted them and requested what else - but the good ole Red, White, and Blue!  In my head, I was calling it Miss USA - because it does put me in mind of something you might see during a beauty pageant talent competition. Well, the name stuck - and the Miss USA skirt was added to the official collection.

Rock City Skirts is a pretty new company (established 2012), but they are making a splash in the running skirt world with their Princess skirts, Superhero skirts, Holiday-themed skirts, Metallic skirts, plus the two and three color combinations.  The design-your-own option is fantastic - as you can put your fave colors together for a uniquely you skirt!

The skirts are extremely lightweight; you don't even notice you are wearing them.  Adult sizing is available for sizes 4 - 20.  One thing in particular I appreciated is that these measure a tiny bit longer than other well-known sparkly running skirts.  If you have a more... ahem ... generous backside like myself, you too will appreciate that extra inch or two of fabric to keep things modest.  I did ask Amy if she would do longer length skirts - as I know there are a few of us out there that like to cover up a bit more.  She said she will offer longer lengths on a custom basis - so be sure to check with her if you have something in mind.  This is good news indeed!

Kids sizing is also available, and while I don't have a little girl myself, in my head I am already planning matching Tinkerbell costumes for my nieces at future runDisney races.

There are no attached shorts; so pair them with coordinating tights or shorts.  This is what I wore for two recent local races.  (Please pardon the silly faces, but you can see I was having a blast in my skirt!) 

The skirt up top is my Miss USA.  The white is on the silvery side - not a pure bright white... in case that matters to you.  This one is made of the sequined poly fabric.

The one below is called Blue By You and is a smooth metallic fabric.  I'd love to get a few more of these in other colors- as the texture is quite silky.  I wore mine to my local Run for Boston event.  It matched my Boston Marathon tank perfectly.

These skirts shipped to me in just a few days, very fast considering I had a custom order.  Care instruction tag is included for your convenience.  I just did a simple hand wash in the sink plus drip dry, and they were good as new.  You can also wash in a mesh lingerie bag on cold water, gentle cycle.  I would still hang it up to dry though.   

Offerings are constantly being updated, so if you don't see the color you want straight away, send them an email inquiry.  I've already put them on notice that I'll be wanting a Black, Gold, and Red for OktoberFest.  Yep. So now you want your very own Rock City Skirt too, right?  

Well, go to the Rafflecopter link below and enter the giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive a solid color (two tier) running skirt.  Check out the website for the current selection.  Contest runs from May 7th - May 14th.  I will announce the winner May 15th.  Can't wait that long?  Gotta have it now?  

I love to support women-owned small businesses, don't you?  Here is the contact info, so you can get your very own Rock City Skirt. Hint: Be sure to check out the Facebook page, as a lot of contests go on there.  


Now go out to your next race and ...

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one blue skirt mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. There was no financial compensation. All opinions stated are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Expedition #EverestChallenge: #DisneySportsEnthusiast Volunteer Experience

A guest post by Elizabeth DeKam of

I started volunteering for runDisney races during Tower of Terror 10-miler weekend in 2012.  I found I enjoyed it so much, I’ve volunteered for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and now Expedition Everest Challenge weekend.  This year, I volunteered at packet pick-up and the Family Edition of Expedition Everest.  It was definitely a LOT of fun.  Here’s my recap of the Family Edition.
Saturday morning, we had to report to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex by 8:30 a.m. and we were scheduled until 1 p.m.  Well, I’m obsessively early to EVERYTHING, so I was there before 7:30 a.m.  I had originally signed up for the Kids Races but because they were at the same time, they just assigned some to the Kids and some to Family Edition.  I got my volunteer shirt for the event, plus a pink sticker on my volunteer name badge that indicated I was doing the races. 

The day before, I had met one of my fellow running buddies from a running group I’m part of on Facebook and we were both volunteering Saturday morning. So we ended up pairing up when they were handing out posts.  We ended up being stationed at the farthest clue from the start of the Family Edition, which meant people would hit us up first or last.  The race wasn’t scheduled to start til 10:30 and we were taken out to our location around 9:30, so we had an hour to just chill and talk.  When we got out to our location, there was a runDisney intern to give us our instructions.  We were given the answer sheet to the clue at our location and instructed that we could help people figure out the answer. But, we could NOT flat out give them the answer.  That seemed like one of those “Duh” moments because part of the fun is figuring out the clues on your own.  Our clue had boards all around the baseball field with two letters on each board.

Two of the many clues scattered around the fields

So, after we were given the instructions and left to our own devices, we went and sat in the dugout.  It rained on and off all morning and got kinda chilly at some points, so I was glad I had brought along my volunteer jacket from the marathon during Marathon Weekend.  Otherwise, I would’ve been REALLY cold.  We continued to sit and talk until 10:30 when we realized what time it was and headed out onto the baseball field in order to help people.

Rocking the runDisney raingear

A couple minutes after we headed out, the first families started streaming onto the field.  Most of them headed straight to the home plate to see all the boards at once, while others had their kids run from board to board and read the letters to them.  There were a couple families that had 5 or more members, but they were usually the ones who took the longest to figure out the clue.  It was fun to watch all these families when they finally figured out the clue, or if they came to us because they were just beyond lost and didn’t understand it at all.

A little rain wasn't stopping these families

After about an hour and a half, the last two families left us.  They had teamed together to figure out the very last clue (that they didn’t even need to figure out what they had to do when they crossed the finish-line) and I ended up helping the parents figure it out while my friend distracted the kids.  Once they left us, we just kinda chilled and waited for our leaders to drive out and get us.  By 12:05 in the afternoon, we were done and headed out.  I headed home to get my son from the sitter then go home and take a nap because I was running Everest that night.
It seemed like the Family Edition ran very well and everyone I talked to that participated in it thought it was a lot of fun, and a great way for the family to spend some time together, and get some exercise, and use their thinking skills in the process.  I decided that if they have it again next year, my mom and I are going to do it, with my son, because she’s great at solving puzzles like that and the distance would be perfect for her.  I’m definitely going to keep volunteering at Disney races and next year, I’ll be volunteering during Everest weekend again! 

Thanks so much Elizabeth for your guest post! 
She did awesome at the Expedition Everest Challenge that night by the way... :o)