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runDisney participation numbers


Well-Known Member
@dreamfinder, can we merge this thread with the one you started? Can't read that great right now to review Texas' charts, but this is interesting.
I see no issues with that. @wdwmagic I think needs to do it though. I was trying to poke @Texas84 into posting his numbers. And it worked. ; )

Now having reviewed his data, I will probably challenge several points. Especially if you overlay this data with the info from my tracker thread, I think it puts some of it into perspective. For instance, 2015 and 2016 DLR half didn't sell out. So even if runDisney changed the caps, the participation demand just wasn't there.

First off, the "grand total" chart
Here's the bottom line for runDisney. This is total finishers for all events, 10K, half and marathon.
Are you including events that are no longer held? IE ToT 13k/10M, Everest Challenge, etc? While those events were definitely smaller than a typical half marathon weekend, dropping an event that would have had say 8,000 participants and replacing it with one that has say 12,000 runners would show less of an upward trend than one that just adds the new race. I think you need to annotate each year with the number of events being counted. And then potentially show another line showing the average runner count per event. Helps to put participation into perspective. And also helps to show the event trend.

Individual Challenge Trends.

Since every Dopey gets a Goofy I thought the Goofy numbers should be adjusted. That adjustment is the grey Goofy - Dopey line. Regardless, Goofy participation is down. The challenge trends are probably statistically insignificant since they are fairly new (except for Goofy) and capped.
I don't think you need to adjust the Goofy. Assuming you are working off the PDFs, Dopey runners are excluded from the Goofy results.

The Princess Half Weekend. Thought this was really interesting. It's obviously still popular but look what happened to the half when the 10K was added.
But yet each year it still sells out. Need to still find those sellout dates again, but Princess has been their one tried and true gonna sell out event. And since each year it hits the cap, I'd suspect this is more a case of runDisney wanting/needing to cap total runners at a certain number. You can see that large increase in half runners the year before, which they then dropped back when they added the 10k.

Tinker Bell. Fairly level with a slight drop in the half. Probably capped. But no drop due to the 10K.
But that 10% drop this past year for half runners is damning.

Overall, while the data is indeed interesting, still think it needs more. No way we can get really granular without "registered" numbers, weather etc (90+ degree day will cut out some of your finishers), but adding in info on if the race sold out will help to show if that limit was artificial (imposed by runDisney) or natural (lack of runner participating/engagement).

Any chance of getting you to post your source xls file? I'd love to monkey around with the data bit and am too lazy to dig through all the older results. Nice work.
The Dark Side. Down a bit but it's only two data points. My gut tells me all the Star Wars news will keep this level. The problem with this half, it's kind of dull and it's April in Florida.

View attachment 216009
This race desperately wants to be a night race and should be held closer to 05/04. Once all of the new attractions planned open, hopefully the course gets a refresh (for all races).


The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter
Premium Member
This race desperately wants to be a night race and should be held closer to 05/04. Once all of the new attractions planned open, hopefully the course gets a refresh (for all races).
A night race would be awesome, especially once all the lands are completed.

Yeah, it was warmer for this year's races. And that trend will continue. rD needs to consider moving SW Half to a night race for that reason alone. And if they do that, move W&D Half back to night!