5K/10K were definitely lacking. I will say the half and full had a few more in total than the last couple years. I have only been running these since 2015 so thats all I can compare it too.My wife and I started this whole running journey over a decade ago because of the characters.
We had little boys who loved characters and that was our main hobby for years and years. I saw a pic of a runner with Hades at the 2007 marathon and we've been running ever since.
I think runDisney/entertainment should always throw one or two "hard to find" characters out for every race. I mean that is one of the main reasons people run/enjoy the races. I am blown away every year by the sheer number of folks I meet who say they started running because of the characters.
I will say they did have some interesting characters out this year, but not like they used to. Man I sound like "Get off my lawn guy".
I just will never forget in 2009 turning to run up towards the lake in Epcot for the half and seeing the entire Robin Hood, Hunchback, and Pinocchio crews, like 12 characters. Or in 2011, i think, the year they let Zorro, The Little Pigs, Shan Yu, Davy Crockett and Tom Sawyer out.
In know there's a ton of characters out there who have been seen within the last few years....Dumbo, Rattigan, Tick Tock, Jim Hawkins, Cheshire Cat, and no telling who else is lurking backstage. I simply hope they start freeing some of those great characters more often after all these are pretty pricey races. I just hope, with the new director they do not settle into the pattern of just putting out the characters they do every day