Universal Orlando joins the race between branded theme-park running events

Photo via Wikimediaclick to enlarge Photo via Universal Orlando ResortAfter years of letting Disney take the lead on massive running events, Universal Orlando has finally decided to join the race.While not the first running events ever held at the resort, the Running Universal Epic Character Race 5K and 10K in February will be the first official resort-sponsored running events at Universal Orlando.The timing is surprising, considering it takes place just a week after Rock the Universe , Universals up-charged, after-hours Christian music festival. While it may help fill hotel rooms and bolster park numbers, Running Universal wont see anything near the attendance of runDisney events.Disney has offered running events at Walt Disney World since 1994. The most popular events now rank among the largest running events in the nation and are regularly covered live on television Disney has clearly embraced running events as a way to help bolster attendance at the resort. Part of what will hold back Running Universal is that this first event will only be a 5K and 10K event, with no full or half marathon like those found down the street. As with the upcoming Universal Orlando runs, the Hollywood ones only offer shorter 5Ks and 10Ks with no half or full marathons.Universal promises its races will feature "Instagram-worthy" medals, photo-ops along the running trail, and plenty of other offerings throughout the action-packed race weekend.Registration for the Orlando Running Universal event opens in October.