Posts Tagged by anaheim

2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Medals Revealed!

Today runDisney revealed the all new medal designs for this year’s Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! With this being both the 10th anniversary of the race weekend and the 60th anniversary of the Disneyland Resort, it’s not surprising that all of the medals have seen a revamp.


Let’s take a closer look at all of the new medals!

Disneyland 5K Medal


Disneyland 10K Medal


Disneyland Half Marathon Medal


Dumbo Double Dare Medal


The Kids Medal looks like it features a fun vignette from Sleeping Beauty, which might give a hint to the theme of the races.  Overall, I’m happy when I see new medal designs and that runDisney is keeping things fresh, however these are not my favorites of all the race weekends.  The 10K and Half Marathon look small in these photos and frankly underwhelming.  I am a BIG fan of the medal design from the past few years and I just feel like this doesn’t live up to that.  You know…this one…

050 DLHalf-Medals

What do you think of the new Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Medals?  Which one are you most excited about receiving?

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2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Info


Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in Disneyland takes flight tomorrow!  This women-centered race weekend is taking place over Mother’s Day Weekend this year and is going to be full of fairy mischief and fun.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Send of by Tinkerbell

This race weekend is jam packed with events, so let’s get to the details!  (I apologize in advance for a few of the images and diagrams from runDisney that are not very clear.)

Health & Fitness Expo

Your weekend will begin with a trip to the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel and the hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, May 7th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, May 8th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 9th: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

All race participants MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt(s), and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag also doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, like Dooney & Bourke bags.  Have you seen the new Tink designs for 2015??

Tink Dooney


When you arrive at the expo, your first stop will be the Lower Exhibit Hall for Packet Pick Up.  Remember that you can no longer have someone pick up your packet for you.  Everyone MUST turn in a waiver, show ID and pick up their own packet.



You will then proceed to the Upper Exhibit Hall to pick up your race shirt(s) and gEAR bag, visit with vendors, listen to the speaker series, and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.  If you haven’t heard, Margaret Kelly, the woman behind the pixie dust of Tinker Bell, will be presenting during the speaker series.  That is not to be missed!




If you are hoping to get a pair of the exclusive shoes from the New Balance runDisney collection, including the new Tinker Bell Fresh Foam Boracay, make sure to sign up the morning of the Expo at


Resort Transportation

If you are staying at one of the Disneyland Resorts, you will simply be able to walk to the both the Expo and the Starting Line for each race.

If you are staying at a Good Neighbor hotel, there will be complimentary Anaheim Transportation Network (ART) shuttles for the entire weekend for runners and spectators.  This doesn’t just include during race time…it is COMPLIMENTARY ALL WEEKEND, May 7-10.  Make sure to get a pass from one of the drivers…this is a BIG bonus and will save you a lot of time and money!  The shuttles make stops around every 20 minutes, so plan your trip accordingly.  The schedule will be extended to the following times:

  • Thursday, May 7th: 8:20 am – 9:30 pm 
  • Friday, May 8th: 3:00 am – 12:30 am
  • Saturday, May 9th: 3:30 am – 12:30 am
  • Sunday, May 10th: 3:30 am – 12:30 am

Here is a map of the Good Neighbor Hotel locations:

2015-Tinker-Bell-Good Neighbor-Shuttle


Driving Directions

Parking will be available in the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure located on Disneyland Drive and Ball Road for all weekend events.  Standard parking rates will apply and there are no discounts for runners. Roads will be closing beginning at 5:00 am on race days and there will be numerous detours that will be set up.  Make sure to leave enough time for traffic delays!


Wings, wings and more wings!  Get ready for the fairies to descend upon Disneyland.  I love to see all the fun costumes so make sure to share yours.  Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  So who are you dressing up as??

Bag Check

Participants must use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.  The bag check tents are located in the Family Reunion Area in the Simba parking lot.  All bags must be checked by 5:15 am prior to the 10K and half marathon before heading to your corrals.  Bags can be picked up at the same location following the race.  Your bib number is your “claim ticket.”


For the 5K, bag check will be in the picnic area outside of the entrance to Disneyland Park.  All bags must be checked by 4:45 am prior to the race.

Start Corrals

The start corrals for the 10K and half marathon are located on Disneyland Drive adjacent to the Simba lot and near Paradise Pier Hotel.  For each race, your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or the one behind you.  You can find your corral placement by printing you waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.  Corral placement for the 5K & 10K will be available at packet pick-up.

Tinker Bell 10K



Tinker Bell Half Marathon & Pixie Dust Challenge

2015-Pixie-Dust-Challenge-Corral-Assignments 2015-Tinker-Bell-Half-Corral-Assignments 2015-Tinker-Bell-Half-Corrals

Starting Times

The Never Land 5K will begin at 5:00 and the Tinker Bell 10K and Half Marathon will begin at 5:30 am.  The wheelchair start for the half marathon will be at 5:29 am on Sunday, May 10th.  Runners are encouraged to arrive to the staging area no later than one hour prior to the race start time and be in your assigned corrals no later than 30 minutes prior.

Race Bibs

Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend or fold your bib as the Chrono Track B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly, or more importantly you won’t get any photos!

If you are competing in the Pixie Dust Challenge, you will have one race bib for both the 10K and the Half Marathon, so make sure to take good care of it!

Tink-Half-Liliane-With bib at EXPO

Pacing Requirements

Remember that you must keep a minimum pace of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line. Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.  Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.

Pixie Dust Challenge Participants

If you are participating in this challenge, you will receive a wristband after finishing the Tinker Bell 10K on Saturday at the Pixie Dust Challenge tent.  This must be worn while running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  After completing the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday, you will need to present this wristband at the same tent to receive your medal.

Coast to Coast Challenge Participants

If you are participating in this challenge, you will receive a wristband when you pick up your bib at the Health & Fitness Expo.  A runDisney official will put this on for you and it can not be taken off until you complete the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  After completing the race, you will need to present this wristband at the Coast to Coast tent to receive your medal.

If you ran the Princess Half Marathon in February at Walt Disney World, you will receive the special PINK Coast to Coast medal!

Coast to Coast Medals

Course Maps

From what I hear since I’ve never participated in this race weekend, these are the best courses of all the races held in Disneyland.  What do you think?

Never Land 5K


Tinker Bell 10K


Tinker Bell Half Marathon


More information on other events like the Kids Races and the Pasta in the Park Party is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend.  Also, check out some of my packing tips as you get ready to travel.

Finally, if you will be out in Disneyland, I am still looking for some contributors to cover the events of the weekend.  Race recaps, spectator stories, Expo coverage, other weekend events, you name it…I want to hear about it!  Email me at if you are interested.  Also, please tag me in your photos from the weekend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…I will share them all weekend.

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The Inaugural Star Wars 10K

When Kate first contacted me about covering the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend and told me that she had a cat named after a Star Wars character, I knew she was perfect for the job!  She took on the Inaugural Rebel Challenge and took on half of the challenge with her 10 year old son…how fun!  I love when parents make runDisney events a family affair.  Here is their journey to a galaxy far, far away.


I’m a Disney race veteran – starting with the Inaugural Tower of Terror 13K, the 2010 WDW Half (Disney’s Marathon on Ice!), and 2012 Princess and Disneyland for my Coast to Coast. My older son, Russell, started running 5Ks with me a few years ago, so he was a bit disappointed with his Disneyland Kids Race. (“Mom. It’s a quarter mile. That’s only one lap around the track!”)

So when the Star Wars race weekend was announced, I gave him the option of the 5K or 10K. Child: “Which one has a real medal?” We signed up for the 10K. All about the bling, at only ten. I’ve created a monster. (Says the mom registered for the Rebel Challenge for the extra bling!)


The costume decision was pretty easy – I ordered R2D2 and C3PO shirts off Amazon and had Lori (my Disney race companion) grab the mouse ears in WDW – although there were plenty at the Expo. Unfortunately, the Artoo shirt only came in men’s sizes, so it was a bit big on Russell, and mine came with sleeves, which I hate and therefore cut off.

I made the rainbow sparkle skirt (Sparkle Skirt DIY Info) for a previous race, and we couldn’t convince the boy to wear Lori’s blue sparkle skirt. Because he is no fun.


The boy was a bit grouchy about getting up at 3:30 am, but he gamely made faces at the cameras.


We watched some of the preshow, did our force push to save the hosts from Darth Vader, and headed to the corrals.


Star Wars font makes everything seem awesome, even the fact that there’s a million people between you and the start line! We all started in D with Russell, the lowest ‘seed’ of our trio.


See, a million people. Though they didn’t have the fireworks of a WDW race, the start line was still full of energy and bright lights.


Russell got a somewhat shocked shout-out from Rudy as we crossed the start line – yay for being one of the youngest runners!

Knowing there was only one corral behind us, we expected a lot of walkers, but we figured we could dodge them and get moving. That never really happened – there was such a mass of people that it was impossible to weave through. But pretty much everyone was dressed as a Star Wars character, so you can’t get mad at a guy on a tauntaun.

The beginning of the race was on roads leading along the edge of the parking lots and parks, but we were back in the parks in under two miles, and either in park or backstage for the rest of the race.


Seriously. Park your cars elsewhere.

Which is awesome – both for regular runners and young runners. Russell was thrilled by seeing parts of the Matterhorn in refurb and all the other random backstage things. I was in the College Program at WDW, so backstage isn’t really new to me, but it made me smile to see him see these things for the first time.

Disney kept things interesting by having Darth Vader’s voice echoing through the one tunnel (and the one mean little hill out of it!) and various Star Wars stuff projected on the buildings. And of course, Star Wars music everywhere.


That’s no moon. Wait, one is. But not the other one. Man, it must still be pretty early if we think this is hilarious.


There were several character stops, but the lines were very long, and we kept saying, “Well, if it’s a good character, we’ll wait. Maybe the next one. Surely Han will be out here. Yoda, maybe? Okay….I don’t even know who those people are!” (Because Lori doesn’t have a ten year old boy and doesn’t watch Star Wars Rebels.)


Around mile three, we started Lori’s run/walk doohickey on a 3/3 ratio to keep the boy moving forward with minimal whining, most of which was due to the excessive Star Wars quoting. “This Artoo unit has a bad motivator!” “Do or do not, there is no try.” And of course, since Lori was dressed as Chewbacca, “let the Wookie win.” (We didn’t. Sorry, Lori!)

The finish was the same as ’12 Disneyland, around a backstage area and in between Downtown Disney and DL Hotel. Up till now, I had been impressed by the etiquette of the other runners – even though we were packed in tight, there wasn’t a lot of pushing or bumping. Up until a woman stopped a few feet from the finish line to take a picture…RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I nearly plowed into her, and ended up almost taking out Lori and Russell as I dodged her. Sigh.


But we finished with smiles on our faces, collected our “real” medals, food and water, and headed to the Info Tent to pick up the younger child’s Kids Race bib. One down, two to go!


Kate Starcher is a quilt designer, blogger, Half Fanatic, former Disney cast member, and so much of a Star Wars nerd that she has a cat named Tycho Celchu. See her quilt hidden Mickeys on t-shirt quilts at

Star Wars Rebel Challenge – Running Two Races Back to Back

I don’t know about you, but it has been SO exciting to watch John’s running journey over the past few months as he has become quite the experienced distance runner.  In January, he took on his most difficult challenge yet, the Rebel Challenge!  Let’s just say that it was an accomplishment of galactic proportions! 


When I first signed up for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, I wasn’t thinking about the distance, duration, time, or training. I was thinking “lookie, cool medals!”.   The logistics of running a 10k followed by a half marathon hadn’t really entered my mind. After all, I had already run several 10k’s, and had completed my first half marathon (Avengers). And my time was pretty good, coming in at roughly 9:30-9:45 per mile. Needless to say, I was starting to feel a bit smug. In fact, I didn’t even get too serious about training until about 4 weeks prior. After all, I kept telling myself I was in good form from the Avengers Half Marathon. What could possibly go wrong?


It didn’t help that I was feeling pretty good the day of the Star Wars 10k. The weather was cold and brisk, which I new could help keep my core temperature down. There were also several other Cast Members, family, and close friends running, which made the morning a welcome homecoming.

Before I new it, we were off!   I’ve seen backstage many times, but experiencing it with lights and music cheering runners on was invigorating. Cast donned Mickey Mitts cheering us on, while big screen boards flashed messages of encouragement. Transitioning to onstage areas was even more exciting: passing by the Sleeping Beauty Castle, running down Main Street, through the Esplanade, and Buena Vista Street were all accompanied with a sense of excitement and wonder, with Star Wars characters such as Stormtroopers and Jedi in strategic photo spots.

Before I knew it, I was crossing Disneyland Drive, nearing the finish line, the course lined with cheering Cast and Guests. An announcer called out participant names as they crossed. I picked up my speed, crossed the finish line, and heard the name of … Sean Astin! We ended up finishing the race at the same time. If I was going to be upstaged, it was nice to be upstaged by a Goonie. And my finish time? 54:16, for a pace of 8:44 per mile. A new personal record for any event!


The next day came the Half Marathon. Same start location, same excitement. This time, just after starting, a runner clipped me and I did a graceful tumble into the plants along Disneyland Drive. With just a scraped knee, only my pride was wounded, I instantly jumped up to get back into the race. Even though I had just experienced the backstage and onstage course, it was no less exciting.

This time, after winding through the Parks, the course emptied onto Harbor Blvd, headed due south, took a turn on Garden Grove Blvd, wandered through Old Towne Garden Grove, and then turned back north on Harbor. Just before turning left on Katella (about mile 9), the previous day’s run finally start to take its toll, as aches began to kick in. Although slowed, I wasn’t deterred, as the course continued down Katella and right on Disneyland Drive, finishing in Downtown Disney just past ESPN Zone. I crossed the finish line at 2:07:19 (9:43 per mile). I felt slightly dismayed, since my Avengers Half Marathon time was two seconds faster at 9:41 per mile. But my dismay was short lived when I received the Rebel Challenge medal for a total of 19.3 miles run.


There were a few lessons I learned:

1 – Rest after the 10k. Don’t go home and do gardening or chores, just because you feel invincible. It’s just the adrenaline talking.

2 – Eat plenty, but eat right. Sure, you just carb loaded, but your body just burned off all those calories. Replenish that stored energy, but also give your body protein.

3 – Rest. Yeah, you just got a spiffy medal, but you’re not done. You’ll still need to rest and decompress. You can’t party quite yet.

4 – Don’t compare. This was a big one for me. Running a half by itself it not the same as running a half after a 10k. You’re not going to perform the same way. Be okay with it.

5 – Enjoy it. Even if you’re like me, and run for time, there’s so much more to a race than getting to the finish line. Enjoy the Characters, the Cast cheering you on, the bands, the police offers, the spectators, and the countless volunteers that you’ll see along the course. They’re there because they’re supporting you. Let them.

Next Year: the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge. Who among you will be joining me?

RADically Yours,



John grew up in the Orange County area of California, always living in the shadow of the Disneyland Resort.  Known as the consummate storyteller to his friends, he has had an admiration of Disney since childhood, and is most interested in the Company’s history and heritage.  His favorite memory to date is setting foot in Walt’s apartment over the Main Street Firehouse.  John lives by what he calls the three F’s: faith, fun, and fitness.   Being healthy isn’t about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.  Nothing sums that up more than making Disney races a goal in every fitness plan.

Run Your Buns Off at the Star Wars Half Marathon!

When Kelly first reached out to me about covering the Star Wars Half Marathon, I was so excited to read her experience.  Not only is she a great writer, but she also has a fondness for the word RAD…super cool!  Here’s Kelly’s experience at the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon last month with some wonderful lessons learned along the way…including the not so fun side of wearing a tutu during a half marathon. 🙂


What do Mickey Mouse, a Storm Trooper, and missing toenails have in common? They represent my experience at Disney’s Star Wars Half Marathon!


A little about me: I used to hate running. A recently as two years ago I said, “We are alotted a finite amount of run in our lives and I’m saving up all my run in case I’m ever chased by a dog.” But then my friend, Tracy, bewitched me and convinced me to run a 5K – she even said she’d come down and run it with me. During that first, momentus run, I experienced the thrill of completing something I didn’t think was possible, the strain of muscles that I didn’t even know I had, and the magic that exists at the finish line. I caught the running bug and haven’t looked back.

“The pace is strong with this one.”

The Star Wars Half Marathon would be my third half marathon so I had high hopes for it. I had a time goal, expectations, and I’d trained thoroughly. Also, I was helping my friend, Nathan, running his very first half marathon. Nathan hadn’t trained well and even bought his running gear at the expo where we picked up our packets! The day before the race we discussed our anxieties about the race the next day. We had different expectations, but were both competing against ourselves. I wanted not only to perform well for myself, but also to be a source of encouragment for my friend. I’ve gone from non-runner, to running-mentor in two years which never ceases to amaze me.


“May the course be with you.”

Starting my day at 4 am in Downtown Disney and winding through both Disneyland and California Adventure was magical. The first four miles of the course were on Disney property, surrounded by characters and carousels. It’s easy to run when you’re distracted by the excitement of the parks. My absolute favorite moment was rounding the corner in Cars Land and seeing the sunrise over the red rocks. I felt like Forrest Gump seeing the desert surnise. The woman running next to me was convinced that it was a painted backdrop and not the sky’s natural beauty. I had to stop and take a picture!


Keeping pace and excitement became a little more difficult the latter nine miles when we wound through the streets of Anaheim. Even thought it wasn’t as magical as in the parks, we still had plenty of ambiance. We ran past half a dozen local high school bands, all playing the Imperial March for encouragement as well as a plethora of Star Wars fans. There were a dozen Storm Troopers and several Chewbaccas holding signs and cheering us along. I am pretty sure these were just fans to showed up and wanted to be a part of the innagural race. Some gave out refreshments; some held up signs filled with Star Wars puns; all made me smile.


At mile twelve I knew I had a chance to set a personal record. Even though I was spent, and chilled, I knew I couldn’t forgive myself if I slacked pace now. So I pushed, counting down the minutes and the miles until I saw the magical finish line. I’ve tried to explain the magic of the finish line to non-runners and they just don’t get it. My eyes tear up at every race when I hit that last point one miles. I am amazed at the hours and months (and money!) that went into this moment and I want to savor it. I have never purchased a race photo since I am either crying unbecomingly in them or looking down to stop my watch and see my time. Even though I’ve never gotten flattering photo evidence of my finish, I remember each one and look forward to the next magical finish line that I get to cross.


13.1 miles. Check!


That is the short story of my running experience, but I don’t run just for times or medals or dry fit shirts. I run to learn about my limits, my stamina, and myself. Running has been an incredibly powerful object lesson in life. Believing in myself, striving for more, pushing through when times are hard, and running with the encouragment of others — I’ve learned a lot through my running days. Those lessons are the things that make me keep running. So what did this race teach me?

Lessons Learned:

  1. It’s hard to use a porta potty whilst wearing a tutu. (I’ll spare you the details and let your imagination run with this one.)
  2. Something goes wrong in every race. Whether its running out of Gu, or toileting urgency, or untied shoelaces, or poor weather, or dead iPod batteries – I’ve experience (and gotten through) them all. I’ve learned that I’m not as dependant upon outside sources of motivation as I thought. I have to believe in my training and focus on my drive to succeed instead of the imperfection of my surroundings. I can choose to focus on the problems in life or on the progress. I want to be thankful for the mile just completed and look forward to the next one in running and in life.2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-07
  3. Stay the Course! I do math constantly while running. I calculate my pace and time each mile. I trained to run intervals because my knees can’t handle constant running. As I was doing math around the 5K mark, I realized I’d somehow lost 4 minutes and was behind my planned pace. I had moments where I was frustrated with myself and I wanted to push through, skipping my walking interval and just run. But I knew that I hadn’t trained for that. If I tried that plan, I’d run the risk that I’d exhaust myself and end up slower overall. So I kept to my plan and my training and stayed the course to run with endurance the race set out before me. And it worked! I set a personal record on this race! The same is true in life! Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and I lose four minutes in my world. Don’t panic. Recalculate. And stay the course. It will be okay!
  4. It is important to celebrate! The hardest race I ever competed in felt lonely the entire time because I didn’t have the opportunity to celebrate. The Star Wars Half was a completely different experience because it was swaddled in celebrations. Even when I crossed the finish line at this race and fist pumped for my own PR, I knew I wasn’t done. I was going to wait for Nathan and cheer him through the finish line. I tear up every time I watch people cross the finish line. I get especially choked up watching people who, if I just glanced at them, would not think they could complete a half marathon, but they prove me wrong every time – and I love it! I love to high-five and clap for these people who are only competing with themselves and disproving their, “I can’t do it” lies! I saw this same wide-eyed, emotional, “I can’t believe I just did that!” look in Nathan’s eyes. He wasn’t ready. Hadn’t trained much at all. But he kept moving forward for 13.1 miles. He learned first hand the magic that exists at finish lines. He found me, tears in his eyes, and we hugged and hobbled to celebrate our achievements at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland! Celebrating is important in life. I can’t be so focused on the next race or the next achievement that I forget to stop and be thankful for what just happened. I need to celebrate my life and share the joy with others. Running has taught me all these lessons and more and when I glance at my rack of race medals glinting in my room I am reminded of each race, each experience, and each lesson. I am thankful for the ability to run and look forward to more races and more lessons in the coming days.


A Few Thank Yous

I loved my weekend preparing for, running, and celebrating the Star Wars Half Marathon. But I couldn’t have done this alone! I’d like to thank my friend, Tracy, for making me my celebratory “Princess Kelly” t-shirt and for getting me running in the first place. My family, friends and coworkers for cheering me on from afar and creepily tracking my progress by my bib number. And I’d like to thank the academy. It’s an honor just to be nominated. Stay RAD!



I’m Kelly and I’m a word addict. My favorite word is twitterpated, followed closely by kerfuffle. I feel healthiest when processing life on paper- it’s how I think best. Here’s some more pertinent facts: I love to MacGyver my way through life and nothing is ever broken that I can’t fix. My friend, Tracy, bewitched me into running by first 5K and I caught the running bug and haven’t been the same since. I’m a Disney enthusiast and can still feel the magic at each park. In my spare time, I work full time as an Occupational Therapist helping children and babies grow, heal, and develop after neurological impairments.  I was once introduced by a friend as, “This is Kelly. She’s way rad!” The person misheard and thought my name was Kelly Wayrad. It’s a sentiment I strive to live up to daily! Thanks for reading my real thoughts on virtual paper at
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