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Running Universal Podcast: Fangirling the Epic Character 5K & 10K Race Weekend

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I love theme parks, always have, but I really love the ones that immerse you and know how to tell a good story. And Universal Orlando is one of those places that just gets it oh so right for fangirls like me! They are combinging two of my favorite things – running and theme parks- with the Running Universal Epic Character 5K & 10K race weekend. And we’ve got to talk about it! We’re fangirling Running Universal on the No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast with special guest, Universal Orlando team member Bob Page. 

universal orlando globe

Love theme parks? Me too. 

Love character pictures? Same. 

Love running? Meh… not so much.

But when you tell me I get to run through a theme park AND take character pictures on the course- I’m signing up. 

And so should you. 

Fangirling Running Universal Podcast

Meet Bob Page, a Universal Orlando Team Member and runner who is just as excited about this weekend’s Running Universal Inaugural race as we are!

He’s sharing his story of getting healthy through running- and some insider details about the Universal Orlando 5K & 10K Epic Character race weekend. 

#RunningUniversal and follow @UniversalORL on Twitter & @UniversalOrlando on Instagram

Fangirling Running Universal Podcast Transcript

Patty Holliday 0:04
Welcome to the no guilt fan girls podcast. We’re liking what you like is never a bad thing. Here’s your host and head fan girl in charge. Patty holliday.

Hey, yall, welcome to the no guilt fan girls podcast. I’m your host and head fangirl in charge Patty holliday. As you know, by listening to this podcast, I have a big time love of running. Okay, so that’s a huge lie. I actually do not like running like it all. But, but I do have a big time love of running through theme parks. Because if I’m going to get up and put on running shoes, it might as well include running through themed magical lands and maybe even throw on a costume as well. I mean, I’m gonna have fun with it right if I’m going to do it. Now if you’re like me and this kind of thing appeals to you. I have got some great news Orlando travel friends.

Orlando is blessing their theme park run options. Not only can you run Disney now, but SeaWorld held a three mile race last weekend the rescue run I think is what it was called. And by the reports that I heard it went off really well. And now now we have reading universal coming to the Universal Orlando Resort. And if I sound giddy, it’s because I am I am so excited for this one as a huge fangirl of the movies and TV shows that are featured all over Universal Orlando. I have been waiting for this to happen. And it’s time it’s time y’all. On the show. Today I have a guest representing running universal Bob Paige a radio broadcast specialist and Universal Orlando team member who has a passion for running. He’s going to be there at the races this weekend. And he is here with me right now to give us the rundown about Hey Bob, how are you?

Bob Page 1:54
Good. How are you? I completely identify with your lack of love for running

That’s exactly the way I started out hating it. But somewhere along the line, I began to love it, which is a little bit weird.

Patty Holliday 2:07
It is weird how that happens I that the magical mystical thing of that runner’s high people talk about something gets into your blood. And the next thing you know, you are happily doing half marathons or 10 days and you’re like, how did I get here?

Bob Page 2:24
How did this happen? No. That’s exactly the way it works.

Patty Holliday 2:29
All right. Well, welcome. Welcome to the show. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and maybe expand a little bit on your running or Universal Orlando origin story, if you will? Yeah, sure. I started working for Universal Studios, Florida back in 1991.

Bob Page 2:47
and ended up here at the radio broadcast center somewhere around 95 or 96. Not long after they opened the radio broadcast Center here at Universal Orlando Resort Myself, I was just your average Joe guy, go to work, have a family live life, eat too much don’t move enough. And it got me a little bit overweight, a lot overweight and had a little bit of an epiphany at my doctor’s office. And we decided to change things up and live a healthier lifestyle just because I loved my life. And I didn’t want to cut it short per se. So just eating less eating healthier and moving more and walking became running. And here we are. I’m now a runner. I mean, at one point in the journey, I was 580 days of running at least to five k every single day in a row. I’ve kind of cut

Unknown Speaker 3:51
That’s crazy. Yeah, it’s

Bob Page 3:52
super crazy. And I’ve stopped that that stopped in April of 2018. But I still run four to five days a week and Go to the gym a few days a week and just trying to be the healthiest version of me I can so I can be around and bother people for a while and get to do super cool incredible things like come to Universal Orlando Resort and run through these amazing theme parks with this incredible event running Universal Orlando.

Patty Holliday 4:19
Oh, gosh. Yeah, I love that. And that’s, that’s a that’s a great story of, you know, mine kind of mirrors that as well that it was it was about health more than it’s ever been about, you know, speed glory or any of those other things. And I have just found that I am a happier person mentally as well as physically when I’ve got that movement in. And if that’s a mile or two, then that’s what it is. Yeah. And yeah, I believe in it, too. I believe in it too. And again, what better could we ask for then to put those miles and in some place as cool as Universal Orlando. I love the description of this. I pulled this off the website. So the description of this race weekend is that race through the heart of universal resort meet your favorite characters from illuminations, minions Jurassic World DreamWorks Animation Shrek transformers and more. take home bradworthy medals commemorative swag and a weekend of unforgettable memories. The only way to lose this race is to not show up. I love it. Well done whoever wrote that.

Bob Page 5:21
It’s going to be so incredible. I mean, the parks are just beautiful anyway on their own, but to be here kind of that early in the morning before it’s like open to the public and to be able to run through and have those character experiences. That’s something that doesn’t come around very often. And it’s special and it’s going to be completely relished by the people that get to do it.

Patty Holliday 5:43
Oh, I believe it. I believe it, especially if you’re somebody like like me, who loves the character interaction. I mean, I run four characters. I’ll admit it. Now this race is going to be held there’s actually two there’s the five k on February 1 and the 10 k on February 2. 2020 and so you have two options. People can still sign up for this race if I am correct, I think until

Bob Page 6:08
the 29th until January 29. Is that right? That is correct at 12pm. Eastern. Okay. All right. So you guys got a little bit of time to go ahead and still get yourself set up. Now, how how did you get involved with writing universal or what what how much involvement do you have with running universal? The The amazing thing is it’s it’s really two of my favorite things in the world because I mean, I’ve worked here for well over 20 years, and runnings become such a big part of my life and to get those two to kind of marry together, if only for a weekend is just something really special. The folks here at Universal Orlando are kind enough to ask me to be a little bit of a part of it based upon my journey. So I do anything for them. This is universal. Orlando has just been a great place for me over the course of My life so and running now is just such a huge part of my life that having those two together just incredible. And I think if anybody gets the opportunity to come out and do this, like why would you not? Like just so amazing?

Patty Holliday 7:16
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Let’s talk about these race courses for a minute because Whoa, my mind was my mind was blown when I saw how much in the park time we are actually going to get and it’s one thing to be there with other guests and walking through the parks are getting from attraction to attraction. It’s a whole different thing though to be there early morning without the hustle and bustle of stuff going on. But with these running friends, you know going through it, and what do you think the highlights are for the five K and the 10 k what what are you excited about running through?

Bob Page 7:53
I mean, me personally, I am super excited about seeing the transform summers and blue, just because those are just some fan favorites for me personally, but there’s literally going to be something for everybody. And there’s also going to be some runners who are going to be out front that are just going to blow right past those characters like they don’t even exist. But they’re going to end up at the finish line with some really incredible metals. I was so blown away by the metals, because you go to a lot of races, and you see the metals and and they’re awesome. But these are definitely next level type metals, something you’re going to be proud of. and want to bring to work for metal Monday for sure.

Patty Holliday 8:36
There Instagram where the 100% 100%. Now, you mentioned a couple of characters there. Can you tell us who we might also expect on the course or do we need to keep that secret?

Bob Page 8:47
Well, I know that there’s definitely been talk of the minions out and about and Shrek will be out and about and the rest you’re just really going to need to come out and run the course and see who you see

Patty Holliday 8:58
there have been races in high Would Universal Studios parks, two of them happened over the course of 2019. And we know that there’s another one scheduled I think for April and that’s the trolls race. Right? Yeah. Have you have you been out there to any of those races yet? Or or are there do you know have any plans to tie the two locations together for maybe a coast to coast challenge? Yeah, that’s a pretty epic idea. And we should definitely pass that along. And I’ve been out to the park in Hollywood and it’s pretty incredible on its own, I have yet to run any of those races. I was actually just out in California and they’ve hells so that’s the big difference between us and them is they have some hills for sure. We have nice flat course here. It’s going to be incredible. But I definitely would love to get out to Hollywood and do it for the challenge for sure. Yeah, we would love a challenge. I mean, I will take any excuse to go to Hollywood because that that mentality that fan girl ism that I have I it’s one of my favorite places. In the world I also love going to that park because of the studio tour that they have there it’s so awesome however I hear you on the hills the hills that is not my thing but I make I make it I make it happen and make it happen and Universal Orlando is speaking my love language with that nice flat course kind of thing going on there I love that.

Bob Page 10:20
Yeah, hills are just a thing you gotta get over Yeah,

Patty Holliday 10:22
you do. You know what goes up comes down, right? Mostly works out. Do you know why universal decided to join this racing through theme parks idea like finally like why did it take so long? Where were you Bob? Why weren’t you pushing for this sooner?

Bob Page 10:39
Well, I mean, in years past they’ve had a Universal Orlando Fun Run, which was a five K, and they had three of those and I think this is just expanding upon that and opening it up a little bit bigger. And that’s just what universal Orlando’s always done. We always tend to, you know, keep improving and keep moving forward and doing More and doing better.

Patty Holliday 11:01
Do you have any insight on some of the logistics things? Like do you know if there will be special merchandise to purchase? Anything like that at bid pickup or at the finish line? anything along those lines?

Bob Page 11:13
Yeah, there’s definitely going to be merged for the race series this weekend. So you’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled for it. It’s gonna look awesome. And it’ll be out here.

Patty Holliday 11:24
Excellent. Excellent. Can Can your family if you if you’re on vacation and you’re bringing your family and can they come out and watch you finish this race? I know there is an epic fan option there’s a there’s a an area that set aside for for certain fans, but can just anybody come out and kind of see the finish line?

Bob Page 11:43
Yeah, there’s an epic fan registration that you can go through and do. But without doing that, I think it’d be a little bit difficult to kind of get everybody in and out of the park to do that type of thing. So they have set up the epic fan registration and that’s what they’re absolutely serious. Seeing people who want to come out and cheer your family and friends on in the race to do that.

Patty Holliday 12:05
Awesome. Okay. Do you know Are there any possible future plans to expand to say, a half marathon distance in the future? Maybe when epic universe, the fourth Park opens up?

Bob Page 12:17
I would personally love that. And we will all just have to wait and see.

Patty Holliday 12:21
Fair enough. Fair enough. Now, one last question here. Do you anticipate a lot of these questions are coming from folks who who do the rundisney thing? And so sure, they’re asking if there might be a long term like a legacy status or something like that for people that have started this weekend and run every race weekend in the future? Because obviously, we’re putting it out in the universe that this is going to be a glowing success that Universal Orlando is going to host this race every year because we already want it so badly. Do you do you anticipate or do you see anything like that as a possibility?

Bob Page 12:56
I mean, those are all great ideas, and certainly Stuff that that I’m going to try to push for but again, we’re just going to really have to wait and see. This is the inaugural running Universal Orlando race weekend. It’s just it’s how incredible to be a part of something the very first time that they do it so if you’re even thinking about, you know, getting in on something like that you can’t get in on it unless you do this weekend. First that that is exactly right.

Patty Holliday 13:25
And it is such a good time to come to Universal Orlando. This part these parks are just on a whole nother level and they are some of my most favorite places. I could move in if you would let me to Diagon Alley Is that okay? Can I make that happen?

Bob Page 13:47
If you I think the rent might be a little bit up there, but

Patty Holliday 13:51
it might be it might be I mean, if you if you want to just really feel yourself immersed in movies and TV universal is where you need to go and where you need to experience it. I can’t say enough about the team members that you meet and that you run into at these parks. They are fantastic Customer service is basically their middle names. I’ve never had a bad experience at Universal Orlando. So I I am looking forward to getting on my plane and coming down to see you guys here in just a couple of days. Now, where can people follow along on social media this weekend? Do we have a hashtag? Do we have a specific account to follow anything? You want to share a shout out? Sure

Bob Page 14:35
you could definitely follow along the universe Orlando typical social media accounts Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But the hashtag for this weekend event is going to be hashtag running universal.

Patty Holliday 14:47
Awesome. All right. Well, guys, there’s still time to register. If you jump on it ASAP. It closes at noon Eastern Time January 29. For this first race weekend This is the inaugural like you don’t want to miss this. You don’t want to miss this and you’ve got a five and a 10 k that you can choose between or do them both. Okay,

Bob Page 15:07
which one are you run at least

Patty Holliday 15:08
when I chose the five K. So I’m going to come down and I’m going to do the five K and then the 10 K, I’m actually going to do the epic fan registration and see what that’s all about. Awesome, so that I can kind of experience the whole enchilada.

Bob Page 15:24
Well, you have to find me and we’ll have to get a picture together. I would love that has been a lot of fun. Yeah,

Patty Holliday 15:27
I would love that Bob. I would love that. Well, thanks for joining me and sharing all these running universal details. You are welcome to come back on the no guilt fangirls podcast at any time. Sure. Just let me know. I’m

Bob Page 15:37
happy to do it.

Patty Holliday 15:38
Thanks, Bob. If you are loving this whole idea of running universal Don’t forget to join the unofficial running universal Facebook group. link that in show notes and hit the subscribe button on this podcast because we fade girl all kinds of things here. And it’s no fun to fangirl alone.

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