I know I’m way late with this post. Life just gets in the way some times. Anyways. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to tell the tale of the 10th Annual Disneyland Half Marathon.
I was up at 3:15am again on race day. The part of these challenge races that suck the most are consecutive crazy early wake up times. I was definitely moving slower than the morning before. I made it out to the area where the Team #runDisney meet up was supposed to take place. However, I didn’t see anyone really waiting around. So, it was a bust. Oh well, at around 4:20am, I headed off to the staging area. On the way at the ESPN Zone, they had this lovely sign. So, I had to snap a pic.
There wasn’t anything too exciting that happened while waiting around. So, I headed off to the starting corrals. Again, I ran into Ivie and AJ. So, we headed off to Corral D for the second day in a row. What’s cool about the Disneyland Half Marathon is that they actually shoot off fireworks with the national anthem!
Here’s the view ahead of where I was waiting…
And plenty of people behind me as well. I had zero expectations going into this race. I wanted to have fun and see what I had in me.
The obligatory selfie while waiting!
It’s always exciting when your corral starts moving forward. It’s always fun to see Mickey and Minnie there to send us off!
By the time you get this close to Rudy and Carissa, it’s almost go time!
See ya real soon Mickey!
This time around, I was closer to the front of the corral. So, I didn’t have the same course crowding problems I had with the 10K. If you’ve run this race before, this scene is pretty familiar.
Unlike previous years, we didn’t go all the way to Katella Avenue before turning Left.
As we made our way back stage, I saw AJ and Ivie again. Sorry, this selfie didn’t come out so great. The first mile is always soooooo much fun! I was cruising with my run 30 seconds, walk a minute.
Almost time to enter Disney California Adventure! We entered here the day before as well. This time, it was the end of mile 1.
Mile 1….check! The first mile was my fastest of the race. Considering, I was fresh and there wasn’t any course crowding issues for me, it’s not a surprise.
We made our way towards Cars Land. Unlike the 10K, we didn’t turn up Route 66. Instead, we made our way by the Radiator Springs Racers.
Okay, not the best photo. But, I had to stop.
This view never gets old!
From there, we wrapped our way backstage at DCA again. It was kind of a reversal of the route we used for the Star Wars Half Marathon.
I love all the floats from the Pixar Play Plarade that were out for us!
Then, we came out in the same place that the Disneyland Half Marathon usually comes out so we could run around Paradise Bay. The World of Color Fountains were running. If I were in an earlier corral, I’m sure the effect would have been much cooler.
The view of the fountains required a quick stop. We would run past the Little Mermaid ride and make our way up to Buena Vista Street.
We’d follow Buena Vista Street all the way out of the park. It was a really quick visit to DCA for this Disneyland Half Marathon. Probably because of the Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Celebration. They wanted to keep us in the original Disney theme park.
Leaving DCA and making our way across the Esplanade is so much fun. There are always a lot of people out to cheer us on!
Once inside Disneyland, I had to stop for a quick picture. The line wasn’t too long here. But, I didn’t feel like stopping in it. After all, a selfie works pretty well.
Happy 60th Disneyland!
Almost to Main Street U.S.A.!
It was happy times as I made my way up Main Street U.S.A.!
I’ve never stopped at the Hub before. However, with Sleeping Beauty’s Castle all decked out for Disneyland’s 60th, I decided it would be worth waiting in the line.
From the Hub, the course mad a left and we headed off to Frontierland!
When we got to the Mart Twain, we turned left again and made our way around the Rivers of America.
Since I almost fell right before Pirates of the Caribbean, I didn’t bother to stop during the 10K. However, since I was running this race for fun, I had to make a stop by my favorite ride at Disneyland!
They were getting the Nightmare Before Christmas Holiday Overlay ready at the Haunted Mansion.
I’m sure this picture stop is much more fun if you have a group. I saw it during the 10K when I was running for time. Since I was running the half marathon for fun, I had to stop!
Just like the 10K, we made our way up to and through Critter Country.
Caution…the road narrows up ahead as we enter backstage Disneyland.
If you ever run a half marathon at Disneyland, you’ll see this sign. I love how supportive the Disneyland Cast Members are of the races. They are always encouraging!
We wrapped around backstage and came back on at Toon Town.
I’ve got to wonder what will happen with the Disneyland races if the rumors are true and Star Wars Land will occupy this area in the future.
From Toon Town, we made our way towards Fantasyland. My wife loves the Tea Cups. I took this picture just for her.
Across from that picture is the Storybook Canals ride.
Then, it was a quick turn and we were almost to the castle!
The back side of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle…
After getting through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. This is the third time running the Disneyland Half Marathon for me. Thus far, Marathonfoto has had zero pictures of me coming through. So, the selfie is needed. One thing that isn’t so cool about going through the castle is that you’ve got to pretty much walk. The path is very narrow and everyone wants that magical moment of coming out of the castle during a race.
From there, it was off to the right and a run through Tomorrowland! Buzz Lighteyear was inspiring me to continue…To Infinity and Beyond!
We wound our way past Star Tours, Space Mountain, and around to the Nemo Subs. Then, it was up towards the Matterhorn.
Then, it was up towards It’s A Small World. If you’ve never run a Disneyland race, this is a must stop spot for a picture. It’s kind of sad to get to this point because….
we were almost off stage at the theme parks for the last time.
Bye, bye onstage Disneyland!
I’ve run this path many times.
I loved this sign in the windows! By the time I got here, my time was waaaaaaay slow. Even for me. Getting back stage meant that I had to start thinking about the rest of the race. I went to my marathon intervals of run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds because it was easier to remember when to run. With this interval pattern, I’m running on the even number minutes. I actually started this inside of Disneyland. Even though I didn’t run on every run interval because I was having too much fun, it gave me something I could mentally anchor down with.
I love the Magic Music Days Building backstage! We used to have Candlelight Processional practices back here. Ah the memories!
As we got close to leaving the park, they had Mack from the Paint the Night Parade! I couldn’t resist the photo op!
We made our way out of the parks and onto the streets of Anaheim to start mile 5. As we got to the turn up Ball Road, these two Storm Troopers were out. I had to stop for a quick picture!
Ugh! The sun was out for our trip up Ball Road. Not cool! As we went up the overpass, my time was so slow, I decided to just walk up the whole thing. I wanted this race to be fun. So, there was no good reason to make it any harder.
Just past Harbor Blvd. on Ball Road, I saw Patty from My No Guilt Life! She was out to cheer on her running peeps. This year, Patty decided to skip the half marathon and ran the 5K and 10K instead. It was great to see a familiar face. She also had many of the things runners would want on the course. Unfortunately, I was feeling fantastic and didn’t need any extra fuel. It was super awesome of her to have the extra fuel, though.
A little further up Ball Road, I spotted a run blogger I’ve followed for a few years, Jindy. She writes a blog called Flowers Croon. You should totally check out her blog. Her Instagram is irundisney. When I started off blogging, I wanted my blog to be I runDisney. However, since Jindy already had that handle on Instagram, I had to go another way. Jindy is another huge Disney fan from Northern California. I think she visits Disneyland more than I do. It was great to run by her and get to chat for a little bit before heading off. Run interval came up after all.
Towards the end of mile 5, we turned off Ball Road and got a break from the sun! Hooray! This is the place where I gave up any hopes of a good finish time back in 2014. This year, was running well and feeling amazing! It was such a fun race thus far!
We turned up Cerritos Avenue and back into the sun. However, we had some fun Mexican dancers to distract us from all the sun!
At Walt Disney World, they may have the occasional character stops on the roads. At Disneyland, we get dance groups, cheer squads, and marching bands.
We turned up Lewis Street and out of the sun on our way to the end of the 6th mile and the 10K mark! I was thrilled with my time! I was a several minutes slower than running the Disneyland 10K, however, I was ahead of what I had done the year before. We turned on Ball Road again and finished the 7th mile. The next turn was onto State College Blvd. That’s where the car show started. It began earlier this year from what I remember of years past! This part brought a smile to my face! So much fun!
So many great cars!
The car show continued as we turned up Cerritos Avenue again.
So many great cars that I could have taken so much longer to get through here.
As I was running through the cars, I met another one of my blog readers! This race was turning out to be super fun! Running through theme parks, seeing bloggers I’ve been following for years and meeting some blog followers of my own. Yep. I was having lots of fun!
Look! Herbie showed up!
One of my favorites wasn’t even a car.
The Star Wars van was too cool for words! When the owners said I could check it out, I had to stop!
Doc Hudson made an appearance as well!
Who says there aren’t any Disney characters outside of the theme parks at the Disneyland races?
We made our way to the Honda Center and the car show continued.
Each year I’ve run this race, close to the river trail, they keep adding a cool car. The original Batmobile was here last year. However, it’s still awesome!
KITT was the new car!
Lightning McQueen was back for a third straight year.
Then, it was time to head onto the river trail on our way to Angel Stadium! The last two years, I pretty much walked this part of the course. In 2013, I was too tired and had run out of steam. Last year, I was ready for the race to be over by this part. This year, I kept almost all the run intervals. A couple times, there were crowding issues. I think one time, I started running, but the path was so crowded, I realized that I was almost at a walk anyways. So, I just walked.
Before I knew it, we were passing the mile 9 marker and heading to my favorite part of the Disneyland Half Marathon….
This is also where they hand out the Cliff Shots for us (if you want them). I’m not a big fan of them. So, I passed.
Angels Fan coming through!
Heading down into the stadium! The ramp going down is a little steep. So, you’ve really got to be careful. Plus, as you can see, the path is a little narrow.
Then, the moment came!
We’re inside Angel Stadium!
The folks at runDisney do a fantastic job at making sure plenty of people are out to cheer us on. This is as close as I will ever get to feeling like a genuine athlete! I wanted to run all the way down the right field warning track to home plate.
Then, I stopped for a quick selfie!
I was going to run up the other side and out of the stadium. However, I couldn’t resist a selfie in front of the Angels dugout. Yes. I’m a big Angels fan!
I decided to skip a run interval once I got out of the stadium. After all, I wanted to get a picture of the two bands that are usually stationed here. This is band 1 on a break.
while band 2 was playing Eye of the Tiger. I don’t really understand why they have to have two bands so close to each other. However, they do this every year.
We made our way out of the parking lot of Angel Stadium to end the 10th mile. As I saw the 10 mile marker getting closer, I knew I was approaching the part of this course which I hate the most. So, as I got closer and closer, I prepared myself mentally. There was only a 5K to go. I started letting that reality hit me. I knew I’d be finishing in over 3 hours. I didn’t know how much over. One fact that I had never thought about before made me really happy. I realized that this boring portion of the course was ONLY 2 miles! Just two miles of grinding it out and it would be more fun for the last mile. I loved the sign above!
Mile 11 went by quicker than I remembered from past years. I was actually pretty surprised to see it when we cam to it on Anaheim Blvd. Only 1 more mile of boredom! I kept going…run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds. I would tell myself that the more I ran, the faster I’d get past this boring stretch. Once you get to this underpass, it’s happy times. There’s shade in the underpass! Also…
On the other side, you can see the Hollywood Tower of Terror! This picture is closer to the end of the 12th mile. I know that once I get across Harbor Blvd., that 12 mile marker is really close!
By the time I got to the 12 mile marker, I was feeling a little gassed. So, I decided to walk for 6 minutes to catch my breath. However, I ended up only walking through 2 run intervals before I just had to start running again. The extra break served me well as I didn’t feel the same fatigue the rest of the way. We made our way through the same backstage area of DCA as we had run in mile 1. I knew that, once we got out of DCA, it was about a half mile to the finish. We entered the Paradise Pier/Downtown Disney parking and the crowds were picking up. I kept my run/walk intervals going strong. I could feel the finish line calling me. By the time I got to where this picture was taken, I knew I’d finish somewhere around 3 hours 7 minutes. But, I had to keep running.
Since I wasn’t setting any records, I decided to take a picture of the sweetest sign for any half marathoner…Mile 13! Time to get ready for the final kick.
Can you see it? I’m one happy camper! I’m just seconds from finishing in this picture. I think that I had just given Mickey a high-five that Marathonfoto didn’t capture again.
2015 Dumbo Double Dare Finisher!
I’ve got to admit that I was beyond overjoyed with this race. I had way more fun that I was expecting and it was over!
I made my way over through the finishers chute to get my new Disneyland Half Marathon medal…
Then, it was over to the Dumbo Double Dare area to collect my second Dumbo Double Dare medal!
Check out the new bling! Not too bad if I say so myself!
Considering all the pictures I took, this finish time isn’t too bad. My official time was 3 hours, 7 minutes, 1 second. As you can see, it took a few seconds for me to actually stop the watch.
Here are the splits for the race according to my Nike Plus GPS Sportwatch. It’s kind of interesting to see how the race went. Miles 1, 5, 6, 7, 11, and 12 were the ones where there was the least to distract me. If you look at the times, they are my fastest miles.
This is how the map looked. I post this for you to get some idea of elevation. As you see, it stays pretty even.
The 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon is now in the books. This was a race that I signed up for kicking and screaming. Maybe it was because I didn’t initially want to race it, but, this race was so much funner than either of my previous Disneyland Half Marathon races. My finish time was decent considering all the distractions. The weather was warm, but not as bad as the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon. I had fun seeing blog readers and bloggers I follow. I loved all the cars that were out this year. Running through Angel Stadium is always fun. Miles 11 and 12 went better than ever before! I think that my experience running the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon last year (where the miles 11 and 12 are pretty similar) helped me. Anyways, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is THE race weekend at the Disneyland Resort. The folks at runDisney put more into this race than any of the others. The Expo is bigger and they do more to make this a fantastic experience for all runners.
In spite of all the fun I had this year, I think that I’ll only run the Disneyland 10K next year. Maybe, I’ll add the Disneyland 5K as well because I’ve never run that race before. However, the money it takes to run 3 challenge races at Disneyland in a year is too much for me to continue to do so. The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is my favorite runDisney offering at Disneyland. So, I’m hoping to become a legacy runner in that race. I like the theme of the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. However, last year, it felt very much like a race that was put together at the last minute. Hopefully, this year, runDisney will put a little more into this race.
Of course, I said the same thing last year. If not for the 10th Anniversary medal, I wouldn’t have run the Dumbo Double Dare again.You never know what the future holds. But, I’m pretty confident that I won’t be running the Dumbo Double Dare next year. I hope that all of those who ran the races at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend this year had as much fun as I did. Come back on Friday as I’ll have a post with all the pictures from my fun in the theme parks after the Disneyland Half Marathon. After all, you shouldn’t just go home after this race. You’ve got to stay and play in the parks. See you Friday!