Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend - Disneyland Half

The final race and then fun at the parks!

I woke up exhausted. Really exhausted. The week leading up to the race had been crazy and I was balancing being a booth babe, with running and hanging out with Wookie in the parks. To say I woke up that morning and my head wasn't in the game would be an understatement. My head was really anti-running when I woke up. I was tired all over.

Luckily, my friend had stayed in the hotel with me that night and was jazzed to run her first half marathon EVER! I was so excited for her too! We got ourselves together and we were out the door around 4:30, since we were meeting friends again at 4:45.

At least I look ready, right?

We got ourselves over to the gathering area, I was sipping my coffee and trying to get my head in the game. I wanted to test my half marathon legs again and stretch for a PR but was nervous I was going to come unhinged. We mingled in the pre-race area and then headed to the corrals, one last port-a-potty pitstop meant I was late to my corral for the start (second race in a row, doh!) and ended up being in the "spillover" of corral A. Oh well, it happens. What I didn't expect was that they were going to send corral A and B together which meant I was really released as a corral B runner.

They released corrals 2 at a time for the first few corrals which didn't make much sense to me. Why go to the trouble of differentiating these corrals if you're just going to send us all at the same time? Again, oh well, it happened and we all started running and it wasn't that big of a deal, just a surprise.

We ran around the south side of property and came into DCA, then across to Disneyland, and then into the streets of Anaheim including the Angels stadium.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I LOVE RUNNING AT DISNEYLAND!!!! It's the perfect balance between Disney entertainment/parks race and awesome community entertainment and road race. It's crowded in the parks during the early miles (when you should be going slow anyways) and then opens up on the normal roads and you can really just run. It's awesome and I love it!

Highlights of this years run:

  • Villains near It's a Small World - last year there were princesses here
  • Paradise Pier looking all pretty!
  • Darth Vader and Stormtroopers in Tomorrowland
  • The mile of classic cars - this is my FAVORITE!
  • Running through Angels - They really do a great job of filling this up

So my head wasn't in the game before the race, but like clockwork I got it together a few miles into the race. I tend to be pretty competitive so having some friends running the race meant I wanted to get my predicted time (and beat theirs). I was cruisin' pretty well, near PR pace for most of the race. It was really hot and humid but luckily the clouds gave lots of shade and the course support was awesome. Towards the end the pathway crossings that the cast members set up got a little hairy, I almost ran into a guest who wasn't aware of what was going on. I finished strong and "caught" some people at the end which always makes me feel good. Did I mention I'm competitive?

Got to the finish and got my medals which is the best part of any race. The best swag I got all weekend was the cooling towel they gave out in the finishers shoot, WAY better than last year's towel (which I accidentally put on my face without realizing there was lemon and menthol on it, eek!). Also, in the post-race area, they were handing out bags of ice again which is awesome. Makes it so easy to get some ice for pain, soreness, or just to cool down without going to medical.

Overall this race was tough mentally but ended up running my second fastest half ever which I will totally take on tired legs.

Official time was 1:43:13, I forgot to start my watch at the start. Whoops!

For anyone wondering if Disneyland is worth running at, it is! I totally recommend it!

Recap time!

Pros:

  • Disneyland is part park race and part road race which I love
  • I love that everything is walkable - getting to the start and getting back to the hotel is so easy (recommend the Holiday Inn and Suites on Walnut!)
  • The pre and post race areas are really nice and calm
  • Awesome bling!
  • Great course support and cheering!

Cons:

  • Releasing corrals together - just seems weird and unnecessary
  • Really hot! This is the second year in a row with really hot and humid weather so be prepared for that
  • Late mile 9 marker - the mile 9 marker is placed late, it should really be earlier on the Santa Ana trail so be prepared for mile 9 to feel long and mile 10 to feel short!