Racing Disney: An Explanation of Race “Challenges” by Guest Blogger Addie Clark and Tali McPike

2015-Goofy-Challenge Hey there Main Streeters! Addie here and this week we want to talk about something that we’ve been seeing a lot of questions about lately: the race “challenges” runDisney offers in many race weekends. Tali and I collected some of the most often asked questions that we’ve seen and I have answered them here, based on my experiences completing one of the race challenges this winter, in one convenient location!

What is a Challenge?
That is an excellent question. A race “Challenge” is doing multiple races in the same weekend. The most common Challenge in the runDisney universe is the 10K Saturday and then a half marathon on Sunday. It’s not for the faint at heart, but is definitely doable and a whole lot of fun!

Why should I do a challenge?
Because it’s all about that bling (‘bout that bling! ‘bout that bling!). No, but seriously, the bling is one of the main perks of registering for a challenge. Outside of the medals you receive for the individual races, you also receive a special challenge medal for completing the challenge, as well as an additional challenge shirt. If you’re planning on running the events involved in the challenge anyway, I would suggest registering for the challenge.
Also, in my opinion, challenges make the runDisney weekends worth the money. Personally, I can’t justify traveling all the way to Orlando just to run a half marathon, no matter how much I love Disney.

Does every rD race weekend have a challenge option?
At the moment, no, but they’re getting awfully close. At the moment, there are seven challenges in runDisney’s repertoire. During Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, there is the Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles), which is finishing the 5K, 10K, half, and full marathon, and the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (39.3 miles), which is finishing the half and full marathon. For the Dopey, you not only receive a Dopey challenge medal, but you will also receive the Goofy’s Challenge medal because that challenge is included.

Several of the same 19.3 mile (10K + Half) challenges exist: During Stars Wars Half Marathon weekend, there is the Rebel Challenge. During Princess Half Marathon weekend, there is the Glass Slipper Challenge. During the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend, there is now the Pixie Dust Challenge. During the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, there is the Dumbo Double Dare. And new this year, during the Avengers Half Marathon weekend, there is the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge.
There is also the Coast-to-Coast Challenge, which I have outlined in a previous blog and will talk more about next week. Briefly, it’s running at least a half marathon at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

harhar726883Are the 5Ks part of the challenges?
No, except in the case of the Dopey Challenge. If you want to run the 5K in a race weekend in addition to any of the above mentioned challenges, it needs to be registered for separately.

Do I have to register for every race individually as well as the challenge?
This seems to confuse some people, but NO. When you register for the challenge, you are AUTOMATICALLY registered for all the races in the challenge. That is why they are about sum of all the race entries in the challenge. I say a little more, because there is a slight extra charge for the challenges due to the extra shirt, medal and whatnot for the challenge.

Can I earn the challenge medal if I just register for each race individually?
No. Registering for the races individually is not the same as registering for the Challenge and you will NOT be eligible for the extra challenge swag, regardless of whether you log the miles that weekend.

What if I don’t finish one of the challenge races?
If you don’t finish (DNF) one of the challenge races, you will not be eligible for the challenge medal. While even those participants who get swept receive the race medal, the challenge medals are only given to those participants who cross the finish line in the time allotted. This is why it is so important to train to run within the time limits.

I’m new to running, can I do a challenge for my first runDisney race?
I did. Princess Weekend was my first rD event and I ran all three races. But these challenges are billed “FOR EXPERIENCED RUNNERS” and that isn’t for kicks. They are a serious commitment and not being trained to go the distance can and will result in DNF results and jeopardize your ability to complete the challenge. I had been running for over a year and a half by the time I took on the 22.4 miles I ran Princess weekend. So my biggest piece of advice: take your training seriously. You can do it, you just have to put in the time.

Hopefully, this has answered some of the questions you have about runDisney challenges. Next week, I’m going to interview a runDisney vet about her experience going Coast to Coast and running the Pixie Dust Challenge. Beyond that, we’ve got a lot more information to give. Stay tuned! And Run on!

imagesTMSM is very excited to publish the “Racing Disney” runDisney articles by Addie Clark and Tali McPike. Please keep an eye out for more of their amazing and informative articles! If you missed of the articles in this series make sure you check them at and

If you are planning on running in a runDisney event and have questions, or have participated and want to talk about your experiences make sure you visit our runDisney Forum at

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