Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Disneyland Half Marathon Race Recap

I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday, August 31. It was one of multiple races that weekend, and as usual, Run Disney hosted an amazing and well run (pun intended) event.

The Disneyland Half sold out incredibly fast this year (I think in less than a day) so if it's a race you're considering in the future - definitely be at a computer when the registration opens. Yes, Disney races are on the pricier side - but if you're even remotely a Disney fan, I say it's worth doing at least once.  This was my third Run Disney event.

People tend to go pretty all-out for costumes, and I didn't want to be left out of the fun, so I decided to go as Daisy Duck.  I feel kind of bad for her actually. Everyone knows who she is...but it's hard to find Daisy merchandise. She seemed more popular in Florida at Disney World though, so maybe it's just a California thing?

I digress...
Because they offer multiple races throughout the weekend, the expo started on Thursday.  Which as great because our annual passes were still open that day.  We headed down to the expo after work and even though it had only been open for a few hours, it wasn't too crowded.  I had wanted to at least try to get a ticket for the Disney New Balance shoes...but I must have missed the email because I didn't get any info about it.  I did get to see them in person though, and they are VERY cute.  I'd love to get the Minnie pair eventually.  Unless they come out with either a Tangled or Frozen option...then I would be conflicted.
Half Marathon #9!
The expo was pretty standard fair.  It's fun to look around, but most of the stuff were things I've seen before.  I was actually a little disappointed with the choices for the official race merchandise.  Most of it was almost cute. I'd either like the design of a shirt, but not the color.  Or the color would be good, but the cut wasn't right.  I feel like they still have middle aged men designing their apparel.  Run Disney needs to bring in some newer, fresher designers to appeal to the growing demographic of 18-35 year old females, I'm just saying.  I was planning on buying a shirt and was even prepared to spend around $40...but nothing was quite "there," ya know? The official shirt is pretty cute, I love the vintage Disneyland sign design...but the color is a little weird... I did get a cute little running Mickey Mouse keychain that was surprisingly under $4! Plus I got to use my annual pass holder discount so it came out to like $3.45. It actually made me even more sad though that I wasn't buying a cute shirt at that discount as well.

Disney races start early, like really early.  This year's race started at
5:30 in the morning! However, with the heat we've been having in Los Angeles - I was more than happy to be done with the race before 8:30.  It just takes a little planning is all.

I went to bed around 9 PM the night before and set my alarm for 3:30, with the goal to leave the house around 4.  I took all my costume pictures before bed on Saturday since Donny wasn't going to be getting up in the middle of the night to be a photographer (the nerve, right?)
I pulled into the parking structure at 4:40 and even though there were quite a few cars, Disney knows what they're doing and I was parked and heading down the escalator around 5 AM.

I did a quick porta potty stop on my way to my corral and got to the corral around 5:15.  It was the perfect amount of time to feel settled and not rushed...but also not standing around forever on my feet and getting nervous.

I was in Corral E of J - so I was right in the middle.  I could see the screen above the stage and enjoyed the banter of the announcers.  At 5:30 AM on the nose the Elites and Corral A & B were off.  They sent C & D off together, then E. I think I started running a little after 5:45.
It was still completely dark out, but the roads were lit and it was easy to see.  It was a downhill start so that's always deceptively easy - but I kept a moderate pace.  I'd run a 10 miler about 2 weeks prior and it felt good so I wasn't too concerned about hurting.  But I also just wanted to have fun, get photos and just take it all in.

We were quickly into the parks and everything was great! Tons of support, tons to see, just tons of Disney magic! This was my first time running the Disneyland Half course, so I really enjoyed the hundreds of classic cars, running past the Honda Center, and then of course, running in Angel Stadium! One of my favorite signs held by a spectator was around mile 8 and it said "Keep it up! Only $78 to go!"

Sorry that these are all so blurry. It's a bad combo of a sub par phone camera and a sweaty, sweaty camera operator.
Even though it wasn't one of my "fastest" run races, this race went by the fastest for me.  It seemed like we were already at mile 10 before I knew it and I started to push my pace a bit more just to see how I was feeling. I stopped my walk breaks and just powered through to the end. The finish was fun because the streets of Downtown Disney were lined with crowds cheering for the runners.  I finished in 2:35 (I probably took the first part too conservatively) but I did stop a few times for photos and for a quick bathroom break in Fantasy Land.

Because Disney events are so fun and full of places to stop, I still finished in the first third of runners and figured it was better to just get out of there instead of hanging around.  I grabbed my snack box, water and Power Aid and headed back to the parking garage.  The finish is super close, so that was perfect.
There wasn't any traffic yet so I was out of the garage and onto the freeway in minutes.

One of the things that bums me out about road races is that most are on Sundays, the day I go to church.  But because this race started so early and was fairly close to home, I had time to stop for a quick coffee and breakfast, head home, shower, get dressed and make it to church in time for the second hour.  It was great!

I love running Disney events and am really trying to figure out how to make it to a race at Disney World next!

1 comment:

  1. I love the hat! Did you paint it or use fabric and fabric glue?