2024 WDW Donald and Daisy Duck Half-Marathon(*) — AKA “the D and D 7.192 miler!”

Last night, runDisney sent me and presumably all the other registered runners an email. But maybe just me. I don’t understand how a list serve and mail merge work in a post-Microsoft Word 2003 world.

A few years back, lightning forced them to cancel the half-marathon outright so it’s nice we got to run at least some of the miles.  And if you hear any complaints or griping online, know that I’m not one of them.  While you never know what the day will ACTUALLY bring, you have to rely on the forecasts and make a judgment call.  There’s a “damned if you, damned if you don’t” quandary here but the truth is the only play is the smart play — it’s better to err on the side of caution and be wrong than to roll the dice and have somebody got struck by lightning.  And that’s not just for the safety of the runners.  The volunteers, the race personnel, the med team, the characters, any and all logistical personnel and materiel have to be protected from overzealous runners.  Look, I’m one of them — I’ve done things, run events, muscled my way past injuries more than a few times when cooler heads and smarter thinking would have said, “don’t do this.”  But I also don’t want anybody else to die because of my silly malarkey.  So good call, runDisney.  Safety begins with you, as Disney says (albeit I think they spell it “Safe-D [D written in Disney script font] begins with you.”)

I’m also not going to lie and say it wasn’t annoying, disappointing, frustrating, a bummer… particularly because if it was just rain we’d all have been out there sloshing our way through puddles and powering through the gale force winds.  I’ve in the past run extra miles to make up for shortened distances (and indeed people were trying to do that in the finish line parking lot today).  But some days you take it on the chin and move on… and that feels like the right play today.

And officially this unofficial half-marathon (which was approximately 7.192 miles, give or take) was supposed to be celebrating Disney’s 100th from the Jungle Book to Tarzan, or roughly 1967-1999.

Oh, and to answer the question “When is a Half-Marathon not 13.1 miles?” look no further than this map:

I suspect because of the shortened course they crammed some character spots closer together.  More runners seemed inclined to stop and grab a pic, making lines and wait times longer than usual. I also would note that the meet and greets didn’t quite match up with the aforementioned proposed timeline (’67-’99) but such is the nature of history… it’s written and rewritten and retconned whenever the needs arise.

Nonetheless, per usual, the character cavalcade of today’s race:

The DJ said weather was moving in rapidly and asked us to clear the finish area as soon as possible, sending our world famous characters into shelter and effectively shutting the place down.  Albeit not all runners seemed obliged to exit the nearest turnstile… some were as I said running around to get their “missing” 6 miles in, some were adamant about getting their selfie with Disney legends.

Me?  I left and opted to just CGI the last pic… a selfie with Donald and Daisy Duck, the mascots of the 2024 half marathon(*).

(*) Not actually a half marathon.