Dopey Challenge: The Angry Corral Rant

Disclaimer:  If you’re not in the mood for a totally petty, ranting, complaining post please feel free to skip this one.  

Dopey Challenge Logo

As many of you who participate in the runDisney races know, the corrals for Marathon Weekend were released this week.  If you follow me on twitter, you probably also know that I am NOT HAPPY with my corral placement.

I am in corral “I” for the Dopey Challenge with a submitted proof of time of a 1:59:05 half marathon.  I have friends in corrals “G” & “H” who submitted times several minutes slower than mine.  My sister is also in corral “I” for the half marathon, her submitted proof of time was 2:43 (she’s deferring for January, but still).  To me, this doesn’t make sense.

**Note:  I understand the corrals are MUCH smaller this year which means placement is farther back than in previous years.  That is not my particular issue.

After a lot of complaining tweets, e-mails & phone calls and MANY different stories and explanations the best I can understand is that Track Shack (the race management company that puts on the runDisney events) uses the ESTIMATED FINISH TIME you enter, NOT the proof of time you submit.

This was news to me (and everyone else I spoke to).  I entered a realistic 4:30 finish time.  My smarter friends took their 2 hour half marathon proof of time and submitted 4:10 and 4:20 estimated marathon finish times and were placed in corrals ahead of me even though my half marathon proof of time is faster.

The moral of this story is that honesty is NOT always the best policy.  I easily could have entered a 4:10 or 4:20 estimated finish time with a 1:59 half PR, but it didn’t even dawn on me that it would make a difference.  I thought the important piece of information was the proof of time.

There is also some speculation as to whether the Challenge participants (Goofy & Dopey) are placed farther back since we are running so many races.  While the person I spoke to at Track Shack did not specifically say this, he did say, “well you’re not going to be able to keep up your usual pace anyways running 4 races in 4 days.”  Ummm…says who??

I know this is extremely petty to complain about.  I know it REALLY doesn’t matter and that I’m fortunate to be able to take this trip to Florida and participate in this event, but coming off of my bib not tracking in Disneyland during the Dumbo Double Dare (even after waiting an hour in line at runner relations to supposedly fix it…) and being placed in the wrong corral for the Wine & Dine half marathon after a mistake on Track Shack’s end (and again having to wait at Runner Relations to fix it) I’m just frustrated with the poor race management at the last few runDisney events.

The problem is, I really enjoy the runDisney events.  I love the friends I’ve made, I love running through the parks and I love that it’s all wrapped up in a trip to Disney.  As annoyed as I am, I can’t honestly say that it’s going to stop me from registering for future runDisney events, and therein lies the problem.  They’re not going to change, or make improvements or fix what is broken as long as we’re still willing to buy the product.

Ok.  Rant over for the day.  You may still see the occasional angry tweet from me about it, but after this post I’m going to do my best to get over it and move on.  Here’s to 48.6 miles!

Anyone else in corral “I”??

Do you care about your corral placement at races?

P.S. – just to clarify, I don’t really believe that honesty is not the best policy.  That being said, you can sure bet I’ll be entering faster estimated finish times moving forward.

36 thoughts on “Dopey Challenge: The Angry Corral Rant

  1. Oh no! I’m so sorry that ended up like that! Trust me, I know all about being honest about a finish time and how that can screw you over (not to mention, one time, Doug and I put in the SAME time for the 10K in Disneyland and he was put in a faster corral?!?!) I know there’s nothing I can say that will make you feel better about being stuck in I, but just keep in mind, you’ll still have fun because you’re running through Disney! 🙂

    • Thanks Kellie, I know I’ll still have fun, it’s just frustrating working hard for a good time to submit for a proof of time and then finding out it really doesn’t even matter! Oh well : (

  2. I wonder how common these types of isues are with their races. Disney runs a pretty smooth operation from what I have seen. If this is a common problem I don’t see how Disney could retain them as a vendor.

    • I know a lot of people upset with their corral placement for the January races and I’m sure you’ve heard, but the expo and corrals at Disneyland this year were A DISASTER. Having worked in live events for 10 years I understand how hard it is to put on HUGE events like this, but I really think they need to start paying attention to some of these details that have been slipping through the cracks.

  3. I can’t remember what I put down as my estimated finish time. I think 2:45, and my second POT was 2:40. I’ll be in I too, but I feel the Goofy and Dopey runners got jipped.

    • Yeah, I think the Goofy & Dopey runners were handicapped a corral or two just because they’re assuming we can’t run our “normal” times which I really don’t find fair.

      Oh the bright side, if you see me in corral I please come say hello!

  4. Considering that you paid in excess of $500 to run Dopey Challenge, there should be no issue with Track Shack getting handsomely compensated to avoid this problem. Both Christine and I were placed in G, but I am not certain that is the correct corral. I submitted a faster half and projected finish time that Christine and her bib number is lower than mine, I think the emails they received were put in the trash bin. I have a feeling there will be alot of walkers that are much further up in corral placement. For example, a first time marathoner with a half around 2:25 got a placement in either F or G….never did see which one. It almost seems like there was no rhyme or reason to the placements, By the way, your rant is totally justified!

    • Haha, I was hoping you would comment on this post because from talking to Christine I think you’re just as fired up about all this as I am!

      No matter how many different times or ways anyone explains it to me I simply can not understand how it’s fair that I am starting in the same corral for the half as the estimated 2:45 finishers. Like you said, for $500 that’s just NOT right.

  5. I am also in corral I for Goofy. I submitted a time of 2:03. I was disappointed at first, but then thought that is probably where I need to be for the marathon. I am bummed that is my corral for the half. Hopefully runDisney and track shack can figure this out for future races. BTW, I would love to meet you in person. I will have to look for you Saturday or Sunday morning.

    • Between you and I, I still think we got screwed! Our faster proof of times should give us the benefit of starting farther up with less crowds and shorter character lines! It doesn’t make sense that we’re starting the half with the 2:45 finish group.

      But, like you said the good side is we’ll hopefully (finally!) be able to meet up in corral I!

  6. You’re not the only one I’ve heard with the same complaint for Dopey. I’m running the GSC in February as my first runDisney event and my 2nd half. I’m going to be really upset if they do my corral placement based off the time I entered at registration and not the proof of time I submitted. Your rant is totally okay and I might just be having the same rant in a month.

    • Haha, thanks Jodi, I’m glad you understand (and hopefully don’t think I am the most petty person ever!). I hope your corral placement works out for you for Glass Slipper and you don’t have to deal with any of this frustration!

  7. Haha, this is how I feel every time someone hands me, with a shrug, a “unisex” large shirt at a major race. Corral placement can be so frustrating. Hopefully, it will all work out. One thing you can count on w/Disney: they actually listen to complaints and fix things, if need be, the next time around. Since Dopey is a first, I’m guessing there will be fine tuning in the future.

    • The runDisney races are really the only ones I care about corrals b/c of the characters lines getting longer the farther back you are. I really do hope you’re right and they re-examine how they’re doing the corral placement for the “challenge” runners moving forward because something really seems to be off.

  8. I genuinely don’t understand why they won’t let people change at the expo like they always have. I understand proof of time to be outside the last corral, and I am a huge believer in the smaller corral sizes and staggered start times, but refusing to let people change is just stupid and ridiculous. Something is amiss in this registration/numbering process.

    • Yes, I really liked the smaller corrals for Wine & Dine, and I wouldn’t necessarily mind not being able to change corrals at the expo if the way they did the corral assignments actually made any sense! Oh well, lesson learned, next time I’ll be WAY underestimating my finish time!

      • The weird thing is I don’t I underestimated my finish time and they put me in G–I have to go back and see what I thought my time would be but I’m pretty sure I didn’t put anything really low, which is why I’m really surprised to hear you’re in I.

    • If you do find what you put for your finish time on your registration let me know. I’m still hoping I find something to really challenge them on my placement because according to the way they actually did it by finish time I understand I AM in the right corral, I just don’t think it SHOULD be the right corral…

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  10. This still makes my blood boil. Everytime I hear more about the corrals, I’m more and more perplexed because they make NO sense. I hope to see you getting moved up. Fingers (and toes) crossed for ya friend!

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  13. Totally with you on this…it is just frustrating because of the lack of a logical reason behind the placement.
    I am running the Goofy this year and consistently run 1:30 HM’s and I’m also coming off a 3:15 full marathon. I am in Corral C. My friend is also running the half and while her HM times are always 15+ minutes slower than me, she is in Corral A, two corrals ahead of me!
    Mostly it just bruises the ego, but it really is frustrating and I wish we could get a clear answer behind the corral placements.

  14. Oh, wow. I didn’t know about the estimated time.. .then whats the point of the proof of time? It all confuses me and I’m super slow anyway so usually it doesn’t affect me, but I would be upset if I were you. I am interested in seeing how this all works out. I don’t even have a corral for the 10k yet.

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