The Walt Disney World Marathon has become a premier sporting event and qualifying race for many other marathons around the country. As such, the Disney Marathon has become a week long series of events based around health and fitness.

What started small has become, like all things Disney, a major force in the world. The Walt Disney World Marathon and Fitness Expo, at the Walt Disney World Resort, begins January 8 with the Fitness Expo and continues through to January 11 to the actual running of the race. In between, there are a series of other events designed for fun for the whole family.

There will be a Mickey Marathon for the kids, a 5k at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a Goofy challenge, a Half Marathon on January 10th and finally the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 11th. It is always a great time to visit Epcot, since that is where they start and finish, to cheer on the runners as they cross the finish line as well as throughout the park (you can tell by the medals they wear very proudly). I am always amazed to see the runners enjoying the park after such a long race, but there is always quite a few wandering the park and visiting the attractions; if you see them on your visit be sure to congratulate them.

You can find out more information at the official site here, as well as track your runners as they compete. I always plan to get in shape to walk the course; maybe next year.