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History of RunDisney By Reece Danzis




History of RunDisney


One of the perks of being a member of Crail’s Running Company is the group trips we go on, and our upcoming January adventure to Walt Disney World to run with runDisney at their Race Weekend is just one of many fun escapades CRC runners can go on! In our first-ever blog post, we’ll be delving into the history behind runDisney–how and when it started, how many runners attend every year, and even more fun facts. Let’s dive in!


While Disneyland opened in 1955 and Walt Disney World opened in 1971, the first Walt Disney Marathon was not held until 1994. At this first-ever Disney race, there were only 5,588 runners in attendance. The fourth Disney park, Animal Kingdom, hadn’t even opened yet! The Disneyland Marathon and 5K were both created in 1995. The first Walt Disney Marathon was the race that started runDisney, which now includes a ton of races at all times of the year, including the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, the Disney Princess races, and a ton of other races. In total, runDisney hosts about 26 races every year with about 163,000 runners!


The crowd-favorite runDisney race weekend is the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which is where CRC is going in January 2024! There are over 20,000 runners registered every year for this event, with a pace requirement of 16 minutes per mile. Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend also has several challenges that runners can enroll in. These include the Dopey Challenge, where you run all four of the races held that weekend, and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where you complete both the half marathon and full marathon races that weekend. The Dopey Challenge was introduced in 2014 (so was the 10K), while Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge was introduced in 2005. 3,000 runners signed up for the first year of the Goofy Challenge. Both challenges won’t be easy, but they will be fun!


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