Posts Tagged by tinker bell half marathon weekend

Tinker Bell Boracay New Balance runDisney Shoe Revealed!


New Balance and runDisney have revealed a new shoe that will be available at Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, May 7-10!  The Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay are a green & yellow neutral shoe with some extra cushioning to help you take flight.  This shoe is ideal for long runs or to take you past that second star to the right and straight on til morning!


These shoes will be available beginning on Thursday, May 7th at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Expo at the Disneyland Hotel.  To minimize waiting in line for shoes, sign up for the virtual queue at using your bib number starting Thursday, May 7th, at 6:00 am (I am going to assume that is Pacific Time).  Once you sign up, you will be sent a time via text/email to arrive at the Expo to get your shoes.  They same process will take place Friday and Saturday mornings, May 8 & 9 for all non-runners.  Set your alarms!!  

If these shoes aren’t your style, all of the other shoes from the New Balance runDisney collection will be available at the Expo as well.



What do you think of the new design?  Will you be taking flight with these new Tinker Bell shoes?

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RAD Recap for August 10, 2014

So the Pixie Dust Challenge early registration sold out in 15 minutes this week.  Just when I thought that races couldn’t sell out any faster, they do.  It’s quite amazing to see how this has changed in the past few years and I’m constantly baffled by it.  Regular registration for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend open at noon this Tuesday.  If you have any hopes of getting into one of the races, particularly the Pixie Dust Challenge, I would be ready and waiting at your computer.  Let’s just hope the system don’t crash like it did for the Princess registration!

Speaking of upcoming races in Disneyland, did you see the medals that were revealed for the Avengers Half Marathon Weekend this week?  I’m pretty jealous I won’t be getting one of these!


With runDisney race season about to kick into high gear, make sure to check out the great Yoga for Runners tips that Danielle shared this week on Hotel Room Yoga.  We first talked about this last year during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and given that it is now only less than 3 weeks away, these will definitely help everyone heading out to run that weekend.

Hotel Yoga 2

This has been a VERY busy week for me full of meetings and projects…all a very good busy!  I did take some time to take a look at my favorite things about the CrossFit Games and I also celebrated my 2 year anniversary doing CrossFit.  It’s pretty cool to see how far I’ve come!


Lastly I relived my recent Disneyland trip and how I completely have fallen in love with the west coast park.  I mean, how can you not love this?!?!


Check back tomorrow where I will have all of the details for you to register for the races over Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and good luck to everyone who will be waiting to register!

Also coming up this week is another Transformation Tuesday story, a look at Disney animated movie songs in Kill, Refurb, Marry, and John is back with some fun Anaheim Antics! Hope you enjoy and have a great week!!

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Anaheim Antics: A Girl’s Race from a Guy’s Perspective – Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend

One of my favorite things about all of the Princess Half Marathons I’ve run are the guys embracing the sparkle.  The Tinker Bell Half Marathon is the west coast version of this and John is here to share the guy’s perspective with us.  So fun!!


Runners live by many motivational phrases. Phrases like “pain is temporary, glory is forever” or “no one ever drowned in sweat.” For males running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort, it could be “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”. As the name implies, the “Tink” (like its WDW Disney Princess counterpart) is marketed towards women. But the appeal for me was multifold: I had not yet run a Disney race, and that was high on my priority list. When runDisney added the 10k to the existing Tink roster, the thought of earning a medal with the word “Inaugural” stamped on it was appealing. Plus, several other Cast Members in my department were running (oops, the secret’s out! Yes, I’m a DLR Cast Member, and nope, I can’t sign you in!), and it seemed only fitting that there be at least one guy representing the male species of my department. So how does a guy adapt to what is otherwise a girl’s weekend? There were just few caveat emptor moments.

The “Inaugural” Tinker Bell 10k medal

The “Inaugural” Tinker Bell 10k medal

Before the day of the race, runners must stop by the runDisney Expo to pick up their race bibs, shirts, and appointed swag. Participants in runDisney events know that “Expo” is defined as “take my money now”. There were plenty of vendors selling fairy-themed merchandise. If I were daring enough to wear wings, a tutu, or frilly shoelaces, I’d have had no problem finding a source. Even though I was secure in my manhood, I decided to pass: I run for time, so wearing attire that would slow me down was a no-no … at least that’s the excuse I went with. Thankfully, there was plenty of other running-themed merchandise catering to people of both genders. I emerged with my wallet only slightly thinner. My one major purchase was a FlipBelt, which worked impressively during the race. More on that in a future column…

No visit to the Expo is complete without a look at the runDisney exclusive merchandise. Again, lots of wings and wands, and plenty of themed merchandise for the Half Marathon. For the 10k, not so much. Perhaps it was the fact that the race was added later, or that men were a small portion of total runners (out of 8300 participants, just over 1500 were men), but male-specific merchandise was pretty much nonexistent. From a male perspective, this was rather disappointing. There were some unisex white tees with the 10k logo, and several styles of shirts in women’s cut, but that was it. I ended up getting a 10k logo pin; I would have been willing to spend considerably more, given the opportunity.

The most notable gender concern happens just prior to entering the Expo, when runners are getting their race shirts. Now, I gotta give kudos to the runDisney team for making their race shirts available in men’s and women’s cuts. Even though women make up 60% of runners in the average race, unisex shirts are often the norm, completely ignoring more than half the demographic. runDisney knows their market, at least when it comes to sizing. When it comes to color, well, that’s a different story. The color of the shirts for the 10k was a very non-manly lavender. This one actually bothered me a little, given the cost of entering a runDisney event. I hope for future races, they choose colors that are a little less gender-exclusive, such as plum, teal, or even a deep jewel-tone pink.

A shirt color fit for a Princess, not so much for a Prince

A shirt color fit for a Princess, not so much for a Prince

As for the race itself, Disney races are definitely the gold standard. The organizers have this race well-executed. Runners are corralled into very specific pens. I was corralled near the starting line, and my corral was about two-thirds female, and one-third male. For a race where women outnumber men more than 5 to 1, this surprised me somewhat. As runners were released through the starting line in waves, it became clear that there was plenty of space in between waves to mitigate bunching. The on-property portion of the course was clearly marked, clean, and lined with Cast Members and Characters. Being a Cast Member, I’ve seen backstage a million times, but there’s something special about seeing it as part of a special public event. Whenever I saw a Cast Member that I knew, I had to resist the urge to slow down and say hi. So if you’re a Cast Member reading this, and I stopped to say hi to you, you must be very special indeed! One of the most endearing moments was when I passed my own building. Seeing my fellow Cast Members taking the time out of their busy morning to cheer us on was very heartwarming.

A very runner-friendly event

A very runner-friendly event

The off-property portion, which winds through the streets of Anaheim, was considerably less impressive, but not at all disappointing. Unlike my previous Laguna Hills 10k experience, there were several local high school musical groups, cheer squads, and similar on-course “enter-couragement” (my word for entertainment and encouragement). The most fun was that moment at the end of the race when I came back on-property, saw the chEAR squad, heard the roar of spectators, and crossed that finish line, my first Disney race becoming a part of history. Oh, and my time? I finished the race in 1:01:31, placing me 680th out of 8331 runners (274th place out of 1539 men). Soon after, I regrouped with my fellow Cast Members. Together, we reveled in our achievement.

When the phrase “You run like a girl” is a compliment

When the phrase “You run like a girl” is a compliment

There is a famous bible verse written by the Apostle Paul to the early Christians in Galatia, where he wrote, “there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female”. I would say this applies not just to those early Galatians, but also to modern runners. Despite concerns about running shirts, expo merchandise, and male-to-female ratio, the moment my feet passed that starting line, I was no longer a male in a female race. I was a runner, an athlete, and a winner. We weren’t people of color, race, or gender. We were champions. For those who don’t see the appeal in running, this concept might seem incomprehensible. But to those of us who have set foot to pavement at a starting line, felt that runner’s high halfway through, raised our arms at the finish, and basked in the satisfaction of a medal around our necks, that concept is irresistible.

RADically yours,


Sarah’s Note: Next year John, we will get you in a tutu!! 🙂  Congrats on a great race!!


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

Earning Her Wings While Helping Others

I first met Liliane during Princess Half Marathon Weekend last year when she was running her first Disney race dressed in the most amazing Merida costume!  We have kept in touch this past year and I have been lucky to spend some time with her over other race weekends.  Not only is she an inspiring runner, but she’s an amazing person.  Enjoy the story of her first half marathon and the people she helped along the way 🙂


Flying for work about once a month, I have been carried on wings often throughout the United States and to many exotic destinations. Nothing however has been as exhilarating a journey as earning my very own wings at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland in Anaheim last month.

Tink-Half-Liliane-With bib at EXPO

I started running eleven months ago when I did participate in my very first runDisney race, the Mickey and Minnie Mouse Royal 5K at Walt Disney World. I loved the experience and next thing I knew I signed up for the 10K held during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend in August. My son is living in Los Angeles and running a little race while visiting seemed only natural. Cranking it up a notch I run the Tower of Terror 10-Miler in Orlando this October and eventually decided that the best way to celebrate the upcoming anniversary of my first race was to sign up for the Princess Half Marathon which by now is only three weeks away.

Tink-Half-Liliane-My first race 5K Princess Feb 2013

The world seemed perfect when I was invited to speak on a panel at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show. Living in New York, which is currently blanketed by yet another snowstorm, I was eager to let Elsa’s world go and enjoy both my son and 82F. So how can one top this? You guessed it, run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.

The race was of course sold out and I will be forever grateful to John Watkins and the Special Olympics Southern California Association for inviting me last minute to be part of their team. I am proud and humbled to have been part of a team that raises money for such a great cause. Every dollar raised through the Tinker Bell Half Marathon changes the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sports training and competition. We all love Disney and runDisney but I strongly recommend you look into being part of a team that raises funds for a charity you care about.

Once in Anaheim I was thrilled to see the many happy faces on all running days. Many multigenerational families participate in the 5K and 10 K races and I love seeing the innovative costumes.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Family who run with wheelchair in 5 K


Tink-Half-Liliane-5K couple

And of course there was Expo. Package pick up at the lower level of the show was a breeze and I really don’t understand why anybody would stand in line on the first day if after a couple of hours it is so easy to just walkup and get your bib. The race shirt and bag was available at the upper level and there too I did not have to wait more than five minutes when I checked in on Saturday morning. Plenty of shirts in all sizes were available and it was easy to exchange sizes if needed.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Packet Pick UP Expo

And now to the fun part of Expo: Shopping!  Runner’s apparel in all the colors of the rainbow was tempting everywhere. Long and short sleeve T-shirts, performance T-shirts, tanks, fleece hoodies and lots of high-tech gadgets called my name.  I really liked what I saw and loved the official merchandise. I did splurge on the “I did it” plush Mickey and regret that I did not buy the pink “Coast to Coast” t-shirt.

Tink-Half-Liliane-I did it Mickey Plush

Tink-Half-Liliane-Merchandise at EXPO

Studio 365 had a booth at expo and I loved the Tinkerbell hairdo but I am glad I did not go for it as some runners reported to me that it was uncomfortable sleeping with and that it pulled real hard giving them a major headache which is certainly no fun while running.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Studio 365

As always there where quite some interesting sessions scheduled throughout the three-day expo and it was good to be able to meet with Jeff Galloway, the official runDisney training consultant for advice on how to best prepare for the half marathon challenge.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Jeff Galloway

I did not get a lot of sleep prior to the race but the fact that I had just flown in from the East Coast worked to my advantage. I felt ready to go when I boarded the special shuttle from my good neighborhood hotel to join my team for a pre-race group picture.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Pre Race Team Picture

Soon it was time to line up at corral D. Tinker Bell made an appearance and off we went sprinkled with a good dose of pixie dust. The race gets off to a real early start at 5:00 AM near Paradise Pier Hotel.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Send of by Tinkerbell

Tink-Half-Liliane-Ready Set Go

From there, the course heads on a loop around the roads that wind around the edges of the park. Next we followed Harbor Boulevard south all the way down to the entrance of the park. Inside Disneyland we passed all major attractions such as Fantasyland, Matterhorn, Space Mountain and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Tink-Half-Liliane-To the Castle

Running down Main Street U.S.A. and entering the castle was simply amazing and at Disney’s California Adventures I was mesmerized to see that the Water Colors show was up and running for us in front of the ferries wheel.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Water Colors

Tink-Half-Liliane-In front of Water Colors

The first three miles where a feast for the senses and when the 5K split came through (13:58) I decided it was time to pick up the pace.  I sure had been lingering a little too much for picture taking. Characters where everywhere in the parks and it was thrilling to run backstage. Who can resist Jack Sparrow? Who does not want their picture taken with Darth Vader?




Tink-Half-Liliane-May the Force be with Us

Eventually we excited the park and made our way through Downtown Disney with guests and cast members cheering us on.

For the next seven miles we left the Disneyland Resort and run in the streets of Anaheim before eventually making our way back down Harbor Boulevard toward Disneyland. Local music bands and cheerleader groups offered support along the route.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Cheering us on

Running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon was incredibly exciting. Running through the parks was gorgeous but I truly enjoyed running through the streets of Anaheim. I appreciated the efforts of the school marching bands and the spectators encouraging us with their signs everywhere.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Music Bands

At mile 12 I started laughing, seriously I felt so great that I could not stop laughing. I felt as if the world around me did not matter anymore. I suddenly realized that I was about to complete my first half marathon and it was a great feeling. I stopped listening to my timer, no more run, walk, run. I just kept on running.


Eventually I reached the finish line (2:52:14) and when I got my medal it suddenly dawned on me that I had just achieved the first part of the Coast-to-Coast run. And what a feeling that was!

Tink-Half-Liliane-Getting my bling

Tink-Half-Liliane-Did it

I loved the experience and the race was very well organized. There were plenty of water and first aid stations every few miles and post race we were handed water, PowerAde, a banana and a runDisney snack box. I personally don’t care for the snacks inside the box and would prefer a simple sandwich.

Last but certainly not least it was time to meet up with my team and take a post race picture. I loved being part of a team and the Special Olympics team will always have a special place in my heart.


Tink-Half-Liliane-Team pix after race

Over 15,000 runners participated in the half marathon race and I was one of them finishing. My report however would not be complete without acknowledging the winner of the race, Melissa Hernandez from Oxnard, California, who finished the race in 1:25:40.

Tink Winner


Hernandez’s win capped a weekend of race events that included a new Disneyland 10K and a Never Land Family Fun Run 5K as well as several kids races.

As for me I celebrated with a nice breakfast and a drink at the Rainforest Café.  The eggs benedict were absolutely fabulous.

Tink-Half-Liliane-Party Time

So what is next? As I am finishing this article I am relaxing from my first non-Disney race, the Brrrooklyn Half Marathon. It sure earns the name. It was freezing and I doubt I’ll do it again. Running at 10F is really not my idea of fun. The cold and the lack of entertainment along the route made me finish the race in 2:48:35 but I’ll trade the gain in time for both the warmth of California or Florida anytime. Most importantly I missed my runDisney friends.  I can’t wait for the Princess Half where every mile will be pure magic!

For more information about Special Olympics Southern California click here.

Link to SOSC page:

Link to SOSC 2014 Tinkerbell Race page

For upcoming runDisney races check out


Liliane Opsomer is the co-author of the “Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids”, a guidebook that provides detailed planning and touring tips for a family vacation. The book has also a Facebook page with daily tips. She is passionate about travel, Disney, and hobbits. Liliane also started recently her own blog.
Find Liliane here: Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids  *  Blog  *  Facebook

Flying with Tinker Bell vs Dumbo

As a Disneyland newbie and having only run during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, I was VERY curious about how it differed from Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend.  Kim has run both events and put together a comparison of the two weekends!  This is also a great time to check out the different courses since registration opens today for the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, so hopefully this will help you make the decision to register.


I had the great opportunity to run the races at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland. This was my first time running the Tinker Bell events (in it’s third year), but I’ve run the Disneyland Half Marathon over Labor Day for the past three years. This past year, the Dumbo Challenge premiered at Disneyland: completing both the 10k and half would earn you a special Dumbo medal (if you registered for the challenge). Tinker Bell weekend did not offer a challenge, but I still opted to run both the 10k and half. What can I say? I love the bling! Having done the Disneyland 10k and half, I was eager to see how the Tinker Bell 10k and half would compare.

The Tinker Bell weekend is a women’s focused event and off the bat it was very apparent. The 10k and half shirts came in a women’s cut (yay!), though unisex sizes were available. I did see quite a few men sporting the lavender 10k and raspberry half shirts over the weekend!


The expo official merchandise had mostly women’s shirts, though there were some unisex styles. Overall, the expo from the Disneyland Half had a lot more merchandise, especially with the Dumbo Challenge apparel, but the Tinker Bell expo was much more organized. I spent two hours in line in September just waiting to pay for my items. At Tink, I waited maybe 20 minutes to get into the official merchandise area where they kept the crowds down. After I chose my items, it was only a few minutes to pay. Much more enjoyable!


Onto the more interesting parts- the actual races!

The Tinker Bell 10k started at 6am on Saturday morning. It was still dark out as the race began. I started in corral A- my first time! The course starts out heading north on Disneyland Drive before heading into the back area of Disneyland. It takes you out to It’s a Small World, which is absolutely gorgeous with all it’s holiday twinkling lights.


This was by far the highlight of the race for me! We headed through Toontown and into the back areas again. By mile 1.5, we were back into Disneyland by the Rivers of America. The Bride and Tightrope girl from the Haunted Mansion were out and I had to take a picture with them. My first photo stop with characters during a race ever!


 (Sarah’s Note: This is the BEST photo op I’ve ever seen!!!)

We took the back road behind Big Thunder Mountain and through Fantasyland. The course went around the Matterhorn, through Tomorrowland and out into the hub before heading down Main Street.


Something major to note: the Tink 10k course does not go through Sleeping Beauty Castle, unlike the Disneyland 10k. There’s a great photo op in front of the castle, but it’s not quite the same as running across the drawbridge. We crossed the esplanade and headed through the gates into California Adventure. Miles 2.5 to 4 wound us past Soarin’, the Grand Californian Hotel and around Paradise Bay where the World of Color fountains and lights were on.


At mile 4, the course headed out onto the streets of Anaheim. We ran north on Harbor Blvd and made a loop around that big block of all the hotels. I’ve stayed in almost all the hotels along Harbor, so the area was very familiar and went by pretty quickly. Soon it was a quick trip on Katella and then back into the Simba parking lot for the finish!



Overall, I enjoyed the Tinker Bell 10k at lot more than the Disneyland 10k. During the Disneyland 10k, I was a bit bored at the beginning of the run while we ran through the Anaheim Convention Center. Although we didn’t get to run through the castle, I feel that the Tink course was better. I like that we ran through the parks first- the adrenaline really made those last 2 miles fly by.

The Tinker Bell Half was Sunday morning at 5am. I have to admit, waking up between 3:30-4am for 3 days in a row was almost as hard as running the half marathon itself. I don’t know how the Dopey runners did it! I ran with two of my friends, both running their first runDisney event, so we started in corral E. The course brings by making a giant circle around the parks before entering California Adventure via the back area behind Tower of Terror. We headed through Cars Land down Route 66 towards the mountain range.



The World of Color fountains and lights were on again, so we stopped for a quick photo before heading towards Buena Vista Street and across the esplanade into Disneyland. We ran down Main Street and through the castle into Fantasyland. The path to Small world, or Princess Row as some runners call it, only had two princesses out- Rapunzel and Cinderella.


Mile 5 took us through Downtown Disney. When we reached the Disneyland Hotel, the Red Hat ladies were out in full force. They have so much spirit so early in the morning!


From there we were out on the streets of Anaheim. It was nice to know that we were pretty much half way done! We passed through residential areas; there were even signs that said “Shhh, neighbors are sleeping.” A few curious residents sat out on their lawns watching all the runners.


Downtown Anaheim has a lot to look at. There are shops and the streets are lined with tall palm trees. Between miles 9 and 10, was the Cliff Shot stop. They were passing out a few different flavors, but most gravitated towards the volunteers yelling “this one has caffeine!”


The next two miles led us back to Disneyland and the area behind Cars Land. I always get a giggle out of seeing the metal-framed backside of the Cars Land mountain range. It wasn’t long before we were passing the Paradise Pier hotel and crossing the finish line in the Simba parking lot.



The Tink half and Disneyland half courses are very different. One of the biggest appeals about the Disneyland half is that it runs through Angel Stadium. Not everyday you get to run inside a baseball stadium!


Unfortunately, the roads leading up to the stadium and back to Disneyland are surrounded by boring industrial areas.

Personally, I preferred the Tink course. I loved the extra miles inside the parks, the holiday lights for It’s a Small World and the overall women’s focus of the weekend. There was a strong sense of camaraderie, even amongst strangers. It was the perfect race for my girls vacation!

Sarah’s Addition: Having only run the Disneyland 10K and Half Marathon, I would have to agree that the Tinker Bell Half Marathon course is MUCH more appealing based on this.  You seem to have more time in the parks and the course through Anaheim seems more residential than industrial.  However, I like how the Disneyland 10K begins in Anaheim and ends in the parks, which is opposite for Tinker Bell.  Hmmmm….maybe they should combine those two courses! 🙂


Hi, I’m Kim! A Disneyland fanatic since birth, I try to visit as often as I can. I was never an athlete, but started running to lead a healthier lifestyle. My first race was the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2011 and I have been addicted to running Disney ever since. I’ve completed 4 half marathons so far and am planning to run my first full at WDW in 2015.
Find Kim here:  Website   Twitter

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