An Analysis of 2017 RunDisney Medals (So Far)

With the release of the Tinkerbell Half marathon medals announced today, I thought it would be fun to start a post on my thoughts for all of the 2017 RunDisney medals as they are released. I’ll keep this updated as more medals are released so we can enjoy the fun all year!

There’s been a lot of talk in several RunDisney Facebook groups I’m a part of about the new direction the medal designs are moving toward. For years, both the Tink and Princess medals were the same year after year with just a date change. Then, something clicked and RunDisney started designing special medals for each year. Here’s what we’ve got for 2017.

*Original post on 2/15/17
**Disneyland Paris added 6/19/17
***Disneyland/Pixar Weekend added 7/24/17

WDW Marathon Weekend- January


These medals boast the same characters year after year. However, the medal designs themselves have changed over the years. Most of the RunDisney audience was confused over this set, but let’s take a look at each one individually.

  • Kids Races- The Mickey on this medallion changes every year, but I love the Sorcerer Mickey on this. A+ medal design.
  • 5K- This is the first time Pluto got a metal medal instead of a rubber medallion, and the design was spot on for what this puppy’s medal should be.
  • 10K- I’m not really sure why Minnie has a gear shaped medal… not super exciting in my book
  • Half Marathon- This was the 20th anniversary medal and the overlaid XX was lost on a bunch of people. Easily one of the ugliest anniversary medals RD has done.
  • Marathon- I love this one. I really hope the 2018 full medal is close to this one because I want it. The addition of ears to a classic medal design is perfect.
  • Goofy Challenge- Again with the gear shape? While the colors on this one scream Goofy, I’m not a huge fan of the design.
  • Dopey Challenge- This one isn’t super exciting, but Dopey is definitely the star here
    Castaway Cay Challenge- This one is adorable and perfectly captures the spirit of the Disney Cruise Line.

Star Wars Light Side- January

For some weird reason, they didn’t release an image of all the medals in one frame for Dark Side, so I’m knocking off points for that. Overall, these medals do a good job capturing the spirit of the light side of the force while staying pretty modern.

  • 5K- This one isn’t horribly exciting, but I’m sure it was a nice welcome over those rubber medallions.
  • 10K- I love love love that BB-8 was the featured character. And it spins!
  • Half Marathon- This was a new take on the popular Yavin medal, and it was a great idea. A spinner with our favorite rebels is always a winner.
  • Rebel Challenge- Some people were upset about this one, but I love it. It’s a clean design that perfectly captures our rebel droid.

Princess Half Marathon- February


When these were revealed, I was actually a little sad I wasn’t doing Princess. The half medal is a welcome change from the same design they have used in years past, and the ribbons are unique to each distance. Obviously, the princess of choice this year is Belle, which coincides with the release of the new Beauty and the Beast movie perfectly.

  • Kids Races- I love that they chose Cogsworth for this! Lumiere got his own medal back in November 2016 for the challenge at Wine & Dine, so now it’s Cogsworth’s chance to shine.
  • 5K- I think this one is my favorite. The 5K is usually a family event, so I find it fitting that Mrs. Potts and Chip are the chosen characters.
  • 10K- This is the least exciting, but at least it’s still in theme.
  • Half Marathon- I love that they chose an icon for this rather than slapping Belle’s face on a medal. It keeps the spirit of the race weekend alive without screaming PRINCESS BELLE WAS THE THEME!!!
  • Glass Slipper Challenge- The design here is pretty close to previous years, but the ribbon is pretty.

Star Wars Dark Side- April


This is another set that received mixed reactions upon release. Again, I love the ribbons on these and think that as a set they are really cohesive.

  • Kids Races- Captain Phasma seems like a weird choice here, but okay. Personally, I would have chosen Vader.
  • 5K- This is my least favorite. I love the color combo but the design doesn’t fit with the rest of them.
  • 10K- The design on this one is a nice addition to the Stormtrooper silhouette.
  • Half Marathon- I’m going to need to do this one at some point if they keep doing a Death Star medal. I need a Death Star in my collection. By far my favorite of the set, it’s clean and simple.
  • Dark Side Challenge- They chose new bad guy on the block Kylo Ren for this, and again the design is nice and simple. The three challenge medals will look nice together.
  • Kessel Run Challenge- The detail on the ribbon for this is the best part. Otherwise it looks like past year’s designs.

Tinkerbell Half Marathon- May


This year for Tink, RunDisney partnered with Pandora to design the medals. They completely changed up the hideous challenge medal from years past and are starting to move away from Disney Fairies and back to a Peter Pan theme. These are my favorite so far this year, and hope these are a sign of stunning things to come later this year.

  • Kids Races- I love that there is a popular kids show that fits into the theme. While smaller children do like the movies, I feel like they’ll be more excited to get a character they watch on a daily basis.
  • 5K- This is my favorite of the set. It’s gorgeous, I love the single tone, and the fact its Hook and Smee featured. I bet it’s even prettier in person.
  • 10K- The Peter Pan theme is further solidified here, and the Lost Boys make an appearance on a medal!
  • Half Marathon- This is a completely different design from years past, and the Pandora designers hit it out of the park with this one.Β Normally characters aren’t quite this prominent on medals, but this is the only half marathon actually named after a character, so I think Tink deserves it.
  • Pixie Dust Challenge- This medal isn’t ugly anymore! And it spins! I’m actually kind of jealous of those of you getting this.

Disneyland Paris Half- September

(Added 6/15/17)

Okay, why are these coming out before Disneyland Half? I’m getting impatient over here!

Anyway, I’m a fan of these medals. Paris is in its 2nd year and is continuing with the classic, clean lines they brought about in their inaugural year. Also, all the ribbons go together nicely, which I love.

  • Kids races- This one is the weakest of the bunch. This does not look like a design from 2017 and severely lacks the wow factor that the US kids medals have.
  • 5K- Does anyone else think this looks just like the Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge medal from Wine and Dine last year? Just me? Okay.
  • 10K- Here we have the castle with Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather flying around. This is set in a bronze finish and really complements the half medal.
  • Half marathon- While this appears to be a reincarnation of the inaugural medal, upon closer inspection it’s been revamped to include a small 25th anniversary touch, making it just different enough that those who ran last year won’t have two of the same.
  • Challenge- New this year is the Bibbidi-Boppidi-Boo Challenge for those who want to run the 10K and half. The spinner seems a little out of place, but it’s still cute.
  • Castle to Chateau- This is also very similar to the 2016 design, but the ribbon matches the Paris set, which I think is a nice touch.

Disneyland Half Weekend- September


(Added 7/24/17)

I have been anxiously waiting for these to be released. This is the only RunDisney race weekend I am signed up for this year, and I love Pixar, so I had high hopes for these. I have to say, when I first saw them, I was underwhelmed. They don’t really go together. However, each medal does a great job of highlighting it’s race theme.

  • Kids races- I’m so jealous that the kids get an Up themed race. I’ll trade you for Incredibles, kids!
  • 5K- This medal, alone, is awesome. With Incredibles 2 coming out soon, I see why they chose this over say, Cars or Finding Nemo. My mom and I will both be doing this one and I’m excited to add it to the collection.
  • 10K- I’m really excited about the Monsters Inc. theme and have my costume ready. Alone, this medal embodies the design of the movie.
  • Half marathon- If this one had been bad, it would have broken my heart. I love Toy Story. It may be tied for my favorite movie. Weirdly enough, this medal is very similar to what I imagined on my own. It’s nothing special, and a little underwhelming, but it will probably become one of my favorites.
  • Double Dare Challenge- This one ruins the whole set for me. There is nothing about it that even hints at Disneyland (they don’t even have Pixar Pier open yet). I wish they had gone for a more classic Disneyland design.

For your enjoyment, here are some closeups:

Wine and Dine Half Marathon- November


(Added 08/07/17)

The time has come for the next to last medal reveal for the 2017 racing year! I was kind of excited for this one since Wine and Dine 2016 was my first RunDisney race, and the race that inspired me to take on the Dopey Challenge in 2018. However, I think last year’s medals were way better.

I get the “around the world” theme, I really do, but historically this race has revolved around the Food and Wine Festival, not generic EPCOT.

  • Kids Races: Unpopular opinion time. I hate Figment. I don’t get the ride or the obsession over the purple dragon. I don’t even think he’s cute. Do kids even know who he is? This is the first kids race medal all year I do not like.
  • 5K: This one reminds me of the Goofy Challenge medal from January. I was expecting something a little more representative of “Fall”, but the blue makes it feel more Summery. I do like the turkey chasing Mickey, though.
  • 10K: I’m not sure how I feel about a medal with something hanging off two ends. It would have been better if they just had the ribbon and not the luggage tag end. It is cute, though. I am sad to see the Ratatouille theme go away.
  • Half Marathon: This medal is awesome. It’s reflective of the “around the world” experience that you get at Wine and Dine and still features Chef Mickey. This one is my second favorite of the set, I just wish that it was a little more food oriented.
  • Two Course Challenge: This is probably the coolest challenge medal I have ever seen RunDisney do. A passport that opens?? Heck yes! This one actually makes sense, as they use passports as a way to track food purchased during the festival.

Stay tuned to the blog to see my thoughts on the upcoming Avengers medals, and for a 2018 medal post coming up when Marathon Weekend medals are released.


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