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Disneyland Half Marathon Race Recap

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!


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  • Reply Urban Running Girl

    Ahhh Mike, we knew you had it in you! ;)

    I was thinking about Tink when I saw your outfit…it would be a great look! Congrats on your race. I never look at my time when running a Disney race. I’m too busy taking pictures and video, and enjoying the experience. It’s such a fun race. I particularly love the marching bands….they seem to come around, just when I need a good trumpet in my ear, and motivation to keep me going. Happy Running!

    September 5, 2012 at 10:07 am
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Nice costume! I did this race a few years ago (not in costume, sadly)… I’d do more if it weren’t for the expense. But yeah, it’s definitely a unique one and glad you finally tried one!

    September 5, 2012 at 10:10 am
  • Reply Nicole G

    Sounds like such fun! And your costume is great. I think more people would have “got it” better if the eye had been in the middle of your shirt, but I can understand why you chose not to do that for 13.1 miles haha. I did a Halloween 5k dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and I carried a little basket for just 3.1 miles and I promise you I’ll never do THAT again.

    Congrats on a great race!

    September 5, 2012 at 11:59 am
  • Reply ilovesteaks

    It was good seeing you at the race!

    September 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm
  • Reply Sara @ Running in Pink

    Disneyland Half (waaaaay back in ’06) was my first ever half marathon and I agree with you that first few miles through the parks is unlike anything ever. It’s almost like you are not running a race at all. For me the tough part was that the rest of the course was mostly back and forth on the highway and I found it kind of boring, although running around the stadium was also a huge highlight.
    Glad to hear you had such a good time!

    September 6, 2012 at 9:16 am
  • Reply Sasha

    How fun! So glad you had a good time!

    September 7, 2012 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Tiffany M.

    I enjoy reading your blog very much and find you inspiring. I ran the Disney Half in ’07 right before my last marathon, which was Chicago. It was one of my worst runs, very hot, didn’t feel well, but like you, I enjoyed the park portion and Angel Stadium. After having two kids and going on marathon hiatus, I’m currently training for the Long Beach full, which I’m silently kicking myself for. I forgot how difficult training is. I appreciate your blog and love that you don’t take yourself too seriously (although I must say, you’re pretty quick)…that’s hard to find in running blogs. Keep running!

    September 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm
  • Reply Naomi

    Isnt the Disneyland half magical?!!? I dressed as the queen of hearts with”sweep me…and its off with your head” in my shirt.This was my second year running it and even with the heat I loved every minute of it. Around mile 7 my stomach started acting up also. I couldn’t go any further and found a porta potty which ruined my chance of a PR. At least my dad PR was by over 15 minutes of his last year time. I can’t wait to run again next year! I’m glad to hear that you have also been bitten by the run Disney bug :)

    September 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm
  • Reply Sandy

    Disney races are lots of fun! I have ran the Disneyland half for the past three years and it sells out within 30 days of the opening of registration! I love your costume! You did great!!

    September 10, 2012 at 10:13 am
  • Reply Brandi

    Great job on your half marathon! That’s an awesome time, some day I hope to make a time like that!

    September 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm
  • Reply Ness

    Disney race is one of my to do List! Good job!!

    September 14, 2012 at 12:56 am
  • Reply Jess

    Wow!!! How fun!!! That would be such an awesome way to race! It would be an awesome distraction,

    September 14, 2012 at 6:36 am
  • Reply Taylor @ Lifting Revolution

    I love Disney, it’s my bucketlist run! Looks magical and fun. Now if I could just figure out how to run it dressed like ariel!

    September 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply KC

    Hi Danica! I emailed you a few months ago about how to start running. You said it would be good to start with a 5K program. I have been training for the least 2 months and am signed up for two 5K’s. the Anaheim Beer Run (did not purchase the beer package) and the Tinkerbell 5K! We’ll see how it goes! Thank you!

    September 21, 2012 at 1:06 am
  • Reply Fitness Wayne | Paelo Diet, Weight Loss and Strength Training Blog

    Wow! Sounds like a really fun race. I would love to do a race a disney. Last weekend I ran a zombie obstacle course which was a 5K. I had to jump of obstacles and avoid people dressed up as zombies. If you want to read about it there is a link to my blog in my name.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    […] was so incredibly special to me.  Another fun run that I’ve done is the Disney Half, which I was Mike Wazowski, which it was so fun to hear everyone yelling “GO MIKE” at me and it was so much fun to […]

    April 29, 2013 at 9:04 am
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