Recently, Runner’s World announced that they will offer the Runner’s World Challenge package for runners participating in the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. Even though this package has not been officially announced on the runDisney website, we expect to see Runner’s World Challenge package as one of the many options for 2014 when registration opens. Wondering what this package is about and if it will be worth the money? Krista and Megan both participated in the Runner’s World Challenge during the 2013 Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World. Over the next week, we will have a series that explains what the Runner’s World Challenge Package includes, the experience we had this year and if we thought the experience was worth the money.
UPDATE: For 2015, Runner’s World Challenge is only available for the Dopey Challenge. It does not include the resort package as it did in 2013.
What is the Runner’s World Challenge?
Runner’s World Challenge packages have been available for various races across the country – including the Boston Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon and Big Sur Marathon. These events offer special experiences at some of the most prestigious races across the county. At each race, the Runner’s World package has some similar components such as access to Runner’s World training plans, software and forums, Runner’s World t-shirt and a Runner’s World book. There are several common events to Runner’s World Challenge which occur during race weekend. These events include a shake-out run with the editors of Runner’s World and Bart Yasso, followed by a course strategy session, a private pre and post-race area with private port-a-potties and a massage.
Since Runner’s World Challenge was a new addition for a runDisney event and we were excited to see how Runner’s World and runDisney would unite and we were looking forward to adding a different element to our runDisney experience.
We purchased the Ultimate Runner’s World Challenge Package. This included the marathon package for Megan, half marathon package for Krista and the Goofy package for Krista’s husband. When the Runner’s World Challenge was first announced, this is what the package cost and included per the runDisney website:
Sign up for the Runner’s World Challenge at the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna and you will receive:•Entry to the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World® Marathon, Half Marathon, or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge with preferred corral placement•A 16-week training plan designed by Runner’s World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso, who has coached hundreds of elites, celebs, and everyday runners (celebrity/VIP appearances subject to change or cancellation without notice)•Weekly e-mails from Bart with guidance on training, nutrition, injury prevention, and motivation•One year of access to the Runner’s WorldChallenge experts on nutrition, training, and injury-prevention•Access to a private Runner’s World Challenge web site, where you connect with other runners training for the race•A copy of The Runner’s Rule Book, Going Long, orThe Runner’s World Guide to Road Racing (your choice)•A Runner’s World Challenge tech shirt•A four-month premium membership to Runner’s World Personal Trainer, our interactive training log
Your VIP package will also include:•Three (3) night consecutive stay in a double-occupancy (standard) room at Disney’s Yacht ClubResort or Disney’s Beach Club Resort, subject to availability with check-in on January 11, 2013 and check-out on January 14, 2013. (Check-in time is usually between 3 and 4 p.m., and check-out time usually between 11 a.m. and 12 Noon.•Private packet pick-up and hospitality suite at a location in the Walt Disney World® Resort (to be determined)•Commemorative 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend keepsake gift•Pre-race course strategy session with the Runner’s World experts and editors (on the afternoon of January 11, 2013 for the Half Marathon/Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge runners, or on January 12, 2013 for the Marathon/Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge runners)•Entry to the Pasta in the Park Party on Saturday night at Epcot® where the Runner’s World VIPs & editors will be in attendance (party includes buffet pasta dinner, live DJ, Disney characters and viewing of the fireworks spectacular Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot®)•Private group motorcoach or similar transportation to and from the start and finish lines from the hotel (exact type and schedule of such transportation to be determined by Disney)•Entry to the Race Retreat•Pre-race amenities include hot and cold beverages with fruit and bagels, dedicated stretching area, and private portalets & bag check•Post-race amenities include a nutritious buffet, massage, private portalet & bag pick up, and live results•Post-race celebration on Sunday night at the Cool Down at Downtown Disney AreaPackages start at $1,649.00 for the Marathon and Half Marathon while packages start at $1,899.00 for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
Soon after registering, we were given access to the Runner’s World Challenge website which included a training plan and online training tool where you can log mileage, map your route and even upload data from your Garmin! (Since we already had training plans in place, we didn’t utilize this as we could have.) This website also includes a forum to chat with other runners as well as the ability to ask Runner’s World personnel questions regarding your training.
We also received weekly emails from Bart Yasso, which were fun to read as they were full of great advice. A few months after signing up for the Challenge, we received a copy of The Runner’s World Complete Book of Running and a Runner’s World Challenge tech shirt. The ladies cut was quite small and did not match the sizing for the unisex Disney race shirts even through we were informed during the registration process that they would have similar sizing. Unfortunately, this means that neither of our shirts arrived in the correct size. We did enjoy our copy of The Runner’s World Complete Book of Running which is full of fantastic information for new and veteran runners alike.
As Marathon Weekend approached, we were excited to not only experience this VIP package, but to also interact with Runner’s World editors and staff throughout the weekend. We had high expectations for this premium package.
Would the value be worth the cost? Stay tuned to find out!
Disclosure: The authors purchased the Ultimate Runner’s World Challenge package and were not compensated for this review. All opinions are our own.