Once you leave Disneyland, you’ll be hitting the pretty wide open streets of Anaheim. Along the way, you’ll find cheer leaders, marching bands, hula dancers, and a pretty cool row of cars.
If you’re in the early corrals, you won’t have to see much of this. However, in the latter corrals, you’ll face this blinding sun all the way up Ball Road. This picture was taken on the one and only sort of hill on the course. It’s merely a freeway overpass and lasts around a tenth of a mile. Without the sun, it looks like this…
The hardest part is dealing with the sun. If you’re in the latter corrals, like I was, when you get to the top of the overpass, you’ll see a sea of people on the other side. Don’t let that freak you out like it did me. You get to run across so many lanes of highway that the large group of people won’t slow you down too much.
I really wanted to do the dress rehearsal run this year to capture more of the streets of Anaheim that you’ll be running. Karen from Just Me and My Running Shoes had some pictures of the streets of Anaheim in her blog post about the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon which you can read by clicking on the picture above or here. Admittedly, the streets of Anaheim aren’t the nicest. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon runs along much nicer scenery. However, there is a lot of roadside entertainment to keep you going. The end of the 5th mile happens as you turn off Ball Road. Enjoy this part of the course. It’s nice to be out of the sun for a bit.
Sorry I didn’t get to label this slide. Enjoy the 6th mile as you’ll largely be out of the sun. The industrial area is not the best. So, this is a good place to just focus on your running or keeping the intervals going. After freaking out at the start of the 5th mile, the sixth mile was the place where I found my grove again.
The end of the 6th mile brings us close to the mid-point of the race. When I crossed the 10K strip, a random runner high-fived me last year. Feel free to do the same. I thought it was kind of cool to have that happen. Again, enjoy the moments when you’re not running into the sun. Soon enough, you’ll be back on Ball Road and running into the sun. However, your time on Ball Road at this point will not be very long. Then, you’ll turn onto State College Road and the sun will be on the side.
In the Seventh mile, you have a fun car show to look forward to observing. The cars make up for the lack of scenery on this part of the race course.
These were just a few of the cars along the stretch that will take you to near the end of the 8th mile. I had read about this display of classic cars. However, I had no idea how many cars were involved or how much of the race route they took up. The sad part is that you are running into the sun for this show. I’ve seen many people stopping here to get pictures with some of their favorite classic cars. If you need a break from the running, the owners of the cars are more than willing to talk up their pride and joys. I saw many of them even posing for pictures with the runners.
At the end of the cars, you’ll turn right and run towards the Honda Centre. Along this road is the end of mile 8. I really liked this short stretch because there was some shade. If you see too many people running in the shade and they are slowing you down, keep in the sun and you’ll have plenty of room to maneuver.
It’s not far from the 8 mile marker before you’re turning left into the Honda Center parking lot. Be aware that this course does narrow as you run through the lanes that take you into the parking lot. You’ll be running past the booths that parking attendants are usually stationed to collect parking money.
The car show continues in the Honda Center parking lot. I loved the Lighting McQueen themed car in the parking lot. Once you get past the parking booths, the path through the parking lot is pretty wide open. Enjoy the space.
The back of the Honda Center parking lot takes you to the Santa Ana River trail. The path on the trail is narrow. If you want to run, you’ll probably have to run on the sides of the paves parts. I know the image above is only dirt. Your initial journey on the trail is in dirt. However, there is pavement. Other than the trail being narrow, keep in mind that you will go under two streets along the way, That means, you go slightly downhill and slightly uphill. Neither uphill is very long at all.
At the end of the trail is the end of mile 9 and the entrance to the Angels Stadium parking lot. You’ll hear the noise of the crowds at Angels Stadium while on the river trail. It’s pretty exciting. I know that I couldn’t wait to get there when I was on this part of the course last year. That excitement just continues to grow all the way through the stadium. I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post as we finish the tour of the Disneyland Half Marathon course.
If you like this post, check out the rest of the posts on the Disneyland Half Marathon Course