runDisney races (in-person) return this November, 2021! runDisney made the announcement today that four runDisney race weekends will occur between November, 2021 and April, 2022! Just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort!! Get the details below on how these magical run Disney races are different from previous years. Know that as more info comes available, I will post updates here!
Running Princess Half Marathon Weekend?
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The four runDisney races for ’21-’22 “season” are:
- runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Friday, November 5th – Sunday, November 7th. Note – this is the only race weekend with set registration dates.
- runDisney Marathon Weekend: Thursday, January 6th – Sunday, January 9th
- runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Thursday, February 24th – Sunday, February 28th
- runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend: Thursday, March 31st – Sunday, April 3rd
Tips for Your Best runDisney Race!
And read about my feature on Disney’s Insider, Season 1, Episode 5!
EVENT CHANGES – What is different for this runDisney year/season:?
- Disney Princess Sunrise Yoga: On the first morning of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, runDisney will host Disney Princess Sunrise Yoga in front of Cinderella Castle, before the theme park opens. There will be NO RACE on that day, Thursday. The yoga session will be a fantastic way to prepare mind and body for a race!
- runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend: Each race season, the fourth race weekend will now be the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend. Each year will include a different race theme and distances. The theme for 2022 has not been announced.
This apparently means that Star Wars is no longer the theme for the March/April event.
- Virtual Races: All runDisney races will have a virtual race option, allowing runDisney fans across the country to participate in their favorite races, even if they can’t make it to Walt Disney World to run in person. Runners are encouraged to run on the same morning of the on-site events, and will receive the same finisher medals!
- Just for Kids: The runDisney Kids Races during each event weekend will become runDisney Kids Adventures, focused on health, fitness, and fun for kids! No detail on what it holds for this season, yet.
Related topic: RunDisney Race Photo Tips for Best Results
EVENT REGISTRATION- what’s different for this runDisney year/season:
- No early registration for Disney Vacation Club Members, or Annual Passholders! Personally, I’m sad to hear that as I am both, and have taken advantage of that perk in previous races.
- Travel agents will NOT be able to book race weekend packages with race registration. This is unfortunate, indeed, as it will be very detrimental to travel agencies!
- Registration opens early for Gold and Platinum Club runDisney members – one week early (always at 10 AM EST).
- Interestingly enough, no Club runDisney memberships are currently available. And, those with Silver level membership get no early access.
- Caveat: club members have the opportunity to purchase one spot in the half marathon or greater distance each race weekend through early registration
- General Registration for In-Person Races opens a week later (always at 10 AM EST)
- Registration for Virtual Races open three days after general registration for In-Person races (always at 10 AM EST)
How will the race experience and race expo differ from year’s past? That is still a bit unclear, frankly. And, runDisney has dedicated a page to providing updates on that topic. The page currently doesn’t have much information, but expect it to as race day(s) approach. The race digital guide (once available) will provide updates, too.
What is different regarding the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo for ’21-’22 season:
- Day-of-race bib pickup will not be available. Participants will need to pick up their race bib and participant shirt before the day of their race.
What is different about on course entertainment for runDisney race weekends ’21-’22 season:
runDisney races will continue to feature on-course entertainment for our participants, however this may look different than past races. This is the official wording from the website.
I do think that we can look to practices during theme park hours to see how that’ll affect race day experience. For example, if character pictures are not happening in the parks, then they won’t happen on race day. But, knowing Disney, they will likely come up with a creative way to make it happen. Socially distanced pix or selfies? We shall see.
Other Notable Change – Proof of Time:
Proof of time for the half marathon is now for 2:00 hours or less. runDisney states that if you believe you’ll finish in less than two hours, proof of time is required for starting placement. Over two hours, proof of time is not required. Previously, it was 2:30 (two hours, 30 minutes). This is drastically different for runDisney, and I know a lot of people are wondering how this will their affect corral placement.
No detail for Marathon Weekend is yet available regarding corrals or proof of time for the marathon distance.
According to runDisney website, questions regarding proof of time, should be addressed by emailing here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post Pandemic Race Experience – What’ll be different for runDisney 2021-2022 season?
runDisney states that while COVID-19 guidelines are moving in a direction that should allow for a more familiar runDisney race experience, they may implement health/safety measures as needed. For example, face coverings, physical distancing, etc. This of course applies to not only the race itself, but pre-race (corrals), expo experience, etc.