Posts Tagged by coast to coast

Coming From Australia to Get Her Coast to Coast! Part 2 – The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

As if running the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in the pouring rain wasn’t enough after flying halfway across the world, Ashleigh took off to Disneyland later that week to run the Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon!  Here’s what it was like to run 2 half marathons in 1 week…

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After all the fun at Wine and Dine, we boarded a plane on Wednesday to LA in preparation for the Avengers Half Marathon. For me, the timing of Avengers was perfect. It meant I could fit in 2 runDisney races, and get my Coast to Coast in one 3 week holiday.

We had decided to stay at the Paradise Pier Hotel as I was a little nervous having never been to Disneyland before about getting around without a car. Although staying onsite was quite expensive in comparison to staying onsite at Disney World, I found the benefits of being able to walk everywhere to outweigh the cost factor (especially because it was our first time there). If we were to visit again I would probably choose to stay offsite, unless I was planning on doing a multi-day runDisney race with a few early mornings.

The expo was held at Disneyland Hotel, and I heard rumors that the Disneyland expos can get quite hectic, so even though the expo wasn’t scheduled to open until 10, my boyfriend and I went over at about 9 to get in line. THANK GOODNESS WE DID! There were a few different (long) lines- official merchandise, packet pick up, volunteers and Dooney and Bourke (I think). All the lines were set up in a downstairs area of the Disneyland Hotel- I want to say a carpark, but don’t quote me on that one. I originally got into the packet pickup line before my lovely boyfriend pointed out the long official merchandise line, so we made the very smart decision to move lines. We waited in line until about 9:40, when the line began moving into the expo area upstairs, and by about 10:15 we were in the merchandise area.

I had seen quite a few cute items posted on Facebook and Twitter, so first on the list was an ‘I smashed the Half’ Hulk tech shirt. I also picked up a few other bit and pieces- a hoodie, drink bottle, I did it shirt and a medal pin.

My expo haul! I love race expo shopping!

My expo haul! I love race expo shopping!

The official merchandise area was really hectic so I wasn’t keen to stay and browse. Check out had a line but it was very organized, and we were all done with official merchandise by about 11. We then went back down and I picked up my packet and Coast to Coast wristband (YAY!), and I was then directed to get my photo taken for my Coast to Coast medal.

The best bracelet I have ever been given! The Coast to Coast wristband!

The best bracelet I have ever been given! The Coast to Coast wristband!

The lines at packet pick up were super short and I was in line for less than a minute. We then went back up to the expo to pick up my shirt and I picked up a couple more things: a Sparkleskirt, a #teamsparkle visor and some GUs. Even though it was a lot of going backwards and forwards, getting the official merchandise first was a good choice for me, because I was desperate for the ‘I smashed the Half’ shirt. If you weren’t too fussed about merch you could probably do the expo in a much more organised fashion.

The cute Avengers background at the expo was the perfect photo opportunity!

The cute Avengers background at the expo was the perfect photo opportunity!

We had a relaxing day on Friday after the expo and chilled at the hotel pool, and on Saturday we headed to the park early and returned to the hotel around 4. I had the plan to go for a quick swim and spa to try and loosen up, and get an early night around 8:30. I fell asleep at 8:30, but woke up an hour later and couldn’t get back to sleep until past midnight. When the alarm went off at 3:30 I was sleepy but excited. I got dressed, having laid out all my clothes the night before and left the hotel around 4.

Flat Ashleigh/Captain America. I think I saw about 3000 Captain Americas racing!

Flat Ashleigh/Captain America

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I think I saw about 3000 Captain Americas racing!

I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going but everything was well signed and I ended up chatting with some other runners on the way. I was in my corral by about 4:30, and just sat down and enjoyed the entertainment. I was in corral F, and I had made sure to get a spot towards the front of the corral. As it turned out, corral E and F were released together, so I ended up being the middle when we were released. It was a little congested at first, but the crowds thinned pretty quickly. The start line was really well decorated, but no fireworks like at Wine and Dine

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The first 3 miles through Disney property were amazing. Lots of crowd support, lots going on and lots of character stops. I stopped for a quick photo with the Green Army men, plus a photo with Mickey and Minnie on Main Street, and a photo out the front of Disneyland in front of the station. These lines were all quite short, so I could justify waiting in them.

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The lines for the Avengers characters were a different story. Hawkeye, Black Widow and Captain America were all on course, but with such long lines (approx. 50 people) I couldn’t wait. I am not a 16min/mile runner, so I have some leeway for photo stops, but I couldn’t risk stopping for those photos so early in the race, with no idea exactly how long the lines would take. After we left Disney property it was the end of the photo opportunities with lines, so in retrospect I probably could have waited in line, but I didn’t know that until later.

Miles 3-8 through Anaheim were a little boring to be honest. While there were school bands and cheerleaders out along the way, there were also large stretches of nothing. The wind was brutal and there were points of the races were I couldn’t even look where I was going as the wind was blowing so much dirt into my eyes. I really struggled at this point of the race. Lots of the mile markers had been blown over and many were missing clocks or the Avengers artwork.

Mile 6 marker missing its clock. Funnily enough this was one of the less destroyed mile markers!

Mile 6 marker missing its clock. Funnily enough this was one of the less destroyed mile markers!

It wasn’t until I saw Angel Stadium that my morale picked up a little. Running around Angel Stadium was the fastest part of the course for me, there was lots to keep me distracted, lots of people cheering and I knew I was in the home stretch.

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Arriving at Angel Stadium I knew I was almost there!

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The crowd at Angel Stadium was awesome- just the pick me up I needed

Just past Angel Stadium there was a line of Service men and women and I high-fived as many as I could. I powered through the last few miles and I was relieved when we finally stepped back onto Disney property. I think I was told I had 1 mile to go for about 2.5 miles. At this point some of the mile markers had completely disappeared, and even though I was wearing my Garmin, it had been over by about 500m from the 6 mile mark, and then I had lost reception going under some bridges, so I had no idea how accurate it was. When I ran past Disneyland Hotel I knew I was almost there. I picked it up a notch and sprinted towards the finish line. I was so relieved to have crossed the finish line. It had been a really hard race for me.

I was directed to the Coast to Coast tent, where they looked up my bib number (cross checked me with my photo I presume) and I was handed my medal. They had 3 people on computers at the Coast to Coast tent, and although it would probably depend on when you finished, I personally didn’t have to wait at all. I walked up and was checked straight away. After I put on my medal, I stopped for lots of photos, got my food and headed back to the hotel to relax. After 2 weeks, 2 half marathons and 2 coasts I was ready to relax.

I headed to the parks later in the afternoon (after a shower and much needed nap) and showed off all 3 medals! I love the way cast members just come up to and congratulate you, it makes it such a special day.

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Showing off all my medals!

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I had an absolute blast running Disney and would recommend it to everyone. With the right training and a positive mindset any one can complete a half marathon. Thanks for reading, and hopefully I will see you at Marathon weekend (I’ll be doing Dopey)!

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Congratulations Ashleigh and we can’t wait to hear all about Dopey!!!

Contributors Needed on Both Coasts!

This is an exciting two weeks in the world of runDisney!  First we have the 5th anniversary of the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World and then we have the Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend in Disneyland the following week!  It’s like runDisney overload…wait does that even exist?!

Contributors Needed

While I will be at Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (if you see me around PLEASE say hi!!), I am still looking for contributors to share their adventures eating and running around Walt Disney World.  Some things in particular…

  • Perfect Wine & Diners!! (You have run all 5 years)
  • Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K Recap
  • Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste Recap
  • Finish Line Party Recap
  • Fitting the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival into your race weekend
  • Running with MagicBands

Since I will not be at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, I am looking for even more coverage there.  Here are some ideas…

  • Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Recap
  • Avengers Super Heroes 5K Recap
  • Pasta in the Park Party Recap
  • Staying at a Disneyland Resort vs. a Good Neighbor Hotel
  • Disneyland Dining for Race Weekends

And of course there are topics that can apply to both weekends, such as…

  • runDisney Kids Races Recaps
  • Coast-to-Coast Experience
  • Health & Fitness Expo and runDisney Speaker Series
  • First Time runDisney Runners
  • A Spectator’s Point of View
  • VoluntEARing
  • Creating a Race Costume

I’m open to any ideas for please feel free to send anything my way!  Choice of topic will come on a first email, first serve basis.  Email me your ideas to sarah@runningatdisney.com and please note the race weekend in the subject line.  If you are feeling ambitious and would like to cover multiple events OR if you are running BOTH weekend, I want to hear that too 🙂

Now, let’s take a look at some of the bling that will be flashing around the next few weeks to get the excitement going!

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Best of luck to everyone running and I look forward to hearing from you!

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Running Coast to Coast with Joe Quattrocchi

It’s time for the second installment of Running Coast to Coast!  This month Joe is here to share his experience as a new Disney runner, a first time marathoner and of course a first time Coast to Coaster!  Congrats on an awesome finish!

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Hey guys. My name is Joe Quattrocchi and I wanted to share with everyone my experience with completing the 2014 runDisney Coast to Coast challenge.

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This was my first year “Running at Disney” and the reason why I decided to start running at the Disney theme parks was to become a healthier person. I am a reformed cigarette smoker and quit smoking about four years ago. When I quit smoking, like most people who quit smoking, I gained some weight (about 25 pounds or so). I did not feel good about myself and for the first time in my life, I hit the 200 pound mark. This is when I decided to make a lifestyle change for the better and as someone who grew up going to Walt Disney World twice a year, what better place to sign up for a marathon and to get in shape and lose the weight than at Walt Disney World! So I decided to take the plunge, sign up, and start training for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon. Not only did my journey to better health begin there, but also my passion for runDisney began.

I started my 19 week marathon training program that would lead me up to the WDW Marathon. Before I knew it, January 2014 was here, I was twenty five pounds lighter, and in the best shape I have been in a long time. I was ready. I had studied the course map, read every runDisney blog imaginable (Thanks RAD!), ordered books on Disney Marathons, listened to the Mickey Miles Podcast (Thanks Mike and Michelle!) for tips on Marathon weekend etc. I then arrived in Orlando and was ready to hit the expo. I was excited to pick up my race materials, marathon bib, take photos, and walk around the expo and take in all that marathon weekend had to offer. When I arrived at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a feeling of excitement had overcome me that I had not experienced ever. I felt elite, like I was part of an exclusive club that I was going to have the privilege and honor of running in the Walt Disney World Marathon. This was a race that sells out so quickly and I was going to be a part of it. At the same time, immense jealousy plagued me as I saw the booths at the expo for the “Dopey” and “Coast to Coast” challenges. Thinking about how excited I was, I thought to myself, oh I got to do that next time!

Marathon morning came and you could not ask for better weather! It was a nice and cool 55 degrees with little humidity. I was in corral “E” and ready to take on 26.2 miles of magic that were in front of me. The countdown for the race started and one by one, each corral was released with a spectacular fireworks display. For lack of a better phrase, it was awesome, and I got Goosebumps as my corral was released. The miles ticked away quickly and before I knew it, I had arrived at the TTC and the first real sign of spectators. Then, we headed past the Contemporary Resort and hit the Magic Kingdom and Main Street U.S.A. Main Street was packed with spectators and as a Disney fan, it was everything you could imagine it could be.

The miles ticked away as we passed the Grand Floridian, Polynesian (where I got my picture with Lilo and Stitch), and headed to the rear of the Animal Kingdom. Running through Animal Kingdom was pretty cool and I was very tempted to jump on Expedition Everest for a quick ride, but decided against it! However, I did see a few runners take advantage of this perk! At this point, we were at the half marathon point (about 2 hours or so) and the crowds started to build everywhere. We then headed down Osceola Parkway which was probably the worst part of the race. This road was just extremely straight and just boring, but once we hit ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, I knew we were starting to make some head way towards the finish. A few miles in ESPN and back out to the roads and headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This was another favorite part of the race for me as by the time we hit the studios, it was open to the public for the day. It was amazing to run through the park as it was functioning at the same time. Some of my fondest memories of that race day was random guests cheering my name telling me to “keep going” and that “You (I) could do it!” Just amazing!

Lastly, we exited the studios, ran past the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and entered EPCOT where we were down the home stretch. Many things were going through my mind at this time. I could not believe that I actually made it this far and that I was about to cross that finish line and complete a marathon. Secondly, I couldn’t believe that something that I had thought about as a kid, thinking it would be cool to run the Walt Disney World Marathon and not knowing anything about long distance running at all, was actually going to happen. Lastly, I didn’t want this journey to end. It was a year long journey from deciding to run the race, to signing up for the race, to training for the race, and then actually running the race. I didn’t want my runDisney journey to end.

Well, I finally saw Spaceship Earth and made that right turn and crossed the finish line in 4:56:19. It was an awesome feeling having that marathon medal put around my neck knowing I completed a goal I had set for myself. I wore that medal proudly for the rest of my trip. When I returned home, there was one thought I could not get out of my mind. That thought was, “I gotta go Coast to Coast!”

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I made my decision to sign up for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and the Dumbo Double Dare. (Actually signed up for the Disneyland 5K too!) As someone who had never been to Disneyland before, this was going to be exciting not only visiting the “Happiest place on Earth” for the first time, but also to get my coast to coast medal.  It was a long trip across the country (from New Jersey) to Anaheim but it was totally worth it. Arriving at the Disneyland Hotel and entering the convention center, the excitement which I experienced in January was present again. I picked up my Dumbo race packet and got my Coast to Coast Challenge wristband, I was ready to go. I then proceeded upstairs to the expo and began to wait online for official race merchandise. While standing in line, I began to strike up conversations with others who were also attempting to complete their coast to coast challenge. Everyone started to share stories of which race they completed in Florida and how that experience was. It was almost a bonding experience you were sharing with other runners that you just met but running the coast to coast challenge, it felt like you were on a different level as a Disney fan!

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The next few days passed very quickly as I completed the 5K on Friday and then the 10K race on Saturday. These races were a lot of fun, but I was looking forward to the Disneyland Half Marathon where I would not only complete my Coast to Coast Challenge, but also the Dumbo Double Dare as well.

Race day was finally here and I was all set to go. I started in the B Corral and was waiting for the start of the race. The command was given and we were off! One thing I was disappointed in was that there was no fireworks shot off at the start of the race ( I am sure it was because the hotel and neighborhoods are so close to the starting line). However, runDisney made up for it with lots of lights and lasers and goodies like that. The crowds were fairly good at the start and unlike Walt Disney World, we saw spectators right from the start of the race which was really a nice touch. We raced past the outer perimeter of the Disneyland and Paradise Pier Hotels and made a left hand turn into Disney’s California Adventure Park.   Like Walt Disney World races, you get a lot of backstage time in the theme parks and Disneyland was no different. We entered the rear of DCA and then ended up in “Cars Land” which was probably one of the hi-lights of the race.

Now, unlike a Walt Disney World race experience where essentially you are running completely on the property and are surrounded by areas where characters and entertainment are set up for you, in Disneyland, about mile 4.5 or so, you exit and hit the streets of Anaheim and head towards the Honda Center and Angels Stadium. Even though you are not in the parks and are not seeing any character stops for 8 miles or so, Disney has done a great job of organizing local car clubs, ethnic group performers, cheerleaders, and local bands to help entertain you while you run outside of the Disneyland property. Its not quite the same experience as Walt Disney World, but Disneyland does the best they can with what they have. This is one of the main reasons I think that there is and won’t be a full marathon at Disneyland. Just not enough room. As the end of the race approached, it was a real treat to run through Angels stadium and see literally thousands of people that were outside and inside the stadium and to watch yourself on the jumbotron of a Major League Baseball stadium was pretty cool. In Walt Disney World for the marathon, you also run through the baseball stadium at Wide World of Sports, but this was just way better.

Coming to the finish, we ran around the parking lot of the Disneyland Hotel and finished beside the hotel. The finish was good but not as good as the finish in Walt Disney World where you see Spaceship earth and hang a right hand turn and head home with large grandstands on both sides of you. But don’t get me wrong, every finish at a runDisney race is Magical!

Finally, heading through the finisher corral and getting that Coast to Coast medal was an amazing feeling. After just completing the half marathon and Dumbo Double Dare, I wasn’t even looking forward to those medals. The one that I had my eyes on was that beautiful Black and Gold medal depicting the partners statue.

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After receiving that medal, walking around the parks all day and striking up conversations not only with other Coast to Coast finishers but with other park guests in general comparing stories was a lot of fun. This experience is something that I definitely plan on doing again in the future and I hope that runDisney continues to grow this program!

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Joe Quattrocchi is from Riverdale, NJ and is a proud member of the Essex Running Club.  He has been visiting Walt Disney World for much of his life and has taken over 30 trips to the resort.  Having recently caught the runDisney bug, Joe is the running correspondent for the ResortLoop.com Podcast and has recently joined the Mickey Milers.  He is now registered for the 2015 Dopey Challenge and you can follow along with his racing adventures on Twitter and Instagram!

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Have you completed the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge?  Want to share your experience?  Send me an email to sarah@runningatdisney.com to be featured on an upcoming Running Coast to Coast!!

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Running Coast to Coast and the First Time Running in Walt’s Footsteps

I’m excited to bring you this prelude to a fun new monthly series here on RAD called Running Coast to Coast!!  This week Alice is not only bringing us her Coast to Coast story, but also taking us through her first run at Disneyland…it’s so magical running through Walt’s footsteps and she has a great recap of all that magic.  Make sure to come back next week as the new series officially kicks off on Wednesday…can’t wait! 🙂

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To all that come to this happy place, welcome.  Disneyland is your land.  Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.  Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

 ~Walt Disney

I’m a west coast gal, but the Dumbo Double Dare (DDD) was my first runDisney event at Disneyland.  I love Disneyland but hadn’t been to the park since 2008 so was really excited to see the changes there.  My last event at Walt Disney World was the Glass Slipper Challenge (GSC) so I thought I might try to compare the two race weekends in which my sis, Lala, and I participated to earn our awesome Coast-to-Coast Challenge medals.

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For the GSC, Lala and I stayed on Disney property at All-Star Sports. We don’t spend much time in our room and we want to keep costs to a minimum (to save up for more runDisney races!) so Value Resorts are perfect for us.  I love not having to drive on vacation, so I never rent a car and make full use of the WDW transportation system. You are able to take a Disney bus to and from your resort to the Runner’s Expo and all running events.  The WDW Expo is at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which provides plenty of room for vendors and participants – although wear your sunglasses for the walk to the convention area because the glare from the concrete is crazy! (Sarah’s note: That’s no joke!)

I am not a morning person, so getting up at 2:30 AM on WDW race mornings was not magical.   But once I put on my running costume and headed out for the bus with all of the other runners from our resort, I was starting to feel the magic.  It was great fun looking over the costumes while waiting in the very long line for the bus and the excitement was starting to build for everyone.   For the 10K my sister’s costume was Jiminy Cricket (her favorite!) and I was Cinderella Warrior Princess.  For the Half Marathon, Sis wore Beast Mode (inspired by Beauty & the Beast and the Seattle Seahawks – Go Hawks!) and I wore Super Cinderella.  I was inspired to do my versions of the Cindy costumes after I ran the Warrior Dash in 2013.

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For the DDD, we stayed at an inexpensive motel on Katella Avenue (that’s the Anaheim Resort Transit Bus Route #8 – all runners receive a free ART pass for race weekend), which was about ¾’s of a mile from the Disneyland entrance on Harbor Ave. and also about the same to the race corrals and Expo in the Downtown Disney area.  I’ve been to quite a few different race expos and I have to say, the Disneyland Half/DDD Expo at DL has been my least favorite.  It felt like a maze or a quest where the prizes were our race bibs, shirts and pins.  I think one part of the Expo was in an underground parking garage.   Disneyland has much less space to work with than WDW, which factors in to several differences on the two Coasts.

At DL because there aren’t the long bus lines like at WDW, there’s an opportunity to sleep in a little on race mornings.  I slept in until 3:30!  I know some runners slept in until 4:30 or so and then trotted over for the race start but I need more time in the AM to get my cranky self up and moving.  ART busses are running on race mornings but we chose to walk-jog over to warm up.  We saw a couple of runners from our hotel, dressed as Nemo and Madame Ulanova from Fantasia (shout out to Julie!), but there wasn’t that same feeling of camaraderie and magical excitement as being with a large group at WDW.  For the DL 10K my sis and I dressed as clowns inspired by the Dumbo Bucket Brigade game at Paradise Pier and the circus from the movie.  For the Half, sis was the Stork who delivers baby Dumbo and because of a malfunction with my planned outfit (doh!) I instead went with a very simple and last minute Elsa costume.

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At WDW, when you get off the bus at the race center, many people are gathered around the DJ area and dancing along for fun and to warm up.  There are also several photo ops, gear check and meet up areas.

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People are mingling, taking photos of each other and having a good time even at that oh-so-early hour.  There are portapotties in this area but there are also portapotties in the corral areas.  It’s a fair walk from the race center area to the corrals but it was a good way to get focused.  People were chatting and excited for the start.  And it’s fabulous to have fireworks at the start of every corral for all Disney races!

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At DL, there are the same areas with the DJ and gear check but for both the 10K and the Half, but we didn’t see people dancing along to the music and the DJ didn’t seem very involved.  I didn’t see any photo op areas other than just these signs around the light poles but I may have missed them.

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The start for the Disneyland 10K was a little crowded, but not much more so than the Rock-n-Roll runs or other Disney races I’ve done.  For the 10K we were in E (which stands for Everybody Else!) and for the Half we were in H (Help Me Make It To the 1st Bathroom Stop!).  The 10K was fun and easy breezy – the Disneyland Half was a whole ’nother deal!   The other runners we saw the morning of the Half seemed intent on getting to the portapotties and then on to the corrals as soon as possible.  Boy, once we got back to the corral areas I could see why – it was a sea of sparkly-skirted, ear-hatted, polka-dotted running humanity!  I have never been bothered with claustrophobia (Mission:Space?  No problemo!) but wow, after about 20 minutes of standing shoulder-to-should, hip-to-hip and front-to-back at about smack-dab in the middle of the pack of about a gazillion other Happy Hoofers in corral H, I was ready to look for adventure in the great wide somewhere.

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But giving up is for rookies, right? –  and after what seemed about 40 minutes we hit the start line.  I was never so thankful to be moving.  Even though the start for our corral wasn’t fast and furious, we saw a couple of people go down – I hope they were ok and able to finish the race.

We were spoiled by the amount of characters and photo ops along the race routes at WDW for the GSC.  Especially when you are a back-of-the-pack runner like me, abundant character stops mean that I may have a chance to stop for a few coveted pics with favorite characters

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And here’s a pic of my fave sign from the Half – muggy and sticky?  You betcha!

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And we loved this guy!   

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But one of my very favorite moments from the Princess Half was running by the “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” area with the  music and the beautiful swooping kites.  Sometimes when I’m running in training or at another race I randomly break into that song and smile at the memory.  I’ve even heard a shout of “Princess Half!” at a race when someone recognized the song.

In the earlier corrals the runners know they have more time before the balloon ladies and the sweepers come along.  In the later corrals we know we have to keep moving so Sis and I pick only those character and photo ops that are near and dear to our hearts, and even at that if the lines are long we must skip them.  I so very much wanted a pic with Cinderella for the GSC, but alas, that was not meant to be.

There were very few character ops for back-of-the-pack runners at DDD, especially in the Half.  If I’m remembering correctly there was Elvis, Stitch with another Elvis, and TowMater.  I know there were quite a few more for the faster runners and those in the earlier corrals.  We did stop for a few pics on the course!  

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However, there was great community support along the Half route and because we were having a pretty rough time of it that day – tired, hot, and frazzled by the race start – I’m not sure we would have finished ahead of the sweepers without that support.  The classic car clubs were so wonderful; clapping and encouraging us and seeing the beautiful cars was a great way to make that section go by more quickly.  Trudging through the section by “the river” was tough; I think many people felt as I did because it was very quiet, no chattering or encouraging words.  So at one point “Elsa-me” broke into a quick chorus of ‘Let It Go’ and when that was well received I led a round of M-I-C-K-EY  M-O-U-S-E!   Great support along the course also from several different Disney-themed web pages and groups, and from the Boy and Girl Scouts at the Angels stadium.  Running through there was great fun and the announcer even called my name over the PA system!

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In both race weekends, running through the parks is magical – if you are a Disney lover, it is enough to put a lump in your throat and bring tears to your eyes, all the while making you want to laugh with joy like a child.

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I have two upcoming race weekends at Disneyland; the Avengers Half and the Star Wars Rebel Alliance.  I know we’ll head to the corrals earlier and try for a better corral placement for Star Wars, and just be more mentally prepared for the crush of the crowd in the smaller space available at Disneyland.

If you haven’t tried a runDisney race, what are you waiting for?!? 

Let’s go fly a kite up to the highest height, let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring!  Up through the atmosphere, up where the air is clear – oh let’s go fly a kite!

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See ya on the course real soon!

~Alice

2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Expo

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After a less than stellar experience at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo (so bad I didn’t even write about it…when you have nothing nice to say…), I was looking forward to the smaller, more relaxed expo for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  Since there wasn’t anything I was dying to get at the expo, I spent the early afternoon enjoying Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival and headed over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS) later in the day.  By the time we arrived, there weren’t many people there at all.   Ahhhh…breathing room 🙂

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No lines…woohoo!  For this race weekend, packet pick up is in the Josten’s Center with the rest of the Expo which makes for a much easier experience having everything in one place.

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ToT-Expo-Entrance

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I headed towards the back of the Expo to pick up my race bib first and then moved on to the shirt/bag pick up.  I always like to get that out of the way first before hitting the various vendor booths.

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After getting all of the official business done, I headed to the runDisney booth to get an up close and personal look at some of the new medals.  I of course had to see the new ribbon for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler that I would be getting the next day.

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And then the new design for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon…can’t wait to get this one!

ToT-Expo-W&D-MedalAnd a look at the two Coast to Coast medals for 2014.  There’s the pink version for those running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Princess Half Marathon and then the regular Coast to Coast for any other combination of races.  This one looks like it got a new ribbon for 2014.

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ToT-Expo-C2C-Medal

While I was at the runDisney booth I ran into Jeff Galloway and had to say hi.  He’s such an inspiration to me and my friends.  If you ever get the chance to say hi to Jeff in person, do it…he’s amazing!

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My next stop was the official race merchandise area to see what I could spend my money on.  I didn’t love any of the shirts for the race (yellow really isn’t my color), but I was glad to see the new runDisney headbands there!

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I ended up just getting a new Vinylmation with the Tower of Terror medal and a pin to add to my collection.  Before heading out, we checked out some of the vendors and made a final stop at the Sparkle Athletic booth to say hi to my friends Kelly and Krissy.  And guess what I got??  My first Team Sparkle Skirt!  I’ve never considered myself a sparkly kind of girl, but I have to say I was kind of excited to wear this for the race…thanks Kelly!

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I was only at the Expo for a little over an hour, but I managed to see a lot of the vendors and get a lot done.  These smaller expos are SO much more enjoyable 🙂  Next stop…The Fifth Dimension….

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