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A Designer Running Disney

The 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon  Finisher's Medal

Last June, I decided to run a half marathon. I’d never run anything more than the mandatory mile in high school, so this was a huge deal. I signed up to run the Disney Princess Half, and 9 months and 270 miles later, I finally ran it this past weekend. Disney made every effort to create an impressive race weekend full of Disney magic, and over 45,000 people raced in 3 different races.

With every race this weekend, there were start and finish lines, mile markers, race bibs, medals, and more that all needed countless hours of design. The mile markers and the start/finish lines also needed to be engineered in order for them to be set up and torn down quickly to open the parks to the guests who weren’t racing. Even third-party companies like Pandora and Alex and Ani created event-specific pieces designed especially for race weekend.

Overall, the event was well worth the nine months of training. As a designer, it was a symphony of design elements working together, and as a runner, it was an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.


  1. aamaya4 wrote:

    This sounds like a great experience. Reading this has made me Interested in participating in the next Disney marathon!

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  2. lbaya wrote:

    That must have been an amazing experience! I’m happy you enjoyed it and appreciated the design aspects that went into it!

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  3. ecativo wrote:

    This is a very cool example of a real world design ecosystem working in harmony to communicate effectively. Thanks for sharing this — it’s cool to see design manifested in other ways outside of print and digital!

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
  4. pkearney wrote:

    This is a great example of how people take design for granted! Someone had to create the medals, bibs, logo, etc. This also sounds like a great experience and I hope you work towards something like this again because there is no better feeling than accomplishing a big goal!

    Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink
  5. btobin3 wrote:

    Congratulations on achieving your goal! I also applaud that you still had the awareness to notice the design work associated with the race along the way. Disney is amazing for its unified designs. Having visited Disney World, I know that they can successfully carry a theme across multiple medium better than most. Long live the House of Mouse.

    Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink