my marathon recap is coming, promise! Still trying to fully articulate the experience. In the meantime…
Nothing like kicking off 2014 with some racing firsts! I’ve certainly run many training 10ks but never an official race, so I was very excited when the Tinker Bell 10k was announced and signed up as soon as I could. There are a lot of interesting opinions on the 10k and I couldn’t wait to form some for myself.
My best work friend also came out from Florida to run her first race (runDisney or otherwise) longer than a 5k. We snapped a photo before heading to the start line. The great thing about the California races is how EASY it is to get to the start line; I probably could have slept an extra 20 minutes since the distance from our room at the Grand Californian to corral A was definitely shorter than the walk from the “runners’ village” at WDW. Anyways, reveled in the convenience and tried to stay warm under the Mylar. I decided I wanted to keep up with the family friend I was running with and we kind of made a race plan. Before we knew it, we were off!
Not even halfway thru the first mile, we turn in backstage to start weaving our way through Disneyland. Had to stop for a photo with it’s a small world holiday all lit up and a restroom break for me (still haven’t mastered hydrating in California). Wove through Toontown and back to backstage with some horses from Big Thunder Ranch and Soundsational Parade floats. Next thing, we have a water stop and are rounding the corner to enter Critter Country. I’m just generally enjoying Disneyland before dawn and trying to tell my race pal about the parts of the park we haven’t seen, when we arrive at Haunted Mansion where none other than the Attic Bride and Tight Rope Walker were out for photos. I screamed and pulled over so fast, my friend didn’t know what happened. She was also new to runDisney, and I had to introduce her to stopping for fun photos. Haunted Mansion was definitely my favorite photo op.
We continued along, still enjoying the views, found our best pals Mary Poppins and Bert by the carousel and flew around Fantasyland and Tomorrowland to wind back out on Main Street USA. Unfortunately, I’d been running with my shoulders tense, and around that time, I really felt the pain I had worked away with the chiropractor from my accident. Grabbed some bio freeze by Great moments with Mr Lincoln, and continued out to the Esplanade and into DCA. Enjoyed more DCA but took less photos this time around, until we got to my absolute favorite part: the world of color fountains. Literally worth every penny of a Disneyland race for me. Got to the halfway mark at Paradise Pier and kept rolling on thru Cars Land and a bug’s land. Turned the corner for one last stretch and this time it was the family pal who wanted photos with the Monsters U cheerleaders and Sulley. We went out for the last two miles on the streets and I told her to go ahead since I needed walk breaks.
I hadn’t turned on intervals or music on Runkeeper, so I did fartlek-style intervals by distance and tried to enjoy and not think about the shoulder pain. To help with this, I stopped for photos of a few of my favorite course signs. I saw Mindy doing her awesome pacer thing around mile 5, and it was really fun and inspiring to see her get out to run fast with these two girls. Before I knew it, we were on Katella, running past the Sparkle Athletic cheer squad and there was the mile 6 marker. My first thought was ITS ALREADY OVER? and I picked it up to sprint on in to the finish line. This one was easier to see and felt like I understood the 200m dash that was happening. Heard Carissa call my name, gave Mickey a high five, and crossed the finish.
1:06 was my official time, and considering my first marathon finish 6 days earlier and the return of the shoulder pain, I am quite proud of this debut effort.
I grabbed some ice from the medical tent and picked up my shiny fairies medal. Walked back to the room to drop off all the finish line accoutrements, throw on a sweatshirt and ran back to the finish to watch R bring it home with her husband and in-laws. We spotted her and cheered at the 100m mark, then heard her name called at the finish and cheered as we made our way over to the reunion area.
Snapped a quick photo and then it was time for the kids races! We took some photos before and after a successful 400m dash for the little ladies with us. All in all, a wonderful morning of running.
cleaning up nice for a new finish line photo
What’s your favorite character stop on a runDisney course?