Thursday, March 21, 2013

runDisney Rumors in Full Force

Well, anyone who is a Disney fanatic or a fan of the runDisney races has probably heard a couple of rumors that are spreading like wildfire across the Disney running community. Now, let me set this straight before I continue...I am not a Disney fanatic! Yes, I do Disney races but just for fun...heck, I'm not a big picture taker or an aficionado of all things Disney. My main reason for doing runDisney races is to go to the parks! You see, I grew up in Northern California and every summer without fail was the family trip to the Southern California theme parks. Back then Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Sea World, Tiajuana (yes, I do consider that place a theme park!), Animal Safari, LA and San Diego Zoos and whatever else I'm forgetting. No...we very rarely went to the beaches and I don't know why. runDisney friends are going to disown me after they realize I'm just not as nutty about Disney as they are! lol! So let's explore these two rumors:

Rumor #1: Dopey Race Challenge

For the past 8 or so years, runDisney has had the Goofy Race Challenge. On Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend those crazy enough to do it would run the half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and the full marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday. Those that completed both races for a total of 39.3 miles in one weekend got medals for each race plus a third medal for finishing the Goofy Challenge.

2013 Goofy Challenge medals.
In the past year (I don't know about before then because I just started racing in 2012) some have added on the Family 5K onto the Goofy Challenge dubbing the new 42.4 mile weekend distance as an unofficial (non-runDisney sanctioned) Dopey Challenge.

Update 3/21/13 @1:22pm MDT:
I need to make a correction here. It looks like the Dopey Challenge will involve a new 10K race, the half marathon and the full marathon for a total of 45.5 miles in one weekend. I am assuming that the Goofy Challenge will remain as the half marathon and full marathon. So, for those bling collectors out there it's looking like a potential 5 medal weekend: a rubber medallion for the 5K, a 10K medal, a half marathon medal , a full marathon medal, a Goofy medal and a Dopey medal. Now, to be straight...if you register for the Dopey Challenge you are not officially part of the Goofy Challenge (or at least I assume so) so they may/may not provide a Goofy medal. It's kind of like if you did't get into the new Dumbo Double Dare (new 10K race plus the Disneyland Half Marathon) and signed up for each race separately you wouldn't get the DDD medal.

In the past several days online chatter has been discussing how people are thinking that as of 2014 runDisney will officially sanction the Dopey Challenge. This seems to be coming to fruition because on the sports registration site that runDisney uses for race registrations the following information for the 2014 WDW Marathon Weekend has been posted:

  • Runner's World Challenge Registration Fees
    • Dopey Challenge - $999.00
    • Goofy's Race & a Half Challenge - $749.00
    • Walt Disney World® Marathon - $479.00
    • Walt Disney World® Half Marathon - $479.00
    • For more information on what Runner's World Challenge participants will receive, please see Runner's World Challenge
  • Dopey Challenge Registration Fees
    • $495.00 on or before June 18, 2013
    • $550.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
    • $580.00 on or after August 14, 2013
  • Goofy's Race & a Half Challenge Registration Fees
    • $340.00 on or before June 18, 2013
    • $370.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
    • $400.00 on or after August 14, 2013
  • Walt Disney World® Marathon
    • $160.00 on or before June 18, 2013 
    • $175.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013 
    • $190.00 on or after August 14, 2013 
  • Walt Disney World® Half Marathon
    • $160.00 on or before June 18, 2013
    • $175.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
    • $190.00 on or after August 14, 2013
  • Walt Disney World® 10K
    • $160.00 on or before June 18, 2013
      • UPDATE: Price dropped the afternoon of 3/21/13 to $95
    • $175.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
      • UPDATE: Price dropped the afternoon of 3/21/13 to $110
    • $190.00 on or after August 14, 2013
      • UPDATE: Price dropped the afternoon of 3/21/13 to $125
  • Family Fun Run 5K
    • $60 per participant
  • runDisney Kids Races Registration Fee
    • $15.00 per Kids Dash participant
    • $30.00 per 1-Mile Run participant

Now, unless you're familiar with the Goofy and Dopey Challenges you may not know what they mean because no explanation of the Challenges are provided in the information on the page. No information about Dopey is included on the 2014 WDW Marathon Weekend page on the runDisney website either. So, it's only those of us in the know who understand what the Dopey Challenge is.

Am I crazy enough to do this if it happens? Yes, not in 2014, but I have been planning to do Goofy in 2015 when they celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Goofy Challenge. So, either way I'll be doing Goofy or Dopey in 2015. It'll probably be the only time that I actually do the Challenge because of the cost involved, but it will likely be my last runDisney Coast to Coast medal (running one race at Disneyland and one race at WDW in a calendar year) unless they come up with some new races in the future.

Would you be crazy enough to spend the dough, travel expense and complete 42.4 miles in a single weekend? And by the way...if Dopey does'll probably sell out in a flash!

UPDATE on 3/22/13 @ 4:52pm MST: The Dopey Challenge has been officially announced by runDisney. Follow up blog post is here.

Rumor #2: Disneyland - Paris Race in Paris, France! After the Princess Half Marathon in February some participants started receiving post race surveys and some included questions about interest in a race, likely a half marathon, at Disneyland - Paris. Unfortunately my survey didn't ask me about it.  :-/

Disneyland - Paris sign.
Now, runDisney runners are a lot of Disney did Disney really think that they'd say, "No, not interested?" Almost everyone is excited about this race which is rumored to happen in fall 2014 if it does actually happen. I've read some posts by other bloggers saying that the registration cost of the race would be around $70 with packages including lodging topping off at around $1,100. But then you have to also calculate in air fare on top of that.

For me this would be a one time race. The first year and that would be it. Just to say that I did it. The draw, again not being a real Disney fanatic is to finally go to Disneyland - Paris which was on the drawing boards but never came to fruition while the hubs and I were stationed in England. I want to be able to say that I've been there at least once. I also happen to love Paris having been there twice in my life. Just walking around the city is a grand experience...did that the first time when I was 14 years old on a European study tour. My friend and I were the youngest in the group with everyone else as soon to be seniors or seniors who had just graduated...we were barely entering high school! Oh, but I digress...wait, let me digress once more...second time was with the hubs after the birth of our first born. My mother came to England to see her first grandchild, handed us some cash and said to go to Paris so she could spend time with the baby alone. We left within hours, no hotel reservations, no plan of attack and one hellaciously rough ferry ride (spent most of it puking my guts out) to spend an unplanned weekend in the City of Lights at the ages of 21 & 22. Wow. OK...back on track now...

Paris, France at the top of Notre Dame Cathedral.
December 1985, 3 wks post-partum.
The other part of the draw for this race for me would be the opportunity to cross the Channel again (hopefully not in rough seas) and visit England...a place that I totally love and if I had to live in a different country it would either be in England or Australia (haven't been there yet though). I'd love to go through our old stomping grounds in the area of Banbury and RAF Upper Heyford do some repeat sightseeing in London and just cruise the countryside driving on the opposite side of the road. I used to get a little crazy in the roundabouts when we lived there! lol!

Of course being able to run in France, not necessarily Paris since Disneyland is about 20 miles outside of town, would be an experience. I don't think that I'd ever go and run the Paris Marathon or anything but to be able to say I've hit the European Disneyland, get back to England and do my first continent outside of North America would be too cool! And I would imagine that Disney would come up with a trans-continent medal much like the Coast to Coast medal if they do make this happen.

So yes, I'd be in if this happens. At least once...probably only once. Would you be willing to make the trans-continental trip just to run this race?

By the way...Hey, runDisney...How about a race at Disneyland - Tokyo?? I'd be totally in for that as well...but again, only once!

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