runDisney Events at Walt Disney World
AllEars.Net’s Laura Gilbreath and Lee Zimmerman have participated in many runDisney events.
You can read their reports on RUNNING WITH MICKEY!
runDisney offers Walt Disney World guests the opportunity to participate in four different race weekends throughout the year. There are multiple race distances for both kids and adults – starting from a Diaper Dash for babies all the way to a full marathon for adults.
The crown jewel of runDisney events is the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend held in January. This weekend has spawned other race weekends like the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.
Each race weekend offers 5K, 10K, and half marathon races, with a full marathon also available during Marathon Weekend. There are “Race Challenges”, which include an additional medal, for those who run multiple races during the same weekend.
Races offer guests the unique opportunity to run through some of the Walt Disney World theme parks. The courses feature entertainment such as Disney characters, parade floats, bands, and DJs.
Other runDisney Race Opportunities
The Disneyland runDisney race series is on hiatus starting in 2018, but there are several other runDisney races.
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend – September 20-23, 2018. Runners who complete a half or full marathon at Walt Disney World as well as the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon in the same calendar year receive the Castle to Chateau Challenge medal.
Castaway Cay Challenge – The 5K race takes place on Disney Cruise Line’s private island, Castaway Cay, during the four-night Disney Dream cruise that takes place the week following marathon weekend. Runners who complete any race distance during marathon weekend and then take the cruise and complete the Castaway Cay 5K, receive the Castaway Cay Challenge medal. NOTE: This is a different race than the 5K that is open to anyone on the cruise. Runners must sign up in advance on the runDisney site, and must also be registered for a WDW Marathon Weekend race.
runDisney Virtual Shorts – Summer, 2018. This race series allows people to complete their own 5Ks on a course of their choice. There are three different races, each with their own medal, and an extra medal for those who complete all three.
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The Walt Disney World Marathon is a 26.2-mile race with a course that takes runners through all four Disney theme parks. This is a very popular race with 20,000+ registered participants every year. The pace requirement is 16 minutes per mile. This race takes place on Sunday of Marathon weekend. Those who finish within the 7-hour time limit receive a Mickey medal.
The Walt Disney World Half Marathon is a 13.1-mile race. Its course takes runners from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot. In recent years it has seen over 20,000 participants, who are required to complete the race in 3.5 hours (a 16 minute per mile pace). The Half Marathon tends to reach registration capacity before the full marathon. This race takes place on Saturday of Marathon weekend. Those who finish within the 3.5-hour time limit receive a Donald Duck medal.
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge invites those who are “Goofy” enough to do it to run both the Half Marathon and the Marathon. Runners who successfully complete both races within the 3.5 hour and 7 hour time limits receive an additional “Goofy” medal in addition to the Donald and Mickey finisher medals.
The Walt Disney World 10K is a 6.2 mile race that starts and ends at Epcot, and takes place on Friday or Marathon Weekend. The course goes around part of World Showcase, around the Boardwalk area outside Epcot, and through part of future world. This race has 10,000+ participants, and is usually the first to sell out. Finishers receive a Minnie Mouse medal.
The Walt Disney World 5K is a 3.1 mile race that takes place on Thursday of Marathon Weekend. It starts and ends at Epcot, and goes around World Showcase and through Future World. The minimum age requirement is only 5 years, making this a popular race for the entire family. Finishers receive a Pluto medal.
The Dopey Challenge is for those who are, well Dopey enough to run all four races, four mornings in a row. Runners who complete all four races within the time limits receive the “Dopey” medal in addition to all of the other race medals (including the “Goofy” medal).
There is a series of Kid’s Races that take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex on Friday and Saturday. Kids’ events are for those ages 13 and under and include the “Mickey Mile”, 100m, 200m and 400m races, and a “Diaper Dash”.
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend
This race weekend ties into Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival with its race theme, including the Disney Fall Feast 5K and the Disney Two Course Challenge 10K/half marathon race challenge. The 5K takes place at Animal Kingdom, but the starting point for the 10K and half marathon has varied, and is currently the Magic Kingdom parking lot. Both races end at Epcot.
In addition to the race event, participants in the half marathon receive a Disney gift card and a ticket to a post-race, after-hours party at Epcot on Sunday night as part of their registration fee. Tickets to the party are available for purchase to friends and family members.
Kids races take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday.