We need to take a break.
We’ve had a lot of great times together, you and me. You inspired me to start running. Without you, I never would have run a marathon, let alone completed the Dopey Challenge (three times)! You introduced me to so many incredible people. You taught me how great running with friends could be, and you inspired me to show others how much fun they could have, too. But lately I feel like you’re taking me for granted. And so, I’m abandoning my Perfectly Dopey status, and I hope you’ll listen to my reasons why.
It seems like you just don’t care about me anymore.
I love how you used to have plenty of characters to meet during the race. But you had just two character stops at the Star Wars 10K, both in the first two miles. You had just one character stop in the last nine and a half miles of the Star Wars Half Marathon (which included 7 boring highway miles).
You design race courses which require thousands and thousands of runners to funnel down to a narrow one-lane or single-sidewalk bottleneck, but you don’t space us out enough to help those choke points flow.
It feels like you’re testing how far you can go. I think you’ve finally gone too far.
You’re drunk on success and I’ve been an enabler.
Your races sell out in minutes, no matter what you charge. Rumor has it you’re considering offering virtual races, enabling anyone with a valid credit card to buy a beautiful runDisney race medal and participant shirt. I’ve complained in the past, and so have others, but we continue to sign up, which only encourages more of your behavior. But that needs to stop, which is why I’m staging this intervention.
You haven’t been taking very good care of yourself.
Every day, you transport more than 100,000 visitors around the Walt Disney World Resort. You manage transportation for 8 race weekends – more than 25 races – but you had a total breakdown at Star Wars Dark Side Weekend. You abandoned more than a hundred runners at Wilderness Lodge at 2:30am with no way for them to get to the starting line. You made runners line up and wait in a hot, sunny parking lot for more than an hour to catch a bus after the race. Several collapsed and needed medical attention.
You seem less interested in making sure runners can buy highly desirable race merchandise, and more interested in making sure it sells out as fast as possible – even if that means selling cases at a time to resellers who immediately post the items on eBay at huge markups. In fact, your unwillingness to allow runners exclusive access to race merchandise created conditions where fights broke out at the Princess Half Marathon Expo.
You haven’t been communicating.
You’ve always struggled with communication. Sometimes it was just frustrating, like when you wouldn’t release any deferral information until just a couple of weeks before the race. Often it was maddening, like when you assign runners to the wrong corrals, then hold firm to a “no changes allowed” policy. Other times, it was pretty frightening, like when you told me to stand in an open concourse during a severe weather threat.
You’ve become increasingly demanding.
You’ve changed, runDisney, but the thing is, so have I.
I still LOVE running through the parks. I love spending my vacation time and budget at Walt Disney World. And while those were what initially attracted me to runDisney events, nowadays it’s more about the friends I’ll see when I’m there. And since I can (and do!) meet those friends at other INCREDIBLE events around the country, your events aren’t the draw they once were.
It’s not me, it’s you.
It breaks my heart to leave you in this condition, but maybe it will encourage you to reevaluate the choices you’ve made. Maybe you’ll see how damaged our relationship had really become. Maybe you’ll realize that I’m important to you, and you’ll start making healthy choices which demonstrate that you want me back. Or perhaps you’ll decide we’re both better off if we remain apart.
So I think it would be best for us to take a break. I’m sure have no problem finding a replacement for me and my vacated Dopey Challenge entry. Honestly, it’s unlikely you’ll even notice that I’m gone. But maybe, hopefully, you’ll get the help you need.