As we prepare to head down for another runDisney weekend, I think about how few and far between running events at Walt Disney World seem to me. I say this of course, mindful that new events have been added in California at DisneyLand. But where is the love for Florida?
Well, as it turns out - there is something else out there for runners.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWOS) complex on property is host to numerous events throughout the year - everything from soccer to cheerleading to Crossfit. DisneyGroom even participated in basketball events there during his high school years.
If you are like me, your main association with the WWOS is the location for the runDisney expo. And yes, it is that too.
On October 10 - 11, 2014, ESPN Wide World of Sports will hold its annual Disney Cross Country Classic. Now in its 19th year (yes, this has been around almost as long as the WDW Marathon), the event attracts cross country runners from middle schools and high schools around the country.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Oh... it's just for kids. Well, many of the events are, as they are organized by age groups. But there is a OPEN event for ALL ages.
From what I've seen, part of this course is off-road, similar to the Happy Haunted 5K during runDisney's Tower of Terror 10 Miler Weekend. Word is that there may be a character or two at the finish line.
The Cross Country Classic weekend even includes some extras runDisney runners will appreciate. A mini 'expo' of sorts and a pasta party WITH CHARACTERS.
From the DisneyCrossCountry.com page
I did a web search and discovered that past medals look like this:
So, okay - you have to be pretty fast to snag a medal. But still, there really is something magical about lacing up your running shoes and hitting the pavement (or trail) when you are on property. Since we are heading down to WDW this weekend, we won't be able to make this event next week. But, for locals, and any other runners that find themselves there next week, it's definitely worth checking out!
Have you ever run this event?
Did you happen to catch the cool Mickey Mouse trophies in the video?
Did you ever do any of the many youth athletic competitions at ESPN WWOS?