Crossing the Finish Line; man; Mickey Mouse; Minnie Mouse
  • On Oct 22, 2023
    Courtney from GA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am interested in becoming a "Balloon Lady" for the dopey challenge, how do I register for that opportunity?

    Hey there, Courtney!

    Welcome to planDisney and thanks for dropping in with your run-derful question about Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I'm so excited to hear that you're hoping to participate as a "balloon lady" and take on the Dopey Challenge! I'm happy to help you understand more about the balloon ladies, their purpose on the race course, and how to become one.

    Courtney, as you know, the balloon ladies are an integral part of every runDisney event. Balloon ladies are volunteers who carry a large Mickey Mouse balloon to mark the official 16-minute per mile pace requirement at runDisney events. In my experience, there are typically three balloon ladies on course at each runDisney event that has a pace requirement. These volunteers serve to motivate and encourage runners so they don't get "swept" from the course by falling behind the pace. The "official" time and 16-minute per mile pace requirement begins once the balloon ladies cross the start line. Courtney, unfortunately, at this time, there is no official process to vie for a spot as a balloon lady. These volunteers are usually area locals affiliated with a running company near Orlando alongside Jeff Galloway, the official runDisney training consultant. At your next runDisney race, I encourage you to chat with the friendly balloon ladies to find out more about how they obtained their roles!

    A couple of years ago, I participated in Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and started in the very last corral. I can tell you that seeing the balloon ladies so close on my heels at the beginning of the race definitely did motivate me to push forward and stay on pace! However, based on my interactions with them, the balloon ladies are kind and compassionate volunteers who genuinely want every participant to cross the finish line ahead of them. Contrary to popular belief, they are not responsible for tagging out runners that fall behind the pace. That responsibility lies with the bikers behind them and the official timekeepers located throughout the course.

    Courtney, I hope you've found this information interesting and helpful. I wish you the very best with your upcoming runDisney events and training! Please feel free to revisit planDisney with any additional questions you might have. We're here to help you enjoy each and every runDisney race-cation!

    Every mile is magic,

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Meet the Panelist: Lauren, Michigan

Hello friends! I'm Lauren M. from the Mitten State. I'm a mom, scientist, runDisney enthusiast, Disney Vacation Club Member, and self-proclaimed connoisseur of Disney snacks! For my family, it's a mix of both new and nostalgic that keeps us returning to the Walt Disney World Resort year after year. Throughout my life, I've been fortunate enough to experience many milestones and unforgettable moments at Disney Destinations and I can't wait to help you make magical vacation memories of your own! Learn More About Lauren

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