An official Dopey Challenge race rumored for Disney in 2014


Well, after running my first unofficial "Dopey" this recent January -- a 5K, a Half, and a Full marathon on three consecutive days during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend -- the recent rumor that Disney is going to offer a 'real' Dopey race 'challenge' should be getting me all hopeful... even excited!  But with the rumor comes a few things I am not as excited about.

This all started when an inquisitive person hunting around the Active.COM web site -- the service that Disney uses for their race registrations -- found an unreleased event for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  This event listed all the races and their fee schedules.  And among those races were two new to WDW -- a 10K race, and the Dopey Challenge.

You can find the event by clicking here (assuming Disney doesn't remove this entry) and read the entire entry yourself.  But I will include the key information below:

Runner's World Challenge Registration Fees
$999.00 - Dopey Challenge
$749.00 - Goofy's Race & a Half Challenge
$479.00 - Walt Disney World® Marathon
$479.00 - Walt Disney World® Half Marathon

Dopey Challenge Registration Fees
$495.00 on or before June 18, 2013
$525.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
$555.00 on or after August 14, 2013

Goofy's Race & a Half Challenge Registration Fees
$340.00 on or before June 18, 2013
$370.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
$400.00 on or after August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World® Marathon
$160.00 on or before June 18, 2013
$175.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
$190.00 on or after August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World® Half Marathon
$160.00 on or before June 18, 2013
$175.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
$190.00 on or after August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World® 10K
$95.00 on or before June 18, 2013
$110.00 between June 19, 2013 – August 13, 2013
$125.00 on or after August 14, 2013

Family Fun Run 5K
$60 per participant

So, as I said, these races and fee schedules reveal a new 10K Race for Marathon Weekend, as well as the new, rumored Dopey Challenge.  Most people seem to think that since the new Disneyland race -- the Dumbo Double Dare -- is comprised of a 10K race followed by a Half Marathon, that the Dopey Challenge is most likely to include a 10K race, a Half Marathon, and the Full Marathon totaling 45.5 miles of running goodness.  There are others who are hoping it also includes the 5K race, but since the 5K isn't a timed race I doubt that will be the case.

I have A LOT of questions and a few concerns, which can only be answered by Run Disney.  Some of those answers may be forthcoming next Thursday when an announcement from Run Disney has been rumored to be scheduled.

So here are my questions (are your reading this Run Disney?):

How did you come up with the pricing for the 10K race and the Dopey?

The cost for a standard 10K race i usually between $35-50.  The Disneyland 10K race is priced at $95.  That is a pretty steep price for a 10K race.  If there was a local 10K race around Chicagoland, I wouldn't even consider signing up for it at that price point.

The cost for the Dopey Challenge is $495!  That is huge!  If you add up the cost for the three races (10K, Half, & Full), it only comes to $415.  And if we add $35 to cover the fourth tech shirt and medal, we get to $450.  Why the extra $45?  When I ran the unofficial Dopey in January, I paid $320 for the Goofy and $55 for the Family 5K, totaling $375.  I would think the official Dopey ought not cost that much more (maybe an even $400).

Looking at it from a different perspective, let's consider the cost per mile.  I just ran the Little Rock Marathon.  It cost me $85 to register.  The cost per mile can be calculated as $85/26.2 equaling $3.24/mile.  And for that price, you get a well organized race, a HUGE Finisher's Medal (2.75lbs and 8 inches wide), a technical shirt, a huge post-race party complete with a large BBQ Buffet dinner, live band, and dancing.

The Dopey Challenge, on the other hand, costs $495 to register.  The cost per mile can be calculated at $495/45.5 equaling $10.87/mile.  And for that price, you get 3 well organized races, four nice medals, and four technical shirts.

I guess what one has to decide is whether or not this is worth the extra $7.62/mile.  In the final analysis, miles are miles.  So if Little Rock ran those same three races as the Dopey Challenge, the total cost would only be $147.42 -- a far cry from Disney's $495.  So either Little Rock is severely undercharging or Disney is enjoying some serious profits!  I am not against Disney making a profit, but "Seriously?"

How will this impact the Goofy Challenge?

Okay, so the Dopey Challenge is basically the Goofy Challenge plus a 10K.  Definitely a challenging endeavor.  I did it in January but it was only 42.4 miles since I added the 5K to the Goofy.

So, how will Disney handle those who run the Dopey?  If it is a Goofy on steroids, one could make the argument that they are completing the Goofy in addition to completing the 10K race.  Shouldn't Dopey runners get the Goofy Medal as well as the Dopey Medal?  Granted, they will be getting the Dopey Medal so why get both?

Well, because I am thinking about those runners who are Perfectly Goofy (meaning they have run every Goofy race offered).  For those runners to maintain their Perfectly Goofy status, they will never be able to run the Dopey Challenge and claim the cool new Dopey Medal.  They would have to sacrifice their Perfect Standing to do so.  I don't think that is very fair, considering anyone running Dopey "is" completing the Goofy Challenge as well.

What about the upcoming 10th Anniversary Goofy Challenge in 2015?  For people (like me), who want to run that Goofy race to collect the cool anniversary Goofy Medal that year, we have to forgo running the Dopey.

I think that it would great if runners could get Perfectly Goofy credit if they run the Dopey.  I think running the Dopey should count towards the Goofy in that regard.  And my guess is hat people like me will have to just sign up for the Goofy in 2015 and sign up for the 10K separately -- so at least we get the Anniversary Goofy Medal and the 10K medal (but no Dopey medal).

How will the Marathon Weekend schedule be adjusted to accommodate the 5K and the 10K races?

With the addition of the 10K race, will that mean that there will be two races on Friday morning?  The 5K, followed by the 10K?  (which is how they are doing it at Disneyland during Labor Day this year).  Or, will they move the Family 5K to Thursday so it is on the same days as their various kids' races?  Will the scheduling allow for the seriously crazy runner to sign up for all four races (insert your favorite Half Fanatic/Marathon Maniac name here)?

Well sports fans, all will be revealed in Disney's good time.  Perhaps even next Thursday.  Certainly, this will have to be revealed prior to the opening of race registration for the Marathon Weekend, which will be on April 9th.  Thousands of runners will have a lot to think about in the coming weeks.  So stay tuned!

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