Posts Tagged by disneyland half marathon weekend

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.

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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.

Race Weekend Dining at Disneyland Resort

Disneyland has some incredible dining options and choosing which ones are best while you are visiting for a race weekend can be a tough decision!!  You want to enjoy all that goodness, but you have to keep in mind the optimal nutrition for the races.  Now after the races are a whole different story…

Well I’m happy to say that Jenna is back today with a TON of tips and delicious food porn from her recent trip to Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.  If you are hungry, you have been warned!

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Whether you eat to optimize your running, or run so you can eat all the things, you’ll be able to find something great to eat on a race-cation to Disneyland. I took full advantage of the diverse choices available.

TangaroaTerraceSalad

While you’re at the Race Expo at Disneyland Hotel, why not stop over at Tangaroa Terrace for this beautiful salad? The Tangaroa Terrace Salad has mixed greens of lettuce, cabbage and kale, and is topped with pineapple, grape tomatoes and toasted macadamia nuts. It comes with crispy marinated tofu, but I opted for sautéed shrimp instead. It was extremely good and fresh tasting.

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The one big drawback of staying on property at Disneyland is that you are somewhat limited for early breakfast. I couldn’t find any information on whether Paradise Pier was going to have food for sale early on race days, so I packed a package of bagels and some single serve peanut butter packs for breakfast. That banana cost me $2 at the coffee/breakfast stand at Paradise Pier. All subsequent bananas were 2 for $1 from the 7-11 a half mile from Disneyland. The ART bus makes that trip a little shorter, but you’ll still have to walk a ways. I understand Von’s grocery store delivers!

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After an early morning running the 5K, I needed two things: caffeine and carbs! The Carnation Café on Disneyland’s Main Street met both needs admirably. I started with a lovely vanilla latte.

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Then I moved on to the apple-granola pancakes. The pancakes are light and fluffy and the apple and granola toppings are yummy! It comes with either hickory smoked bacon or chicken-apple sausages. I had the sausages and added a side of fresh fruit. They serve breakfast until 11:00. A later breakfast meant no lunch for me that day.

StageDoorCorndog

A corn dog and fries is probably not the healthiest choice for race-cation dining, but there’s no denying that it’s a tasty choice! Stage Door Café in Disneyland and Corn Dog Castle both sell hand-dipped corn dogs that are better than any corn dog you’ve had in the past, hands down. If you want to healthy it up a little bit, you can opt for apple slices instead of fries.

ParadiseGardenGrillBeefSkewer

For a far healthier choice in the same general area of Corn Dog Castle in DCA, one of the Mediterranean skewer platters at Paradise Garden Grill is excellent. You can select your choice of grilled steak, lemon-oregano chicken, spicy meatball, or grilled tofu and vegetables. You then choose either chili sauce, chimichurri sauce, or tzatziki. All platters come with rice pilaf, cucumber salad and pita. I chose the grilled steak with chimichurri sauce. The steak was well-marinated, tender and tasty. The whole platter was delicious and I would definitely recommend Paradise Garden Grill for someone looking for a good counter service meal in DCA.

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As a bonus, Paradise Garden Grill has lots of comfortable outdoor seating and a bandstand for entertainment. I just happened to sit down when the Ellis Island Boys jazz band was playing. It was a great way to enjoy a meal!

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If you’re in the mood for a homey, filling counter service meal in Disneyland, I recommend the River Belle Terrace. I had tender roast turkey and gravy, roasted potatoes and succotash with a buttermilk biscuit and a side of cranberry marmalade. They also have roast beef, fish, black bean cakes, as well as sandwiches and salads. Its close proximity to the Rivers of America make it a great choice for a quick meal before staking out a spot for Fantasmic.

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If you haven’t opted for the Pasta in the Park party the night before the half marathon, but you want to carb load, Wine Country Trattoria in California Adventure is an excellent choice. We were seated a few tables over from runDisney hero Sean Astin, which confirms my opinion. We started with the rustic bruschetta with roasted artichokes, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and caramelized onions. There were four pieces of bruschetta (two of our party were a little quick to grab theirs, so the picture is missing a little something), which turned out to be the perfect portion to share.

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All three of us chose the campanelle Bolognese as our entrée. The servings are quite large (I only ate about half of mine) and the sauce and pasta are excellent. The “pasta your way” at Wine Country Trattoria comes with three pasta choices (campanelle, spaghetti or tagliatelle) and five different choices for sauce.

When you’ve finished your race or races, you will naturally want to celebrate! Luckily, Disneyland offers a lot of different choices for a celebratory meal or drink! I chose to celebrate the 5K and the Half Marathon three different times, just because I’m like that!

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Immediately after recovering from the half, I texted my friends “I need champagne.” They didn’t need to confirm. We knew where we were going. Mendocino Terrace in California Adventure is next to Wine Country Trattoria and offers a lot of different red, white and sparkling wines, as well as beer and soda. I started with a sparkling flight poured by friendly and knowledgeable sommelier, John. Flights are not listed on the regular menu, so you do have to ask if you want that option, and because they use glass glasses instead of plastic, you do need to stand at the bar while tasting. It soon became apparent that the St. Hilaire was my favorite, so my friends and I had an additional flute or two while enjoying the afternoon parade from the terrace.

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I also got the cheese box which had an assortment of cheeses (including a fantastic bleu)), grapes, candied walnuts and a couple of packets of grissini breadsticks.

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But how would you like to have dinner with a view like that, knowing that you’d have an equally great view of World of Color later? We had our post-race dinner at Ariel’s Grotto for the World of Color package. It’s a fixed price meal, and you really can’t beat the view down on the lower terrace.

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Upon being seated, we had beautiful bread and the superfruit sangria that’s available at nearly every Disney lounge. I’ve even had that sangria at Disney’s Vero Beach resort!

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The meal starts with a choice of two soups: butternut squash and crab chowder; or a house salad. I got the delicious butternut squash soup and my friends had the crab chowder, which they said was excellent. The serving size is exactly right for a three course dinner.

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There are a number of different entrees on the dinner menu, but I didn’t stray too far into the exotic. I had the red oak smoked honey-whiskey barbecue tri tip. It came with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. I enjoyed the sauce and the beef was cooked exactly the way I like it. My friends had the tri-tip with the addition of a grilled lobster tail.

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Dessert at Ariel’s Grotto is a trio of petite desserts: a chocolate covered strawberry, s’mores cake, and crème brulee. All were delicious and right-sized.

The dinner package includes preferred viewing for the California Adventure night time show, World of Color. The viewing area is not the innermost “wet zone” ring around the lagoon, but is just inside that ring. I got thoroughly misted by the show, but had a fairly unobstructed view. I had a FastPass for World of Color the previous year and would have to say that this viewing area is better and less crowded.

FantasmicDessertView

If a view like this and a chance to celebrate while sitting and enjoying decadent desserts is more your celebration style, I can’t recommend the Fantasmic! Dessert Party enough. It’s a little pricey, but definitely worth it if you don’t want to stake out a spot hours in advance to stand up for the duration of Fantasmic with what might still end up being an obstructed view. I was lucky enough to have a front-row center seat for the show. And besides that: dessert!

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When you’re seated for Fantasmic, a server takes your drink order. Coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, soda and water are all available. I had hot chocolate and water. Then your server brings you a large box filled with tasty treats. This included flourless chocolate cake, cheesecake, a coconut macaroon, a lemon tart, and a huge, raspberry-filled cookie. The box also contains a bunch of red grapes, five pieces of individually wrapped cheeses, two packs of crackers and two truffles. The box’s size and shape makes it a neat lap top table/container and makes it easy to carry leftovers out of the park. I was only able to eat some of the desserts, and took the rest, all of the cheese, crackers, and truffle back to my room to enjoy later.

I thoroughly enjoyed eating my way around Disneyland and I think it’s clear where my running/eating motivation lies. What are your favorite Disney foods to eat on race-cations?

ChEARing at the 2014 Disneyland 10K

ChEARing at a runDisney race is not only motivating for the runners, but for the chEARers as well!  Hey, it’s what got me to run my first race!  As a runner, I love when spectators get creative and make signs, wear funny outfits and simply give out high fives.  All of the effort they put into chEARing us on is one of my favorite things about Disney races.  Jenna (who you might remember from her Disneyland Half Marathon recap) is no exception!  She recently chEARed a few friends on at the Disneyland 10K with some super fun signs and has some great tips for spectators.

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When I was chatting with my friends Andy and F.J. making plans for the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, I snuck one little secret plan into my itinerary. While I did run the 5K on Friday, there was no way I was ready for back-to-back races. Unlike my friends, I didn’t register for Dumbo, and not running the 10K on Saturday left a gap in my race morning schedule. I could have slept in, I suppose, but that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun!

Instead, I woke up just a tiny bit later than the runners and got ready to cheer my heart out!

While still at home, I studied the course map and figured out what I thought would be the best places to watch. Unfortunately, the runDisney site is a little vague on viewing locations, but I thought I could fit in three viewing locations without crossing the course while runners were on it.

I decided to make signs to show my support. I made three custom images and taped them to a tri-fold foam core board.

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Sign 1: A picture of Patsy and Edina from Absolutely Fabulous which F.J. had posted to the Team Mousejunkies Facebook group. This one got some confused looks, but a couple of people at least smirked. Grade: B-

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Sign 2: A picture of Sissy from the movie and TV show Sordid Lives with a comment about how crazy most people think Dumbo Double Dare runners are. No one knew what this sign was. It was very specific to my friends and I decided to switch from it pretty quickly. Grade: D+

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Sign 3: A picture of Andy and F.J.’s Shiba Inu, Akai, done up in the style of the Doge internet meme. This sign proved to be pretty popular. Everyone loves Doge. Even if they don’t know Doge, they love fun dogs. Grade: A+, with extra credit for being personal.

On Saturday morning, I studied the more detailed spectator maps in the race weekend program, then headed out with my sign. I followed the runners and immediately got misdirected.

“I’m looking for the starting line viewing area?” I asked a volunteer in front of the Lego Store.

“I don’t really think there is a place where you can watch the start.”

I checked the program map and confirmed that the starting line was listed as a viewing area.

“I’m looking for the starting line viewing area?” I asked a Disneyland cast member a little further down.

“Well, the starting line is that way. Follow the runners.”

Hmm. I ran the 5K the previous morning and I didn’t remember anything like that near the actual starting area.

“I’m looking for the starting line viewing area?” I asked a security person waving runners toward the race start.

“Starting line is this way. Follow the runners.”

By this time it was about 5:00 AM and I knew I was running out of time to find the mythical viewing spot.

“I’m looking for the place listed in the program where you can watch the runners at the starting line?” I asked a runDisney staff member who saw me aimlessly wandering through a darkened parking lot with a sign in my hand and asked if I needed help.

He promptly pointed me to the spot in Downtown Disney overlooking the tunnel the runners go through right after the race start. I found the area, but it’s very small- only about 15 feet wide- and it was already full of spectators. I realized that not only was there no room for me, there was no way anyone was going to see a sign above them in the dark!

On the other hand, most of the coffee and snack places in Downtown Disney open early on race mornings. A quick trip to Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express and it was time to take my coffee down to the next spectator spot on my list.

The next viewing spot was outside the main entrance to Disneyland (known as “the Esplanade”), where the runners go from one theme park to the other. This is one of the places where the route for the 5K is very different than the route for the 10K. During the 5K, you actually exit California Adventure through the main gate, run across the Esplanade between the two parks, and then enter Disneyland in front of the train station. In the 10K, runners bypass the DCA main gate and head back stage for a bit before running through a quick corner of the Esplanade, and then into Disneyland.

Soon, we heard the race staff calling out that the first wheelchair participant was coming. The wheelchair leader flew through in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment. The spectators whooped and hollered. Then the first runner was coming through, bringing more cheering from the crowd. After several runners had passed, the staff announced the first woman runner was approaching. The cheering was punctuated by a few calls of “Go, girl!” I noted that the leading woman was dressed as Tinkerbell, complete with wings. Not only was she the first woman on the course, she was the first costumed runner on the course!

My first sign got some confused looks and then some smiles. My big worry was that they would think that I actually had booze to give them. No such luck!

I cheered on the pack as they ran through the short space on the Esplanade. Whenever I recognized a costume, I called it out by name. “Woo! Go, Jessie! Go, Captain Jack! Go, Mary Poppins! Run, Buzz Lightyear!” When there were no costumes, I cheered, “Woo! Go, runners! You look great! You’re awesome!”

I kept looking for Andy and F.J., knowing that they would be running together and what they would be wearing. Suddenly, I spotted them. “WOOO!! Go Andy and F.J.! YAY!” As far as I know, that was the first they knew that I would be up and cheering for them. I saw F.J.’s head snap around and the guys waved quickly, but that area goes by a little too quickly for more than that.

I switched my sign to the next in the stack and took it down to the next spot, Downtown Disney. Both the 5K and the 10K routes run through about a quarter mile of Downtown Disney at the very end of the race. I positioned myself near the fountain in front of La Brea Bakery, right after the runners exit Disneyland. I soon found out that I’d put myself in an area with an excellent echo, so my cheers were amplified even more. It was also getting light, which helped immensely!

The only reaction to my second sign from everyone who looked at it was confused looks. Sordid Lives is an LGBT cult classic, but not exactly widely known. I realized that this was probably the only chance I had for my sign to be seen by Andy and F.J. as they ran and I had to make it count. So I switched the sign to Akai as Doge. Sorry, Beth Grant!

It was awesome to get to cheer for the 10K runners! I saw so many Dumbo Double Dare bibs. I saw people in fantastic, meticulously planned costumes. I saw lots of people in regular running clothes. I saw a single-leg amputee running on a blade.

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And I saw so many people recognizing and smiling or laughing at my third sign. A lot of people love Doge and the sign turned out to be a huge hit. One guy yelled “So mileage!” as he ran past and later, when he was walking past after the race, stopped and said, “That sign is so great! I love it!”

Soon, Andy and F.J. rounded the corner and I cheered louder than ever. The looks on their faces when they saw and recognized the picture were priceless. After the race, F.J. told me he teared up three times during the race: running through the castle, at the finish line, and when he saw the sign. “It was like having Akai with us!”

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After my friends passed, I moved up the route a little bit to the 6 Mile marker to continue cheering and wait to meet up with the guys. When they made their way to me, they took over the sign holding and joined in with the cheering. We stayed through the last runners, yelling “It’s just around the corner! Go, runners! You look great! Keep going!”

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And when we saw the last few people coming through on golf carts, we applauded them for their effort. It’s got to be so hard to get so close to the finish line and not finish, but just getting out there and trying is a feat that most people won’t achieve and wouldn’t dream of attempting.

Some tips for spectators at Disneyland races:

  • Have fun making signs! The bigger the letters and shorter the message, the better. Make it personal, but make it something everyone can recognize and enjoy. (Cute pets are universal.)
  • Some of the Downtown Disney coffee and snack places are open early on race days (e.g., Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express).
  • Pick your on-course spots carefully.
  • During the 5K, the best spot to watch is along the route on the Esplanade between California Adventure and Disneyland.
  • For the 10K, you can watch from both the short stretch along the Esplanade (closer to the left of the entry is best and most visible) and along the route in Downtown Disney. If you can only do one, pick Downtown Disney.
  • The Half Marathon has a number of places where you can see runners, but keep in mind that you may have a hard time reaching some of them due to road closures. The City of Anaheim website publishes detailed road closure information about a week before race weekends. The most popular spot seems to be the halfway point (in the current race route, that is in front of Ganahl Lumber on Ball Rd.). I can tell you from personal experience that gummies, licorice, and other favorite running fuels are a welcome treat at that point!
  • The 5K, 10K and Half Marathon all have bleachers available at the finish line. For the Half Marathon, this seating is reserved for ChEAR Squad Gold and Platinum packages.
  • If you can, stick around to cheer for runners who are finishing at the back of the pack. That encouragement means so much to people who are struggling to finish.
  • Show appreciation for the costumes! You never know when you will run into something like this marvel. She’s the Tiki Room. Best. Costume. Ever.

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The 2014 Disneyland 5K, a First for a runDisney Veteran

I’m so excited to begin coverage of the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!!  To kick things off, Minnie (yes that is really here name – how fun!) is here to recap the Disneyland 5K.  Minnie is a runDisney veteran, but this was her first time running a 5K.  You know why she did it?  Well you’ll have to read on to find out!

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My name is Minnie Paule and I have been doing runDisney races since January 2013.  Tinker Bell was my first half marathon and runDisney race.  Since then, I have participated in the 2013 Disneyland Half, 2014 Glass Slipper Challenge, 2014 Tinker Bell Half and now the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare.

This past weekend was my first runDisney 5K and the first time I signed up for all three races.  I decided to do the 5K after the medals were released.  Registration was already sold out for the 5K.  I had to find a way to register for that race to get that medal!  Luckily, I found an organization called TSA (Tourette Syndrome Association) that was selling bibs and asking for a fundraising minimum of $200.  At the time I registered with TSA my awareness of what the organization and disorder was about was limited.  I am now educated and proud that I chose this organization to associate myself with.  It was truly an honor to race for those dealing and living with Tourette Syndrome.  I even got to meet Dash Mihok from the Showtime hit series Roy Donovan at the Thank You Luncheon for TSA.

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The night before the race, I laid out my costume.  I was pink Minnie Mouse to match my pink runDisney New Balance shoes.  I also prepared my fuel belt, drink and breakfast.  I was taught to “dress the chair” so that you aren’t pressured and rushed the morning of race day. (Sarah’s Note: Great tip!!!)

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I was assigned to corral C and waited for our corral to move up to the start line.  In the meantime the race announcers, Rudy Novotny and Carissa Bealert entertained the crowd.

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My sister, Mildred and I were doing the race together.  We are walkers but we jog to get around bottle necks.  We keep a 14 – 16 min mile pace.  Here is my selfie at the mile 1 marker.

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A 5K is the best time to take pics with all the characters and landmarks in the parks!

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Receiving that beautiful medal at the end makes the race all worth it!

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Overall, the race was not too difficult but the humidity and heat made it a little uncomfortable but doable.  Definitely need to hydrate and stay focused on your breathing and form.  Other than that, Have fun, smile and enjoy the experience!

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*****

Minnie Paule has been a runner since October 2012 beginning with the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco as a member of Team in Training (TNT).  She continues run for TNT in support of her best friend’s mother who is battling her third bout with lymphoma.  Besides running to raise funds, Minnie really runs for the bling and has in total run 8 half marathons, 1 full marathon, several 10Ks and a couple 5Ks.

If you would like to make a donation, please go to her website: http://pages.teamintraining.org/gba/nikesf14/mpaule

 

RAD Recap for August 31, 2014

I want to start by congratulating everyone who ran one of the races over Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!!  I’ve had a blast following along and have some great guest recaps coming up in the next few weeks, including one from Jenny who completed her first half marathon and runDisney race…CONGRATS!!

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I’ve spent the past week with my favorite people at one of my favorite places, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.  It was relaxing, fun and full of laughs.  This is a trip I look forward every year and I am so lucky to get to spend this quality time with my friends…I hope there will always be Days Like This 🙂

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Before heading home, B and I spent a night in Walt Disney World at Bay Lake Tower.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen all of the fun I had in the Magic Kingdom for a few short hours, followed by dinner at California Grill and Wishes! from the Top of the World.  What a great day!

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After we returned to Connecticut yesterday afternoon, we stopped by the grand opening of Black Hog Brewing Co. before heading home.  Our friends from Caseus in New Haven started this awesome brewery that focuses on craft beer using local ingredients.  My favorite was Granola Brown…YUM!

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Hard to believe that this weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but there are a lot of fun events coming up in the fall.  runDisney races, the Disney Fit Challenge, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival just to name a few!  Oh boy!  What are you most excited about?  

Have a RAD week 🙂

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