Yet again runDisney has proven to be a very popular way to run a race. I would like to think it has something to do with running with me but I don’t think that is the reason. runDisney has offered two new race concepts to their lineup in the last six months and both have proven to be popular beyond even their belief. In Disneyland in August they offered the Dumbo Dare Challenge, a 10k (6.2 miles) followed by a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) the next day. The DDD, as it has been called, sold out within a few hours of its offering, frustrating more than a few fans who were left out in the cold. runDisney also offered the Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon; 48.6 miles) for January 2014 which is proving to be a quick seller as well. Both of these races have proven that runDisney is offering race opportunities that runners are not willing to miss.
I have a few thoughts on why these races and many of the other runDisney offerings are so popular. First of all it is because of the loyalty of its runDisney participants. Those that have completed past Disney races have learned that these races are second to none in the experience and fun that a road race has to offer. Besides for running in the Disney Parks, the races themselves provide a huge amount of on course entertainment and support for it participants. I have participated in numerous other running events and none can equal what a Disney race has to offer. This sort of support and enjoyment hooks even the casual runner and makes it a must do on their list of race events for the year. Runners continually return back for each runDisney race and as the years have gone by the list of loyal runners continues to grow.
Secondly, a runDisney race continues to offer new options and challenges to its race offerings. Instead of putting out the same race year after year, runDisney continues to add and innovate its run offerings. Adding longer races and shorter races has broaden the scope of runner who can participate in their events. From a 5k which can be done by anyone at all run levels, a 10k which is a bit more challenging but can done and serves as a bridge to longer races, the Half Marathon which appeals to a more committed runner but it is not a huge distance and all the way to the marathon race itself. The packaging of races has created a completely new category all to itself. By giving special medals for running multiple races together in the same weekend they have appealed to the hardcore runner as well. The Goofy is given on Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend when you run the Half and Full Marathons, the Dumbo medal is given for running the 10k and Half Marathon in Disneyland and now the new Dopey medal given for the whole package of races at WDW Marathon weekend. These special medals add a must do for any hardcore racer as these medals will certainly put a feather in any runners cap.
Lastly, I feel that the runDisney has built a unique sense of community with its runners. I love Disney and try to get to its parks as often as I can, but runDisney has given me a feeling that I am a part of a very Disney experience. I have created friendships and relationships among my runDisney friends that are special and unique. We have experienced triumph and joy different from other Disney experiences. I now have a long list of people I can talk to about all of my running experiences and we can encourage each other as we move on to more challenges in the future. I run these races now so that I can yet again be with all these wonderful people before and after each race. runDisney has provided an unique way to spend time with special people in one of the greatest places on earth.
There are more reasons for runDisney’s popularity I am sure but these are just a few that come to my mind each time. I would love to hear your reasons for running and hope to hear many. If you have not tried a runDisney event I encourage you to think about and give it a try, I promise you that you will not regret it.