I was really enjoying my first trip out to Disneyland, but after 2 days of park touring, then a long day at the runDisney meet up, the expo, park hopping and dinner on Friday, my legs were TIRED. My feet felt a bit swollen and I was getting slightly nervous for the 2 days of running that were ahead of me. I did almost 10 miles of walking that day alone!
My friend Danielle had told me about a great way she helps her tired feet before races. Lie on the floor with your legs up the wall for about 10 minutes to let all the blood distribute back into your body. It has a similar effect to compression socks. So that’s what I did before bed and boy did that help! This will be a go to for me before every race going forward!
My alarm went off way too early, as it does for most Disney races, I went through my usual pre-race routine of tape, tea, body glide, etc… and headed downstairs to catch the bus. I was staying at the Hilton Anaheim which is next to the Convention Center. The ART (Anaheim Resort Transportation) was very convenient from here and all runners and spectators had complimentary service Friday – Sunday…score!
I ran into my friend Liliane on the bus (check out her great recap of the weekend here!) and we walked over to the Disneyland Hotel to meet Amanda (read her awesome recap here). On the way, we spotted these interesting shoes…was she running the 10K in those??
I found Amanda and we made our way over to the pre-race area to get some water and see what as going on over there. Not much was happening so we decided to head to the corrals after meeting up with our other running buddy Sarah-Irene (Sid). But there was no clear direction on where to go so we just followed the crowd…
Oh you want to go to the corrals?? So does everyone else. It was like a heard of cattle trying to get to one tiny barn door. I actually sat down for about 5 minutes because we just weren’t going anywhere.
This was the first time runDisney has held a 5K and 10K race back-to-back, so it was expected that there would be some congestion. I was actually surprised the transition ran as smoothly as it did. However when we finally made it over to the corral area it the National Anthem had already started and the volunteers were just funneling us into any corral and we followed the crowd into D.
Which I’m really happy about because I ran into a bunch of my runDisney friends! Check out the awesome costumes!
Thanks for making me feel lame in my black running tank guys! 😉 Before I knew it we were at the starting line and the race had started! We didn’t even here Carissa & Rudy count down our corral!
I managed to start my watch and the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge had officially began! Yikes! What did I get myself into… Oh look it’s Jillian & Kelly!
Oh look it’s Daisy Duck! Girl must have been HOT!
Did I mention it was hot? No? Well it was HOT….Florida hot. I was hopeful that this would be the one Disney race I would be able to run in cooler temperatures, but no such luck. Bring on the humidity!
The first 2 miles were pretty uneventful as we ran past the convention center, my hotel and back up Harbor Boulevard towards the parks. We entered Disney California Adventure through Carsland which is so gorgeous as the sun was rising. Here we stopped for a quick character photo..basically because there was no line. But I think this turned out to be one of my favorite race photos ever!
Sid & I stopped here for a quick bathroom break (LOVE Disney races for the real bathrooms!!!) and Amanda kept on going with the expectation that we would catch up. As we were leaving Carsland, I noticed my friend Daniel sadly picking up one of his cone brethren that had been knocked over. Perfect opportunity for a photo bomb!
The course wound around Paradise Pier and all of the World of Color fountains were going. Even though it was too light to see the color, it was a breathtaking sight! Or was that just because I was running??
The course wound through Grizzly Peak, Condor Flats, into Hollywood Land and through a few backstage areas before heading to Disneyland Park. I hadn’t been through many of these areas, so this was a great way to see the park for the first time.
We had caught up with Amanda at this point and she had ran into Ashley from FiddleDeeMe who I was super excited to finally meet in person! Girl had an awesome costume…she was one of Minnie’s Fly Girls! I was happy to have the group back together as we entered into Disneyland…there’s nothing like running down Main Street USA with your friends. 🙂
After the hub, we entered Tomorrowland and were already at Mile 4! This race was going by quickly! From there we entered into more backstage areas where the Disneyland Railroad Steam Engine and the Monorail were waiting for us and honking their horns….super cool!
And look…animals! They looked so tired and confused why they were out there, but it definitely made my morning. Remember during the WDW Marathon when I hugged that goat and then smelled like goat? Well I almost went in for a sheep hug but quickly flashed back to that moment and thought better of it. So I just took their picture…cuties 🙂
Sadly we had to leave the animals and keep moving. We entered back into the park in Toontown and got a a great shot in front of It’s A Small World…I love the facade of the attraction here!
We headed into Fantasyland for my favorite part of any Disney race…a run through the castle!
From here we headed into Frontierland, through New Orleans Square and into Critter Country, another area I hadn’t been in yet! The course went backstage again and out into Downtown Disney as were entered the home stretch.
My friend Cindy (my #1 running cheerleader!) had been texting me encouragement throughout the race. During the WDW Marathon, she started texting me song lyrics to get me through some of those really hard miles. It got my mind off the suck and helped me laugh along the way. This has now become an awesome tradition that we keep up for every race I run and I always look forward to it.
She’s pretty awesome right? I was so excited to see her at near the finish line cheering everyone on. Cindy’s been battling an injury, but I hope to be running through Disney with her soon!
And there it was…the finish line! The first leg of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge was done baby!
This was nowhere near my fastest race, but it was probably the funnest! Funnest…is that a word?? The course was great since most of it was run through the parks and running with my awesome friends meant we were laughing the whole way.
The one downfall of this race was the lack of water stops. There were only 3 stops and none of them had Powerade. Given the high heat and humidity, this was definitely not enough. Cast members were actually pointing to water fountains in the parks so people could fill up their bottles. By the end of the race, I was seriously thirsty and was thrilled to see Powerade in the finisher area. Even though it was the yucky blue flavor, I downed one whole bottle and grabbed another to take with me.
After we were sufficiently hydrated, it was time to head back to the hotel for a shower and a nap. Sid and I took off through Downtown Disney towards the buses and were able to see some of the last runners coming through. It was great to cheer them on for that last stretch!
We also passed the Mile 6 marker which I saw during the race and thought was super cute because it was set like the Mad Tea Party. There was a line during the race so we didn’t stop for photos, but now that the race was over it was the perfect time for one! And look who had the same idea as we did…Sean Astin! Sid asked if he’d take his picture with us and he was totally down…super cool guy!
So that’s 2 races with a Sean Astin pic (first was Princess this year)…maybe this will be come a race tradition!
Overall this was a great way to start the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. This was my first 10k and I have to say that I really love the distance. It still feels like a challenge, but it’s not as daunting as a half marathon. I’m really excited that runDisney has added more 10Ks to their race weekends and I think it will be a great opportunity for new runners to take that next step before working into halves.
When I got back to the hotel, I showered and took a quick nap before heading back out to Downtown Disney for some lunch and my RAD Meet Up! Big thanks to everyone who stopped by…I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting all of you 🙂
After the meet up, B and I headed into Disneyland for a bit, but it was so hot that we decided to head back to the hotel and relax. Disneyland is so different from WDW in that there are hardly any indoor areas to get away from the heat! It was a sweat fest for sure!
Later that night we met Amanda for dinner at Tortilla Jo’s for our pre-half meal and headed back early so I could get a good night sleep. Round 2 was fast approaching and I had another early wake up call!