If there is anything constant about runDisney, it’s change. With the announcement of an exclusive membership opportunity, runners have a way to shell out for first crack at the newest runDisney merchandise.
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I’LL BUY ALLLLLLL THE RUNDISNEY MERCHANDISE!
Oh, runDisney and your fabulous merchandise. I wish I knew how to quit you!
Just today, pictures of my first runDisney Marathon Weekend popped up in my Facebook Memories. I was flooded with emotion as I remembered my nerves when I signed for my first 26.2 bib, picked up my race shirt, purchased my very first “I Did It” shirt, and posed with the oversized banners with my sisters. That was five years ago!
Of course, as soon as I experienced my first magical runDisney miles, I was hooked! SIGN ME UP FOR ALLLLL OF THE RACES!
Sidenote: I’ll see you soon, Boo. runDisney Princess Half Marathon is coming right up.
One thing that runDisney offers that very few other race companies provide are multiple opportunities for race anxiety. That’s right! You don’t just feel those nerves before the sunrise on race morning. You also get to hope for the quickness on registration day to get those fingers moving and into the queue. Finally, for those of us who count on runDisney merchandise for our “fashion,” we get to wake before the sun on opening day of the race expo for the widest selection of shirts, hats, cups, magnets, pins, and more.
CHECK OUT: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT runDISNEY ON THE PODCAST
introducing: club rundisney.
For runners with thicker wallets and thinner patience, runDisney has just announced a brand new membership option to eliminate all of that extra wishing upon a star for bibs and gear; Club runDisney.
what in the (Disney) world is Club runDisney?
Club runDisney is an exclusive annual membership option for dedicated runDisney enthusiasts. With three tiered membership levels and limited space in each, runners might find a new way wait patiently at their computers on registration day. Let’s see what is offered at each level:
silver Club Rundisney Membership ($265.43) includes:
- Member welcome package including an exclusive runDisney merchandise like a jacket, a magnet, and a membership card
- Tier One (least expensive) pricing for registration on all runDisney races, when bibs are available
- Exclusive 2020 Club runDisney Virtual 10K – October 2020
- Club runDisney designation on race bibs
Gold club runDisney membership ($478.63) includes:
- All Silver Club runDisney benefits
- A guaranteed opportunity to purchase one spot in the half marathon or greater distances each race weekend through early registration.
Platinum club RunDisney membership ($798.43) includes:
- All Gold Club runDisney benefits
- A guaranteed opportunity to purchase one spot in one distance each race weekend through early registration
- Club runDisney Expo Experience including:
- Club runDisney Lounge with convenient Packet Pick-Up
- Early access to runDisney Merchandise Shop with special Character Meet & Greet opportunity
- Upgraded corral placement
So exclusive runDisney merchandise and registration perks. For how long?
Yes, friends. That is a “Yikes!” sum of money added to already very steep race fees. Keep in mind that this is a membership that will run from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021. So this is the amount for one year of special access.
should we do it?
Like almost everything else in the world of endurance sports, the answer is: It depends.
I am struck that none of the options includes some sort of annual pass into the Runner’s square. This feels like a VIP option to designate the “Inside crowd” of runDisney, but it doesn’t have any real “VIP” options for race day, when it counts the most. I definitely feel like this was a bit of a miss.
Also, the Club runDisney Silver level is really just about being part of something bigger. Other than the jacket and magnet (and haaaaaay access to exclusive runDisney Merchandise. I see you!) the biggest perk is having a designation on your race bib. The novelty of that wears off really fast when you assume that you have paid about $100 for it.
The real benefits don’t seem to start until the Club runDisney Gold Membership level, and even then, it’s limited to runners at the half distance+. Given that the hardest distance to register for is almost always the 10k, followed by the 5k, this level is also hard to justify.
So, for me, the real option to consider is the Club runDisney Platinum level membership. This is where the first hint of a VIP experience enters the picture, and it better for that price! At this level, runners of any distance have early access to a race that fits them best, plus exclusive benefits at the runDisney Expo, the place for runDisney merchandise.
Just keep in mind: would you rather devote that chunk of your race budget to an easier runDisney registration experience or a full Ironman? That’s how I am processing it.
CHECK OUT: HOW A runDISNEY 10K REGISTRATION CHANGED HER LIFE ON THE PODCAST
The price isn’t the controversial part
Alright, we have to talk about it: Upgraded corral placement in Club runDisney Platinum Membership. Eeek.
That’s not great.
I know! I know! I hear you. I know that it can be scary at the back of the pack when you are always searching behind you for the balloon ladies and the course sweepers. I understand this concern and I am not downplaying it.
These crowded courses are downright dangerous when corral placements are distributed for anything other than pace reasons. Whether or not you have an extra $800 in disposable income has no bearing on my rolled ankle because I had to hit the grass to get around you. I know that sounds harsh! I accept it if you are angry at me for saying it. The reality is that I am not a lightning-fast runner, but I work incredibly hard to be ready for these big races. As much as everyone else, I deserve the chance to run it flat out and enjoy the experience. Having participants in corrals where they aren’t qualified diminishes the experience for those around them.
There. I said it. I love you and I will always be your cheerleader. Heck, I’ve run more races staring in back corrals to be with friends than I have in my own! My heart is in the back of the pack. That doesn’t mean that I think we should send those runners forward when they simply aren’t ready. That’s how collisions happen. That’s how strange traffic patterns in the lumpy grass come to be a thing, that’s how people get hurt.
i don’t believe that course safety should be sold off, $800 at a time.
My final thought: I might jump in on the Club runDisney Platinum Membership this year just to see what it is all about. I am a joiner by nature, I basically want my closet to be filled with only runDisney merchandise and I will definitely want that jacket!
I can promise you this: you won’t find me upgrading my corral placement.