RunDisney Returns to Live Races!

Okay, so, I’m a little late in reporting on this big news that runDisney put out on the Disney Parks Blog June 30th. After more than a year off from “in-person” races, this November runDisney returns to the live events with the 2021 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend this November. Here are the details on the next three race weekends….

First up is the Wine and Dine happening from November 4-7, 2021. Registration is already open and if you haven’t started training, you’re a few days behind.

Next up is the biggest race weekend of any calendar year…the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! This event will take place from January 5-9, 2022. I must admit that I’ve got to laugh a bit at this graphic. The announcement came on June 30, 2021…three days after training should have started. Of course, registration won’t open to the general public until one month after the training should have started. So, I guess, you have a month to figure out if you can get yourself in shape to do the races before you actually register. Gotta love these post-Covid-era times we live in.

The third race weekend announced is the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, happening February 24-27, 2022. For this one, you actually have some time before the training is to start. It looks like, by the time this race happens, we’ll be back to whatever the new normal is for runDisney races. Registration is open to the general public on August 24, 2021 and training doesn’t start until the end of October. This is closer to the norm was before COVID-19.

Then, comes the totally new. Shhhhhhhh. It’s a surprise race weekend. Here’s the first obvious new wrinkle to runDisney racing. Here’s what runDisney says about this weekend…

If you’ve been looking for a new and exciting running event, the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort is for you—because it’s a completely different experience every year! You never know what to expect, except that it’s going to be fun and distinctively runDisney. Best of all, it doesn’t matter if you just laced up your first pair of running shoes or you’re a runDisney veteran who’s been around the block—literally—a few hundred times. The runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend is as much about the smiles as it is about the miles. But one thing’s for sure, you won’t want to miss this year’s event, because—surprise!—it’s going to be a whole new theme next year.

It may be weird, but I kind of like this. The downside is that, if you like one of these “Springtime Surprise” Weekends’ theme, you may not get to enjoy that theme again. So, it does create this urgency that runDisney races in 2019 were lacking.

Sadly, this race weekend’s theme and timing will likely mean that there will be no more Star Wars Half Marathons. It also means that there will be no Star Wars Half Marathons that run through Batuu or by the Millennium Falcon. That would have been fun. Which is why I signed up to run in the 2020 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend…the first runDisney race cancelled due to COVID.

While it’s super exciting for those who have been regulars at the WDW runDisney events, it wasn’t as exciting of an announcement if runDisney announced, say a return to running at the Disneyland Resort….just sayin.’ However, it does feel good to see more normal things happening. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t your normal races, yet. Everything will be fluid and the CDC could shut the races down is a surge in COVID-19 cases happens over the summer/early fall. From what I hear, runDisney is going to have a smaller field for these upcoming races. Which makes sense. I’m sure it really sucked for Disney when they had to issue all of those refunds in 2020.

Have no fear, though. If you can’t get in and experience all of the magic, you can still earn the race medals by running the races virtually. Personally, I like this idea. Although, it is a lot of money to pay for a race shirt and a medal. I mean…$79 for a 5K? RunDisney has always been on the high end of the entry fees. But, $79 will make you think for a second or two. Still, I wonder if anyone that lives out here on the West Coast would unofficially organize a West Coast WDW Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, or 5K that makes its way around Disneyland. You know…just for fun.

So, are you excited about the runDisney news? Let me know in the comments.

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