Disneyland Half Marathon
August 31, 2014
State: repeat (California)
Another early morning for this race - it starts at 5:30 as well. Fortunately, staying at the Disneyland Hotel really helps in terms of travel time - the start is right outside the hotel!
I had laid all my gear the night before, so getting ready was a breeze. I did get up slightly early then the day before so I could make sure I got my breakfast down in time. After getting dressed (and figuring out the best way to secure my ears), Pam and I headed down to the start.
Similar to the 10K, Pam and I split up shortly after arriving so I could use the restroom one last time and head to the corrals. She was waiting for our friend Tim and she was in a corral farther back, she had some time.
I made my way to Corral B - but not before a photo. I really loved my Mousketeer costume (thanks Karen!) and forgot how much fun it is to run with your name on your shirt. It had been a while since I had done that!
It was hot out, but much better then last year so that made me happy. I actually hadn't run in the shirt yet (oops) but I knew it was wicking so fingers crossed. It ended up working great - very comfortable and cool. Yay!
The race started pretty promptly (which was good since the corral was PACKED) and they actually send Corral A and B off together. I think it's because the back corral's were packed, but not 100% sure.
Even though it was cooler, I was not planning on racing this one. I just wanted to have fun. I knew all the character stops would be before mile 4, so I wasn't concerned with the pace for those miles. I had decided I would only stop for short lines and characters I hadn't gotten photo's with before. I have to say - they did a good job of putting different characters on the course!
The first mile winds around the back of California Adventure (on the road) before turning into actual park property. I spent the first couple of miles warming up my legs, so the stops for photo's worked well.
After a loop behind California Adventure, you enter through Paradise Pier and go in front of the lagoon. They had a bunch of Green Army men (from Toy Story) out and I had to stop for a photo in front of World of Color!
After that, we headed into Cars Land. I have to say, I really love this portion of the course. There is just something about running into Cars Land with the neon lights on I love. I stopped for a photo with one of the Cars characters that is not Lightning McQueen or Mater - I think it's Flo but someone correct me if I'm wrong =) (it was early and dark out!). Lightning McQueen and Mater were out but I have those photo's so I didn't stop.
After that we headed into Hollywood Land and past Tower of Terror onto the main street heading towards Soarin'. In front of the Disney Jr Playhouse was Jake the Neverland Pirate. Poor Jake had no line so I quickly took a photo (my niece really liked that one so it was worth it!).
Right past Soarin' we take a sharp right and made the very short trek to Disneyland (I love how close they are!).
We headed onto Main Street and as usual, it gave me chills. Love Main Street in either park. Towards the end of Main Street, they had the Three Caballero's (so fun!) and of course I had to take a photo in front of the castle, it's tradition!
From Main Street, we head left into Frontierland and around Fantasyland to the Castle. At the merry go round, the Tremaine's were taking a right (Evil Stepmother and sisters) plus Prince Charming were taking a spin. After the castle we headed to Tomorrowland, where I got to pretend to be a Charlie's Angel with the Storm Troopers.
After that, we headed back towards Fantasyland and 'It's a Small World'. Last year this stretch was Princess Row, this year it was Villian's Row! I love that they had the villians out - so much fun!
After that stretch, we headed into Toontown for a brief stretch before heading out of the parks. My paces those miles weren't great, but I knew they'd pick up once we left the Parks. As soon as we got out of the park, I settled into a nice rhythm and the miles ticked away.
The stretch between 4 and 7 is kinda boring (just being honest), but runDisney tries to keep them interesting with dancers, bands and cheerleaders. It works for me because I like it when it's a little boring since I can zone out.
About mile 7 is when the classic car section starts. I always like this portion since it provides a bit of distraction and keeps your entertained. After about 2 miles, we head onto the dirt path (which seemed more paved to me then last year) and towards Angel's Stadium.
This is still one of my favorite points of the race. The sound you hear as you enter the stadium is awesome. It gives such chills! Love it.
From then, it's simple a countdown back to the parks (and the end). The next section isn't the most thrilling, but again, they keep it entertaining with bands and cheerleaders. You re-enter California Adventure at mile 12 (behind the scenes only) and go around it towards Disneyland Hotel. After a quick detour through the parking lot, it's off to the finish line! There are a lot of fans there so it is a really great boost at the end.
After finishing, I picked up my Disneyland Half, Coast to Coast and Dumbo Double Dare medals. Love those medals!
Overall, I really do like this race. There are some sections that are boring, but I don't mind that section. You can't beat the portion in the park!
Official: 13.1 mi, 2:10:33, 9:57 pace
Garmin: 13.26, 2:10:35, 9:51 pace