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RacerKN FIRST-TIMER '17

This is not an "easy" race to get into, but the race organizers give you multiple ways to enter the lottery and they don't force you to give them money … MORE

This is not an “easy” race to get into, but the race organizers give you multiple ways to enter the lottery and they don’t force you to give them money to apply for the lottery, nor do they automatically charge you if you’re selected – this is a classy way to handle an otherwise stressful lottery process.
I’m a Northern California native, so the scenario is very familiar. But for a non-local, you could not ask for a more pleasurable way to experience Hwy 1 and the California coast. Carmel and Monterey are beautiful spot to enjoy before and after the race. I would recommend it highly as a destination race.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

5 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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nthome FIRST-TIMER '16

I'll keep this short and simple: arrived at 6:30 for morning of bib pick up (which I do appreciate but with a field this small, is a no-brainer). No one … MORE

I’ll keep this short and simple: arrived at 6:30 for morning of bib pick up (which I do appreciate but with a field this small, is a no-brainer). No one was there. Gates were still closed.

Pick up bib. No chip. Bill later announced that they weren’t going to “do a big production” and they’d be taking down times manually.

The course, for a bike path, is actually very pretty! It is two loops though so … pretty boring as well.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Primadawn REPEAT RUNNER '17

For this distance you start at the race village; no need to shuttle. The coastal views are phenomenal in the park. Looping back, the course coverges with the longer distance … MORE

For this distance you start at the race village; no need to shuttle. The coastal views are phenomenal in the park. Looping back, the course coverges with the longer distance races on the final 3 miles of Hwy 1 back to the finish line. Finisher medals are the Big Sur signature, hand-pressed ceramic medallions on leather lanyards, just like the longer distance races. Music all along the course (bagpipes on the ocean bluffs are my favorite). Post race was even better this year than before, with hot minestrone soup and Sierra Nevada beer. Swag: discount to The Refuge spa just down the road for an amazing post-race recovery! (Among other local discounts).

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

runforbeer FIRST-TIMER '15

All "Elite Sports California" races are a joke. Packet pickups are unorganized, they still use those crappy reusable timing chips, courses are painfully boring, age group "prizes" are usually cheap. … MORE

All “Elite Sports California” races are a joke. Packet pickups are unorganized, they still use those crappy reusable timing chips, courses are painfully boring, age group “prizes” are usually cheap. Races get cancelled for no reason and it’s impossible to get a refund or transfer. Race director doesn’t pay his charities. He is a crook that is just out to put money in his pocket by putting on cheap, poorly run events. Serious road racers need to avoid these at all costs.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
1
SWAG
1

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

SonyaRunNM FIRST-TIMER '17

The course is absolutely stunning...but certainly challenging. Pretty disappointed with everything else. The expose was tiny and lackluster. The space was so small that it made it feel claustrophobic. The … MORE

The course is absolutely stunning…but certainly challenging. Pretty disappointed with everything else. The expose was tiny and lackluster. The space was so small that it made it feel claustrophobic. The only swag was the T-shirt (which was nice). However, no sample, or extras were given and with so few vendors, you walk away with a big empty bag. Merchandise was disappointing and somewhat generic. The space at the start was crazy. People were sitting on the curb behind the portta potty line. Could not find the bagels/coffee. The finish was just as disappointing. Tiny area to drink your beer with nowhere to sit. Medals looked cool online but felt cheaply made in hand. A worthwhile run if you’re a veteran, but not a good first as nothing besides the scenery makes you feel it’s special…particularly for the cost. Volunteers and music were great and much appreciated!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

watsonfam5 FIRST-TIMER '17

This production felt more like a grass roots first attempt instead of a 10th anniversary race from a nationwide racing company. We are experienced runners and ran a strong, smart … MORE

This production felt more like a grass roots first attempt instead of a 10th anniversary race from a nationwide racing company.

We are experienced runners and ran a strong, smart race, but ultimately had to adjust our timeline, buddy up for many routes, and felt we were behind the eight ball from the start because…

1) We were assigned a start time that had us finishing 4 hours after the finish line closed. I was not impressed with the organization and communication of this racing company. I contacted customer support ten days, four days, and two days ahead of the race date to remedy our late start time and was not contacted until 7:30pm the night before the race, which ultimately required us to reprint pace calculators and assign ‘buddy-up’ legs in the eleventh hour at a printer station our hotel fortunately had. Also during the race, notifications and safety alerts were apparently sent out, but only one team member in our other van received those updates. Certainly sending out text alerts team-wide is possible. Only because our teammate forwarded those messages to us were we kept in the loop, and that’s only when cell service was available.

2) We did not feel safe running alone on dark roads/trails at night and alone. There were often no other runners in sight and cell service was spotty or non-existent. We were told to run with our phones, but many times this “safety attempt” was for naught. I would suggest racing chips that allow runners to cross timing pads at various mile markers to monitor their progress and whereabouts and I would suggest more concentrated start waves so runners are indeed logging miles with other runners in sight. I also think the race leg routes should be password protected for registered participants only. Someone who wanted to genuinely harm a runner could easily browse the Ragnar website course info and have 200 miles of turn by turn directions of where runners are going to be within a 36 hour period. God forbid a runner was attacked/assaulted, but by the time their absence was noticed they’d already be forever gone. Not trying to sound dramatic, just practical. Even our local running group doesn’t publicly post our weekly routes.

3) Other glitches included an an error on the pace calculator spreadsheet that no one at race command was aware of. Thanks to a Facebook conversation a few teams were made aware of this and could adjust things accordingly ahead of time.

4) On numerous incidents a leg’s race notes indicated there would be water stations at which a runner could replenish their supply, but these ended up not being there or were empty. In some cases there were an insufficient number of water stops. During Saturday’s heat this proved to be particularly difficult for exhausted runners completing their last routes on already tired, depleted legs. Based on my personal observations, fellow #12 runners indeed needed additional support on leg 36. Such was the case with legs #10 and #32 as well. We can only carry so much water/fuel on our body and these legs were indicated as a ‘no-van support’ leg. In the way of support, porta pottys should also have been accessible at EVERY exchange (ex: exchange 23 did not have anywhere to use the bathroom before an 8.8 mile route)

5) There was not enough parking at the finish line. One race volunteer speculated the parking issue was a result of many Van 1 participants hanging out at the finish and not vacating enough spaces to make way for Van 2 runners. But of course Van 1 participants are going to stay…our team goal was to cross the finish line together. Our parking passes handed out in the goody bags proved useless and more parking around the city should have been provided.

6) With regards to the rental van discounts provided through Ragnar…while the discount significantly helped our team stay on budget, it would behoove everyone if each rental agency would allow all 12 drivers to be named. We rented through Enterprise and only 10 drivers could be named. Avis would allow us to name all 12 drivers but it triggered a significant price increase. Just something worth considering to see if that’s workable or negotiable as you partner with various companies.

Overall our time together was fun. We supported each other as needed, solidifying to all of us that running is not a solo sport! I hope this feedback allows you to run a safer, more efficient race.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '17

This is always a fun weekend. Because it's Disney the races themselves are a bit expensive and sell out quickly. You have to sign up for the challenge to earn … MORE

This is always a fun weekend. Because it’s Disney the races themselves are a bit expensive and sell out quickly. You have to sign up for the challenge to earn the challenge medal. If you sign up for the 10k and 1/2 separately you will NOT earn the medal.

Both races started at 5:30am in 2017. So be prepared to get up early! Parking is super easy and about $18 for the Disney parking structure.

Be sure to read the costume rules. They’ve changed over the years. But be sure to dress up and get in the spirit of things!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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peachie470 REPEAT RUNNER '16

This was my second Rebel challenge and 2nd year of doing it as a part of Dopey wars ( ran dopey challenge at WDW week prior). I have to say … MORE

This was my second Rebel challenge and 2nd year of doing it as a part of Dopey wars ( ran dopey challenge at WDW week prior). I have to say I have a love/hate relationship with Disney. I love it cause I love going to Disney and they have great medals, and swag. I hate it because people dont take these races seriously. I started in D corral with my 10k and B corral for the half. So people who lied or cheated on their proof of time get seeded a head of me. Problem is these people clog the course and make it harder for people to run. I had to weave and push my way through groups of walkers walking 4 abreast in narrow areas (against race etiquette). Also this year with pictures in the park Disney was cutting picture lines so those of us in the back never got a chance at a picture. I was 35 min ahead of the sweepers and actually as i was passing mile 5 of the course they were at 3.5. I got to the R2D2 line and they closed the line…. I never got a chance to take a picture even though I busted my butt to have that chance to. For you to have the full disney experience you need to go out of the first 3 corrals to have a chance to enjoy all that disney has to offer. If you start in the back you get screwed by those who dont train and dont care and it makes for a miserable day

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

nathanialjg FIRST-TIMER '16

All the characters were in the first three miles, which was the entirety of the run that went through Disneyland/DCA. The rest of the race was a loop out to … MORE

All the characters were in the first three miles, which was the entirety of the run that went through Disneyland/DCA. The rest of the race was a loop out to angel stadium and back. A lot of fun, but also boring.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

cdmauger REPEAT RUNNER '16

I've run Long Beach four years in a row, and it never fails to be a great event. RunRacing is a top-notch race organization, and they make sure to cover … MORE

I’ve run Long Beach four years in a row, and it never fails to be a great event. RunRacing is a top-notch race organization, and they make sure to cover all bases. The expo always has a lot of big-name vendors and products and a large selection of Long Beach Marathon merchandise. The course itself hits all the local attractions including the Queen Mary, beachfront, and downtown area. Of the three Beach Cities Challenge races (LB, OC, and Surf City), this one is the best all-around — though they’re all great events. The Long Beach course is very friendly, only two hills of any consequence, both are small bridges/overpasses. Nothing to fret about. Fantastic fall race, and always a PR opportunity.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

NorseSunRun FIRST-TIMER '15

"Cold" is a relative term; for some cold is a bitter bone chilling 20 below. For me 40 degrees is bitter and bone chilling. The lure of a run for … MORE

“Cold” is a relative term; for some cold is a bitter bone chilling 20 below. For me 40 degrees is bitter and bone chilling. The lure of a run for me at this temp has to be significant to get me out of my warm bed and into the dark pre-dawn hyper-chilled air. Fortunately I was well rewarded with an incredibly scenic jog with a 700′ elevation drop. I brought my own water but it was so cool I really didn’t need it. The hardest part was taking off my warm sweatshirt handing it to the gear check volunteers. The first half of the run had a lot of sun so wear your specs. It also had three bridges and some really great views of the canyon. The second half of the run had more (cold) shade and the bike path was nice and wide so we were never scrunched in too much. It was always easy to see how far there was to go on the higher points so mile markers just weren’t needed.
Pros: Great views from hidden bike path and scenic bridges. Bus ride to start was well organized (I parked in Del Mar), few street closures needed, adequate water and snacks at finish. Several “stores of refuge” to sip on coffee and try to defrost.
Cons; 40 degree start “warmed” up to 58.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

runforbeer REPEAT RUNNER '16

This was a typical Rock n' Roll race. The expo was ok once I finally got in and so was the t-shirt. The course was an out and back to … MORE

This was a typical Rock n’ Roll race. The expo was ok once I finally got in and so was the t-shirt. The course was an out and back to the LA Coliseum and an out and back down Wilshire Blvd, extremely boring and lazy course. The medal was ok, no where near as nice as other RnR events and the finish line didn’t even have the usual arch, just timing mats. It’s obvious that this race wasn’t high on the priority list of Competitor Group. Now on to the issue of packet freaking pickup. I find it hard to believe that they didn’t know LA ComiCon and some gaming competition would be going on at the same time. Luckily I got downtown early since I was working a booth as well. When I got there, area lots were charging upwards of $40 to park. Um no. I ended finding a street meter almost a mile away and walked. When I left the expo, parking rates had gone up to $60 nearby. They waited until almost 1:00 to post on FB that traffic and parking may be an issue. A little too late for that info. I imagine many people missed the race because of this. Complete clusterf&*k.

Hopefully they make some much needed changes if they want people to sign up next year, #1 being the expo, #2 being the horrible course, #3 being get real beer. No one likes Michelob Ultra. At least get Golden Road if you insist on corporate beer.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '16

This was my second Ragnar ever. Such an amazing experience!!! I choose to run the most miles and hardest leg. It was the most challenging run I've ever done and … MORE

This was my second Ragnar ever. Such an amazing experience!!! I choose to run the most miles and hardest leg. It was the most challenging run I’ve ever done and I can’t wait to do it again. My first leg was 11.2 miles on “hard trail”. It was really just a super long access road covered in super loose gravel/rocks. Some people were able to run it I was not. The entire race was full sun with no trees for shade. I would totally recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenge!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

dtm3000 REPEAT RUNNER '16

This is a run I've been a part of for the last couple of years - originally it was a bunch of us donning Santa suits and running out the … MORE

This is a run I’ve been a part of for the last couple of years – originally it was a bunch of us donning Santa suits and running out the doors of a Road Runner store in Laguna Hills, CA throughout the streets and into a trail and back. Starting this year it is a full-fledged timed run on an actual course at the State Beach in Huntington Beach.
And it is better for it. Caren Ware has been putting some great themed runs through the year and this is now part of them. You get your choice of a Santa suit or a race t-shirt that looks like an ugly sweater. The medal is nice as well.
You are running on a public boardwalk and it was another beautiful day in Southern California. The course is flat and easy with water stations and volunteers cheering you on along the way.
It should be noted that unlike other Caren Ware events this run was at Beach and PCH and not at Bolsa Chica.
RaceShed had a 20% off discount that doesn’t work on Active – only on the race’s own registration page.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

adeleon56 REPEAT RUNNER '15

I would recommend it as a fun way to get your Sunday easy run in after your Saturday long run. Course needs to be wider. Medals are cool and you … MORE

I would recommend it as a fun way to get your Sunday easy run in after your Saturday long run. Course needs to be wider. Medals are cool and you get to go to the fair for free on race day. Lots of free stuff after the race (bars, etc.).

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

greatemu FIRST-TIMER '16

The production on this race was really sub-par. My t-shirt came with damage (poor sewing on the sleeve led to bunching), but there was no way to exchange it. My … MORE

The production on this race was really sub-par. My t-shirt came with damage (poor sewing on the sleeve led to bunching), but there was no way to exchange it. My email address was apparently incorrect, so I didn’t get race info until the last minute. The swag was almost nonexistent.

That said: OMG VIEWS.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
5
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

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sinderella2168 REPEAT RUNNER '16

Easy course with amazing support. Course ran through Disneyland in the beginning but then public roads for the last 2/3 of the race and the scenery was boring. Nice medal … MORE

Easy course with amazing support. Course ran through Disneyland in the beginning but then public roads for the last 2/3 of the race and the scenery was boring. Nice medal but not the best I have. Long sleeve tech shirt is nice. Expo was pretty amazing but signage was minimal and I had to ask for directions several times.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

dtm3000 REPEAT RUNNER '17

So.... for my 251st run I overslept! I sped down there anyway and I was about 25 minutes late (5:55am) and the course start was closed 🙁 . I made … MORE

So…. for my 251st run I overslept! I sped down there anyway and I was about 25 minutes late (5:55am) and the course start was closed 🙁 . I made may way down DownTown Disney (Passing through 3 security checkpoints! – New this time…) and managed to run the last 1/2 mile to pass the finish line and get my medal (nice), banana (free), Gatorade, water and my RunDisney box of treats. This was the first year they passed out thermal blankets to the 5K and 10K attendees.
I noticed a AP only lounge at the finish. There was a long line for it so I didn’t go in. Everyone was picking up something from a table… was it a pin? a cookie? I will investigate in May!
The Expo was smaller then previous events. Packet Pick up is Mandatory and I arrived after work at 7pm (it closes at 8pm). Traffic at parking was crazy so I parked at the Disneyland Hotel where you are given only 20 minutes free… I made It!
Since I basically missed my $80 run I drove to Belmont Shore and did my own Make Up 5K. I ran with a Mickey Darth Vader Helmet, A Cape and My Medal and no one batted an eye. I posted this time as my result.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

chidrarae FIRST-TIMER '14

I highly recommend this race. The scenery is amazing and the race is very well organized. The dri-fit race shirt is one of my favorites. Great swag. MORE

I highly recommend this race. The scenery is amazing and the race is very well organized. The dri-fit race shirt is one of my favorites. Great swag.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Nicole Thome
nthome FIRST-TIMER '16

What a beautiful course! Rolling hills pretty much the whole way (punctuated by a few short steeps) ... the ocean views and pretty homes make this course very enjoyable. Not … MORE

What a beautiful course! Rolling hills pretty much the whole way (punctuated by a few short steeps) … the ocean views and pretty homes make this course very enjoyable.

Not an ideal race for a beginning runner but for those looking for a challenge, this is a nice race. Plus, it’s a small field. Only a 1000 runners or so.

I didn’t go to Expo; picked up bib that morning (at no additional cost, which I appreciate, especially for a Saturday race. Friday pick ups can be tough for people with … ya know, JOBS! ) 🙂

Nice beer garden and food truck (free breakfast) were a nice perk! Shirt and medal are nicely done though not super special (5k and 10k medals are the same as half though; would be nice if they rewarded half marathoners with a bigger medal — kind of a pet peeve of mine).

Only other con is … my two friends who ran 5k picked up a REALLY NICE Lexus LaceUp water bottle at what they were calling the “Hydration Station” (post race). Guess those went pretty quick cause there were none left for half marathoners. Kind of a bummer that those who PAY MORE for a race don’t get the same swag opportunities. Either have enough for everyone or don’t do it at all, right ??

Overall though, this course is beautiful and definitely worth doing. Lexus LaceUp series does a nice job with the things that are most important.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

lindayoung FIRST-TIMER '15

This was the first year the Beat the Blerch race came to Sacramento, CA and 4 running distances were available (5k, 10k, half, and full). Race: This was my 3rd … MORE

This was the first year the Beat the Blerch race came to Sacramento, CA and 4 running distances were available (5k, 10k, half, and full).

Race:
This was my 3rd half marathon ever and thought everything was very well done, especially for its inaugural year. The course was very scenic and took you by the river, across bridges (3x), through downtown, through parks, and a bike trail, with the finish in Raley Field. No loops in the course and relatively flat overall, just some minor slopes.

Meeting “The Oatmeal”:
I picked up my bib packet Friday at REI and got him to sign both my bib and the “Terrible Reasons why I run long distances” book. He would alternate between taking pictures or refusing pictures. If you didn’t get a picture, he seemed to try to compensate by drawing an extra doodle for you :). He happened to be refusing photos by the time i reached him but got a cool horse drawing! After the half on race day, I waited in-line to meet him again to get him to sign my medal ribbon and got a picture this time!

Organization:
Thought everything was very well organized starting with bib pick up. Plenty of signs to direct people and there were staff/volunteers in blerch costumes ready to field questions/concerns.

Race day parking was easy as well (LOVE the FREE parking btw!) at Raley Field. The parking was literally right by the start line too!

Plenty of signs, cones, sticker markers on ground, and appropriate mile markers throughout the course. Aid stations were fantastic with electrolytes, water, cake, nutella, couches, and other goodies.

The Bling:
Fantastic Blerch medal. Especially like how the medal ribbons (along with the bib and race shirts) were personalized according to which distance you ran. Thought it was also a nice touch that each medal had plastic wrap around the metal portion to protect (I’ve had other medals get dinged when they clank against each other in the boxes).

Areas for Improvement:
(1) Free photos were advertised as part of registration, but I did not see many photographers at all. Saw some start line photograhers and at the finish line, but didn’t really see any throughout the course or in the finish area after we got our medals.
(2) The snacks and drinks right at the finish line was crazy. At the time I finished, it looked like the water table (the very first table runners get to after crossing the finish line) was the bottleneck – cups kept running out and it took time to fill cups/water bottles with the water dispensers. Every other race I have done gave out bottled water or bottled powerade at the finish line, which really speeds up the process.
(3) Not really an issue for me as I typically run the whole race without needing a bathroom, but I noticed there were almost no bathroom opportunities throughout the course.

Overall though, this was a very fun and unique race. I would still highly recommend to others!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '14

BOTTOM LINE: For much of my childhood I ate, drank, breathed and slept Marvel Comics. And I greeted the announcement of the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half with wide-eyed enthusiasm. … MORE

BOTTOM LINE: For much of my childhood I ate, drank, breathed and slept Marvel Comics. And I greeted the announcement of the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half with wide-eyed enthusiasm. So I’m disappointed to say that after experiencing the race once, I have zero interest in running it again.

Yes, runDisney recently added their predictable enticement of an extra medal courtesy of their two-day “Infinity Gauntlet Challenge” (10K on Saturday, half marathon on Sunday). And yes, the race again will sell out faster than you can say “Ultron”. But my own enjoyment of the event derived almost entirely from seeing other runners in their full or partial superhero regalia, rather than from anything the runDisney folks did. So the folks in the home office have some major kinks to iron out here before I can recommend the race in good conscience to any but the most hardcore runDisney-ophile.

First, and speaking of “iron”, I don’t claim to understand licensing or film rights, but I do know Iron Man is a key member of the Avengers, as are the Hulk and Captain America. And yet Iron Man was conspicuously absent from the weekend’s activities, while the Hulk and Captain America appeared nowhere but on the cover of the official event guide. So Disney needs to untangle itself from Marvel’s restrictive licensing deals before this race can realize its potential and fully live up to the “Avengers” label. Until that happens, runners will have to be content with Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow as the meager on-course Avengers representatives. Fans of the franchise know there’s a reason Hawkeye and the Black Widow don’t have their own movie franchises – they’re BORING.

Second, the course itself outside the parks – specifically miles 4-12 – is mind-numbing. Disney can create magic; it can make wishes come true; it can turn adults into kids, and kids into believers. Disney has the power to achieve a lot of things – but making Santa Ana, Garden Grove and the rest of Anaheim interesting ain’t one of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed January’s Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida and hope to return; on the other hand, I don’t anticipate running another SoCal Disney race. Tough to believe I’d recommend Florida over Southern California for any reason, but if you’re a runner eyeing your first runDisney race, and as long as you aren’t wed to either the Avengers or Star Wars, then set your sights on Florida. And if race distance is no object, then the WDW Marathon is a no-brainer.

PRODUCTION: I appreciate the fact that runDisney events attract a slew of unlikely runners and inspire loyalty among those runners, as only Disney can. And this year’s WDW Marathon was seamlessly orchestrated from start to finish. But the inaugural Avengers Half – and I never thought I’d say this about a Disney production – felt like a company going through the motions. Honestly, it felt like the folks at runDisney half-assed this race. Logistically the race went off smoothly enough, but when your reputation enables you to charge $195 for a half marathon while promising a “power-packed weekend of fantastic fun and amazing excitement”, you can’t half-ass ANYTHING. For $195, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should be waiting to valet my car on race day.

Unfortunately runDisney has no qualms about wringing every last penny out of its customers. Case in point, the runDisney ChEAR Squad program (get it? EAR? Mickey?) lets spectators purchase silver, gold or platinum packages to gain “special access” inside Disneyland during the race and to reserve seating at the finish line. This, rather than apathy, was the reason the finish line bleachers were largely empty on race morning – friends & family had to pay to sit there! Spectators who smartly refused to pay were positioned behind barricades on the far side of the finish line, where the real crowds gathered.

Note to runDisney: feel free to charge the runners whatever registration fee you can command for your races, but leave the spectators alone. Better yet, if you were to offer a race-day Disneyland park discount to every registered runner, maybe you could access those spectators’ wallets without seeming so blatantly exploitative.

The high winds on race day certainly weren’t Disney’s fault (so much for my illusion of a climate-controlled dome…), and I’d like to see whether the finish-line festival becomes more festive without the overriding concern of booths, tents and the main stage blowing away at any moment.

And one other question, runDisney: why would I dedicate (at least) 20 minutes of my time to complete your anonymous post-race survey that no other runner will ever see, when I can post my review on RaceRaves.com where other runners (and race directors) will read and benefit from it? Maybe it’s time to ditch the anonymous survey in favor of a forum where runners can openly share their honest feedback? Your finishers are your best evangelists, so a little trust in them might go a long way…

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?