runDisney Marathon Weekend Changes for 2014

I just got off the phone with Faron Kelley, director of marketing and communications for Disney sports to chat with him and some other bloggers about marathon weekend 2014, and some of the changes the runDisney folks are making to have the weekend be a great experience for all involved.


First of all, the obvious news, is the new Dopey challenge (Faron is running it, too!) He said he is super excited about the six medals, as well as the inaugural 10k race. In keeping with the theme of the classic Disney characters (Donald for the half, Mickey for the full, etc) they knew they wanted Minnie for the 10k. He was also excited about the fact that there are very few if any places where you can get a race experience like this one, and have the opportunity to earn so many medals and run so many races in four days.

He also wanted to be very clear in stating that runDisney listens to it’s runners. They read blogs, social media, (such as the runDisney Facebook page) and listen to feedback to get information from participants and to make changes to give everyone a great race experience. One of the main concerns folks have been having is crowding on the race course. Well friends, runDisney heard you loud and clear, and is making some big changes for 2014. Let’s take a look:

-There will be 2,000 less runners for marathon weekend distributed between the half and the full. Since the half is where they have seen the main course pinch points, most of the cutting down will come from that race. Faron mentioned that it’s a tough decision because there is so much demand to run these races, and they want to give as many people as possible the chance to run. However, they realize this is the right thing to do to make the run a better experience for everyone.

-There will be more corrals to spread out the runners a little more and to help even out the course.

-A proof of time will be required for 95% of runners, so pretty much everyone who has run before, all to make sure runners are in the right corrals. It can become a safety issue if participants are in the wrong place, and again it goes back to helping everyone to have a fun experience.

– Finally! Women’s fitted shirts! Faron said they have heard about the desire for the shirts for awhile, and since ladies made rundisney what it is and are driving the running boom in the country, we should get shirts that fit us. Hooray! Also, as far as he knows they will continue to be long sleeve shirts.

-The marathon course will be the same as this past year, the 20th anniversary course. The half course will remain the same as well, as will the 5k. The 10k course is yet to be released.

-There will be a new marathon medal. Faron knows people run for the bling and seeing the awesome medals is something he loves!

-Spots for Dopey: They have not officially decided on a number of spaces yet. They are watching the numbers for the presales, and don’t want to take all the 10k spots because runDisney wants to leave most of them for people wanting to run the 10k only. Faron said it is quite the balancing act, and that the presale numbers were very limited.

-An earlier start time is possible in order to add the new corrals, however, the main objective is to get to the Magic Kingdom as soon as possible and then clear it out so guests can go to the park for the day. For 2013 the loop around EPCOT was taken out, and we ran straight to the Magic Kingdom, clearing the park sooner than ever. runDisney is confident they can still accomplish this goal, even with more corrals. People in the back corrals will just start later and finish later in the day.

-The 16:00 per mile pace requirement is to remain the same

– They are working out the details for the kids races so they will hopefully not interfere with the runners participating in Dopey. runDisney knows the weekend is a family affair, and wants everyone to be able to participate in the races as well as their children.

-I asked Faron about people wanting to submit proof of time from Wine and Dine, but it’s after the November 1 proof of time cut off date. He said that was actually a really good idea and said he would check on that for me. So stay tuned for updates on this as the race gets closer.


We had a great call, and I am so thankful that Faron took the time to talk to us about the changes for 2014. I could sense the excitement in his voice, and I can’t wait for January! Don’t forget, registration opens to the general public TOMORROW. So be sure to visit to secure your spot. You won’t want to miss this fun weekend! (Don’t forget registration is still open for the Tower of Terror 10 miler and the Wine and Dine half as well!)

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  1. Thanks to you and Faron for passing along this great RunDisney info. More incentive to register early!

  2. Great recap! I’m sooo excited 🙂

  3. Great post, and great information. I am curious about there being no allowed corral changes at Expo. I am sure there is thinking behind this, but I am kind of curious. I’m locating 10ks and 1/2s that I could do before the WDW Marathon weekend, but I am definitely doing one in December, and had thought I could use that at Expo to change corrals.
    For me-I don’t know what Wine and Dine will result in as I am hoping to stop for some photos, so even if they tweaked the date, not sure that would help me.
    Thanks for the post, and the great info!

  4. Patty Holliday says

    Thanks Faron and Heather for sharing so much great information! runDisney Nation appreciates it! I also wonder about the Expo changes- hope there may be some leeway in this? And early start times are wonderful for this morning runner- Tinker Bell @5am was a beautiful thing! Plenty of time to get the run in AND hit the parks at Rope Drop! #thingsthatmatter <3

  5. Definitely excited about the women’s fit shirts…maybe now I’ll actually wear one of them!

  6. Thanks for the info Heather!!!

  7. Love the info!! Cheers! Tara

  8. Yay for all the positive changes. It does sound like runDisney has really paid attention to runner feedback. I am so excited for the women’s cut shirts….that will be awesome to get 6 shirts I will enjoy wearing!

  9. Laura Frye says

    Wonderful write up. RunDisney has always been excellent about runner feedback, so glad to get the women’s shirts. An earlier start is ok by me, as Patty said, more time to get to the parks. Looking forward to being officially Dopey in 2014.

  10. Great update Heather! So glad I got into the Dopey, now just need to decide if the family is traveling with me and if so I will need to get them 3 10K spots tomorrow. Decisions, Decisions! Doing ToT with my BFF and Wine and Dine with the Family, so we will see…

  11. Great changes! So glad that Disney is listening while also trying to put on a fabulous race! I can’t wait for signup for that weekend to open! Not sure I’d run the full after MCM but I’m in for the half!

  12. SO excited about women’s shirts. I have a women’s tech long sleeve from Brooks and I love it.

  13. Exciting info! I’ve never ran any of the Disney races, but am sure at some point in time I will. It’s so great to know that this is a race that listens to the runners!

  14. Elizabeth McKay says

    Any info on when the ‘official’ RD meet up will take place? And whether it will be possible to do it AND dopey?

  15. Amanda @ Run Principessa says

    Once again, your life is just so cool! I wish I casually had these kinds of phone calls. 😉 Thanks for the updates on everything! It’s taking a lot of decision over whether to part with the money or not, but I am TOTALLY prepared to stare Dopey in the face if I can swing it!

  16. Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says

    I’ve decided not to run the Disney marathon this year, despite the changes. Even if they take out 2000 participants, it’s still crowded, and Disney’s #1 priority is safety. It boggles my mind the way they’ve let these races get so crowded. I hope they don’t use Champion for the women’s fitted shirts. They’re way too short and are sized terribly. They also need to get rid of those silly lunch boxes and bring back the real food. After running 26.2 miles, the last thing I want to do is play around with a tube of hummus and some gourmet seeds. And this past year’s marathon course wasn’t that great to keep it another year. WWOS was crowded and the race track is boring, and the hill going down to the track was dangerously steep. And I don’t agree with the inception of Dopey. They’re encouraging runners who just aren’t physically capable of a run like that. Have you seen the amount of first time runners saying they’ll do Dopey on the FB page. Ridiculous and just not safe whatsoever. I’ll stick to a local race this year.

    • You are right that 2,000 isn’t that many in the grand scheme, however it will help, AND with them making more corrals and smaller corrals, that will make a big difference in crowding. I think it’s up to the individual person to decide if dopey is right for them physically. It’s not runDisney’s fault if someone registers for a race that they have no business signing up for. I personally enjoyed the new course, much better scenery than running on all those backroads for miles and miles (especially the boring stretch before animal kingdom from 2011! oy!)
      I would imagine they will use champion since that is their sponsor. The sizes are a bit off ( got a large in my purple marathon tech shirt I bought this year) however it fits great and I have a super long torso, so maybe it’s just certain ones. Fingers crossed they are the ones I like!

  17. Thanks, Heather, for sharing all this! I’ll be posting it on my blog’s FB page!

  18. The more updates runDisney gives about marathon weekend, the more I want to run it! Thanks for the scoop.

  19. Erica @ For the Sake of Cake says

    Thanks for the info! I’ve mentioned doing the 1/2 to my husband a few times, but I’m not sure I can get him to commit… will need to work on this! 🙂

  20. Thanks for all the updates–lots of goof info! I’m glad they are cutting participants though I really think it needs to be even more. I was literally rubbing elbows (sweaty elbows!) almost the entire course. I do think the proof of time will help though. I recently ran a 15K and it was so amazing to have space around me.

  21. Once again I wish they had these Disney runs here! Heck I wish they had Disneyland in Australia full stop 🙂

  22. Thanks for the info! The more I hear about these races the more I wish I could participate!

  23. willwrite4travel says

    Wow! This is some great information! Thank you, Heather.

  24. Exciting! Thanks for the info 🙂

  25. Thank you so much for this information!!! My friends and I have been debating between that one and the Princess one. We picked the Princess since there would be less people, it’s nice to know that they are cutting back on the number of people. Now we just have to stay on top of when the race days open.

  26. Great to see that runDisney is making so many improvements. We loved running Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge for the 2nd time this year and wish we could run Dopey.

  27. Did know all this, thanks for sharing!
    We will probably be there working, not sure about running yet.

  28. Tamara Prochoroff says

    I hope I don’t miss out on my first Princess if they reduce the number of runner; the Pre-sale usually takes most of the spots. I wish they would do a Spring Princess and a Winter Princess 2 races then I might get a chance!

    • The Pre sale numbers are very limited compared to the regular numbers. Just a couple thousand out of over 20k so you should be good!

  29. Women fitted t-shirts and less runners for the half sound like really great improvements! Good to know Disney listens and makes improvements based on runner feedback!

  30. Love the changes! Can we change the shirts so that they run true to size and also have extended sizes? At Princess, my first Disney race, the shirts felt really small. Looking around at the 20,000 other Princesses, there were plenty of ladies who could utilize these. The same would apply to the official merchandise. I was pretty sad to see none of the shirts were really made for someone like me who is larger and has large breasts. Big girls can run (or speed walk as is my case), too!

  31. I LOVE the news — I am so envious of you and your runDisney hook ups!! Thanks for sharing the info lady 🙂

  32. Nicole Glass says

    Seeing all these changes makes me even more excited for marathon weekend! It will be my first marathon (ever!) and it will be mine and my husband’s first trip to Disneyworld!

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Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. runningwithsass says:

    runDisney Marathon Weekend Changes for 2014…

    I just got off the phone with Faron Kelley, director of marketing and communications for Disney sports…

  2. […] same new features added to marathon weekend 2014 will carry over to Princess such as decreased number of registrants (mainly in the half marathon), […]

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