The voice of RunDisney, Rudy Novotny’s contract has not been renewed for the up coming season. Well-known in that running community, Novotny was pulled out of the crowd and asked to substitute for the race’s announcer, who did not show up. He was offered four or five free races for the impromptu gig, then he received a surprise when the mail arrived a couple of weeks later.
Then he received payment, Novotny said. “I thought, ‘Man, this is cool. I think now I can qualify officially as a professional.’”
Since then, Novotny estimated he has announced almost 1,300 races nationally in the past 25 years, including runDisney events at Walt Disney World. Novotny announced on Facebook this week that he was not retained by the theme-park company.
In a tweet:
It is with a heavy heart that I address you, my running and racing family. I recently received a call from the folks at runDisney informing me that there is some reorganizing and restructuring happening there and, as I was already aware, a new show director had been hired to replace John Phelan who retired about a year ago.
Novotny said he had announced runDisney events for approximately nine years. He said normally the company uses four announcers. The other three, he said, are from Central Florida. Novotny lives in San Diego.
The runDisney series of events attracts tens of thousands of runners to Central Florida annually. Its big races are the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon in January, the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February, the Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon in April and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November.
“RunDisney entertainment often undergoes revisions to continually present new and creative offerings for our guests,” a Disney spokeswoman said. “We are grateful to Rudy for his performances with runDisney and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Novotny plans to continue announcing races, just no longer at Disney.
“It’s been a lot of fun, really met some good people,” he said. “That’s the loss.”