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WDW Marathon Weekend 2020: Final Thoughts

So I’ve written my race recaps but I still had some other thoughts rolling around in my head from Marathon Weekend that I wanted to mention.

Here are a few more thoughts on runDisney:

1. The Shirt Change – This change actually went into effect for Wine & Dine Weekend so it was not totally unexpected but runDisney is working with a new vendor, not Champion, to provide their race t-shirts. These shirts are cut slightly different and have a different feel to them but overall are pretty similar, but some people have mentioned they aren’t standing up to washing & wearing quite as well. What really intrigues me though is the fact that Champion is no longer a sponsor (not listed on any of the shirts or information) so I’m assuming that with abolishing that relationship, runDisney was left producing their own tech shirts. This is the change that interests me most. What was that deal like? Who was paying who or did they just call it even? Is runDisney looking to partner with a new running brand or try to? Since runDisney seems to work in seasons, from Fall to the following Summer, I’m interested to see if a new clothing brand will partner with runDisney but I’m also assuming this wouldn’t go into effect until the 2020-2021 runDisney season.

2. Oswald Taking Minnie’s Race Still Irks Me – I know it’s not really that big of a deal but it is. 1) He’s not a part of the fab 5, 2) we finally had a female character being the mascot of a race that wasn’t a female focused race weekend & 3) they decided to boot her for a character that doesn’t even really meet at WDW. Again this change just makes me wonder if runDisney thought they were missing male registrations because they wouldn’t want a Minnie shirt/medal? Or does someone at runDisney just really like Oswald? First we booted Pluto from the 5k and now Minnie from the 10k, just stop it. Bring back Minnie!

3. Club runDisney – I don’t get this. Well, actually I get why they are doing this ($$$), but I don’t get who this is targeting. This offering isn’t really giving me anything I want so I will not be signing up for it but I really curious as to who the target is. The one interesting thing is them alluding to the fact they are bringing back tiered pricing for races. The tiered pricing was phased out sometime in 2013 I think once they realized everything was selling out on day one but we don’t really know what this “tiering” actually is. Will it be by date of registration or based on your other Disney Parks affiliations (AP, DVC, etc)? I’m sure we’ll see more as we approach the 2020-2021 runDisney season and the “launch” of Club runDisney.

4. Bag Check – Over the past few Marathon Weekends they keep trying out new ways of handling this and this year was by far the weirdest. I feel like it was designed by an event coordinator thinking about overall flow but not about the runner experience. (Hey runDisney your main focus should be the experience of the runner) Do I want to have to hobble all the way across a parking lot after finishing to get my bag which could have things which I want immediately after a race? No. Other races make you do this but Disney was different.

This year they made it a multi- step process too. Instead of just using your bib number or bib number and last name, they opted to give everyone a separate sticker with a new number to associated with your bag. So when you finished you had to remember which truck you dropped it off at (since they were not assigned to anything associated with you, you just went up to whichever truck you wanted) and then instead of just showing your bib, you needed to get really close to the volunteer across the table to show them a light green number on a sticker on the back of your bib (hopefully it stayed with you throughout the very sweaty race). I don’t know who came up with this multi-step process but it was overly complex and was not designed by someone who understands the lack of brain molecules you have at the end of a marathon. Please stop overthinking this runDisney!

5. Characters Are Still King! – Every year I feel like I only stop for a few characters but then realize I actually got a dozen plus and didn’t stop for all of them. It’s so fun looking back through pictures and seeing all these character filled smiling moments and remember all the fun. It makes the blur that is distance running feel more concrete seeing all these snapshots of fun! I actually bought Memory Maker this year and love that I have all these pictures now, I might be a MM convert!

So those are my FINAL thoughts after WDW Marathon Weekend. What are your thoughts? What changes have you seen that you feel have been good or bad? Leave a comment!

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