PHOTOS: Meet Sulley, The runDisney Dog Athlete!

brown haired woman faces cinderella castle wearing a blue spirit hersey that reads RUNDISNEY with the fab five

Look out, world, there’s a new addition to the runDisney line-up of racers, and his name is Sulley, the service dog!

RunDisney is a nationwide running event sponsored by Disney Parks, hosting theme park runs with magical medals and merchandise at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort. RunDisney’s newest doggy athlete just participated in his first run alongside Cast Member Joan Doyle.

run disney

Credit: Disney

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Joan has participated in runDisney half marathons since 2011, including the inaugural Wine and Dine, with the Disney Princess 5K being her first. Furthermore, she enjoys the “beautiful” courses and the purpose behind a run, even if it means waking up at 2 a.m.

This year, she added a new friend named Jennifer to her runDisney team, acting as a guide for the new participant and Jennifer’s service dog, Sulley. While both women participated in the run, Joan took up the responsibility of keeping Sulley protected from the other runners as he jogged alongside them on four paws and informed Jennifer of road reflectors.

two women participate in rundisney, one with mobility aides, and between them is a service dog who is a golden retriver

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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As she told the Disney Parks Blog, Joan relished the experience of running as a team and helping her two new friends complete the event with her, making this one of her favorite runDisney races ever. Moreover, Joan described the experience as a “companionship” formed between the three runners: Cast Member, friend, and dog.

Of course, Joan always feels accomplished when crossing the finish line, but to be able to do it as a team was “awesome” and a “truly special experience.” In general, the Disney Cast Member enjoys the runners’ comradery and the way that people will encourage one another throughout the duration of the race and help one another if one of them should trip and fall, for example.

Credit: Disney

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As a result, Joan describes runDisney races as not just a fun activity but an “empowering community to be a part of.”  Plus, it looks like Sulley had a good time too, getting to run alongside so many Cast Members, Disney fans, and meet-and-greet with some iconic Disney characters!

For more information on joining the next runDisney event, click here.


About Spencer Johnette

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the Walt Disney Family Museum halls and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @gothelsflower.