Friday, July 24, 2015

Race Recap: Neverland 5K 2015

Neverland 5K
May 8, 2015

Better late then never, right? Even those these Tink recaps are so overdue, I still want to share them!  Maybe more so for myself then others, but whatever.  It's not going to be as detailed as it would be if I had written it closer to the race, but oh well.

This was the first time I had done this 5K.  One of the main reasons I wanted to do it was because it starts on Main Street in Disneyland park.  How cool is that?

Even though it was a 5K, it still started at 5:30am.  Fortunately, I had been to bed early - thanks jet lag!  I didn't need to get too early since I wasn't going to eat a full breakfast, only a snack to get me through it.

If you remember, I was going to be Smee for this race!  I had laid all my clothing out so it was easy to get ready and out the door.  It was bit humid out, not horrible (although the wool hat probably wasn't the smartest idea).  They were calling for rain, but fortunately it waited until I was done (I did get rained on on the walk back to the hotel, #ohwell).

#FlatSarah ready to go

After I was all dressed and ready to go, I made the (short) walk to Disneyland for the race.  It was not very crowded and easy to get.

It was really cool to be there so early.  Main Street was all lit up and it looked great!  I couldn't resist getting a pre-race picture on Main Street.

Love Main Street!

What was a little different then the 5Ks I've done in WDW was that there were no corrals.  They did have different waves for the start, but they were done on a first come, first serve basis.  They did 4 waves, so I'm not sure why they don't do a corral.  Luckily, I was early enough to get into the second wave.

The announcers were keeping everyone entertained until the start.  Since it was Peter Pan themed, they had a London-style double deck bus out in front of the castle for the announcers.  Looked really cool!

And then, it was time for the first wave to go off.  But - before that could happen, they had a great firework display.


After the fireworks, the first wave started.  I can't remember how long it was in between waves, but it was definitely a bit.  But eventually, it was time for us (wave 2) to go.  I was lucky to be in the front of the corral, so I was able to start right as the wave went off.

It was still pretty dark out and parks of the course were not well lit, so I needed to be careful to pay attention to the course (just a note for those who might do it another year).

Here is where the non-seeded waves became a little annoying.  Since the corrals were on a first come, first serve, when I started, I had to spend the first 5-7 minutes weaving around slower runners and walkers who had been in the first wave.  Please know, I have no problem with slower runners/walkers (I think it's great that people of all speeds do the races), it just involved a lot of weaving since the waves were unseeded.

There were only a couple of characters out on the course - all from Peter Pan.  My only true goal for the race was to get a picture with Smee!  I was hoping he'd be out and I was in luck!  He was the first set of characters out on the course (with Captain Hook) right by Pirates of the Caribbean.  The line wasn't long, but honestly, I would have waited if it was.

Captain Hook couldn't believe there were TWO Smee's!

From there, the course continued through Disneyland and got a bit of backstage as well.  After Disneyland, we headed across to California Adventure.  We came in through the backstage before heading to Paradise Pier.  Right before heading into Paradise Pier, the Lost Boys were out!

Since I was the "bad" guy, I got some razzing from the Lost Boys before they would take the picture.  Even so, we managed to all escape unscathed!

We played nice for a photo

After the Lost Boys, I headed into Paradise Pier towards the finish line!  All the lights on the pier were on - I have to admit, that is one of my favorite views of Paradise Pier.  It just looks pretty all outlined.

Right before the finish line, they had Peter and Wendy out.  Even though the finish line was so close, I wanted a picture to round out the Neverland 5K characters!

Second star to the right!

After Peter and Wendy, I headed to the finish line.  Since the race is small and I was on the faster side of finishers, I actually got to finish by myself!  The announcers called out my name and everything.  It was pretty cool to finish alone - don't think that's ever happened before!

After finishing, I grabbed a water and a snack box and headed back to the hotel (it was starting to sprinkle at this point).  But before I headed back, I grabbed a photo with my medal in front of Mickey's Fun Wheel.  It turned out pretty good - the sky looks pretty awesome behind me.

5K Finisher!

Overall, I had a good time at this race!  It's a bit expensive for a 5K, but it was an enjoyable time!  I liked the course (it was almost entirely in the Parks!) and only crowded at the beginning.  If you like Disneyland and 5K's, I think you'd enjoy this race.

Garmin: 3.12 miles, 27:02, 8:40 pace
(it's an untimed "fun" run, so no official time)

Such a fun medal!
 Anyone else run the Neverland 5K?  What did you think?

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