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City of Anaheim announces inaugural "Heroes" running events

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Last week we came across a press release announcing that runners will be able to run the streets of Anaheim this Veteran's Day weekend, in a series of Heroes-themed races, visiting such Anaheim landmarks as the Convention Center, Angel Stadium and the Honda Center.

"But wait," you say, "didn't runDisney put their west coast events on hiatus?" They did, and now a newly-formed "Run Anaheim" organization is looking to fill the vacuum. Run Anaheim is a division of the city's Sports Anaheim marketing group, which helps promote professional and amateur sporting events.

The inaugural Heroes Weekend includes a 10-mile run on Saturday November 10, and a 5K and 1K kids run on Sunday November 11, exactly one year after runDisney hosted their final Super Heroes Half Marathon weekend.

As this isn't a runDisney event, "Heroes" of this particular race aren't of the Marvel variety, but everyday heroes and community leaders.

"We founded heroes weekend to celebrate all of the hometown heroes in our lives that make a difference every day," says Roy Edmondson, vice president of Sports Anaheim. "We are looking forward to welcoming the community and beyond for a fun and healthy weekend to raise awareness and contributions to the area's heroes and charities."

During registration, runners select a specific Anaheim charity to receive a portion of their race fees, which are considerably less than similar runDisney events. The 10-mile run is $89, or $70 during early bird registration. The 5K is $45 ($25 during early bird), and the kids run is just $15 ($10 during early bird).

The course for the 10-mile run and 5K have not yet been certified by USATF, and are not yet published. All races start and end at the Honda Center, and it's likely the kids race will be entirely within the parking lot.

If the theme and weekend sound familiar, some other names may also ring a bell. Sports Anaheim hired Spectrum Sports Management to produce the event, and offers travel packages through GET Travel.

Spectrum Sports managed many of the runDisney events at the Disneyland Resort, and helped grow the brand from one weekend to four events per year. GET Travel is one of the travel providers for domestic runDisney events, and helps manage the Disneyland Paris race weekend. So while Run Anaheim is the new kid on the (starting) block, the event itself seems to be in the hands of seasoned race veterans.

Will runDisney fans, set adrift by Disney's hiatus, flock to this new Heroes offering, or will they wait until they can once again race through the Disney parks? Beyond that, if and when runDisney returns to the West coast running scene, will Run Anaheim step aside and let Disney reclaim Veteran's Day weekend, or will the two entities compete for both road and runners?

When runDisney announced their hiatus last fall, we wrote Disney cast members suggest that strained relations between the Disneyland Resort and the City of Anaheim might have factored into the decision to put West Coast events on hold. runDisney required the cooperation of Anaheim and neighboring Garden Grove to maintain street closures for race courses which left Disney property, and to request CalTrans to close freeway off-ramps along the course. The Los Angeles Times reported on then-recent changes to Anaheim's City Council, and suggested that the city is being less cooperative with Disney on several fronts. "Anaheim is making it very difficult for us, that's for sure," said one person familiar with West Coast race operations.

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Disneyland , Featured , runDisney