Posts Tagged by angel stadium

A Cast Member’s Recap of The Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

We all know that Disney Cast Members are one of the main reasons that make every visit to any Disney Park so special.  That’s because most of them love the parks just as much as we (the fans) do!  And like us fans, they also love to runDisney!  Christina is a Disneyland cast member and today she is here to share her experience running the Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in her home away from home 🙂

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Have you ever dreamed of being a superhero? I sure have! That’s just one of the reasons I signed up to run the Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon.

Being a cast member, my journey into the running world started a long time before I laced up my first pair of running shoes. I worked every runDisney event in some capacity and when 2014 started, I added running a half marathon to my list of resolutions. By the time I finally got over the butterflies about taking on such a big race though, I had missed the deadline for the Disneyland Half Marathon. Through the runDisney website I found Team Muscle Makers for UCMD and started my fundraising campaign. Not even two months later, runDisney announced the Avengers Half and I signed up with Team Muscle Makers for that race as well.

Fast forward 6 months, probably the fastest 6 months of my life, and it was Avengers Half Marathon Weekend!! I spent both Friday and Saturday attending the expo, hanging out with my teammates, and visiting with my fellow cast members who were working the event. I have to say one of the best parts about running as a cast member is the encouragement from my cast before, during, and after the race. It was like I had my own personal cheering squad!

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Race day started bright and early (ok maybe not bright! Lol) and I set my alarms probably far earlier than I needed to. During the Disneyland Half I had stayed at a Good Neighbor hotel but this time I was coming from my house and I had no idea what kind of time I would need to park and walk to the gear check. After double checking my gear multiple times and putting on my Captain America costume, I added the final touch which was my Team Muscle Makers wristband. The kids we were running in honor of made us all wristbands to wear during the race. I ran for Joe.

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The drive and parking went quickly and left me with plenty of time to check out the stage by the family reunion area. I snapped some pictures with the Agents of SHIELD, who decided I am Hydra because I can’t Macerena. I also saw more friends from my work locations who despite my nervousness were quick to tell me how awesome they knew I would be and wish me luck!

The cast photo was scheduled for 4:15 am and we quickly assembled in front of the stage. 80 cast members ran in the first ver Avengers Half Marathon. As we were lining up, the announcer said something about missing a few people and naturally we all started looking around for the missing people. Right then out came the Avengers!! The cast members were as excited as the kids we make the magic for as Hawkeyes, Black Widow, Thor, and Captain America took the stage. Once the photo was finished, it was time to head to the corrals! I met back up with Team Muscle Makers for a quick team photo and off to the corrals we went.

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I was the only one in Corral H from the team and so I had to quickly split off from the group. At this point, the nerves were starting to kick in and I decided to people watch. There are no shortage of things to see in a runDisney race and there are truly no limits to the costumes. I saw all the Avengers, some lesser known Marvel characters, and even one guy dressed as an LA King in full hockey gear! Just as I settled into the corrals, I realized I never checked my sunglasses with my gear but was far enough in I decided to run with them since I didn’t want to give up my spot. With more than an hour ahead of me in the corrals, I made small talk with other runners until race time.. One couple was running their first west coast race going for their Coast to Coast medal and another woman was running her first half. Time flies when you are having fun and race time was quickly upon us.

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Corral H was a very large corral and race start was crowded with lots of people straying on to the sidewalks to go around the packs of walkers. The course was quite different than my last race and we headed into California Adventure right away via backstage and into CarsLand. CarsLand was beautiful all decorated for the holidays and Mile 1 was there before I knew it. We headed towards Condor Flats, passing Grizzly River Run and I spotted my first character. Hawkeye was standing by Soarin’ Over California but had a huge line. I waited just a second until someone stepped away and took a quick picture of him. I’m a slower runner and I wanted every last second to make sure I didn’t get swept.

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Exiting Disney’s California Adventure and entering Disneyland via backstage, I spotted our Main Street Vehicles cast members waving and encouraging the runners along. Continuing backstage, we entered the park through Splash Gate and into Critter Country. This is the part of the course I was most excited about (second being Angel Stadium) because it’s my second home. I’ve been a cast member for a long time and I’ve been part of New Orleans Critter Country (NOCC) Attractions since 2008. We passed Splash and Pooh quickly and came upon a SHIELD agent warning us of the hill leading up towards the Haunted Mansion. I snapped a quick selfie with the gate of my house.. Yes, my house lol. I think I spend more time there than I do at home and once again debunked the rumor of death certificates as I ran by.

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Mile 2 and Black Widow was in front of the Golden Horseshoe but her line had already been cut off due to how long it was. Through Fantasyland and out through the castle was next, and I saw a big group of our third shift Custodial with a big sign that read “Third Shift Custodial Welcomes You” as well the the beginning of the chEAR squads. My favorite sign read “You look MARVELous!” I noticed there weren’t very many signs compared to last time but continued running down Main Street and out of Disneyland.

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The cast members pointing the way to Harbor Blvd had a ton of energy and were cheering us on all the way. As I moved down Harbor I saw mile maker #3 and that was the last one I saw for awhile. Right after I passed #3, I saw some of my Team Muscle Maker teammates with some signs and I stopped for a quick picture.

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Crossing Katella, I quickly noticed one big change. The WIND. It was blowing so strong that cones, markers, fencing and signs were blowing around the course! Dirt off the nearby construction zone had runners stopping in their tracks. Remember those sunglasses I forget to check? Boy was I grateful I had them!!!

Turning down Chapman made the wind seem worse bc now you were running straight into the wind. Runners were losing costume pieces, hats, and debris was flying at us. I made the comment (not knowing how loud I was – thanks headphones!) about “not realizing this was an obstacle course” which was met with cheers from the runners around me. We headed into The parking lot of the church (formerly Crystal Cathedral) and the volunteers were soaking wet from the water flying everywhere. Huge shoutout to them for sticking with us despite the crazy weather. I never saw the next couple mile markers because they had been destroyed or blown over by the wind. There was a huge hill just before the Santa Ana River Trail and I quickly snapped a view of the runners behind me.

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The river trail was a nice long straightaway that started with some gorgeous Avengers art on the wall. Along that stretch I met a runner who had done all the runDisney races this year and saw Ramiro (who was the inspiration behind my running shirt for this race). Also along this stretch was some of the best cosplay I have ever seen. My favorite was Loki!

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Leaving the river trail, we headed into Angel Stadium with a huge tailwind. I probably wasn’t but there were a few times I thought I was airborne! With the help of another runner I got a few pictures of myself on the field (including the photobomb I didn’t notice until after the race!). If I wasn’t being timed, I would have hung around the stadium all day. Leaving the stadium, I came across the WWII military set up. They represented very branch of the military and I was told that some of them were veterans!

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The wind was really bad at this point and had really slowed down a lot of people but with little to look at Mile 10 came up quickly. Just as I went under the freeway at

Disney Way, someone came running through yelling about the people sweeping. Everyone took off and seemed a lot like the stampede in the Lion King! I did see the bike guys as I crossed Anaheim Blvd but checking my watch I knew I was well above the pace. Double checking, they told me I was fine. From that point until we hit Harbor Blvd again was probably my least favorite part of the course. It was tight with lots of people and the cars were still traveling next to us and seemed to pay more attention to the runners than the road.

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Just before I entered backstage at Disneyland again, I saw cast members I worked with and they really pushed me to pick up my pace. At this point,

I saw the official runDisney 16min/mile walkers (aka the ballon ladies) and I realized how much time that tight stretch on Clementine had cost me. I picked it up all the way to Disneyland Drive when all out fatigue and hip pain hit me. I was so close!!

As I came into the Simba parking lot, there was a local high school chanting “Hail Hydra!” I laughed so hard, it shook me out of my momentary funk and pushed me forward. Just past the Paradise Pier, I saw Rhoda (another NOCC cast member) and I ran over for hug. Everything hurt and she just looked at me and said “You are at 12.9! Keep going! You got this!!” It was seriously just the thing and I pushed forward through to the finish line! Waiting there was one of my closest friends, Laura, who greeted me with a huge hug and walked with me to get my medal.

There is no doubt that “runner’s high” is a real thing because there is nothing like having that medal around your neck!

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I quickly grabbed my gear and headed towards Downtown Disney because the Fmaily Reunion Area had been closed due to the extremely high winds. There I met up with MaryJane (one of my moms closest friends since high school) who came out to see me finish the race.

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Despite the crazy wind, the Avengers Half Marthon was one of the most fun races I’ve been a part of. And the best part? I set a personal record!! I finished in 3:39 almost 7 minutes faster than my DL Half time!

I want to say a huge thank you to all the cast members and volunteers who came out to the race to make it a reality! Laura, Rhoda, Jessica, Michael and all the cast members who cheering me on before, during, and after the race – thank you! Thank you to my husband and boys who were waiting at home with huge hugs – thank you! And Team Muscle Makers for UCMD thank you for letting me be a part of your amazing team.

2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Recap – A Story of Strength and Solidarity

We’ve all had those races that are a struggle.  Either we are not prepared or the weather is bad or we are just not mentally in the game.  Jenna went into the Disneyland Half Marathon not feeling so great, but ended up persevering and finding new friends along the way.  I first met Jenna during the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend and we have remained friends since.  Her positive attitude, infectious smile and ability to laugh during the difficult times make her a joy to know.  All of that is what got her and others through a difficult race. I dare you to not tear up by the end of this race recap…CONGRATS JENNA!

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Before the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon, I had a pretty strong feeling that this was one race I would not be finishing. I was undertrained, overweight, and had half-healed injuries. Two weeks before the race, I made one last attempt to get in a 10 mile run, but got a blister 6.5 miles into it, so quit after 8 miles. All of this left me extremely worried as race day got closer. I studied past results and run blogs obsessively. My one goal was to get to the other side of Angel Stadium, where I knew I would see the last sweep point.

I did the 5K on Friday and had a nice, fun run around the parks to settle myself down and enjoy the scenery without worrying about my timing chip. On Friday night, I watched the Magical fireworks show at Disneyland and heard the words “Wishes make your dreams come true.” No, I thought. Hard work makes your dreams come true. But if I had one wish, I knew what it would be.

On Sunday, I got to the race start just after the corrals opened. I was in Corral I, so I had plenty of time, but I wanted to get as close to the front of the corral to squeeze out as many extra minutes as possible.

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I had met a cast member in my corral on Friday night and Christina and I spent the endless time before our start chatting with her and trying not to worry.

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And then we were off!

I felt pretty good at the beginning, though I kept thinking about the 20 ounces of water I drank in the corral. My calves felt tight and my shoes felt loose, so as soon as we were in California Adventure, I stretched one and snugged up the other. One quick bathroom break in Cars Land and it was back to sticking to my intervals as much and for as long as I could.

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Along the way, I settled into a pack and chatted with people around me a bit. I got a piece of advice from one runner that would prove to be invaluable in more ways than I knew.

She advised me to breathe more deeply, from my diaphragm and gave me some techniques to help. It was great advice and just what I needed. I remember thinking, she knows what she’s talking about and she’s going about my pace. If I can keep her in view, I will finish this race. She was easy to spot in a mermaid patterned Sparkle Skirt, purple shirt, white ball cap and CamelBak. And this plan absolutely worked. There were times when I’d pass my mermaid runner. There were times when she passed me. But we were usually pretty close.

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Through the middle third of the race, I was acutely aware of my blister. Though it had healed in the week prior to the race, walking around Disneyland for three days before the race had brought it back and made it… angry. I’m pretty sure it broke sometime around mile six. So while I remember the Mexican folkloric dancers on Cerritos Avenue and the step dance crew on Lewis Street, I was way more focused on the pain in my foot.

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Soon, I’d reached the halfway point and the sea of signs cheering on runners (mostly from MousePlanet). I knew I didn’t have a sign there, but it didn’t stop me from making a muscle for Parker or cheering for the real men who were running in kilts. I was just so happy to see that spot! I was also happy to see my mermaid runner making a beeline for the Team MousePlanet support tent. Got a hug from Ken the Free Hugs (to end racial discrimination) guy, and I was off and trudging along again.

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Mile 7 found me totally distracted by the sheer number of flooring, kitchen and bath stores on State College Rd. A little voice said, “Drop out! Buy tile instead!” I think I was delirious.

Angels Stadium… Angels Stadium… It became a mantra for me. And at one point, I could see the top of the A. I tried to take a picture of the A. And then my music stopped playing and I couldn’t get my phone to work again. So I had to be stuck in my own head for the rest of the race. That is not a happy place to be when you’re rapidly approaching the furthest distance you’ve run in 18 months. (Unbeknownst to me, it started working again two miles later and took pictures from inside my pocket.)

I didn’t even notice when we passed the Honda Center, even though I was looking for it. I said out loud, “My feet feel like water balloons.” A passing runner said, “That’s really… That’s a really good… I know just what you mean.” My feet were so swollen within my shoes that I could feel the fluid in them and later discovered that my pinkie toenail sliced right into the swollen piggy that didn’t have roast beef.

I could see other runners struggling. There were the sisters dressed as the Potato Heads. There was the woman who was literally pulling her friend up the hills. There were all the people telling each other how much they hurt, as they kept walking, running and moving forward.

When we got on the Santa Ana Trail, I heard the dreaded sound: balloon ladies calling out, “We’re behind pace! Pick it up! Don’t slow down!” They were right behind me! I did what I could to get back to intervals whenever possible, but the trail was getting narrower and the pack was getting more confined. When we approached the bridge underpass and people realized that Angels Stadium was still on the other side of the Orange Freeway, you could actually feel people slow down in disappointed shock. Then the balloon ladies yelled again and it sent us scrambling down the hill.

The tunnel into Angels Stadium was wet, downhill and gritty, but you could hear the roar of the crowd on the other side. All of my exhaustion and soreness was no match for a stadium full of cheering Scouts! I high-fived every kid in reach! In the melee, I didn’t notice precisely when the balloon ladies passed me, but by the time we emerged from the tunnel out of the stadium, they were in front of me. And so was some guy running with a small broom. Oh, no! No, no, no! I didn’t come this far to get swept! I could see busses at the far side of the parking lot. I could see security guards.

I ran past them.

I don’t know how long after that they closed the last sweep point, but I was past it!

About a half mile later, I caught up with my mermaid runner, thanked her for the breathing advice way back in Disneyland and we fell into chatting. She said her name was Janna and she told me the story of her Tinkerbell Half experience. At some point on the route, she was shoved by another runner, stepped into a pothole and twisted her ankle. She didn’t finish. She was doing Dumbo this time, after months of loss and illness.

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Janna’s Feet From Inside My Pocket

“I just don’t want to get swept again.”

“Janna, we’re past the last sweep point.”

“What?! Where is it? Never mind, don’t tell me.”

“It’s almost a mile behind us. We are finishing this race.”

“I’m not getting swept? I’m finishing the race?”

She started crying in relief and I gave her a sideways hug as we kept walking.

“You are crossing that finish line if I have to human crutch you across it.”

From then on, the race was all about sheer stubbornness and solidarity. We stuck together the remaining two and a half miles: keeping an eye out for mile markers; keeping our feet going; keeping each other’s spirits up. At some point, when we were finally back on Disney property back behind California Adventure, a couple of high school cheerleaders danced alongside us chanting “WE’RE! SO! PROUD OF YOU! WE’RE SO PROUD OF YOU!” I grinned like an idiot. I was proud of us, too!

Finally, we were into the finish line viewing area and I could see my friends, F.J. and Andy cheering for me. They were in Corrals A and D and were showered and changed already! I hugged them and got them sweaty again. They told me how proud they were of me. I ran back to catch up with Janna. “There’s no time for hugging our people!” Janna said, right before she ran over and hugged one of her people.

I saw a sign that said “You look hot when you sweat!” and said “Darned right I do!” and started strutting down the approach to the finish line. The remaining, die-hard crowd went wild!

Then I turned to Janna and said, “You ready to run across that finish line and end this thing with style? Gotta look good for the pictures! “

“You know I am!” she said. We ran the rest of the way, dodging people going in for the hug with Mickey and Minnie.

Across the finish line, we had another tearful hug and got our medals (Half for me, Half and Dumbo for Janna!), then went our separate ways. I was off to gear check and medical (dry socks and ice packs were all I could think about), and Janna went to find her husband. We are now Facebook friends and I think of us as foxhole friends. Shared strength and solidarity are vital pieces of running gear!

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2013 Dumbo Double Dare Recap Part II – Disneyland Half Marathon

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For the 3rd day in a row, I was up before the sun.  Oh the things we do to run at Disney.  I ran through the same morning routine as the morning before for the Disneyland 10K, jumped on the bus and walked through Downtown Disney in the dark to the start line.  It’s oddly peacefully at that hour…

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I happened to look to my right as I was walking towards the Disneyland Hotel and saw a very empty starting line…oh the calm before the storm.

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I met up with Amanda at what was becoming our “usual spot” at the Sorcerer’s Hat. We were both a bit tired, but excited to take on the 2nd have of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge despite the warm temps.  You know it’s hot out when she shows up to run in a tank top…

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We met up with Ashley who we ran with the day before and all headed to the corrals.  We had such a blast during the 10K that we all wanted to run together again!  Even though we were all tired we were determined to have a “PR IN FUN” for this race, which became our motto along the way.  The road to the corrals was a bit different this morning as these long chutes were put up leading to different corral areas.  It kind of felt like a cow being led to slaughter…odd.

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But thankfully we made it to the other side unscathed and headed into our corral with time to spare.  Look we even ran into our friend James!

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An interesting thing about Disneyland races vs. Disney World races are the lack of fireworks.  In the World, each corral goes off with their own fireworks which adds to the excitement.  But in Disneyland, they can’t do that because we are technically in a residential area and there are noise restrictions.  Booooo.  But I was excited to see some super quiet fireworks during the National Anthem.  How do they get them so quiet???

And before we knew it, we were walking towards the start line.  There is a lot less waiting around in Disneyland and I like that!  It was great to see some spectators already out and cheering on the runners.  Seriously, how cute is this dog in the Tinker Bell costume?!?

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It was our turn to be counted down and we were off…well, slowly…

The course had the same start as the 10K, but we turned a block earlier this time down W Katella Aveneue where we got a glimpse of the sun just beginning to rise.

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Before I knew it we were about to enter Disneyland just after mile 1.  This is also where the mile 12 marker which we came across at around the 41 minute mark. Here is where we saw an amazing site….the lead wheelchair competitor came zooming through.  Unbelievable!  I got the chills seeing this and couldn’t get my camera out fast enough.  It just goes to show that you can do anything with determination and drive.  On days where I’m doubting myself, you better believe I will be referring back to that moment.

Unlike the 10K, the half marathon enters the park in Paradise Pier and loops around into Carsland, so you get a completely different perspective from the morning before.

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I of course stopped for a bathroom break while I had the real facilities available and told Amanda and Ashley I would catch up. Little did I know they were speed demons that morning!  I was able to catch up with them right on Main Street USA, but I had to run WAY faster than my usual half marathon pace to get there.  But I’m glad I did so we could take our picture in front of the castle!

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I also met up with my favorite green army men in Toontown where I promptly dropped and gave them 20…nah, more like 2 🙂 Definitely my favorite photo op!

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And before we even reached mile 4, we were out of the parks.  It was kind of a bummer that there was such a short time spent in the parks, especially since the majority of the 10K was spent in there.  We headed out onto the streets of Anaheim and we greeted by an enthusiastic group of cheerleaders…the first of many!  These girls were awesome.

The sun had just come over the horizon and we spent what seemed like eternity running directly into it.  This made me realize that I really need to invest in a pair of sport sunglasses!  Even though it was bright…it sure was gorgeous.

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With the sun comes the heat and we were starting to feel it.  We found any shade we could on the course and wove across the road to try and stay cool.  Thankfully it wasn’t as oppressive as the day before, but with more than half the race to go I knew I had to try and stay cool where I could.

The entertainment on this race was much different from the other Disney races because there weren’t any characters outside of the parks.  Instead there were TONS of local entertainment!  This was pretty cool…check out these amazing dancers!

And Micheal Jackson was there…actually he was running and dancing at the same time!

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And an awesome group of signs and spectators…

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Somewhere around mile 6, RAD reader Hanna came up and said hi and we talked for a bit as we ran.  We also ran into Colin (@ParadisePeer) who went flying past us in an awesome Dumbo costume!    I seriously LOVE chatting with you guys on the course…it’s probably the next best thing after cats!

Next came the classic cars!  This was SUPER cool and was just like the cars on the WDW Speedway during the WDW Marathon, but better!  There had to be at least 300 cars along the course all with their owners cheering us on. They must have had to get there at by 5am at the latest to be set and ready for the runners…so RAD!

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One of my favorite spectators!

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Apparently the wake up call was too early for this woman, but at least she had the Disney spirit!

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After the cars, we came upon the Honda Center where the Anaheim Mighty Ducks play.  Being a huge hockey fan (Go Rangers!), this was an unexpected surprise.  Plus there’s that whole Disney angle to the team 🙂

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The course turned down the Santa Ana Trail, which was actually a dirt trail that created quite the dust storm with all the runners. Some volunteers were even sporting bandanas around they face to not breathe in all the dust.  Not fun while trying to run.

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I’m assuming the trail used to run along the Santa Ana River that now seemed to be completely dried up.  Nonetheless, it was quite beautiful despite the dust.

030 DLHalf-TrailWe were coming up on mile 9 and off in the distance we could see Angel Stadium.  I had heard that this was one of the highlights of the race and it also meant we were in the home stretch.  What I didn’t expect was the crowd…wow.

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In the parking lot there was a HUGE gathering of Boy Scouts.  I can’t even begin to tell you how cool it was to see all those kids out there screaming and jumping for us.

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And there was this lady…wha??

034 DLHalf-AngelThen we entered the stadium and the stands were FULL of spectators, once again putting the trip around the Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to shame.  Not only were the spectators amazing but the stadium was beautiful and we got to see ourselves on the Jumbotron!

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Back on the road, we were making our way back to the Disneyland Resort.  I have to say that this stretch of the course was pretty boring, but we were met with more cheerleaders and even a color guard team to liven things up a bit.

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I was feeling pretty good considering that I had run the day before and it was unusually hot out.  My legs felt fine and I had a ton of energy.  The only issue I was really dealing with was chafing from the excessive amount of sweating that was going on.  TMI?  The girls and I were keeping our spirits up by reminding ourselves that we were having a PR IN FUN and actually managed to keep laughing through these long 2+ miles.

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As we got back to the parks right at mile 12, I witnessed a wonderful family reunion where a runner was beyond excited to see her parents and grandparents.  There were hugs all around and they were clearly so proud.  This made me smile from ear to ear 🙂

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The road to the finish line took us through a backstage area of Disney California Adventure where we were able to see some of the disabled ride vehicles…I always love that stuff.  Who knew those rafts were so deep??

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Seeing the Paradise Pier Hotel was an incredibly welcoming sight.  We were almost there…just under a mile to go and I was about to complete my first back to back race challenge!  As I’m writing this, I still find it a bit unbelievable that I even attempted this, let alone finished it.

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And then I saw this guy…dressed as Darth Goofy!  Kudos on the costume but DAMN he must have been HOT!  He had gloves on and all…insane.

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We turned the corner towards the Disneyland Hotel and there was another HUGE crowd there to greet us.  The home stretch is so exciting…you can’t help but pick up the pace and really give it your all for that last half mile or so.

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I found my own personal cheerleader Cindy (read all about her awesomeness in my 10K recap!) and of course had to get another photo…

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And there she was…the finish line!  I grabbed Amanda’s hand and we finished together like we have every race we’ve run together since my first half marathon a year and a half ago.  So emotional and I wouldn’t want to do experience all of this with anyone else.

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Again, not our fastest race by any means (3:25:31), but we did manage to get that PR IN FUN!  Running with friends is so different that running for time.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again, this is what makes Disney races so special and I will NEVER be ashamed to be a slow runner here.  We crossed that finish line and we crossed it with a smile on our faces 🙂

B was in the family reunion area waiting for me and I couldn’t wait to see him.  It’s always great to see his smiling face after my races.  Amanda had to leave to catch her flight so I gave her a sweaty hug and headed to the photo area to get a few pics.  I had B bring all my medals so I could do this…

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WEAR ALL THE MEDALS!!  While I was waiting to take my photo, I ran into a woman who I met on the plane out there…crazy!  She had run Goofy earlier in the year and was also waiting to take her photo with all of her medals!

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And the fun didn’t stop there…  After a shower and a quick nap, B and I headed to Downtown Disney for lunch at Uva.  Ever since my first half marathon when I had Fish & Chips as my post race meal, that is something I now crave after most races. Unfortunately it was really hot, so it wasn’t as enjoyable as I would’ve liked, but a nice cold beer definitely helped 🙂

DLHalf-Uva-Beer

DLHalf-Uva-Fish-Chips

After lunch, we jumped on the Monorail and headed into Disneyland.  I LOVE that you can take the monorail from Downtown Disney into Tomorrowland and the ride is so fun how it winds through the trees and above all the attractions!  What would be nicer is if it had air conditioning, but like many things in Disneyland it doesn’t. HOT!!!

DLHalf-Monorail

I was hoping to get in some of my must do attractions like the Matterhorn and Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin, but the combination of long lines and heat prevented that from happening.  But I DID have more fun with my medals!! 🙂

054 DLHalf-Medals-Castle

055 DLHalf-10K-Medal

056 DLHalf-Dumbo-Medal

The day (and the trip) ended with an incredible dinner at the Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose.  Expect a full review of this meal soon!

DLHalf-Napa-Rose

What a crazy few days.  The Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge was a lot of fun and something I would definitely do again.  However, traveling out to California is VERY expensive and I don’t think it is something I will be able to do every year unfortunately.  Living on the East Coast it is much easier (and economical) for me to go to WDW even multiple times per year.

I also prefer the races in WDW. Maybe it’s because I’m more familiar with the roads there and I know exactly where I am at all times.  Or maybe it’s because they feel more “Disney” to me.  Running through Anaheim was nice, but I could do that in any local race.  There wasn’t much about it (except for the 2 miles through the parks) that made it feel like a Disney race.  I love seeing characters throughout the whole course and it’s definitely something I missed here.  I’m not sure what my future for Disneyland races holds, but I do know I would love to go back…just maybe not next year.

Do you want to run a race in Disneyland?  Have you done so already?  What is your favorite part?

Cars Land Will Be the Highlight of Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

Over 17,000 runners will get to experience running through the all-new Cars Land at the newly reopened Disney California Adventure during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend on September 1-2, 2012!  The half marathon will begin with a trip down Route 66, which given the time of day will be be all lit up in a sea of neon.  Runners will then journey over to Disneyland Park, past the Matterhorn and through Sleeping Beauty Castle before heading into Anaheim and through Angel Stadium.  Sean Astin (The Goonies, Rudy, Lord of the Rings), who recently announced he would be running in the Walt Disney World Marathon in January, will also be participating in this event.

Disneyland Half Marathon Course Map

Runners can enjoy more Cars Land fun the day before the half marathon at the Cars Land 5K Rally!  The course for this race looks so fun with the majority taking place in Disneyland Park and then finishing right on Route 66 in Cars Land.

Cars Land 5K Rally Course Map

In addition to these two races, there will be a two-day Health and Fitness Expo located in the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall beginning on August 31st.  This is where runners will pick up their race packets and purchase some of that awesome runDisney merchandise.  runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway, former Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton and well-known running authors Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell will also be on hand to provide valuable race and training information.

For more information the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, head over to the brand new www.rundisney.com.