Little over a week ago, I flew out to sunny California to participate in this year’s Dumbo Double Dare Challenge at Disneyland. A few weeks ago I didn’t know I’d still be going – IT Band syndrome and family issues halted both training and planning. I’m really thankful things work themselves out because I truly needed to get away.
My friend Michelle and I arrived on Thursday, but we didn’t get to the Expo until Friday morning. To my surprise, the Expo was not opening until noon. Lines were everywhere! I don’t recall the Expo opening that late during other race weekends, but I could be wrong. You were allowed to line up downstairs at bib pickup though, and because of the heat, they opened at 11:30.
Bib Pickup was quick and easy and there was someone going up and down the waiting line checking waivers and identifications, expediting the process, which helped tremendously. Picked up Disneyland Park tickets from GET Sports (I’ve used them every time and they’re amazing), and proceeded upstairs to pick up the race packet at the Expo. The Expo was crowded, lines were huge, so I just grabbed some Sport Beans since they didn’t have any Honey Stingers, and a few Sparkly Soul bands and left.
Disneyland 10K – This was my first 10K in Disneyland, and I was excited because everyone I ran into said that the 10K in Disneyland is their favorite course. The ART buses were picking up at my hotel at 3:57 and 4:27 AM on Saturday morning. I always like to get on the earlier buses just in case. Met up with a few friends at the Disneyland Hotel and walked over to the corrals. I was on C.
This 10K wasn’t overly crowded. The morning was a bit chilly, so I kept my sweater on for most of the race.
Here’s a course map of the 10K:
The Disneyland® 10K starts on the streets of Anaheim, passing through the Grand Plaza of the Anaheim Convention Center before entering Cars Land at Disney California Adventure® Park. Continue into Disneyland Park, down Main Street, U.S.A. before completing the final stretch of the course through the Downtown Disney® District and arriving at the finish line next to the Disneyland® Hotel. Source: runDisney
I enjoyed this course a lot. I was conserving a lot of energy for Sunday’s Half Marathon, therefore I made it a goal to just go out and enjoy the course and not worry about time. Loved running through both parks, which looked absolutely beautiful at dawn.
Disneyland Half Marathon was held on Sunday, September 6th. I set my alarm for 3:00 since the bus pickup was at 3:45. I was already awake, worried as usual, but there was doubt plaguing my mind that I could run this. I kept thinking about what my coach said, and she was really worried about me running the entire weekend since 1) I was undertrained and my longest run was 8 miles, and 2) I was just coming back from IT Band issues. So, I hit snooze and in my mind, decided I was going to sleep in and not run. But I’m so damn stubborn…
The last time I ran this race was in 2013 when temps soared to the high 90’s that week, which made me dehydrated and ill. I was a bit nervous about that happening again. Thankfully, while it did get warm fairly quick, it was not as bad as it was then.
I was in D this year due to a 2:37 half PR. The corrals were extremely crowded and people were hopping the fence to get in front. I think they should consider spacing the corrals out as they do for Princess. Corrals went from A-G for the Disneyland Half, with anyone who placed under 2:35 in A-C, everyone else from D-G. This was a problem for me because although I am not a super fast runner, I’m not slow either, but I was stuck with slower runners and walkers and during the first few miles, had to walk because I had nowhere to go.
Once the course opened up, I was able to run. It seemed the whole community of Anaheim was out that morning. Loved running through the vintage cars, the dancers and cheerleaders, and although the sun was up and beaming early on, it didn’t get uncomfortably hot. The folks at MousePlanet were so kind to have cold, fresh orange slices, and candy, as well as wet sponges on the course. They were uplifting, and I’m really thankful for that pick-me-up!
Once I could run, I ran 3:1 interval and stopped at every hydration station, always remembering to thank the volunteers and spectators for coming out. When I ran this in 2013, I walked up the hills, and this year, I ran. I’m so happy with the progress I’ve made, and thankful for Coach Kristy who makes the impossible, possible.
At the finish, you got your Disneyland Half Medal and if you were taking part in the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, you were directed to a station where your bib number was looked up and if it matched up with the pic they took at the Expo, you received your Challenge medal.
Overall, the energy was amazing, and aside from the overly crowded corrals and first few miles, I enjoyed myself and had a wonderful time. Running in Disney is just magical 🙂