This past weekend I got the opportunity to take part in something magical. Sounds uber cliche, but that’s pretty much the only word I can use to describe the Disneyland Half Marathon. I must start off this recap saying I’m haven’t been to Disneyland in 8 or 9 years. I love Lion King, Pixar + Disney movies, and a Disney classic is always a solid bet for movie night but I just haven’t gone there in a while. I was pretty excited for the Disneyland half marathon, but really didn’t know what to expect. I had heard good things, but had never run the race because of previous work commitments that weren’t really conducive to training or racing in the Disney events. After an amazing Disneyland Half Meetup, I knew it would be something special.
I had no goals when I started the race. I wanted to have fun and enjoy it, because that’s what running is all about. I haven’t been training lately, but more just running and keeping active, which I have enjoyed. I also knew I wanted to run in a costume for the race! Enter: Mike Wazowski! This came together pretty easily and the only crafting I had to do was to paint the hat and glue on the eye. Team Sparkle had the perfect Mike Wazowski color skirt and I was set to go! I got the shirt and shorts at Marshalls on clearance. I didn’t take a ton of photos this race, sadly, but I did capture some good ones at the end. Thanks Emil for capturing this one of us :)
The first few miles were spectacular. Something I’ve never experienced in a race, ever. You start off running around the back lot and wham, before you know it your inside the park with lights and song and music and so many Cast Members telling you what a great job your doing, cheering for you and encouraging you as they start their day getting ready for work. The music, the lights, the rides, the movement, I couldn’t stop looking around at my surroundings. It was incredible. I, stupidly, thought that we would run through the park a second time toward the end, so I didn’t take ANY photos. I know, I’m kicking myself over this misfortune. Alas, it was special, the characters were out and there was just so much going on. So by mile 4, things were going awesome.
This first little section of the race is the reason why I would run it again in a heart beat. It was just so different and just made all your senses go crazy. I would seriously just run loops through the first four miles of the course it was so incredible! I was happy, there were so many things to look at and see and a lot of it was new to me since I haven’t visited the park in quite some time. Mile 5, Marathon Mitch grabbed this pic of me!
Sadly, this is where my stomach started to get upset and I started struggling a bit. I am used to having issues so I knew I would just have to push through and get to the end an it would be fine. BLAH. This part of the race was not as exciting as running through Disneyland, but it was full of cheerleaders, bands, a huge old/cool car line up and a lot of it was running into the sun. I thought my hat would be enough to shield me but I wish I brought my sunglasses! At mile 7 my music also died… so that was pretty not motivating. I KNEW I should have charged it the night before!
Another highlight was running through Angel Stadium where there were a ton of boyscouts cheering for us. That was pretty fun and I knew once we hit the Stadium we were on the final stretch home. Every water stop I passed I walked through and made sure to hydrate myself as it was rather warm out… and had an internal debate as to if I should stop and use the portopottie or not. Alas, I didn’t and just kept going. It was fun as we went back around the back part of CA Adventure again and were greeted by more friendly Cast Members and I knew the end was in sight! Though I didn’t get a great time, I’m glad I enjoyed myself and really soaked in the Disney Experience. I would do this race again in a heart beat and next time I would like to take more photos!!
Overall, it was a pretty fun day and I’m REALLY glad I got to run the Disney race. I would have to say, it’s one of my favorite half marathons to date, just because running through the park is so much fun and the medal is awesome! After the race you also get a great post race snack and the finish line festival is easy to navigate and reunite with your spectator, aka B who came and watched me :)
I also must say, I was worried about my Mike eye falling off, but it held strong the entire race AND I didn’t see any other Mike Wazowskis out there! Everyone was either like, “What IS she?” or like “OMG!!! OMG!!!! OMG!!!! MIKE WAZOWSKI!!!!!” So that was fun, but I did think it was pretty weird being called Mike the entire race :) I think I finished in 2:08 or something like that. I was happy with that with the issues concerning my upset stomach and the fact that I’m a terrible tangent runner and my total mileage was like 13.8.
It was a great race and a fun way to spend Labor Day weekend. I wish I would have signed up for Tinkerbell when it was open for registration because Mike needs to make more appearances!