Since it's Friday, we're linking this Friday 5 post up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC. We didn't quite understand the theme this week, so I am sure we are probably a bit off topic, but it will be fun.
We haven't run many races that we've been disappointed in, but there are a lot of things that we've wondered about. If it was up to us, these are just a few of the changes we would make.
1. Have you ever ran a race series that offered a set of challenges? The Disney Glass Slipper? The Dopey? The Goofy? The Runner's World Hat Trick? J and A's Dolphin or Whale? Well, these "challenge" races are great. One weekend, multiple races, lots of bling. If you are participating in a "challenge" inevitably you will be taking it easy on some races and maybe "racing" just one of them, or maybe you need to take it easy on all of them just to get through them ( that would be me). One thing we would like to see done differently with these challenges are the order in which the races are ran. Wouldn't it be great to get the marathons and half marathons done first so you can really do your best, and then do the 5k's and 10K's on the days afterwards so you can just run to have fun? For Glass slipper challenge I would love to run the half on Friday, 10K on Saturday, and 5K on Sunday!
Also, along the same line with the challenges: So at Disney if you do the half and the full marathons it is called the Goofy Challenge and you get that third medal. What about the folks who are just starting out in their running career and want to do both the 5K and the 10K? Shouldn't there be a challenge for those folks too? Should they have the opportunity for a third medal for their accomplishments? Those who are completing the Dopey challenge might not think running a 5K and 10K back to back is anything spectacular compared to what they are enduring with their challenge, but for someone just starting out as a runner, it IS a big deal. And hey, Disney could make more money off of it, right? You would think they would like that!
2. Registration is another thing we would like to change. As many of you know, Registration for the Disney World marathon opened this month. Unless you are pregnant, who in the world knows exactly what you will be doing 9 months from now? Life happens, things change, but if you want even a chance of running a race that is a sure sell out, you need to register. We would love to see the statistics on how many people register for Disney races but end up not being able to race. Yes, you may defer ( for a price) but there are no refunds. This is another great way for Disney ( and other races) to make more money. I wonder if they count on this?
3. Can we get a little something extra for finishing? This is something we actually talked about in a previous post but it fits here too! Since many races give medals to all the runners, a gesture of something a little extra for those who cross the finish line would not be too much to ask. Disney could easily give all finishers a free park pass. They would make more money in the long run because people would be spending money once they got inside the park ( and would also have to purchase a park ticket for their spouse or travel partner if they are not running). If a park ticket is a no go, how about giving a voucher for a free breakfast somewhere on property? That could be easily doable.
4. We get that going to the race expo is all part of the experience of participating in a large race. We have been lucky enough to attend all the race expos in plenty of time, but with Disney increasing the amount of races on their schedule it is making it increasingly more difficult for people to get to the race expo a day earlier. For example, those running the Dopey Challenge will need to make sure they are on Disney property by Wednesday so they can get to the expo and get their race packets! Wouldn't it be nice if there was a designated resort ( or 2) on Disney property that had after hours packet pick up? Lets say the expo closes at 8pm. The designated resort could have late night packet pick up each night from 8pm-2am. Just a thought.
5. And one last thing, the merchandise. When will these races start planning accordingly. If you don't get to the expo the first day it opens, you can assume that a certain shirt or jacket in your size aren't going to be there. Things sell out too quickly. I'm not just talking about Disney here either. I heard the Boston Marathon jackets were sold out in certain sizes at the expo this week. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for all larger races to have a Pre-order section. ( I know that some do already).
Case in point, my sister and I decided to go ahead and pre-order the Disney marathon jackets when we registered this week. This was a very gutsy move on our part because we have NO IDEA what they look like. We've NEVER done anything like this before. We normally want to know exactly what we are getting for our money. Part of me wonders if this item IS going to be available at the expo, because if it is, we could have gotten 10% off by using our Disney visas to purchase it. But since we are not doing the Dopey Challenge, ( meaning we are not going to be there on the first day of the expo) chances are that the jackets will be sold out by the time we get there. So I guess we just bought an $80 grab bag from Disney and it will be a surprise to both of us!
So what do you think of the changes we would like to see made? Would you be on board with any of these? What changes would you make?