This week runDisney announced the Runner’s World Challenge as part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend taking place January 11-13, 2013. My initial reaction to this news was: “I must sign up for this now!” Then I saw the price of $1,649 for Marathon participants and I put the brakes on that. That is way out of my budget for a weekend trip for the race.
Here are the details:
JULY 9, 2012 – (New York and Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) – Imagine a weekend where you run through Disney theme parks, experience Disney entertainment and are rewarded with a unique Disney medal, all while running side-by-side with Runner’s World editors who helped you train and encouraged you along the way.
The 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which are part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, are the latest races to be designated Runner’s World Challenge events. Participants will virtually train with Runner’s World editors leading up to race weekend, and then on race weekend have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive VIP race experience with Runner’s World editors all hosted by runDisney at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL.
The weekend consists of the Half Marathon Jan. 12, 2013 and the Marathon Jan. 13. Those who choose to can run the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where participants must complete the Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by the Marathon on Sunday to qualify for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal.
More excitement awaits runners taking on the challenge of the Disney Marathon, which marks two decades of magical miles of Disney entertainment, one-of-a-kind medals and family memories. The 20th anniversary race will feature a new course routing through the Walt Disney World Speedway and Champion Stadium ballpark at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary; a commemorative 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse medal and a new post-race party in Downtown Disney.
“We’ve planned 2013 to be the biggest year ever for the Runner’s World Challenge, and we’re excited to be collaborating with a great new partner for this kick off in January at Walt Disney World for the 20th anniversary Disney Marathon Weekend,” said David Willey Runner’s World Editor-in-Chief and Rodale Inc. Active Living Group General Manager. “Our editors are already gearing up training plans, logging miles, and preparing for this unique event. As with all of the Runner’s World Challenges, our readers can count on receiving expert advice and personal engagement with our editors while training for this special weekend.”
“The opportunity for our runners to have personal access to some of the leading minds in the running industry through the Runner’s World Challenge is going to be hugely beneficial to anyone running our half marathon and marathon that weekend,’’ said Faron Kelley, Director of Sports Marketing and Communication at Walt Disney World. “With so many races taking place around the country, partnering with the running experts at Runner’s World will further differentiate our Disney Marathon Weekend and noticeably enhance the overall race weekend experience for the thousands of runners who are expected to participate in our 20th anniversary event next year.”
Challenge participants will have exclusive access to a Challenge-only website where they can ask questions that will be answered by Runner’s World editors. They can also share their best tips on nutrition, injury prevention, health issues and other essential training topics as they get ready to run at Disney.
This exclusive package created for participants in this special Runner’s World Challenge weekend at Walt Disney World includes:
- Entry into the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge with preferred corral placement
- Three night stay at Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club Resort
- Private packet pick-up and hospitality suite at the resort
- Keepsake 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend gift
- A Runner’s World Challenge tech shirt
- Course strategy session with the Runner’s World experts and editors
- Exclusive shakeout run with the Runner’s World editors
- Entry to the Pasta in the Park Party on Saturday night Jan. 12 at Epcot® with Runner’s World VIPs & editors
- Private transportation to and from the start and finish lines
- Entry to the Race Retreat which includes pre and post race hot and cold beverages, dedicated stretching area, and private portalets & bag check, post-race buffet, massage and live results
- Post-race celebration on Sunday night at the Cool Down at Downtown Disney
The price for half and full marathons participants is $1,649 and for the Goofy’ Race and Half Challenge is $1,899. This sticker shock led me to breakdown the price to see if this price is warranted.
- Half Marathon & Marathon Registration = $150 (current rate)
- Goofy’s Race & a Half Challenge = $320 (current rate)
Additional Weekend Events
- Pasta in the Park Party = $47.50
- Race Retreat = $99
- 3 nights at the Yacht or Beach Club Resort = $1,300 (estimate for standard room rack rate)
If we add this up, the total for the half and full marathons is $1,596.50 (a $52.50 savings) and the total for the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is $1,766.50 (a $132.50 savings).
Well now it doesn’t look as expensive, but is a commemorative shirt, a keepsake item and the strategy sessions worth what you would safe? Or is it the prestige of running with the Runner’s World elite that’s worth the extra cost? You also need to ask yourself if you would take advantage of these additional events or stay at a deluxe resort if it wasn’t part of the package. I’m a DVC member, so I wouldn’t pay for a deluxe resort. I would either use my points or stay in a value resort for race weekend, so obviously this package doesn’t make sense for me. But if you are planning on running one of the races and are already booked in a deluxe resort, this might be a great option for you.
If you are interested in the Runner’s World Challenge, you can find more information on the runDisney website. Don’t worry if you have already registered for any of these races, your race registration will be refunded when you register for the challenge.
What do you think of this partnership? Are you registering for the Runner’s World Challenge?