Final Thoughts on the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

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Over the course of this week, I’ve taken a little time to reflect on this journey that ended with finishing the Disneyland 10K and Disneyland Half Marathon. So, I’d like to share a few concluding thoughts.

Like is the case with anything in life there was good and bad in this journey. For the first time, I was able to catch on to a training program before it started and see it through to completion! That was cool. In doing so, I experienced the roller coaster of emotions and experiences. There were some great training runs and work outs and others I’d like to erase from my memory completely. Each long run had moments of pure joy and moments where I just wanted to quit. Even the races themselves had good moments to them and bad. However, the good moments far outweighed the bad.

The Bad:

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The race expo was completely overwhelming and chaotic. I personally believe that the folks at runDisney were simply not prepared for so many people to show up that early. From what I had read in the weeks leading up to the expo, the Disneyland expo’s tended to be a little less crazy from their Florida counterparts. Maybe with this being an inaugural year and a first ever multi-race challenge, there were more people running who were used to the WDW races. So, they showed up early because that’s what you need to do in Florida. Since I’ve never done a WDW runDisney race, I’m not certain about that. However, for whatever reason, I think that Disney was simply not prepared for so many early attenders at the expo. They had a similar experience in 2012 when they opened Disneyland for 24 hours on February 29th. This year, when they did a similar event, things went much more smoothly. Even though it’s easy to be Monday morning quarterbacks and second guess what Disney should have done, I think they will learn from this experience and have an expo next year goes more smoothly.

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Likewise, the start of the 10K race was very confusing. The idea of hosting a 5K race and 10K race so close to each other with so many people participating was a bit of a reach. As can be seen with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend scheduling (5K Friday, 10K Saturday, Half Marathon Sunday), I think that next year, they will have each race on a different day and it will solve this problem.

During the Half Marathon, for some reason that escapes me, I did not use my music even once. I think that was a big mistake on my part that I don’t intend to repeat. When you train with music in your ears, it only makes sense to have music in your ears at the race. After all, your training is your practice for the main event. Having some music going might have helped me out mentally. There were parts of the race where I could have used this song…

…especially in the closing miles when the sun was playing games with me.

I need to learn to be more assertive on the race course to keep my running intervals going strong. I need to know it’s okay to call out that you’re passing on the right or left. If someone is offended by this, I need to remember that I probably won’t see them again after this race. Therefore, I shouldn’t worry about it. All I can do is be as nice as I can in calling out where I’m going to pass. In calling out where I’m going to pass, I should be able find less moments of giving up on a perfectly fine run interval for a wall of walkers and should see little time improvements.

The Good:

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I achieved a Half Marathon PR this weekend by over 11 minutes! While that represents a slower race that I had envisioned, it is still a PR and should be viewed and celebrated as such. There will be other races in which I can try to beat this time. For now, I am extremely happy with the fact that I improved my time by over 11 minutes from the Tinker Bell Half Marathon (my only other half marathon).

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I loved getting to run through Angel Stadium! Honestly, this run through the stadium was so much fun I don’t know if I even want to run the Angels 5K next year because it won’t be the same. The cheering crowd was overwhelming in a good way. You could hear the crowd from the river bed. Then, once we got in the parking lot, I had goosebumps all the way until we exited on the other side of the parking lot. It was the most magical part of the entire weekend for me!

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High-fiving Mickey Mouse at the end of the race needs to become a new tradition for me. I didn’t really plan this beforehand. Once I saw him, I just had to do it and I hope to do that again at the end of the WDW Marathon (if he’s there when I finish).

The 10K course was amazing! It was fun running with my wife over this course. Spending so much time in the theme parks and Downtown Disney made for a great and memorable experience. I hope that the Walt Disney World 10K race is just as fun.

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Honestly, anytime you can run through Disneyland, it’s all good. Disneyland is my absolute favorite place on earth. I have so many amazing memories of this place that it would be hard for me not to have a good time doing anything that gets me inside the park. I don’t care how small Disneyland is in comparison to Walt Disney World, I’m a Disneyland homer and will always be that way. I love Walt Disney World, too. But, Disney World does not have the same memories for me because I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and not closer to Orlando.

The Future:

Now that the Dumbo Double Dare (aka Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend) is in the books, it’s time to focus on the future. My next runDisney race will be the Walt Disney World 10K and the Walt Disney World Marathon (my first full marathon)! In between now and then, I’ve got two more races to finish out 2013. On October 13th, I’ll be running in the Run Forrest Run 5K in connection with the Long Beach Marathon. This race is just a fun one for me. I’ll be running it with my wife and some of our friends.

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Then, on October 27th, I’ll be running in the Rock N Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. That will be an interesting race for me because it will be my first non-Disney half marathon. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Rock N Roll race series.

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I’m hoping that will be a race where I’ll finish faster than I did at Disneyland. Maybe it will be fast enough to improve my seeding for the Walt Disney World Marathon. I’d love to avoid Corral G if I could. Either way, the focus for me now is the Walt Disney World Marathon.

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This is week 1 of training for the WDW Marathon!

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Posted in Disney California Adventure, Disneyland, Disneyland Half Marathon, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World Marathon
2 comments on “Final Thoughts on the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
  1. healthehelen says:

    I kind of went into a zen place re the Expo queues and slightly disorganised corrals. Yes they were long but they were civilised; no-one was pushing in, getting aggressive or jumping over fences as they would here in the UK so I let it all wash over me. As for the course, I loved the 10km, and as I’ll post tomorrow, the half course was made by the people of Anaheim rather than Disney. I had a blast and although it’s too far for me to travel to the US regularly am crossing fingers for Paris. Shame I didnt get to say hi, was looking for you but no joy.

    Oh and I’ve done over 50 races if various lengths now and I dont recall begrudging anyone who passed me so dont worry about that…….well, except the guy in Goofy 2008 who trod on my shoe and ripped off my toenail at mile 18. He is lucky he didnt get said nail posted to him!

    • gloucks7 says:

      It would have been cool to see you over Labor Day Weekend at the DL races. I was really unlucky at seeing people randomly and realizing who I was looking at in the moment where I could have said a quick “hello.” I’m glad to hear you had fun out here! Yes, the 10K course was awesome! I loved that course so much that I can’t wait to run it again next year!

      Thanks for your comments. Can’t wait to read your report! Reading all of the race recaps by the various bloggers whom I follow has kept the Disney magic going ever since the races ended!

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Official PR’s
5K - 32:46 - 2012 Pasadena 5K

10K - 1:15:42 - 2013 Pasadena 10K

Half Marathon - 2:43:25 - 2013 Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

Full Marathon - 6:21:46 - 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon
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