The Disneyland Half Marathon was the reason for our road trip to California, and there is no doubt in my mind that is was also the highlight of the entire trip for us!
We arrived in Anaheim too late on the Friday to pick up our race packages so first thing Saturday morning we made the trip to the Disneyland Hotel to do so. We had to make one minor change so that Chad could start in the same coral as me since one reason we had decided to do this race was to run a half marathon together, so starting in the same coral was key 😉
After picking up our packages we headed into the Race Expo, picking up our shirts and other goodies. Being my first expo I was really really excited to check it out, and of course snag a few free goodies!
Check out this awesome shirt I bought at the expo:
My gangster pose, yes 😉 In case you cannot read it, it says “If you see me collapse pause my Garmin”. haha. So true for us runners!
One rookie mistake we made but knowing we made was actually going to Disneyland on the Saturday as well, which meant a lot of time spent on our legs – walking and standing. It also meant sore and very tired legs that night. At the same time I had not entered this race to PR it, but rather as a fun destination race to run with Chad so we did not have a goal time for this race.
The 6am race start meant we had to be in our corals for 4:30am and a 3:30am wake up call. Even though all the hotels close to Disneyland had free shuttles on race morning we opted to take the walk to stretch out our legs.
My pre race photo 🙂
Once in our corals we waited until Jeff Galloway (the official runDisney training consultant) came on the large screen to do a few announcements and one was really cool to us – Drew Carey was also running the race! We also learned that there was over 15,000 runners and only one state was not represented – South Dakota. After the national anthem, fireworks were shot off (a race start with fireworks?! I was amazed!) and the wheel chairs were off, then came our coral.
The first part of the race took us through both Disneyland and California adventure, where the side lines were lined with spectators (thousands!) and Disney characters – Mickey, Minnie, Snow White, Cinderella, Woody, Darth Vader and more. The first 7km flew by with us both just in complete amazement at this all.
Next we went through the streets of Anaheim where there were even more spectators and I swear every local high school cheer team, I loved their enthusiasm for the runners – and at 7am on Sunday morning!
The highlight of the race for me was running the through the Anaheim Angels stadium! We actually ran the perimeter of the field! Very cool indeed 🙂
We had to make a couple bathroom stops for Chad, but besides that were able to run the entire race. And before we knew it we were only a few km’s away from the finish line!
We decided to cross the finish line holding hands, I know we are cheesy 😉
We crossed the finish line just after 1:58 and were more than happy with our time. This race was never about our time but about the experience. And what a experience it was! As I had thought previously the $125 race entry was 110% worth every penny and Disney can put on one heck of a race!
Just check out these medals!
Us proudly displaying our medals after the finish line:
We will no doubt, run another Disney race and hopefully it is sooner rather than later!
What is your all time favourite race you have ran?
I still really want to run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race!! Maybe that will be on my radar next 🙂