The Walt Disney World marathon is the largest sporting event in Central Florida, attracting more than 100,000 people from Thursday to Sunday.

A big perk for many people coming from across the country and around the world are Florida’s normally warm temperatures; but not this year.

  • Cold weather worries some RunDisney participants
  • Marathon is largest sporting event in Central Fla.
  • Organizers encourage participants to prep for cold

Faith Doles, Andrea Howell, and Jeni Roop run in the group West Orange County MRTT and all plan to participate in the Walt Disney World half-marathon on Saturday. Already the three mothers are preparing themselves for the cold.   

“As a local Floridian, at all. We have throw away sweats, we have blankets, we are talking about getting scarves,” said Doles.   

Even out-of-state residents, like Ebony Blackwell, are worried. She plans to do the Dopey Challenge. This is when runners race all four days, running the 5K, the 10k, the half-marathon, and the full marathon.

“Ugh,” said Blackwell. “The weather is a little bit of a bummer because it is so cold, I feel like my body is catching a cold now unfortunately. But even in New Orleans it was like 20 degrees when we left home yesterday.”

But to runners from the Midwest or North, the cold temperatures are laughable.

“I think it is going to be ok,” said Kate Browne. “I have been training in snow, we have had a lot of snow in the midwest, and anything that is clear and dry and sunny, I’ll take it, if I have to wear sunscreen in January, I am doing ok.”

Browne and her family are from Chicago.   

“I think we are in the negative tens right now, and everyone is talking about how it is colder than Antarctica in the midwest right now, so this feels pretty good, and I think the more runners you talk to, this is kind of perfect running weather, as long as the rain stays away,” said Browne.   

Even Dole, Howell, and Roop agree they aren’t worry about the cold -- just the wind and the rain.

“The cold weather actually makes us run faster versus the heat,” said Roop.

RunDisney organizers urge spectators to wear layers, hydrate and be ready for some cold.