A Week of @runDisney Excitement #WDWMarathon #GoofyChallenge

The fine folks at runDisney have been busy these last couple of weeks! With the WDW Marathon Weekend (can you really call it a weekend if the races start on a Wednesday?) fast approaching, announcements (and speculation) are kicking into high gear.

First, around thanksgiving, they released details of an exciting new contest using Instagram and your imagination:


Then, last week, runDisney teased a new adventure.

Speculation ran wild. A new 10K/Half Marathon Challenge for Tinkerbell weekend? A race in Paris? Another on the runDisney on the Road Meetup? The next day (an eternity for some) the answer came:

That’s right, in 2015 the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend is moving dates, jumping from January to May and taking place over Mother’s Day weekend. As with most runDisney announcements, the reception of the announcement was mixed. I know a lot of people liked getting their Coast to Coast wrapped up in one month, going from the WDW Marathon Weekend in Orlando to Tinkerbell in Anaheim all in the matter of a couple of weeks, but that’s not a realistic expectation for a lot of working folks, or people with families.

It also gives runDisney some breathing room in organizing the races in general. I know I’m hearing people grumble about Tinkerbell being overshadowed by Marathon Weekend this year.

Overall, I think this is a positive move. I don’t have a Tinkerbell medal yet… hmmm….

But speaking of WDW Marathon Weekend, that’s just under a month away. What’s up, there?

The week started out with a new reveal from @runDisney and @NBRunning. New for 2014, in addition to the Sorcerer Micky and Pink Minnie 860 shoes, they’re also offering a Goofy and Cinderella 890 model. If for no other reason than offering women’s shoes that aren’t PINK, I applaud the new designs.

There has also been a lot of excitement on the runDisney website itself, with waivers (meaning BIB NUMBERS) being released, and Corral Placements following shortly thereafter.

There’s been a lot of hubbub about corral placements this year. Let’s be honest, it happens every year, but with runDisney’s new “No corral changes at the Expo” rule that goes along with their new corral system, people seem even more rattled than usual. You hit any message board or Facebook group, and you’re going to get an eyeful.

Do I understand their new corral system? No, but I assume they do (and by “they”, I mean runDisney). Not their first rodeo. It’ll work out. But since I like to see both sides of an issue, let’s use me for an example to try and understand why people might be so freaked out.

Last year, I submitted my PR 10K time of about 1:15 as my Proof of Time (PoT). I was put in Corral C for the half marathon. Greg submitted a 10K time of about an hour. He was put in Corral B for his Goofy last year.

This year, I submitted a 2:46 half time for my Goofy, and Greg submitted his 5:30 full time for Dopey.

Here are the corrals for our respective races this year.

Notice how they go allllll the way to the letter “P”? That’s a lot of corrals! runDisney, apparently has been working on alleviating the frustrating congestion that you encounter in their races, and the solution this year seems to be adding more corrals, theoretically making the corrals smaller.

Now, here’s the thing. If you’re in corrals A through E, that’s great! More elbow room, faster people around you (hopefully) who actually run the pace that is intended in that corral. You will notice a positive change. Good stuff.

But here’s the other thing: if you’re in the lower corrals, you’re still shoulder to shoulder with 2000 of your closest friends.

My Goofy bib number has me in Corral L (so is Rachael, for the record). I’m ok with that. I belong there. Greg’s Dopey bib, even with his faster time, is in M. Weird. I don’t get it. Or at least I didn’t until I saw this chart on the runDisney website:

This is one optimistic Half Marathon to Marathon pace chart! Source: runDisney
This is one optimistic Half Marathon to Marathon pace chart!
Source: runDisney

I understand why people who are used to be in early corrals (A, B, C) might be freaked out about being ‘lower down’. I had a brief moment of “oh no”, myself. However, I’m just going to assume it’ll all shake out. Honestly, judging by my epically slow Marathon time for the Space Coast, and the fact that there are 4 corrals starting behind me (3 if we drop back to start with Greg) I should be more worried about being in peoples’ way than people being in mine. Corral obsession, over.

Also released this week by runDisney were the official maps for the races! Huzzah!

Boy, we’re going to be spending a lot of time on that road just outside of Epcot…
The very familiar Half Marathon Course.
This is one way to visit all four parks in one day…

I’m honestly trying not to think about how long it took to drive between these parks a couple of weeks ago. Yay?

Finally, if you’re on the fence about signing up for any of the remaining events (such as Kid’s Races, Pasta in the Park, or Race Retreat) at Marathon Weekend this year, get off yer tush and pull the trigger:

Source: runDisney
Source: runDisney

We are doing the Race Retreat again this year. People often ask, “Is it worth it”? To me, an honest-to-goodness chair and real food beats crouching on the ground with a box of crackers every single time. The private bag check and portopotties are just a bonus. For me? Worth it.

So that’s my runDisney week in review – hopefully the next big announcement will be the official runDisney meet up – and hopefully I won’t miss it!

Are you planning to runDisney this year? What’s your dream race?