I don't know if I've publicly said this before, but I actually dislike writing race reports. The fact I have three in the queue is not bolstering my spirits right now. Therefore (to your probable delight), this will be a highly visual race report.
My main motivation in putting this on the calendar was this:
This wrist band earns you an extra medal at the completion of the race. You are rewarded for your financial stupidity in completing both a Disney World half or full event and the Disneyland event in the same calendar year. Yes, I consider this a financial accomplishment, not a physical one. Feel free to disagree with me.
This race was 7 days after my race-effort marathon at Santa Rosa so I had no time goals in mind. I ran with my camera and told myself I'd stop to take photos and walk breaks whenever I wanted. I was curious as to how I would feel since I am currently planning on running Texas on Jan 1 at PR effort followed the week after by the Disney Half and Full races.
I had no business being there, but I was given a bib with "Corral A" on it. I have never flown first class on an airplane. I suspect the thoughts behind those looks first class passengers give you as you board with your "Zone 4" ticket are the same thoughts that Corral A people have at races. At one point the announcer asked who was running their first half marathon today and not one hand went up in my corral. Very strange thing for a Disney race. A guy next to me told a podcaster conducting an interview he was going for a 1:30 finish time. Again, I have no clue why I was up there.
Bad photo, but they had a cool digital start line banner that had changing graphics.
Eventually the gun sounded and we were off! I hadn't gone on a single run since Santa Rosa and for the first mile my legs felt great! It was as if they had actually missed the act of running. I felt like myself again.
The characters were out to cheer and for photos. I stopped with all of them (*except for one).
Entering the Magic Kingdom!
Oh, Disney. How I am a sucker for your magic.
I was denied a photo with Woody (the cast member mumbled something about how I wasn't allowed to stop and take a photo with him. How freakin' un-Disneylike!) So as I ran off I got this photo of the other Toy Story crew who were also just there for cheers and giggles and not photo opportunities.
Coming up to the castle
Kill four birds with one stone -- get your photo with four Disney princesses. Loved how this older guy bothered to stop for a photo :)
I have no clue who these characters are. These are the only ones I didn't bother to stop for (but did get a photo for all of you since I am not in the photo).
Backstage Magic Kingdom
We ran by the backstage area where the farm animals were all kept. I then came across this and shot a photo for Mario and all his bunny friends:
Disney HAY! How magical! If Mario and everybun went to Disney for vacation this is the overpriced hay they would dine on.
Leaving the parks
I was sad to leave the parks -- obviously my favorite part of the race. I was so jazzed to be running from character to character getting photos that I totally forgot to eat my shot bloks on schedule.
Alright, Disney. I'll give it to you. You had awesome mile markers.
The last 8 or 9 miles are run through the streets of Anaheim. Not as inspiring as Disney parks.
They do a good job of bringing out entertainment since I guess the logistics of characters off Disney property is not included in the $125 race fee.
Funny sign. I think only people who got all A's or all F's in school think this is funny. I'll leave it up to you to decide which I was.
I heard Hawaiian music a block away and had fun watching these people as I ran by.
I have one major picture regret this race. There was a woman holding a sign that said, "Just Keep Swimming." You have to be a Disney fan* to understand it which is why it was such an awesome sign. I even heard some people snickering about how it was a running event. For a split second I was going to stop and take my camera out, but for some reason I kept going. If I ever cheer at a Disney race, I am making a sign just like that.
*For you non-Disney folk, it is a "Finding Nemo" reference.
There was a small "trail" section. Brought back nightmare memories from Santa Rosa even though this one was quite groomed for easy running.
The majority of the Anaheim "entertainment" are high school bands and cheer squads. They were all totally awesome. Again, my camera's microphone is pretty muffled since it is waterproof. The sound in some areas was deafening.
One thing I was definitely excited to do was to run through Angel's Stadium. In 2008 when I did this race previously, there was a home game the day of the race so we were forced to run around the stadium. I despise baseball but even I can get excited about something cool like this.
Hello, Perfect Distraction at Mile 10!
They had us on the jumbotron. I failed miserably at getting an image of me on it.
Since the race ended by the parks I figured turning onto Disney Way was a good thing.
I believe I kicked up the pace a little the last few miles. My legs were definitely tired from the marathon earlier in the week. I crossed the line in 2:25.
If I could run fast, I would run this race to win one of these awards.
And Mickey Mouse is there to give it to you!!
We really lucked out with the weather. Just after the race the sun came out.
The race medal. I hate it when races display the anniversary number of a race on the medal. And seriously? "5?!" Could we celebrate mediocrity any more? Sorry, I am still miffed about that "5" Goofy medal in January.
Overall, mission accomplished! I could tell my legs were tired during the half. Do I think I could have run a full the next day? Yes. Would it have sucked a lot? Yes. But I am more optimistic about the Texas/Goofy back-to-back in January than I was before. This was never meant to be a test run for January, but I am glad it worked out that way.
Thanks to Audrey for putting up with me! And it was great to get to spend some time with Penny the night before the race! It was a whirlwind trip and I didn't even get to visit the parks. My airport shuttle dropped me off at the hotel at 7:15 pm and picked me up at 10:30 am the next morning. Whew!