The Race With Its Head In The Sand – UPDATED

By Bryan A Westfall

**FINAL UPDATE** They finally cancelled it. See below for details.

(Original post with first update below)

Anyone who has ever participated in a runDisney race knows that pictures of their finisher medals inside the Disney parks is nearly more important than finishing the race (thankfully you can’t have one without the other).


It’s news to nobody that the coronavirus has stopped all of the major sports leagues (NBA, NHL, XFL and so on), and also has delayed or cancelled marquee marathon events like the Boston Marathon.

It has also closed every Disney park on the planet for at least the next few weeks. Judging by the latest developments from the CDC (recommending no gatherings of 50 or more for the next 8 weeks), that will likely be extended to cover all of April at least.


One event that has seemingly been “unaffected” by all of this is the runDisneyStar Wars Rival Run Weekend” set to take place at Walt Disney World in Orlando on April 17th-19th.

Currently, they’re still inexplicably taking registrations for the half marathon.


What “unaffected” really means is that runDisney (unlike every other Disney org) has said absolutely nothing about it’s approach to this upcoming event & the coronavirus.

No “we’re considering our options”, no “we’re talking with health professionals”, no “public health is of utmost importance to us”, and no replies to emails sent to their support team (which I’ve sent a few of in the last 3 weeks).

**UPDATE** Since posting, runDisney posted a note that at least acknowledges they have heard of the coronavirus, but have committed to nothing in regards to the upcoming event (and are still taking registrations):

Screenshot 2020-03-18 at 1.36.43 PM

I’ll venture a guess that they’re waiting to hear an official word from the Disney parks about the shut down extending past the event date, as they’re also well aware that people run these races to get those finisher medal pics in the parks.

Sadly, CDC recommendations along with all of the other shut downs/postponements aren’t enough for them to preemptively act and allow folks to amend plans (that include large sums of money to buy park tickets).

Families may need those funds now for forced homeschooling costs (which has already started happening nationwide), medical bills, lost or minimized wages, and so on. They may also be keen to donate some of it to organizations working to help those affected by it.

We know the event isn’t going to happen. Make it official, so we can then turn our focus and energy to what’s important.