Posts Tagged by disneyland 10k

2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Info

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This is a BIG year for Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!!  Not only is it the 10th Anniversary of the race, but it is also the 60th Anniversary of the Disneyland resort.  The Diamond Celebration is in full swing at the resort and these races just add to that excitement!

There is a lot to know for this busy race weekend and I’ve got all the important details for you right here.  Now all you have to worry about is getting one of these RAD (or not so RAD in my opinion) medals!  The half marathon medal is even a diamond shape to go along with the festivities.

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Health & Fitness Expo

As all runDisney race weekends do, Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend starts with the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel.  This Expo is notoriously crowded and long lines for merchandise are the norm.  I’m sure this will remain the same this year with all of the anniversary items that will be available, so make sure to arrive early if there is something in particular that you are looking for. The hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, September 3rd: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, September 4th: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, September 5th: 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.

When you arrive at the expo, your first stop will be the Lower Exhibit Hall for Packet Pick Up.  As a reminder, you can no longer have someone pick up your race packet for you.  Everyone MUST turn in a waiver, show ID and pick up their own packet.
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This is also where you will pick up any commemorative items, pre-purchased merchandise and tickets for either of the parties being held over the weekend.

After picking up all of your necessary items, 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.

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This is also where you will find the New Balance booth to pick up any of the exclusive runDisney designs.  Have you seen the new Donald Duck inspired Boracays that will be making their debut this weekend?

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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.  This is SO convenient!

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, September 3-6.  Make sure to get a pass from one of the drivers…this is a BIG bonus!  The shuttles make stops around every 20 minutes, so plan your trip accordingly.  The schedule will be extended to the following times:

  • Thursday, September 3rd: 8:20 am – 1:00 am 
  • Friday, September 4th: 3:30 am – 12:30 am
  • Saturday, September 5th: 3:30 am – 11:30 pm
  • Sunday, September 6th: 3:30 am – 11:30 pm

Here is a map of the Good Neighbor Hotel locations:

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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 5:30 am on race days and there will be numerous detours that will be set up.  Make sure to leave enough time for traffic delays!

Costumes

This is one of the best parts of Disney races…the costumes!!  I’m sure this anniversary weekend will bring out some really unique ones!  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.  Bag check will be located in the Lilo Parking Lot/Family Reunion Area.  All bags must be checked by 5:15 am for all races prior to heading into the start corrals.  Bags must be picked up by 7:15 am for the 5K, 8:15 for the 10K and 11:00 am for the half marathon at the same location.

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Start Corrals

The start corrals are located on Disneyland Drive between Mickey Way and Paradise Way.  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 and the 10K will be available at packet pick-up.

Disneyland 5K

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Disneyland 10K

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Disneyland Half Marathon & Dumbo Double Dare

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Starting Times

All races (with the exception of the Kids Races) will begin at 5:30 am.  The wheelchair start for the half marathon will be at 5:29 am on Sunday, September 6th.  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 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, you will have one race bib for both the 10K and the Half Marathon, so make sure to take good care of it!

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.  Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lost track of time.  Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.

Dumbo Double Dare Participants

If you are participating in this challenge, you will need to have your photo taken with your race bib at the Health & Fitness Expo when picking up your race packet.  This is located in the Lower Level of the Expo. After completing both races, you will need to check-in at the Dumbo Double Dare tent at the finish line.  Once you check-in after the Half Marathon, you will 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 Disneyland Half Marathon.  After completing the race, you will need to present this wristband at the Coast to Coast tent to receive your medal.

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Course Maps

Disneyland 5K

 

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Disneyland 10K

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Disneyland Half Marathon

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More information on other events like the Kids Races, the Pasta in the Park Party and the new 10th Anniversary 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.

I was fortunate to participate in the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge in 2013 and it was a great experience! The Disneyland 10K continues to be one of my top races ever…the course is just the BEST!  You can check out some of my experiences from that weekend here:

Finally, if you will be out in Disneyland, I am looking for some contributors to cover the events of the weekend.  Shoot me an email to sarah@runningatdisney.com if you are interested.  Also, please tag me in your photos from the weekend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…I will share them throughout the weekend.  I can’t wait to follow along!

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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.

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

Disneyland 5K Medal

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Disneyland 10K Medal

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Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

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Dumbo Double Dare Medal

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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…

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

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Registration Opens Today for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

DL Half LogoRegistration opens today at noon EST for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!!  This magical race weekend will be taking place September 4-6, 2015 and features a 5K, 10K, half marathon and the oh so popular Dumbo Double Dare Challenge!  And don’t forget the Coast to Coast Challenge for all you bi-coastal runners!

This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon, so you can expect new medal designs and special surprises all throughout the weekend.  On top of that, the Disneyland Resort will be celebrating its Diamond 60th Anniversary!  So many exciting things going on!!

Unlike last year, the price increase for the 2015 races is minimal at 2-3% which is a welcome sight, especially given all of the anniversary celebrations Pricing for the events are as follows:

Disneyland Half Marathon
Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 5:30 am 

  • $199 by February 24, 2015
  • $214 between February 25 and March 10, 2015
  • $229 on or after March 11, 2015
Disneyland 10K
Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 5:30 am

  • $110 by February 24, 2015
  • $125 between February 25 and March 10, 2015
  • $140 on or after March 11, 2015

Dumbo Double Dare

  • $330 by February 24, 2015
  • $355 between February 25 and March 10, 2015
  • $380 on or after March 11, 2015

Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K
Friday, September 4, 2015 at 5:30 am

  • $75 by March 10, 2015
  • $85 on or after March 11, 2015

runDisney Kids’ Races
Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

  • $20 by March 10, 2015
  • $25 on or after March 11, 2015

Pasta in the Park Party
Saturday, September 5, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

With a theme park ticket:

  • $135.00 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $115.00 for Children (ages 3-9)

Without a theme park ticket:

  • $89.00 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $69 .00 for Children (ages 3-9)

ChEAR Squad
Sunday, August 31, 2014

  • Bronze – No Charge per package
  • Silver – $45 per package
  • Gold – $69 per package
  • Platinum – $99 per package

The Disneyland Health and Fitness Expo will begin on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 10:00 am at the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall.  All runners will need to make a stop here to pick up their race bibs, commemorative items and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to do a little shopping.

Make sure to visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend including the Pasta in the Park Party, park tickets and ChEar Squad info!

This is one of the most popular runDisney race weekend, so you will want to get your fingers and credit cards ready and register TODAY AT NOON EST if you want to run in one or all of these races.  The Annual Passholder and DVC pre-sale spots sold out very quickly a few weeks ago and the rest of the spots are sure to follow suit.  Good luck!!

Are you planning on running during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend?

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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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Comparing the Disneyland 10K to Walt Disney World Races

I’m really excited to welcome Heather back to Running at Disney!  She last visited back in March when she recapped the Fit For a Princess Expo during Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  Now she is here to recap the Disneyland 10K and give some comparisons to some of the other races she has run at Walt Disney World.  Heather LOVES character and takes some great photos…this post is chock full of them and I have to mention that I LOVE her costume!!  I might just steal that for a future race 🙂

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I’ve done four race weekends at Walt Disney World, including the new 10ks in January and February, but the Disneyland 5k and 10k this year were the first races I ran at Disneyland. I had wondered how the two coasts would compare during a rundisney race, so I thought I’d recap the Disneyland 10k while also pointing out the differences between the races.

One thing you will find in any Disney race, no matter the coast, are awesome runners (yay us!) and cool costumes. My friend & I decided to go completely out of the box, and dressed as Anna & Elsa. 😉 I’ve always worn something themed for a race, but I consider this my first actual costume during a race, and it made it even more fun. I got lots of “go Princess Anna!” along the route.

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Mary Poppins is my favorite, and I had to get a picture with these sweepers before the race! (Plus, no one wants to run into sweepers DURING a race, haha!)

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One of my favorite parts of the WDW races is that each corral gets their own fireworks to signify the start of the race. For the DL race, there weren’t any fireworks, and instead, only the first corral received a confetti send off. The race also starts on the street instead of in the parking lot like at WDW. I don’t know if this is why the corrals seemed so crowded or not. I also felt like there wasn’t the same party atmosphere pre-race that you tend to find in the start area before making your way to the corrals. There was still music, but the area seemed more empty, probably because you had to walk over to the street for the corrals?

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The main difference in the 10k on the east and west coast is how much you actually run through a park. In the WDW races, you run on a boring road for over 3 miles before entering Epcot and running through the World Showcase. After running around the Boardwalk area, you are back in the front of the park just long enough to run by Spaceship Earth and back out again. Combined you are only in the parks for about a mile out of the 6.2 miles for the race.

For the Disneyland 10k, the majority of the race takes place in the parks. The first 2 miles are on the streets, and you run through the Anaheim Convention Center area, which will be familiar if you’ve attend the D23 expo. However, the path here is not smooth and was a bit hard to run on. I saw at least one person have a hard fall here, so you really need to watch your step.

Just before entering backstage, we heard a roar of cheers. It was constant, and when you turned the corner, you saw a long row of high school cheerleaders who were doing an amazing job of cheering! (Spoiler alert, if I realized how few times I would be stopping this race, I would have taken a picture with them.)

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At about 2.5 miles, you enter California Adventure. From here until mile 5.5 you are basically in a park or backstage. It’s a great course and as much as I love Epcot, this one really feels like you are running through Disney because so much of it goes through the parks.

You enter DCA through the Bugs Land side of Cars Land. Seeing Cars Land lit up at night is always gorgeous and I really loved running through it. However, here is where I’m going to start my complaint that was my main take away from this race. There were hardly any characters out. I read lots of recaps of races and I know DJ is almost always out in Cars Land, no matter the race. He wasn’t out for the 5k, and I thought for sure he would be out for the 10k. But he wasn’t. Both Mater & Lightning McQueen were out (separately) in Cars Land, but you can find them at any time in the park.

Once you ran by both these characters, you have just passed half of the character stops on the ENTIRE race. For a route that is mostly in the parks. I am a big character person, and characters are actually the reason I signed up for my very first rundisney event. Then I started running because I wanted to do longer races, but still be able to stop for characters. So, without the amount of entertainment and characters along rundisney races, I never would have started running. To see the lack of characters in this race was a HUGE disappointment. I’ll also never be a fast runner, so I always have to consider where to stop for a picture. I spent a lot of time during this race thinking, well there has to be a character here, no really, there will be a character here, etc. So much so that I think it took away my enjoyment of running through Disneyland. In comparison, the January WDW 10k had 6 character stops & the February WDW 10k had 8 character stops.

After Cars Land, you ran to Paradise Pier, passing one of 3 Elvis impersonators along the course. Again, I don’t know why they had them out instead of using that spot for a character. No one was paying to see Elvis impersonators. And I understand that theme of the race was Stitch and so the Elvis part may seem to make sense, but not for the lack of actual characters.

I’ll stop with the character complaints for a bit and get back to the race! One of the highlights of a Disneyland race is that the World of Color fountains are on! The only comparison I can make to the WDW 10k is that the Illumination torches are on when you run through the World Showcase, but the World of Color fountains win out for sure! During the 5k I just quickly snapped a picture here, but for the 10k, they had a CM out to take pictures. So I had to stop, and this was one of my favorite parts of the race.

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You then run through Paradise Pier, passing Screamin’, Toy Story Midway Mania, the back of the Fun Wheel, and the rest of the boardwalk area. This was one of the places it felt a bit congested, but it was still very cool to see the World of Color fountains from all different views. I wish I had stopped a few more times to take pictures here.

Mile 3 was in Condor Flats, and passing by Soarin, there was a group of CMs cheering. There was one particular CM there who was SO enthusiastic, I really hope he sees this because everyone I talked to LOVED him! I think he used more energy during the race than any of us did running! Then we ran through Hollywoodland (passing another Elvis impersonator) and made our way backstage for a bit before entering Disneyland at the entrance. There are lots of people cheering here, which is always awesome!

Then we run down an empty Main Street towards the castle. I wish I had stopped to take a picture by the Partners Statue, but there was a long line, and so I just took this picture. I love that the omnibus was out, and there were other Main Street vehicles along the route. At the start of Main Street, I saw someone posing for a picture inside the fire engine.

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We then ran through Tomorrowland, which was mile 4, by the Matterhorn and the outside of Fantasyland, to Small World. Chip & Dale as cops & robbers were meeting here (with another Elvis impersonator.) Since this was the first character stop since Cars Land, the line was huge. I was still thinking that there would have to be more characters out, so I skipped this line.

We went backstage again, and the one reason I loved this area is because there were several Soundsational floats out! Soundsational is my favorite parade, and I was actually listening to that music during the run at that point. Only the Little Mermaid float was right next to the runners and had a CM stationed to take pictures. I love the photobomb of the Halloweentime Pumpkin!

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I also stopped to take a picture with the Princess and the Frog and Mary Poppins floats. There were lots of CMs along the route and they were always happy to take a picture. I had to laugh at the CM who said she would take the picture as long as I didn’t jump on the float or touch it, though!

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Just before entering the park again, I had to stop and take a picture of this gorgeous sunrise. One of the best parts of getting up crazy early to run are sunrises!

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We entered a completely empty Toontown. (Seems like that would be a great place for a character, right? Oh well.) And ran back by Small World on the opposite side. Chip & Dale were still meeting and the line was still long.

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The façade on Small World is pretty as the sun was coming up.

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We ran by the carousel where the 5 mile marker was. And then towards what I was really looking forward to, running through the castle! We entered from the back of the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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My first time running through a castle during a race! Pretty cool to do that during a 10k.

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I stopped to take a quick picture of other runners going through the castle

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As we ran through Frontierland, there was finally another character stop by the Mark Twain boat dock. Elvis Stitch was meeting with a Hawaiian dancer. The line was long but at this point I figured there wouldn’t be any more characters out (and there wasn’t), so I stopped. This was my first character stop in the race, and not until about 5.5 miles in. For me, this isn’t normal! The best part about this line is I caught up to my friends (they were in corral A & I was in corral B, even though we all put down the same time.) Anna & Elsa reunited!

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I waited close to 8 minutes for this (and Stitch is my least favorite character.) I have friends that were in later corrals that didn’t even know Elvis Stitch was out because he left really early. Very disappointing.

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We ran through Critter Country and then out of the park to another backstage area. More CMs and Main Street vehicles were here and I stopped for a quick picture with them.

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The rest of the course is through the Downtown Disney area. I saw someone run into Jamba Juice and get a smoothie during the race! That’s something you can’t do during the WDW 10ks, haha! I stopped for a picture with the 6 mile marker. All the mile markers had different Stitch backdrops. As an aside, the DL 5k mile markers also had cutouts of Lilo & Stitch and those lines were even longer than a lot of character lines I’ve seen on races! That long a line usually doesn’t happen for mile markers at WDW races I’ve seen.

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The finish line is on the street between Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel. Hawaiian Mickey & Minnie were there slapping hands, but not meetable. I really wish they had been out along the course, especially since the characters were so sparse. I was able to at least snap a picture of Minnie high fiving me. I promise that’s my hand, lol!

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Like any Disney race on either coast, the medal is cool. Even though it’s Stitch lol. The post race setup of getting water, your food box, and getting a picture was the same on both coasts.

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After the WDW 10k races (and any WDW race I’ve done), there are characters you can meet in the post race area. However, there are no characters out after the Disneyland races. Another difference post race is that you don’t have to hop on a bus to get back to your room. So many hotels are within walking distance of Disneyland, whether you are staying on property or not. We ate breakfast at the Tangaroa Terrace, which is at the Disneyland Hotel, just a short walk from the finish line. The race expo is also at the Disneyland Hotel, so we ran in to get a picture with the backdrop they had set up for the race with our medals.

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Overall, it was a fun race, but I had trouble enjoyed it as much because the lack of characters is something that really bothered me. When friends who are not character people like me were complaining too, I know that it was a pretty universal complaint. Hopefully rundisney will hear this and beef up the characters for future races.

*****

Heather is an annual passholder that loves coming up with excuses to take a trip to the World. She started doing runDisney races for the characters, but then found out she actually loved running. Visit her website, I Love Characters, to see pictures of the over 200 characters she’s met at Disney World and Disneyland. Follow her adventures at Disney on twitter and instagram.

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