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Another valuable website is AllEars.Net (I love the name!). All Ears is dedicated to All Things Disney, and if you’re planning a trip to DisneyWorld, would be a good place to start your research (regardless of whether you have any interest in jogging). All Ears has an entire page entitled Running/Jogging Trails and Tips. In addition to links to Jogging Maps from each hotel featured, this website describes the jogging courses at each property. for example, if you were thinking of staying at the Polynesian Resort at MDW, this is the information on running that All Ears offers:
About a third of the path passes along the Seven Seas Lagoon, before essentially outlining the resort grounds. This is a very pleasant path, particularly in the morning. The path offers little shade, despite the wealth of tropical vegetation along the way. The course is somewhat winding, and therefore requires runners to exercise caution to avoid collisions with others.
For those who wish to add on some distance, the path can be extended by continuing past the Tahiti building towards the Transportation and Ticket Center. But the most pleasant choice would be to continue on past the Fiji and Aotearoa buildings, following the signs directing you to the Spa. The brick path will lead you beside the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon, where you can hear the small waves lapping at the white sand beach. The path turns to sidewalk as it continues past the Wedding Chapel, eventually reaching the theme swimming pool at the Grand Floridian. This relatively wide path provides excellent visibility ahead of you, making this a true treasure of a run. The lack of shade makes this a better choice for cooler periods, however.
here, as an example, is the jogging map for the Old Key West Resort:
I particularly like the 10 Tips For Running at Walt Disney World offered by the All Ears website. Many of these tips are common sense, but its nice to see it spelled out:
1. Orlando can be a pretty steamy place for much of the year. When possible, try to run early in the morning. It is much cooler then. Morning runs have the additional advantage of your legs being fresher than they will be later in the day. Trying to motivate yourself to put in a few miles after standing in line much of the day is not always an easy task.
2. If you have younger children, you may want to consider running during an afternoon break from the parks. While the rest of the family naps or lounges at the pool, you can slip in your run. Your legs will be fresher than if you put it off until later. This also allows you the chance to take a dip in the pool, yourself. If this idea appeals to you, try to find a course that is reasonable shaded. Drink plenty of water, and pay attention to your body, to prevent overheating.
3. On courses that also serve as bicycle or surrey paths, pay extra attention to the vehicles that may be coming up on you from behind. This includes some of the goodhearted cast members who ferry guests and their luggage to the more distant parts of the resort in those large golf carts. It is a good idea to not wear headphones when running along a path that has any traffic at all. The last thing you want to do is step to one side of the path to avoid a playing child only to introduce yourself to the front end of a cyclist coming up from the rear!
4. Use extreme caution when passing through the parking lots. Many of the cars which will be entering or exiting the lots contain children and lots of luggage. As most of you are aware, there are enough distractions going on in these vehicles to keep the driver from seeing you in time. It is often a good idea to assume that the driver of any vehicle cannot see you.
5. You may want to reduce your mileage some to account for all of the time you will be spending on your feet in the parks. If done properly, your running should help your legs recover from all of the time you will spend standing and walking at a more leisurely pace.
6. When you go out for your runs, wear a pair of shoes strictly for running. Do not try to wear the same shoes that you will be wearing in the parks. This will allow your running shoes to dry thoroughly between uses, maintaining healthier conditions for your feet. It will also keep the odor down.
7. Pay attention to the scenery as you run. The good folks at WDW go to extremes in making the landscaping enhance your experience, rather than having it serve as simple window dressing. It is just too beautiful to miss.
8. If you are planning on doing any form of speed work (i.e., speed play or intervals), be careful to avoid other people. This is not only a matter of courtesy, but one of safety. For faster running, make sure that your course allows a clear view of people who may be in front of you for at least 30 yards.
9. Do not run along any of the golf courses at WDW. While many courses around the country allow walkers/joggers/runners during times of low usage, these are not among them. Remember that these are PGA courses, and require a higher level of upkeep and maintenance.
10. Don’t forget that you are on vacation. Keep your runs in the proper perspective. Let them be more relaxed and restful. Don’t allow them to be a distraction for the rest of the family.
You can email me at WillRunForMiles@gmail.com, or follow me on twitter at katruns26point2.
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