Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

So at the end of the Dopey Challenge I was so roud that I had finished the series, but also walked away disappointed with my times. I know it’s crazy because the Dopey is certifiably insane as an event, but I’m competitive so it didn’t sit well with me. Around Tuesday my legs were feeling pretty good and so I started thinking, ‘What if I actually ran for a PR at Tink?”

It sounded like a fun challenge, plus other than leg fatigue, I was in the best condition since I had been training for the marathon. So since my Thursday run went well, it was time to test my legs and see what they could do.

Game plan, take the first 3 miles at an “easy” race pace. This way it wouldn’t completely kill my time but if at the end if those miles my legs weren’t feeling great, I could easily dial it in and get a “decent” half marathon time.

So at 3am, my alarm went off (I hit snooze until 3:20) got dressed, had some coffee, some peanut butter toast and was on my way to the start line. I started chatting with another woman who had the prettiest tutu I had ever seen. It matched her Tink wings perfectly! It was nice to have someone to pass the time with.

We made it to the start area, I dropped off my gear bag and then made my way to the corrals. Corral A baby! Of course after about 10 minutes of milling around the corral, I decided I needed an extra bathroom break. So I had to exit my corral and walk all the way back to corral C to find a port-o-potty. It would’ve been nice if they had provided a few outside of each corral but it was okay.

Made it back to the corral with about 10 min to spare and got to hear some of Rudy and Charissa’s famous morning banter. It was also Rudy’s birthday so we all sang Happy Birthday to him. The National Anthem was sung (I believe fireworks went off during the singing) and then we were off! Again, no fairies were there to see us off which seemed weird for a fairy inspired weekend!

We did a loop around the north side of property before we entered the parks. We took Disneyland Dr, to Ball Rd, and then to Harbor and then enter backstage and into DCA through the Carsland entrance. Down Route 66, around Paradise Pier (w/ World of Color running) and then around Grizzly River Run and out of the park. We ran across the esplanade and then into Disneyland. Up Main St, through the Castle and then we looped around all the lands. We ran behind Big Thunder, which was a very dark path way. We also did some backstage running and saw the horse stables! I stopped for 2 quick pics, one with Merida (my first pic with her ever) and another with Marie and Miss Chipmunk. Both were firsts and totally worth the couple of seconds but unfortunately I haven’t purchased them from MarathonPhoto. We then looped around, exited to Downtown Disney and then it was street running from there out.

Since the race had thinned out by the time we got into the parks only the first mile was slightly crowded. It was very fun running through Downtown Disney, lots of people cheering and the red hat ladies on Disneyland Dr were PHENOMENAL!!! There were so many of them. We then entered some neighborhoods, ran to downtown Anaheim, and then ran the street back to Disneyland. Nothing really to note on these streets. Very flat, lots of volunteers, and I was very in the zone during these miles. I was feeling great! I knew I was on pace to get close to a fast race pace for my half so I just kept going.

It wasn’t until mile 11 that I could feel the fatigue, but this is normally where I start to get tired in a half.

We then made the run in the backstage areas of DCA, made a turn, and then a few more, and we were finally at the finish line! About 100 yards ahead of the finish a girl decided to catch me, but I totally turned it up and ended up beating her in. Woot woot! I even heard Rudy say my name as I came in and announced that I ran last weekend. I’d like to say her remember my name after seeing it in 4 previous races but it was probably just the Coast to Coast wristband.

While this race wasn’t a new PR, with a time of 1:46:14 I did tie for my 3rd fastest half marathon time which considering the fatigue coming into the weekend from Dopey, felt pretty darn awesome. I felt great the whole race! I also made one bathroom stop and 2 characters photo ops (both no lines) so overall this was a great race. I was proud of my time and had a great time!

Since I was one of the early finishers, the finish area was very quiet. I grabbed my medals (Tinker Bell Half and my Coast to Coast) and some water. Got my picture made and then sat for a minute after grabbing my gear. It was a little chilly so I threw on a sweatshirt. After sitting for a while I figured I’d start making my way back to the hotel and grab some breakfast on the way. I decided that the Disneyland Hotel would be a good place for that.

I started walking up and then realized, people were still running back at mile 5 in Downtown Disney. Whoa! I did some cheering and thanked some of the people that cheered me and then it was time for the breakfast of champions.

Run run run!

Yum!

I also got a bagel but this was a super satisfying cookie. After 2 race weekends, this really hit the spot.

I then started to go back to the hotel to shower and rest. I was pooped. On the way though, I saw it happen, I saw the sweepers. At least I’m pretty sure that was what was going on. All of a sudden some people on bikes got in front around mile 6 and the people behind started walking and there were a few people crying. Again not 100% but I made sure my medals weren’t clanking so much. I felt so bad for them because I can imagine what getting stopped would feel like.

I then went back to the hotel and relaxed and prepared for another fun day at the parks!

Pros:

  • Great course! Loved running through downtown Anaheim (maybe more than the DL Half course)
  • Great volunteers and locals out cheering
  • Lots of space to run!
  • Great finisher area (even though when it filled up I’m sure it was the same as for the 10k)

Cons:

  • Earliest race start – 5am
  • A little crowded at the beginning
  • Not as much park time as other races (but this didn’t really matter to me because I had a blast)
  • Tinker Bell was out with some other Peter Pan characters, but no other fairies were out?!