Friday, August 15, 2014

Pixie Dust Challenge -- We're In!

Tuesday morning registration opened for the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. Obviously, Wil and I were going to sign up -- we've decided to "streak" this race.

In 2014 runDisney added a 10K race to the weekend, but no "challenge". What do I mean by a challenge? At many runDisney events, if you run two races, you earn a third medal... *if* you have signed up for the special "challenge" group, that is. The original example is the Goofy Challenge, which started in 2006, and which we ran in 2010 and 2013. Other challenges include the Glass Slipper Challenge (during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend), the Dumbo Double Dare (during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend), and the Rebel Challenge (during the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend). But Tinker Bell didn't get a challenge, even with the 10K.

I'm still convinced that this was so they could test out how that affected registrations: did they actually get more people to participate if there was another event without a "challenge"? Did they sell more merchandise at the expo? Did they sell more park tickets?

We ran the 10K in 2014 -- I mean, it was a new race, so why not? But we had decided that we wouldn't run it in 2015. It's super fun -- and we ran a fast race. Plus, the vast majority of the race was actually inside the parks. But it's not cheap... so we didn't need to run it again.

Until this:

Yeah, well. Of course, if there's a new CHALLENGE, we've got to do that.

We figured that the addition of a challenge would cause extra chaos at registration. After all, Tinker Bell sold out within a day for 2014, Princess sold out in a few hours for 2015, and we all know how the Avengers and Star Wars races did.

So I blocked out my calendar (yeah, working for a running company it is completely permissable to block out time to register for races -- another Very Nice thing), got myself organized, and got ready to start refreshing my browser at 8:55.

I figured maybe I got lucky -- got both me and Wil signed up (separately -- I can't figure out how to sign up two racers in one session anymore, and I'm always so panicked about it I just speed through it...) by 9:05. Then I basked in the glow and speedy adrenaline-rushy feeling of having "won" something, texting back and forth with Suz and we speculated on how soon the challenge would sell out, how soon the 10K and half would sell out, etc.

The kids races sold out first -- I think the Diaper Dash was the very first to go. But after that, well... nothing.

Eventually, the numbers climbed... but they climbed slowly. The 10K sold out. The Pasta in the Park Party sold out. (??!!!??) But the Pixie Challenge, the Half Marathon, and even the 5K haven't sold out, even a few days later.

We've been wondering why this has happened. Is it because runDisney introduced two additional new races in Disneyland, and the market is "full"? Is it because they moved the event from January to May -- from a 3-day weekend to Mother's Day weekend? Or is the market right-sizing?

I mean, I don't think a race SHOULD sell out this many months ahead. EIGHT MONTHS AHEAD. I was cleaning out old emails over last weekend and I unearthed one from November, 2012 -- which said that there were still spots left for the 2013 Princess Half Marathon ... in February 2013. Given how fast runDisney races have been selling out, I was surprised. But then Wil reminded me that when we first ran Goofy, there were spaces left only a month or so before the weekend. (And, umm, yeah, that was the year when I got up at 6am the morning after our first marathon to sign up for the next year. I've always been eager!)

I'm sure all of these races will sell out within a couple of weeks -- especially when any of them get to 95, then things start to speed up. But I can't stop feeling a little surprised.

That said... and I really care about is that Team Wil-Sun got in (yay!), and that I know we'll get another fun weekend away at Disneyland. Oh, and NEW BLING!!!!

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