Sunday, September 2, 2012

runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon

So let's talk about it! The Disneyland Half...of all of the races I have done or attended this one took the bacon, the cheese, and the organic bread! This was a FANTASTIC race put on by our friends at runDisney! Let me walk you through race day. The morning kicked off with me arriving to the Mickey and Friends parking structure at the Happiest Place on Earth at around 5:15 AM. From there I proceeded to gear check to drop off my stuff, ate a Clif bar, adjusted my hat, and made my way to Corral C. Approx. 14,000 runners participated in this race so there were 8 starting waves. The start corrals were filled with energy! Lot of people waking up, reconnecting with people they haven't seen in a long time, and people like me just mentally preparing to run13.1 miles again...for fun.
The national anthem was sung by a man currently serving in the US Army and we were treated to some fireworks as he sang. He was pretty awesome if I can say so myself. Then before we knew it, Corrals A and B were off and we were moving up to the start line. The start line had a stage to the left and my very good friend Mickey Mouse waving us off and wishing us luck. Then we were off and running down Disneyland Drive under the Downtown Disney District bridge and off to Katella Avenue. We turned left at Harbor and entered in the driveway that used to welcome guests to the Timon parking lot...before Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen decided to move Radiator Springs on top of it. Rude, what did Timon do to YOU anyway? Sidebar.
We ran in the backstage area of Disney California Adventure and entered Paradise Pier. I turned my headphones off as I realized the World of Color fountains on Paradise Bay were dancing and full of life, which meaned ENCORE MUSIC! I ran up and took a photo next to one of my favorite shows at the resort and proceeded to continue running and appreciating the energy and wonder of this wonderful race...and it had just started!


The race route then took us to Cars Land for a brief moment then behind Tower of Terror, Down Sunset Boulevard, past Soarin' Over California, then out the Downtown Disney Gate. We then ran into Disneyland Park backstage area (by Indy and Main Street Vehicle Parking) under the train bridge then onto Main Street U.S.A. We ran through Frontierland past Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and into Fantasyland where we got to run through Sleeping Beauty Castle!!! I have to tell you...that was an awesome feeling and experience!
Then we ran through Tomorrowland, up into Mickey's Toontown, past Circle D and out the gate towards Ball Road. The next 6 miles were kinda boring. Running through the industrial streets of ratchet Anaheim left something to be desired for me personally, but the on course entertainment (dancers, hot rods, cheerleaders) made it easier to get through. Our journey took us all the way to the Honda Center! We ran around the facility to the reservoir, then headed right to Angels Stadium! This was another killer be able to RUN on the field! That was REALLY COOL!
After Angel Stadium we made our way back to the resort where I saw my Dad and Brother cheering me on about 1/4 mile away from the finish! We exchanged high-5's. My good friend Ruby was closer to the finish line and captured some AWESOME finish line photos of me! And my aunts, grandma, bestie Meg, and cousin all met me at the Victory Village and literally made me so happy! I finished this race in 2:20:49. Would of been better had I not hit the wall at mile 10 and been starving LOL. I should of held on that last Clif Bar haha.

One amazing race and I can't wait to do it again next year! This truly was the Happiest Race on Earth!

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