It’s me again. I know we have had our conversations and struggles in the past. But today. Today I have a message on my heart and I feel like many other runners feel the same way. As a responsible blogger, I think it is important to not only talk about things that can be done differently, but to highlight when a company/race director knocks it out of the park. Saturday during the Walt Disney World Half Marathon cancellation, you guys did just that. You knocked it out of the park.
You communicated clearly and often to every race participant through various channels including but not limited to; email, Twitter, Facebook, and the digital event race guide (which is a great enhancement). You told us what was going on. You didn’t leave us in the dark wondering. You made the difficult decision to cancel the 20th running of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon due to the lightning storms that were in the area. You absolutely made the correct call, and I believe most runners would agree and support your decision regardless of their disappointment. Thank you for cancelling the race on Friday evening. This gave most (all) of us the opportunity to sleep in. For Dopey runners like myself, it was nice to get just 3 more hours of sleep. It also meant we weren’t standing in the corrals or staging areas in the rain. Thank you for taking the safety of your runners, volunteers, cast members, and contractors into consideration. Nothing is more important than life and the memories we create. There will be more races. Hell, you’re hosting another race this weekend at Disneyland (good luck Light Side runners). Safety is important and you took the First of Four Disney Parks Keys (Safety, Courtesy, Show, Efficiency) and made sure it held true. The phrase Safe ‘D’ Begins With Me! rang true. Well done.
The corrective actions you took to ensure your runners and guests had the most magical of experiences was MAGNIFICENT! In your communication Friday evening you offered runners a variety of options to help ease the pain of the cancelled race. I want to be clear…you didn’t have to do ANY of this. We signed waivers. The waivers say we forfeit our money if we don’t show or the race is cancelled. It’s a gamble. But you guys made it right. You not only offered refunds to those that wanted them, you offered transfers to other runDisney half marathons. You let the first 3,000 people that were interested transfer to the marathon the next day. You refunded portions of runner retreat. You even hooked up the Goofy and Dopey runners! You guys, this is what magic looks like. You opened the expo a few hours later to let the weather pass and made ESPN Wide World of Sports complex your “Genius Bar” for refunds and transfers. The reports I heard from people mentioned the cast members were helpful and thorough. Characters were out in the rain taking photos. You guys really made a difference. This made me smile.
Again. I give props where they are due. This was literally the best operation I have ever seen to address a cancellation in my life. It was smooth. It felt effortless. It was pure magic and I know many people appreciated the extra time and steps the cast took to bring this to life. I know often times we can get hung up in our feelings or become disappointed and it can cloud our thoughts. The only thing I knew to do was to publicly thank you. I am passionate about runDisney. This is why when I write you I have such a direct tone. runDisney is one of those places where I fell in love with running and the community. It is a place I always feel safe and happy. I always look forward to the next big thing or surprise. Disney is known for their world-class entertainment and guest service. This weekend, you demonstrated that level of world-class service that Disney is known for.I, as an alumni cast member, avid runner, blogger, and Disney fan couldn’t be MORE proud of how you handled this. I hope this lands on someone’s desk at runDisney so they can see. The cast makes the difference. You guys are appreciated. I personally thank you. Continue to create magical memories.
I encourage other runners to leave their thanks in the comments section below.
Signed with Pixie Dust,