Have you ever run a Disney race using a charity bib? I feel like I've done a lot as a runner, but that I'm missing something by not having had this experience. As we are deep into Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I've been thinking about charities that partner with runDisney to offer bibs for fundraising.
I was on vacation in South Africa during registration for the 2024 Springtime Surprise event weekend. I participated in the first two and I'd like to keep up with that streak (in my mind a continuation of the Dark Side Star Wars races, somehow). I had assumed I would not be able to register on the day of, due to notorious power outage issues (load shedding) in the country, and the fact that my husband and I would be in a fairly remote location in the far north of Kruger National Park at the time. So I found a charity that I liked, and planned on registering via the charity once we got back home. However, at the time of registration, we found ourselves taking a break between game drives back at the camp. The afternoon's load-shedding was over. I logged onto the runDisney website via my phone, and was able to register for the challenge. I was shocked! It meant that my plans to run using a charity bib would have to wait until another time.
(I know that I can raise money for a charity while already having a bib, but that's not the same as relying on the charity for your bib. I've gotten last-minute bibs from charities a couple of times in the past (Wine & Dine 2017 and Princess 2022), and that's also not the same as raising money for a runDisney bib).
Participating in a runDisney race through a charity entry bib offers a unique blend of fitness, fun, and philanthropy, creating an unforgettable experience that extends far beyond the finish line. Here’s why running for a cause at Disney is not just a race, but a rewarding journey that makes every stride count.
Combine Passion with Purpose
runDisney events attract thousands of participants each year, drawn by the magic of running through the most magical places on Earth. Opting for a charity entry bib allows you to blend your love for running and Disney with a deeper purpose. It transforms your race into a mission, supporting causes that make a significant impact in the lives of others. Whether it’s raising funds for medical research, education, or social issues, your participation carries a sense of accomplishment that transcends personal achievement. Finding a charity that resonates with you personally is a great way to give deeper meaning to your training and run.
Highly coveted runDisney race spots fill up quickly, but charity bibs offer guaranteed entry even when general registration slots are sold out. This not only secures your spot in popular races but does so in a way that benefits others, while relieving the stress of having multiple devices open on registration day. You don't have to take registration day off of work when you've already got your bib lined up!
Knowing that every mile you run is raising awareness and funds for a meaningful cause can provide an extra motivational boost. This sense of purpose can drive you through training slumps and inspire you to cross the finish line, regardless of the race’s physical and mental challenges.
Enhanced Race Experience
Many charities provide additional perks to their runners, including training plans, meet-ups, team t-shirts, and special gear. Some even offer race-day benefits like cheer squads, and post-race celebrations. Being part of a charity team also connects you with fellow runners who share your commitment to both running and your chosen charity cause, creating a sense of community and camaraderie.
Impact Beyond the Race
The funds and awareness you raise through your runDisney charity race entry have a lasting impact, supporting the charity’s mission long after you’ve crossed the finish line. This creates a legacy of your participation, knowing you’ve contributed to a cause that continues to benefit from your effort and dedication.
The journey to a runDisney race, especially through a charity entry, is an opportunity for personal growth. It challenges you to set goals, work towards them, and ultimately, achieve something significant not just for yourself, but for a community in need. This journey can be transformative, offering lessons in resilience, empathy, and the power of collective effort.
Charity Shout-Out: Sparrow's Nest
I got a last-minute charity bib with no fundraising commitment for the 2017 Wine & Dine Two Course Challenge from Sparrow's Nest of the Hudson Valley. They are listed as a charity partner for Wine & Dine and I would like to give them a shout out!
Charity Shout-Out: AFSP
One of the charities that speaks to me personally is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They are currently listed as a partner charity for every upcoming runDisney event, and they still have bibs and fundraising needs for the upcoming Springtime Surprise weekend.
Charity Shout-Out: Team MSAA
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America reached out to me late last year to promote their participation in upcoming runDisney events. I haven't been able to give a shout-out until now. MSAA has bibs available for the sold-out Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend.
Participating in a runDisney race with a charity entry bib is an enriching experience that marries the joy of running with the fulfillment of giving back. It’s an opportunity to make your miles more meaningful, surrounded by the unparalleled magic of Disney, all while contributing to a greater good. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-time racer, choosing a charity bib is a powerful way to make your runDisney experience truly