Monday, May 16, 2016

Tinker Bell 10k 2016 Recap

Hello all! I'm excited to recap one of my favorite race weekends, the Tinker Bell Half-Marathon, which takes place at the Disneyland Resort every Mother's Day weekend in May. The race used to be held in January a week after the Marathon Weekend in Orlando at the Disney World Resort. It made it difficult to do both races so I'm glad they moved it to May, it's the perfect way to kick off the summer!

We left Bham around 10:45am and our flight finally arrived a little after 4pm. It was the longest flight process ever due to weather which then led to delayed flights. The flight was bumpy and we were happy to be on the ground (hello layover in Vegas!) and from Vegas the flight is a quick 30-40 min to Orange County. After checking in at the beautiful Grand Californian Hotel we simply walked over to the Race Expo (held at the Disneyland Hotel) to pick up our bibs. It was an easy process, I find it easier to already have your waiver printed out but they also have printers available. The expos are fine but there isn't anything I have to have from there so we did a quick walk around then got ready to explore the parks!

We were starving and there are always so many treats we want to try at Disneyland that we decided to check a few things off our list. My absolute favorite was the Churro Funnel Cake...yes, you read that right! You can find this delicious concoction over in the Disneyland Park in "Critter Country" at the Hungry Bear Restaurant. Seriously. This may be my favorite Disney snack ever.

From there we basically just walked around the park, it was crowded for a Friday night but not too terrible. I love that Disneyland has so many hidden gems and fun things for you to spot, like our frog friends from The Princess and the Frog at one of the windows in New Orleans Square. That's one thing that does give Disneyland an edge over Disney World, all the little details!

Another cool thing we discovered was over by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, for just a quarter you could get a "fortune" delivered to you by this pirate. Kind of a fun souvenir that is unique and won't break the bank. Breaking the bank at Disney Parks is easy to do so when you find something like this of course I have to share!

I was thinking we would get back to the room at a decent hour, yeah we pretty much closed the parks down. Oh and we were on Alabama time so that's about two hours ahead, I love going to the West Coast since it almost feels like sleeping in and gaining hours!
Waking up was easier maybe because of all the excitement, or maybe we were just ready to get it over with, either way the race was quickly approaching! Getting there was easy, it was maybe a 10 minute walk, the weather was a bit rainy at first (always pack a cheap poncho) then the rain ended shortly before the race began.

We were in Corral B so it didn't take long before we were off! This is a really good 10k course, if you are looking for your first 10k, I highly suggest a runDisney one. The best part about this particular 10k is that most mileage is in the parks! A definite bonus especially since they can be on the pricier side.

You are only on the roads for like a mile before you enter the backstage of the parks, you see some really cool stuff that you wouldn't normally get to see and who doesn't want to run through an un-crowded park!? I mean you get to see...The classic Matterhorn....

The whale from Pinocchio....

The cutest little carousel...

Obviously... what you paid for, to run through the castle!

Just your typical Saturday run scenery, right? Well maybe not but it really is beautiful to see the sun rise over the parks and everything feels quite serene even in such a rushed, excited atmosphere.

After Disneyland you head to California Adventure, where you can get a pic with the man and the mouse himself. I love this statue, it really is amazing to think of what a visionary Walt Disney was and a man who truly was able to make his dreams become a reality. This is always a popular spot for a pic!
I mean no race is complete without a jumping pic, I think it's a law you have to do one. Just kidding but they do look pretty cool! The race is starting to wind down at this point in the course, yes there are character stops, I saw several fairies (including Tinker Bell) but I couldn't name any of them if I tried and the lines were super long so I just decided to get pics around the park that didn't have a 20 minute wait.

By mile 5, I was ready to be done so after passing the "fun wheel" and exiting California Adventure you run past the Downtown Disney area and finally you are at the finish! The finish line is always a celebration plus you get an awesome medal!
Bling bling! I was doing the 10k in part of the Pixie Dust Challenge along with the half marathon the next day so one down, one to go! I didn't have the time to make a costume so I did a bit of a Zootopia theme and I didn't see anyone else with the same thing on and got lots of compliments. Always do a little costuming at these races, it makes it more fun!
One more jump shot! Stay tuned for how to do Disneyland and California Adventure in one day and the recap of the half-marathon tomorrow!

Happy Travels!


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