Thursday, August 20, 2015

Running the World: Running Trail Signs at Walt Disney World Resorts

Have you noticed any of the Running Trail signs at Walt Disney World Resorts? The next time you're strolling through a resort, keep your eyes peeled for these helpful signs. I've been seeing more and more of them, and I think they're an interesting addition to resort amenities.

I used to think there were two kinds of people in the world- those who would never voluntarily run while on vacation, and those who were... crazy. Sometimes, of course, things happen in the least expected of ways. Such was the case when I slowly (and I do mean slowly) became a runner over the past few years. (Me! A runner! Practically unimaginable). I now understand that there are some really legitimate circumstances that might find people running while at Walt Disney World. Whether it's for basic fun and fitness or for more structured training, you're bound to see people out and about around the resorts. Just last week, I helped my brother-in-law figure out a place to run. He's training for the New York City Marathon, and his training plan required that he run 18 miles last weekend- right smack in the middle of his Walt Disney World vacation. A quick request for help to one of my supportive runDisney groups got us the info we needed in no time (thanks, RtD!).

With the ever-growing popularity of runDisney races, and the increasing number of runners in general, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing more ways that Disney supports guests in their efforts for fitness. A few years back, Running Trail signs started to pop up at various resorts on property. Sponsored by New Balance, these signs can be found along pathways, tucked under trees, and beside waterways around many Disney resorts.

The signs each feature a map of the area with a general trail sketched out, along with some running tips. There are a few variations of the signs, some with more information than others. Here are a few versions you might find around property:

This one can be found at Boardwalk Inn, and a similar one (with a different "you are here" dot, of course), is between Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts (see first pic). The Crescent Lake/Boardwalk area is  a perfect locale for running. This map features the distance of the trail marked off, which is a helpful inclusion. A loop around Crescent Lake will take you a distance of .8 miles.

Next up, we have the sign at Disney's Polynesian Village. This trail stretches between The Poly and The Grand Floridian. This one is pretty wordy, like the Beach Club sign, and includes extra tips covering hazards, sunscreen, wildlife, and more. Maybe those extra tips took up too much space, because missing from this Poly sign is a distance measurement. I wonder how far it is... 

This next sign comes to us from Pop Century. As with most of the other trail signs, this route covers two resorts, bringing us from Pop Century over to Art of Animation. Like The Poly, though, no distance marker can be found here. (Anybody know this distance?) They seem to have pared down the tips on this one, so the sign's a bit less busy. 

This is the latest sign I've seen- and the longest trail. This one stretches between Wilderness Lodge and across through Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, covering 2.5 miles (with a clear map of other roads and loops for anyone who wants to extend that run).

Whether you're running for fun, for fitness, or as part of a training plan, these resort running trail signs have you covered.

Have you seen any Running Trail signs at other resorts? What do you think about running while on vacation? Tell us about it in the comments!

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