The Casual Runner

THE CASUAL RUNNER MAILBAG – SEPTEMBER EDITION

Click here to check out past editions of the Casual Runner Mailbag.

Greetings Casual Runners!

This sure has been a fabulous start to the fall race season, or, for those readers in warmer climates, the cooler running season. Yes, we here at Casual Runner try to accommodate all of our fellow runner’s climatology needs and running preferences. Our team has been busy logging our own training miles, toeing the line at race events (stay tuned for some great upcoming race reviews!), and planning what races we will be running in 2016. But, for now, it is time once again to turn things over to you, our readers, in the latest installment of the Casual Runner Mailbag!

August and September were busy months for registrations for runDisney events in 2016, and we heard a lot from Casual Runners looking to run some magical miles in both Florida and California. As you may know, registering for runDisney races can be a bit stressful at times. To help you out, Jennifer put together a great feature full of hints and tips to make this process less stressful.  In fact, that feature has proven to be one of the most-viewed articles on Casual Runner, so we know lots of you are finding her advice to be helpful.

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Do you have what it takes to join the Dark Side?

Since we cannot anticipate every question our readers may have, we are always here to help.  Several Casual Runners reached out to us during these most recent runDisney registration periods to ask us questions. Here is a look at just a few of those inquiries.

Elizabeth really wanted to get her running buddies into the inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World, and she sent us this message on Facebook:

“Hello! I am going to register for my first runDisney event today! I need to register 5 people-do you know if Active allows you to register more than one person at a time?”

We let Elizabeth know that 1 person registering 5 people via Active.com is difficult when runDisney races – especially the challenges – are expected to sell out fast. Our experience has been that the process runDisney is currently using will only allow you to complete registration for 1 runner/event at a time. After completing the first runner’s registration, you then need to log back in and start the process again. As runDisney and Active are always modifying their processes, if it does allow you to register multiple runners, then by all means do so. The best advice we can offer is to try and find other people who can be online and divide and conquer. Regardless, you should always be signed in when registration opens and prioritize your registrations: start with challenges first, if any, and then the races that people want to run the most so you can get registered before they sell out.

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More hijinks from those silly Stormtroopers.

Tim also wanted to get in touch with his Dark Side for the inaugural race weekend and reached out to us via Facebook:

So you would recommend being logged into active.com? I had read that could actually cause issues.”

We told Tim that this is one of those issues where the recommendation recently changed.  In the past, several Casual Runners reported that it was definitely easier to log into your active account after you secured a spot in the registration queue because logging in earlier caused some wonkiness (that of course being the technical term!). However, runDisney and Active continue to tinker with their registration process, and, during the most recent last registration cycles, we found that those who were logged in early before clicking to enter the registration queue reported better results, especially when registering via mobile devices.

We are happy to report that all of the Casual Runners who reached out to us to ask questions regarding runDisney registration informed us that they were indeed able to successfully register for events at the inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend, and we look forward to meeting you all in Walt Disney World in April as Jennifer, Jake, and Mike will all be representing Team Casual Runner in the Dark Side Challenge!

Staying with runDisney registration issues for  a minute, we reported via our Twitter account that, surprisingly, the runDisney Tinkerbell and Avengers Half Marathons were still not sold out several weeks after having gone on sale.

Stacy (@stacyleigh9) wrote us back to say, or, er, lament!:

Mike - 2014 Dumbo Double Part 1 - Pic A

Which runDisney events appeal to you the most?

“@Casual_Runner I wish it would sell out already! It’s sooo tempting but holding out for Dumbo Double Dare in 2016.”

We know exactly what you mean Stacy. These races are very tempting indeed. However, with the high price of the entries and travel, we all have to pick and choose which runDisney races we run.  While there are ways to save some money on runDisney runcations, it does pay to be prudent when it comes to budgets, and that means picking and choosing your events and sticking with your decisions, no matter how tempting it may be to register for just one more. (Don’t forget to check out our Top 10 runDisney Tips!).

Lottie Ferguson ‏(@CrunchyDisneyMa) wanted to know our thoughts has to why these Disneyland races are not selling out:

“@Casual_Runner I’m not sure how that’s happened. Any theories?”

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A view of the Cadillac Range in Disney California Adventure.

We have some theories, but, as runDisney tends to keep such information secret, these are just that, educated theories.  In the last few years, runDisney greatly expanded the race offerings at the Disneyland Resort, and it is possible that they may have over-saturated that particular market at this time, leading to slower sell outs.  While races such as the Disneyland Half Marathon and the Star Wars Half Marathon continue to be quick sell outs, sales for the Tinkerbell and Avengers Half Marathons are not quite as robust. This is not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, as it allows more Casual Runners the opportunity to get into these races.

Additionally, as Disneyland continues to pull most of its visitors from Southern California (as opposed to Walt Disney World which draws a greater percentage of its visitors from much greater distances), runDisney may be pricing these half marathons too high for what you get. As we pointed out in our past race reviews, 10k events at the Disneyland Resort are amazing and they spend the majority of their time inside the theme parks. These events continue to sell out quickly and Mike even named the Disneyland 10k among his top 10 favorite races. However, due to the size of the resort property, a disproportionate amount of the half marathon courses are outside of the parks in the streets of Anaheim. While these courses have their appeal, many Casual Runners are simply deciding that they are not worth the high price point to repeat year after year.  Simply put, if 2/3 of the race are being run outside of the parks, Casual Runners may choose half marathons  offering similar courses in nearby California locales for 1/3 the cost of a runDisney event.

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A view of the spectacular Burlington, Ontario waterfront running trail.

Staying on travel, but turning our attention north of the border, Mike wrote about his recent Casual Running adventures while travelling in Burlington, Canada. The official Twitter account for the City of Burlington (@cityburlington) read his feature and reached out to thank us for sharing the beauty of their waterfront city.  They also wanted to let us know that “#BurlON is the best mid-sized city in Canada!”

Thanks to the City of Burlington for their hospitality. If you are ever north of the border, make sure to stop by, lace up your running shoes, and check out their awesome waterfront running trails for some great Casual Running Adventures of your own.

Well that is going to do it for this installment of the Casual Runner Mailbag.  The Team loves hearing from you, so please keep those emails, Tweets, and Facebook and Google+ messages coming in.  And, good luck with your training and have fun on your Casual Running adventures!

Click here to check out past editions of the Casual Runner Mailbag.

The Casual Runner Team wants to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything we cover here on Casual Runner, if you have any questions regarding running gear or training for your own Casual Running needs, or if there is anything that you would like us to cover on Casual Runner, please leave a comment or email us using the links below.  To ensure that you do not miss all of the great content from Casual Runner, please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and add us to your circle on Google+.  See you out on the running trails!  

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