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by Military Diva

It seems like anything Disney chooses to attach their name to becomes a huge hit.  They have introduced and/or popularized animation, brand marketing, theme parks and specialty travel. Now they are conquering the world of running!

runDisney events across the country seem to have become the starting point for so many runners- a Disney vacation being the reward for months of training and miles of pavement pounding.

The popularity of these races has made obtaining a bib a competitive event of its own. People flock to multiple devices, log into runDisney and simultaneously and even purchase Annual Passes to have early registration access. But slots are numbered for these events.  There are thousands of runners that are not able to get in.

There is, however, another method to successfully register for your favorite runDisney race. One of the most heroic and most successful ways to gain entry is through a runDisney Charity such as Homes for Our Troops or St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


HFOT Fundraising Requirement

HFOT Fundraising Requirement


These two amazing charity organizations, and many others, purchase race bibs from Disney in advance.  These slots are then made available to individual runners in exchange for meeting a preset fundraising goal.  With a bit of training and some creative earning you can have guaranteed access to a runDisney race! At the same time you are aiding in research for disease, bringing attention to a heartfelt cause, or directly impacting the life of another individual. You get a vacation, one of the most entertaining race venues, and a way to help others all at once.  Are you ready to sign up?

The first step to working with one of these charity organizations is to decide which race you are available to participate in.

Currently there are 9 runDisney events scheduled between November 2015 and September 2016.  Disney World in Orlando, Florida will host 4 events; Disneyland in Anaheim, California is host to 4 events; Disneyland in Paris, France will host one event. (There is also a Castaway Cay challenge for those cruising after Disney World Marathon Weekend).  When choosing a race allow ample time for both training and fundraising.

Once your event is chosen, click on the registration link and look for “charity groups” or “run for a cause”. These links will take you to a list of eligible charity groups that offer guaranteed race registration.

runDisney Official Event Guide Disney Marathon Weekend 2013

runDisney Official Event Guide Disney Marathon Weekend 2013

What are the benefits of registering and running through a charity organization? That depends on which event/charity you choose, but in general expect

-Guaranteed race entry, even if the event is sold out.

-Discounts on Resort rates (Disney World events)

-Discounts on Theme Park tickets(Disney World events)

-Discounts on select extras

-The opportunity to offer hope and help to those in need

(Please check specific discounts and extras for your individual event and charity).


What are the fundraising requirements for my charity?

Each charity has its own individual set of requirements which can be found through their runDisney link.

It is best to pick the charity best suited to both your heart, budget and fundraising capabilities.  You will be signing a contract when registering through a charity.

How do I go about finding sponsors?

With today’s technology fundraising is easier than ever.

-Utilize Facebook and Twitter to notify friends and family both near and far.

-Ask your employer for sponsorship or matching gifts.

-Set up virtual races with the money going to charity.  Print certificates at home or even purchase low cost medals to send to finishers. Again, advertising on social media, through schools and local community organizations have offered great success.

I am a firm believer that everyone should run their first distance race for themselves.  There is something amazing that happens to your spirit as you realize how far you can push your mind and body. You realize the difference between hurting and being injured.  You find what is important in your own personal life and truly begin to appreciate the gifts and blessings you have been given.

But once you find your blessings, I urge you to turn them into gifts for someone else.  When you find yourself struggling and wanting to quit on long runs, strive to remember the family member that is wheelchair bound;  remember the friend that is powering through chemo;  remember the child that gave his life fighting.

Then power through and make your next run count for someone else. I encourage you to register for your next runDisney event through one of their amazing charity organizations.


Become a runDisney Hero today!


Homes for Our Troops goal is “To build mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured Veteran’s Post-9/11, to enable them to rebuild their lives.” One extra benefit of working with HFOT is the ability to register for runDisney events prior to the start of the official registration- eliminate the stress and begin fundraising even earlier! (Check with your favorite charity to see if they also offer early registration.)

Homes for Our Troops, we thank you for all you do for our Veterans!

HFOT logo used with their foundation’s permission.