On an episode of the Mickey Miles Podcast earlier this week there was a discussion about making the decision to complete the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge. I thought this was a great topic to write about and continue the conversation. I have completed the Coast to Coast Challenge in each of the last 3 years. In 2012, I ran my first marathon. It was a local race, but a fantastic event. I highly recommend the Mississippi Blues Marathon to anyone looking to make the trip south. Shortly after I set my sights on finishing a marathon in all 50 states, a long term bucket list goal & one that you can always check the status of by clicking the “50 State Marathon Challenge” link in my menu bar. When the topic of Florida came up there was no other option for me except the Walt Disney World Marathon. I began to research the event and learned of the Goofy Challenge (I might as well run all the races while I’m there right?), then I saw that the 20th Anniversary of the WDW Marathon was in 2013 and the decision was made. I travelled to Florida with a group of friends, but what I didn’t expect to happen was how many new friends I made over the course of the weekend. There’s nothing like 26.2 miles to get to know a few new friends like Matt & Ali!
Coming off the Goofy Challenge weekend a group of my friends signed up for the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare in Disneyland. Traveling to California was a lot of expense for a just a half marathon, but the idea of the Coast to Coast Challenge was my deciding factor. Rack up 7 medals for running 4 total races? Sold. So I made the trip to California, picked up 4 medals for running a 10k & half marathon, and got hooked on runDisney events.
In 2014 I ran the Tinkerbell Half in January and the Wine & Dine Half in November picking up Coast to Coast number 2.
In 2015 I started the year with the Dopey Challenge and Princess Half Marathon Weekend, then made my way to the west coast for the Tinkerbell Half in May. 3rd consecutive Coast to Coast Challenge.
Whats the appeal? Why continue to earn what is essentially the same medal over and over? The design doesn’t change, only the lanyard. For me runDisney events have always been about the people. There are people from around the country that I only see at rD events and I’ve never ran a race with the same group of people twice. The appeal comes from traveling to one coast for a race then saying to myself, “I might as well go run the other one too.” I had little intention of running Tinkerbell earlier this year, but then they announced the Pixie Dust Challenge & how could I resist picking up a pink Coast to Coast medal? Slightly altering the medal is a great way to keep interest in the challenge. Last year the addition of the Pink medal for running Princess and Tink helped drive up participation for linking the events. Beginning in 2016 there will be another special Coast to Coast medal that is Millennium Falcon for running both Star Wars event weekends in Disneyland in January and in WDW in April.
As the runDisney schedule continues to expand so do the number of possible combinations to earn your Coast to Coast medal. I have not run the same 2 races to pick up the challenge medal yet.