8 Days Until the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

According to askville.amazon.com the inaugural race cost $80 dollars meaning in the past 10 years it has increased in price by $119 dollars or a 250% increase. Yowzers!

Since this race occurred before the official runDisney organization was founded in 2010, runners got information from www.disneylandhalfmarathon.com.

Want to see what the inaugural race was really like? Check out this review from AllEars.net by Laura Gilbreath

Did you know Disneyland hosted a marathon?

Image Source: MousePlanet.com

While the Disneyland Half Marathon is the longest continous race held at the Disneyland Resort, they did host their one and only marathon on March 26, 1995 on the heels of the success of the inaugural WDW Marathon in January 1994. The coolest part of this race? They finished ON MAIN ST! That's right, the 2,200 marathoners that started at 7am finished inside the park. Get more info on this one and done event here!

Star Wars Weekend 2015 - Half Marathon/Rebel Challenge

HALF MARATHON!!! WOOTS!

After the 10k, I made sure to take it a little easier at the parks. The parks were pretty crowded and it was hard to get much done. Also, most of the group had woken up for the 10k so we were all okay with taking it easier that day. It was lucky we had done most of our park touring the day before!

I ended up calling it a day pretty early, grabbing some Earl of Sandwich (the holiday sandwich is fast becoming my favorite pre-race meal at Disneyland) and went back and chilled in the room. It was perfect, I'm so glad Wookie is happy with chill evenings like this!

4am once again came to early. Got ready and was out the door by 4:25, however in my final check before leaving the hotel I realized I had forgotten my bib. Doh! I grabbed it quick and was on my way!

Made it over to the start area and got into corral A and was ready. My legs were feeling good and I was ready to race and just have a great time. The weather was also perfect, a cool 50 degrees which is a great temperature when you are ready to run hard. I had looked at the top times for my age group from the 10k and they weren't too fast so I figured if I put in a solid effort I felt like I could age place (!!!!). I had my RawThreads tank on, my Sparkle Skirt was extra sparkly and I was ready.

The plan was to take the first 4.5 miles (aka the park miles) easy-ish and evaluate how I was feeling as I went. National anthem was sung (I have been so impressed by the National Anthem singings in 2015 so fat), final announcer info banter completed, and the final countdown was upon us. I didn't start at the front because I wanted a buffer so I'd take the start slow.

Our runner story!

We were released and the first 4.5 miles were all backstage and park time. LOVE IT! Luke and Leia, Chewie, Darth Vader, and other characters were on the course. They were everywhere! Loved all the Storm Troopers in Disney California Adventures. After being told a bunch of Storm Troopers weren't there for photo ops in other races, this was refreshing.

My legs were feeling good so this race was on! I didn't stop for character pics but I still enjoyed every minute! Every minute except for when I was going through a water stop and a woman decided she needed to put her hand on my back and push me forward because she hadn't planned for the fact that people slow down through water stops and was apparently tailing me and couldn't be bothered to slow down or say anything to me (grumblegrumblegrumble). Whatever, I walked, downed my water, and then passed her and vowed she would never pass me again. Thanks for the motivation random annoying runner!

So now were out of the parks and onto the roads. My legs were feeling good and I was ready to race. I had looked at the 10k times from the previous day and taken a look at the Avenger's Half Marathon times and well if I ran this right, I had the potential to place in my division.

The course out of the parks was pretty nice, very flat and had lots of interesting things to see. It was fun to run through a new area of Anaheim and the on course entertainment was super awesome. The cosplay group around mile 8 were awesome! So many great costumes. There was also some unofficial Star Wars fan entertainment including a rather short Wookie. Super fun.

With new places to run and my legs feeling good I kept pushing myself but I was being really aware not to burn out my legs too fast. It wasn't until mile 12 that I realized if I had turned up the speed a little bit, I could've set a new half PR but unfortunately at that point it was too late. The final mile flew by and got to the mile 13 marker and booked it in.

I finished with an official time of 1:43:23, my third fastest half marathon time ever (didn't I just run my third fastest marathon a week ago? Crazy!). I felt good, my legs felt great and I was anxious to see if I had age placed but would need to wait (currently still waiting since the top finisher in my division didn't look... well... female and I'm currently sitting in 6th).

How do I handle all these medals?

71 runDisney miles later!

This half marathon/challenge/weekend was so exciting! I am definitely coming back for this next year and in the years to come! The challenges that combine the 10k and half marathon is fast becoming my favorite challenge distance pair. Thanks runDisney for a fantastic weekend!

WDW Marathon Weekend 2015 - Half Marathon

I woke up ready to run! I was so ready to be unleased from the Epcot area routes from the previous 2 days and actually go somewhere. I felt like a bird that was ready to fly! Get me to the castle pronto!

My legs were starting to get a little tired but it was the 2 previous early mornings that were sucking most of my energy. Today’s plan was similar to the ay before. Enjoy the run and stop for pictures when we wanted to.

For anyone that hasn’t run the WDW Half Marathon or Full Marathon or the Princess Half Marathon, be aware there is a walk (~.3 miles) to the actual corrals. The path to get to the corrals can be pretty crowded too so it can be a slow pace. Give yourself time. Also, there are LOTS of port-o-potties once you get over to the corral area. That’s the one thing runDisney does really well. They have port-o-potties EVERYWHERE! It’s a runner’s dream.

Anyways, back to it. We walked over to the corrals made one potty stop and then headed into corral E. I had tried to figure out how quickly the early corrals would be released but couldn't really find the information so I figured maybe every 5 minutes. I was wrong, it was closer to 2. We were released about 10 minutes after corral A.

This course has become very familiar to me, you run around Epcot on the roads and then up to the Magic Kingdom, going through the parking toll booths, and then through the TTC parking lots. This is where the characters usually begin. (See below for a “complete as I can remember” list of characters)

Once you run through the TTC you run up the roads, under the water bridge that connect Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, pass the Contemporary, and enter the backstage areas of MK just after mile marker 5 (ps the largest building in the back of that area is where the outdoor ice cream carts get their ice cream, imagine all the Mickey Bars back there!). You enter the town square near Tony’s and then turn right up Main St. BAM! The castle in all its icicle/frost/frozen glory. So beautiful.

Once you run up Main St you take another right, over the bridge to Tomorrowland and then hang a left into Fantasyland. Through the castle and then another right into Liberty Square. Through Fronteirland and then backstage where there is usually a parade float (now an old parade float) and a water stop. You then head back out onto the roads passing the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian and then take those roads back to Epcot. A quick jaunt up to World Showplace and then back out to the parking lot (passing the gospel choir) for the finish!

Characters on the course:

  • Jack Sparrow and Capt Barbossa – Pirate Ship set up as you run to the Magic Kingdom toll booth
  • Vanellope and Wreck-It Ralph – Magic Kingdom parking lot (near race track)
  • Jack Skellington and Sally – Magic Kingdom parking lot
  • Queen of Hearts – MK near Tea Party
  • Mime Thug (Tangled) – Near Winnie the Pooh
  • Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff – On Castle balcony
  • Louis (Princess and the Frog) – Liberty Square across from Hall of Presidents
  • Woody – Frontierland Country Bear Jamboree entrance (I think)
  • Mary Poppins, Bert, and Penguins – Grand Floridian
  • “Bachelors” – Across from the wedding pavilion
  • Golfing Goofy – Golf Course (I believe Mickey and Donald also made appearances)
  • Genie, Abu, and the Carpet – Past hotels on the way back to Epcot where parking lot roads merge
  • Army Men – Turn around point before coming into Epcot parking lot
  • Phineas and Ferb – Epcot near Innoventions

We ran it in 2:18 and enjoyed every minute. The half marathon distance is nothing to sneeze at but we chatted and laughed and had a great time out there and that’s what it’s all about!