If you follow my blog, or follow me on Twitter you’ll probably know that I ran the first ever Run Disney races at Disneyland Paris last year, I enjoyed them so much (yes some of us actively enjoy running, I can’t explain this madness either!) that pretty much as soon as I got back I laced up my trainers and got straight back into training to ensure I was ready to smash 2017’s races.
So as the months went by we started to get more information, the 5 Km is now an evening race and only in the studios park, this allows for a new 10 Km race in it’s original place on the Saturday morning, the half is still on the Sunday, and this allows for an additional challenge medal, sweet right?
Now anyone who knows DLP pretty well knows that at times, their communication isn’t the best, but this event is run by Run Disney France and with the support of Run Disney in the US and I had hoped this would help it run better, oh boy was I wrong!
When I registered for the 2016 races I wasn’t an annual pass holder, so at the time a package including accommodation, race bibs and park tickets was a no brainer, however the prices offered were hugely inflated even for the most basic hotels, and as I was travelling on my own this was even more expense. I stayed at Santa Fe from Friday to Monday, ran both races, 5 km and the half marathon, and included the race party in my booking and in total this was around £800, steep right!
After hearing the Bib only entries ran smoothly for 2016, and now being an annual pass holder with access to reduced rate on site accommodation I decided this might be the best route for 2017 and the waiting game began. We were expecting the bibs to go on sale around February/March time as they had done for 2016, but this soon came and went with little more indication of an intended sale date than “spring 2017” April passed and then May and still no bibs! Where could they possibly be and what was holding them up? The race weekend is creeping ever closer, my accommodation is booked but I still don’t know if I’ll get to race!
And then it was announced, the bibs would go on sale Wednesday June 14th at 4pm Paris time. this was only announced on the 8th of June which didn’t leave much time to get organised, and the E-mail we were promised to inform us of the sale date never came either, it was a sign of things to come! Wednesday rolled round and something didn’t feel right at all, I was sick with nerves, what would I do if I couldn’t get a bib, how many even were there and how quick would they go? the time came for the sale to go live, I nervously refreshed the web page, but then, nothing happened? How could this be? I checked the date again, and then i double checked the time, refreshed the page again. I was starting to panic, what if I had the wrong link and everyone else was buying their bibs?!
It was then that I checked social media and realised I wasn’t the only person going through this, something was wrong. Eventually rumors started to surface that there were technical issues and the sale of bibs had been postponed, though this was mostly through fan sites, it took around 3 hours for confirmation from Run Disney France that there had been technical issues and the bib only sales had been suspended until further notice.
To be honest, by this point I was gutted, I had convinced myself I probably wasn’t going to get my bib and that the months I’d spent training and getting excited had all been for nothing, So imagine my surprise when the following day, with little more than an hour’s notice the bib sale is back on! Panic stations, do I have the link, can I get on the site?
The bib sales went live a few mins early and I finally felt like we were going to get somewhere, and then it crashed. Oh great not this again, check facebook check twitter, yep everyone else is having problems too. As time went on the website came up and dropped again more time than I could keep track of, finally the Run Disney France team were a bit more vocal and promised us they were working to meet the demand. Gradually the error message changed to a picture of donald and the site started to come and go more frequently, it was clear there was just too much demand for the servers available.
At the times when we were able to get in the E shop worked fairly well, the layout was clean and simplistic, the prices were clearly displayed and there was plenty of information about what was included in each race, after you’d added your races to your basket you were then able to select a number of extras including park tickets, photo passes and party tickets. The website and E shop actually looked really good, the problem was just that the servers couldn’t handle the traffic.
Eventually we got in and were able to check out and buy my bibs just after 7pm, the stress was finally over and everything was confirmed and paid for. What an experience! This has certainly made me think twice about how to register next year! I’m hoping the Run Disney France team get plenty of feedback on this and I’d like to see questions asked, what happened on Wednesday and why did it take so long to communicate? What happened to the E-mails we were promised to tell us when they would go on sale? How could they justify less than 90 mins notice on the resale? Why don’t they use the same Active platform as the US races given this is a tried and tested solution?
For now I’m just happy I have my bibs, after all the stress it’s nice to know its really happening! How was your experience? Did you manage to get bibs for all the events you wanted? Drop me a comment below!