Thursday, September 10, 2015

Disneyland 2015 Half-Marathon Recap


Hello all! Time for the second portion of the Disneyland half weekend which includes the 13.1 adventure through Disneyland, Californian Adventure, Angel's Stadium and the streets of Anaheim (wooooo!). You can read about the 10k right here if you need to catch up.

Day 3: Disneyland Half-Marathon

Time for the main event came quickly, I can never sleep the night before a race so I'm always looking at the clock, tossing, turning, flipping my pillow and watching movies that shouldn't have my attention (Cheetah Girls was on Disney Channel at 2am fyi) but do. I got up before my alarm and tip-toed around getting ready. I've noticed I've become more lax on getting to the start line for these races. I used to get there an hour early now it is like the final 5 minutes to get into the corral. After you do so many races it is bound to happen. I saw Laurie and we were rocking our Pit Crew costumes from the Cars film. I've actually never seen the movie but I really wanted to wear a headset. Speaking of the fell off my visor at mile 2. I still loved our costumes!

Before the race started, I wasn't feeling well and my legs felt tight. My one tip to you all if you are doing a challenge at Disney, I've done them all including the Dopey, is REST YOUR LEGS! I know it is tempting to play at the parks and go, go, go 24/7 but it is difficult on your legs. Spend half a day at the parks then the rest of the time watching movies, relaxing by the pool or napping. Back to the race! Soon our corral was off and we kept a pretty decent pace to make it into the parks as fast as we could. We entered Carsland and had to take this pic!

Racing around the Mickey Wheel is always a favorite, the Wheel of Color was playing and provided whimsy and a fun sight. Another little tip, try and do a local race to get a good race time to submit as your "proof of time" to runDisney. The better the time, the better your corral. The earlier corrals have much shorter wait times for photo/character stops and if you are in a bit of a running funk or suddenly facing an injury, it gives you more of a time cushion to finish the race.

I just love all the sights you see during the race! Photo opps are everywhere and there are normally always cast members to take your pic. If you see someone struggling to take a selfie or with a friend, ask to take the picture for them. One, it is the nice thing to do and people appreciate it. Two, they will (most of the time) do the same for your photo.

There were SO MANY CHARACTERS out! It felt like at every turn there was a photo we wanted. This is a big improvement in Disney races and even though I'm not huge on meeting the characters, it's kind of what you pay for. The lines move fast so even though it may look super long, the cast members make it move efficiently. Go ahead and have your phone ready in line, they also have photographers taking pics so make sure your bib is visible.

A cool thing I noticed was there was a villain/hero paring theme going on and that included rare characters you don't see out much. A few of the pairs included: Aladdin/Jafar, Peter Pan/ Captain Hook, Esmeralda/ Judge Frollo, Pocahontas/ Governor Ratcliffe,  Mulan/ Shan Yu (we thought it was Genghis Khan lol) Tiana/ Dr. Facilier, Cinderella/ Stepmother/Stepsisters, Snow White/Evil Queen, Pinocchio/ Honest John (that Fox thing), Alice/ Queen of Hearts, Robin Hood/ Prince John and a few other I can't recall. Some really fun characters!

They switch out characters but there were always ones to take their place right away. We really wanted Tiana and Dr. Facilier and we were the very last people to get a pic with them until they switched to Pocahontas and the Governor. One of my favorite race pics!

There are also awesome parade floats and other magical surprises around each turn so even if you don't want to stand in line for characters there has to be something you want to take a photo with!

I love Halloween so this is was like a dream come true. How cute is that pumpkin?!

We took our time in the park and our pace was WAY behind normal. However, once you get outside the park there is just road until you get to Angel's Stadium which is legit. Disney does their best to keep runners entertained with cheerleaders, bands, dance teams, hula dancers, and a line-up of classic cars throughout the streets of Anaheim. My favorite stop was the Team Sparkle table at mile 7 1/2...they had donuts. Enough said. I use their skirts and visors for pretty much every race, they are a great team/brand! Donuts are the BEST. And sparkle. That is all.

I was so ready to be done. It was hot, I felt like I was slowing down and the only thing that kept me going were these funny signs. And knowing my medals were waiting at the finish line.

Soon it was mile 12 and hey, if you have come this far what is one more mile? I love crossing any finish line. I honestly never, ever thought I would be doing any type of long distance running and yet, here I am with 5 marathons and over 30 half-marathons under my belt. I collected my bling and made it back to the hotel. Our flight was pretty early so we had to book it to the airport. Thus concluding another successful runDisney weekend! I should have trained more but I am trying to focus on the Chicago Marathon coming up in October so I don't want to re-injure my knee before then.

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this race weekend! One of my favorites and please don't hesitate to ask me any questions, I am here to help! I look forward to seeing some of you on the course next year :)

Happy Running!




  1. Maybe you can help me. How do I buy the famous new balance Disney shoes? I know they are at the expo but not sure if I need to sign up ahead of time or just wait in line.

    1. Sure thing! I would highly recommend signing up ahead of time! If you don't there are chances they could sell out of your size. I have three pairs, including the first ever ones released, those were the hardest to get since that was before the reservation system. Follow runDisney on twitter or Instagram since they provide most of their updates on there. They will have instructions on how to reserve your spot as the event gets closer. However, if there is not a new shoe coming out (probably won't be until Jan 2016, if then) you can just go to the expo and shop around. Good luck!