LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and the Disney Kids Races scheduled for Saturday have been canceled due to severe weather and lightning risks, runDisney announced on Facebook.
"Weather tracking has indicated there is an elevated risk of lightning in the area of the racecourse," the post read. "In addition, there are sections of the course that do not provide immediate access to shelter. Both of these factors have influenced this difficult decision."
The half-marathon was scheduled to begin at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. It begins at Epcot then runs through Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot.
All other Disney running events scheduled for Saturday have also been canceled. The Walt Disney World Marathon is still scheduled for 5:30 a.m. Sunday.
Anyone who is registered for the half-marathon will still receive a medal and can choose to either get a full refund for the race in the form of a Disney gift card or two one-day park hopper passes or can defer registration to another runDisney half-marathon in the U.S. within the next 24 months.
There will also be limited availability to run the full marathon scheduled for Sunday.
Registered Disney Kids Race runners will receive a medal and a race registration refund in the form of a Disney gift card.
More details on how to redeem one of these options will be posted around 10 p.m. on runDisney.com.
News of the cancelation was posted just after 7:15 p.m. Friday and within a half hour hundreds of people took to the comment section to express their disappointment while thanking officials for keeping the safety of participants in mind.
"As much as this sucks, everyone just be thankful they are taking our safety into (concern) especially if you aren't from Florida and haven't experienced our (lightning) before," one commenter wrote. "Thank you @rundisney and thank you for doing something to compensate the best yall could."
Showers are expected to pummel Central Florida starting Friday night into Saturday morning. Click here to read the full forecast.
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