Today, runDisney announced the addition of a new “club” called Club runDisney that fans of the popular race series can join. As a lover of ALL things runDisney, I was super pumped to find out more about this club, and what it entailed and offered to members. My initial takeaway: It has some cool things, a high price tag, and some safety concerns.
I love that they offer different price points and not just an “all or nothing” membership so that those without a lot of funds (because we spend them all at Disney? no?) can still join. There are 3 levels, silver, gold, and platinum. You can read the specifics of each level here, but just to summarize here are some of the cool things:
-Special sticker/tag on your race bib indicating you are a club member
-Perks such as the lowest race price available and guaranteed entry into races (depending on the level you choose)
-Expo lounge with expedited packet pickup
-Expo early shopping experience
High Price Tag
I was actually kind of excited about some of the offerings, and then I saw the price tag. Yikes.
Silver Membership $265.43
Gold Membership $478.63
Platinum Membership $798.43
I llovveee me some runDisney, but it takes all my funds available just to make it down for a race weekend, so an extra $265-$898 is certainly not in the budget, especially for the offerings given. I also personally have no interest in a virtual race, so I would rather my membership money go for a different perk than that.
As part of the platinum package, you can get upgraded corral placement. Now, this is kind of vague, so I’m not sure if this means you get to jump up one corral, or if people will be moving from the back to the front. I have run somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 runDisney races, and I have been in Corral A, and I have been in the back third of corrals. There is a HUGE difference in pace between the corrals, and rightfully so.
The people in the front worked super hard to get where they are, so the idea of buying a spot first of all just doesn’t sit well with me (again, it’s vague, doesn’t say how far of an upgrade, how many people it would be, etc.) But my main concern even more so than purchasing a spot would be the safety issue. When you put walkers or slower joggers in a front corral, I fear there could be safety concerns. As it is, I have witnessed people in corral A or B at the 5k or 10k that should be walking in the back causing bottlenecks, walking 3-5 people across, and, causing fast runners to basically stop running for fear of running into them. (PLEASE note there is NOTHING wrong with slow running or walking a runDisney race! I have done it before, and know when I do that I do not belong in the front! You do you and power walk that thing!)
Ok, so all of that being said, I think a club is actually a great idea and could be a very cool thing. I do however think there are some things that runners would love to see instead of some of the priveledges offered for members. What perks would make you want to join the club? For me, instead of a virtual race and upgraded corral placement, it would be one or some of the following:
-Discount on merchandise at the expo
-A scaled-down type of “race retreat” with private bathrooms and maybe a tent for heating/cooling pre-race to relax, stretch, etc. Nothing fancy needed. (Would have loved to have during some of the colder races I have run!)
-Private bag check so you can hold onto your stuff right up until race time and then not have to wait in line to drop off or pick up. This is great for being able to wear your jacket, eat a snack or energy gel, etc. right up until race time. (Would have been great during Dopey!)
-A special meet up just for club members with a shakeout run, maybe a quick talk from a runDisney employee, or Jeff Galloway, etc. or just a post race meet up to celebrate.
I love runDisney and am happy to see them trying to engage runners further and make them feel special! What are your thoughts on Club runDisney? What special event or privilege would make you want to join the club?
Memberships for Club runDisney go on sale February 18, 2020 just in time for the Princess half weekend.