It’s time for a little runDisney history.
From 2005-2009, there was a 10K race at Disney. Race for the Taste was held in mid-October during the International Food and Wine Festival.
From 2006-2008, there was the Minnie Marathon 15K. This unique race distance was held in mid-May.
From 2007-2009, there was a 13K themed to Tower of Terror. This event was held in late October, near Halloween.
Although these events didn’t last long, they were precursors to some of the events we now love. Race for the Taste became the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. Tower of Terror 13K became the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.
However, runDisney enthusiasts, as well as those who are looking to throw their hat in the ring for the first time, have expressed interest in race distances other than the normal 5K and half marathon distances. Often runners are looking for a bridge between the two of the most common races runDisney offers (5K and half marathon) especially since jumping from 3.1 miles to 13.1 (or 26.2) is quite an undertaking!
runDisney listened and has since announced THREE new 10K events – along with some extra special challenges!
On December 19, 2012, runDisney announced the addition of the 10K race to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Along with this new race, they also unveiled the Dumbo Double Dare. Participate in both the 10K and Disneyland Half Marathon, and receive another medal! (A smaller version of the Goofy Challenge.) Although some logistics still needed to be worked out (the 5K and 10K are held on the same morning), it was clear this offering was going to be popular for runDisney as the Dumbo Double Dare sold out in an hour with the 10K selling out not too long after.
On March 22, 2013, runDisney then stepped up the events of Marathon Weekend. A 10K race was added along with an extra day to the weekend’s events. This extra day was needed to accommodate runDisney’s new super endurance event, almost making it the Walt Disney World Marathon Week instead of weekend. For those wanting a challenge beyond Goofy, the Dopey Challenge – which includes the 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon – was introduced! The popularity (despite the hefty price tag) was strong as the Dopey Challenge and 10K sold out within days.
On April 26, 2013, yet another announcement was made by runDisney – but this time, geared toward the women. Another 10K race was added, this time to Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Along the same lines of the Dumbo Double Dare, the Glass Slipper Challenge offers another medal to those participating in the new 10K race and Princess Half Marathon. Also, for those running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and Princess Half Marathon in 2014, a special pink Coast-to-Coast medal can be earned! We assume the popularity of these will continue when registration opens on June 11, 2013.
So what do we think of all these announcements? We are very excited they are offering a 10K distance to some of our favorite runDisney race weekends! This 6.2 mile event is great for those who have run a 5K, and are working toward the half marathon distance (or maybe just want to work up their mileage a bit). These 10K events will bring even more runners to the magic of running at Disney!
We are a little concerned about the addition of all these new races and challenges at once. Clearly runDisney knows what they are doing, but would it have been better to test out Disneyland first? With all of the announcements coming in sequence, runners may have to choose an event (or have already signed up for one) as running them all would be hard on the wallet. Not to mention, these events sell out quickly, meaning runners have to decide fast if they are going to participate – possibly even before figuring out the logistics of work schedules, babysitters, travel and more.
Some runners have also expressed disappointment that they will not be able to receive the special pink Coast to Coast medal if they’ve already signed up for a race during Marathon Weekend and had plans to run the Tinker Bell half marathon. These runners will not have a choice as to when to receive their Coast to Coast. Therefore, they are faced with either foregoing the race registration for Marathon Weekend or settling for the regular runDisney Coast to Coast medal. We hope runDisney will re-evaluate this policy before race season starts as there has to be a better way to accommodate loyal runDisney fans who did not know about the special pink Coast to Coast medal prior to registering for Marathon Weekend.
runDisney has said they are working on the crowding and corral issues for their larger events (like Marathon Weekend specifically), and we hope that with the addition of these new events, they are taking that into account. Having 25,000+ runners on a course has proved to cause bottlenecking in spots, not to mention some poor runner etiquette. By addressing the corral issues (starting with the 2014 races, you must have proof of time or you will be put in the last corral) and lessening the number of registrations, we hope this allows the events to go back to being even more magical!
We are planning on experiencing the 2014 races and challenges firsthand, and we hope to see you there! What races will you be participating in this year? Let us know by leaving a comment below!