It was my first Disney race and maybe my last. It’s not that it’s not fun, but because it is so expensive, but I’ll get into that later on.
It’s Disney and it’s so awesome!!! From the race expo to the medal you get and beyond you finishing the race.
5K – Friday, September 1
10K – Saturday, September 2
Half Marathon – Sunday, September 3
All races started promptly 5am.
The Expo started Thursday, September 31 – Saturday, September 2. Every runner is required to pick-up their own bib and you are not allowed to pick-up other participants bibs. It is a very fun expo with plenty of photo opportunities. There are vendors that attract any type of runner and plenty of wheels to spin to win the little trinkets an Expo offers.
10K RACE DAY
I woke up at 2:45 to make the hour long drive to Anaheim and arrived about 4am to the Mickey & Friends parking structure. I waited in the car until about 15 minutes before heading out to the start line. The corrals are easily visible to any runner and there are plenty of people helping you find your correct corral.
It’s been hot the previous week and it seeped into the weekend, race day morning to be more specific. Actually, it was humid af. It’s not typical for Southern California weather, let alone at 4 in the morning. People started to sweat, including myself, just before the race began. I was Corral B and left about 5 minutes after gun time. As I began my 10K everyone wanted to take off so quickly, but this is where I try to find my groove amongst the crowd. It’s not until mile 2 where you see where you are in the crowd. As we ran into CarsLand I am amazed by the beautiful glow of Radiator Springs. I see Lightening McQueen, Mater, Sally, and Doc and the place is glowing. World of Color, Paradise Pier, boardwalk lights, Swinging Symphony, and more are lit and full of life. It is as if the park was open, but no one is on the rides and it’s open just for the runners. We exit DCA and head the back lot of Disneyland and they show the parked trams to and from Disney Resort from M&F parking structure and we enter Disneyland through Mickey’s Toon Town. Donald Duck is on the second floor of a structure and I wave as I run by him. Again, the park is on and running as if there were people around. We exit through Main Street USA and again head to the back lots of DCA and into the Lilo parking lot.
For the 10K I did not stop and take pictures with any of the characters, but I wish I did. I also didn’t bring a GoPro (I don’t know if this is allowed), but it would have been great for the 10K course. I think the course is great for any Disney lover as you run through the park and go behind the scenes of it all. Even if you are not a runner you don’t have to run all of the course, a run/walk will do and you’ll still be able to finish the race.
HALF MARATHON DAY
I booked a hotel 20 minutes away from Disneyland and I woke up an hour later than the day before, so 3:45am. I was so thankful for the extra hour of sleep I had. I arrived just past 4:30am and was on the latter area of Corral B. It was still humid that morning and it is a high possibility it was more humid than the day before. There were a lot more people doing the half because of the Coast to Coast challenge Disney does. This time, I did stop by and take pictures with characters because that is what the Disney run is about. It’s not about PR, but experiencing running through the parks. Check out the characters…
The first 4 miles are in DCA and Disneyland. The cheer crown on Main Street was great. Everyone was cheering and using their Mickey Mouse clappers and it was really encouraging for me. The course went out into Anaheim where the course talent was great. There were Mexican dancing, hula dancing, music, and cheerleaders. Running through Angels Stadium was really fun and the cheer squad there made it even better.
As the course went on sometimes I’d look up at the sky to see if the sun would come from behind the clouds, but it rained three times while out in the Anaheim streets. Due to the humidity in the early hours of the morning I took advantage of every water station and sometimes took more than one cup. Thankfully, I was wearing a hat and the rain didn’t last long. I don’t know if it is because I ran 6.2 miles the previous day, but I definitely felt it in my legs because I was running as fast as I would like. I also did stop every now and then to give myself a break and to rejuvenate for a few seconds. At mile 12 I kept on running and getting to mile 13 seemed like an eternity and when mile 13 appeared I wondered where the heck the finish line was. After crossing the finish line I was so relived it was finally over and I just wanted to sit down.
The finish line ends at the Lilo parking lot, but there is an organized maze of medals, treatments, hydration station, and more that the runners go through before going to the meeting area. In the meeting area there are places to take photos, get a massage and an AP sitting area.
DISNEYLAND RACE OVERALL
This is probably the most fun race I have participated in, but also the most expensive. When singing up for it I wanted to do the Double Dare Challenge and actually do something different by running two races in two days and seeing how well I do. I also wanted to run through Disneyland and DCA and experience a #runDisney.
I wanted this race to be my one and done Disney race, but it truly is an experience. Doing a Coast to Coast Challenge would be awesome, but also costly. I may possibly see myself doing a Coast to Coast Challenge in the future and definitely doing both the 10K and half marathon for both of them. The half marathon is $185, 10K $110, and Double Dare $330. If you decide to make a vacation out of it because you are from out of town that is an additional cost and whatnot. That is what Disney wants you to do, make the race a vacation out of it.