This year, for “my birthday” (since I consider Labor Day weekend my birthday, although my actual day isn’t until Wednesday this year), I decided I wanted to do something healthy and active vs. Vegas like last year.
So in January, when the Disneyland race registration opened up, I made the advanced decision I would run the Half Marathon. Before I knew it, August 31st rolled around and it was time to make our way to Disneyland.
It took me until the week before to decide what “costume” I would be. I felt obligated to dress up since it’s Disney, but also wanted to be practical. I decided I would go with a t-shirt costume (similar to RNR LA costume). I ended up cutting the sleeves off, which allowed it to be a little less restrictive (and made running in the humidity a little more bearable).
I’m not even the biggest Disney fanatic and this race was “magical.”
First, it started off with the ease of navigating the corrals. We made it over to G-H (the last 2 corrals) around 5:23. With a 5:30 start time I was worried we wouldn’t make our way up to A-B. There were also more porta-potties as you made your way up past F. I didn’t think there was a line, but apparently I cut an entire line and slid into the first open bathroom.
The race start (by Downtown Disney) was SUPER crowded. Originally, my plan was to run the first 5 miles at a 1:42 pace (7:45) but I could barely break out under 8:30. Within the first mile I could feel the heat and humidity (like, I started sweating already), and decided this wouldn’t be a race to push it, but just really enjoy it and try to minimize “the struggle.”
Mile 2-3 we ran around California Adventure, backstage, around Paradise Pier, Cars Land, Hollywood Boulevard and Condor Flats. Mile 3-4 the race continued through Disneyland, on Main Street, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. There were a variety of characters throughout the course, although I didn’t stop for any of them (lines start to accumulate after a while). It was still dark at this time (this is the earliest race start I’ve ever had) so some of this kind of just feels like it was a dream.
Mile 5-8 we ran throughout the streets of Anaheim, which could have been really dull and boring, except for the crowd support was AMAZING. And not just a couple people standing on the side of the street, but big aggregates of groups and people.
Mile 8 we ran by the Honda Center, and then mile 9-10 we ran through the Angels Stadium. I had no idea what to expect, but I got chills as we ran around the outskirts of the field. The stadium was filled with people. My gait definitely picked up from running close to 9 minute miles to a 7:30 pace. It was definitely at the right place and at the right time. From there on out I just focused on making it to mile 12 to pick up the pace.
The heat was definitely oppressive and I didn’t feel like there were enough water stations, even taking water at every available one. However, everyone was so happy and I felt myself thanking every volunteer as I took a cup of water.
We rounded back towards the Disneyland Hotel. At mile 12 I saw that I was still under 1:40 and could make it sub-1:50 even if I ran a 10 minute mile. I picked up the pace a bit and finished in 1:48:07.
I ended up not doing as bad as I thought. I wasn’t paying too much attention to my watch, just trying to take in the “Disney-ness” of the course and enjoy it. I thought I had a few miles over 9 minute miles, but it appears I kept it pretty consistent for the most part.
Mile splits recorded by my Garmin (1:48:07):
2 – 7:49
3 – 7:50
4 – 8:04
5 – 8:00
6 – 8:12
7 – 8:31
8 – 8:37
9 – 8:37
10 – 8:19
11 – 8:21
12 – 8:16
13 – 7:42
Last .25 – 1:38
Recovery via OH! Juice Maca Mylk
Have you done a Run Disney event before?