Update: runDisney has released their onsite dates for upcoming races including the virtual race series which went on sale April 16th. Find out more here.
runDisney fans are unlike many when it comes to Disney fandom. We wake up at 2:00AM and pay crazy amounts of money to run the roads in and around the Disney parks. We are in the midst of something no one has really experienced before with our beloved runDisney events and the long term closures of the Disney parks across the globe.
As of right now, runDisney has canceled the 5th running of the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, which originated as Star Wars Dark Side Weekend in 2016. In addition to that, Disneyland Paris has canceled the inaugural Princess Run Weekend in early May. Disney does have some experience with canceling races, but never for a public emergency like this. The most recent example would be the 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon, which was canceled the night before it was set to run due to severe weather that rolled through Walt Disney World that night and early morning.
runDisney and The Walt Disney Company have done everything right so far. I don't think anyone is complaining that this wasn't the right move for the situation. We are left with a void of runDisney until September, when the 5th running of the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend takes place. As of right now, everything from Paris and beyond that is currently on the race calendar, is on schedule. runDisney has, however, moved registration for future events to dates yet to be announced.
The 5th running of the runDisney Summer Virtual Race series is currently up in the air as registration was set to open in late March and has yet to do so. This is a run virtual running series that gets people moving at home, and allows participants to receive runDisney medals without running at a Disney park. I for one wonder what will happen to this event, as I think that with everyone home, a virtual race would be a great way to come together as a runDisney community.
In the instance of Rival Run Weekend, Disney is offering full refunds to runners who were signed up for any of the races throughout that weekend. For Disney to do this is a great thing. Many other races that have been canceled throughout the country have offered refunds, whether full or partial, but some have changed into virtual races or not offered any sort of refund, which can be a negative thing for many people.
runDisney has been a huge part of my life, and it has been for many others throughout the Disney community. There is a huge, loyal fanbase for these races with people returning year after year, and some even returning for every race throughout the year. This pause in our runDisney love should be only temporary, and we will get through this as a community whether you run Disney or not.
Thankfully for many of us, we can still go outside during this time and run or walk through our neighborhoods, of course using the proper precautions while doing so. When we are doing that, we can add some Disney to it to get our fix while we may be missing it. One example of that would be a Disney playlist. Apple Music, Spotify and several others have a huge amount of Disney theme park music, film soundtracks, and so much more.
Some other fun things that runDisney fans like to do is stop for characters or other photo ops while on course. We can make our own! I have seen a lot of social media posts with fun chalk art in neighborhoods that could potentially take the place of that. Have some fun with maybe an interesting street sign or other objects throughout neighborhoods that spice up our normal training runs or walks. We could even run in costume, which many runDisney runners do. It is all about making the best out of a difficult situation. We will all be ready to get to the next runDisney race, wherever that may be.
If you want to further the runDisney discussion, join over at Disboards.com!