2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Race Recap

I’m so excited to have Kinnereth back for her second recap!  If you remember, she recapped the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon with her fiance Andy and since Disneyland is her home park, I knew she had to do a Tink recap for me as well!  Take it away Kinnereth!


Hi RAD readers!  This is Kinnereth, I am happy to contribute a second time to Sarah’s blog.  I know that reading all the race recaps helps me before a race.  I like to know what to expect and how to prepare. I consider the Tinker Bell Half Marathon “my race”. My very good friend ran it with me.  It was a first for both of us when we ran in 2012.  We have since participated in many races together, including Tink each year.  It has been something we look forward to running and we try to beat our time each year. We drove down Saturday from Northern California with our fiancées, leaving at 2 am!  We arrived at the park at 7:30 am and watched the 10K finishers before trying to check-in to our hotel.  It was exciting to think the next day we would be running too!  Both of us felt a little twinge of “I wish I had signed up for the 10K as well”.  We hadn’t because there was no challenge offered and those registration fees add up quickly 😉 The expo didn’t open until 10 am on Saturday, so we headed over to Disney’s California Adventure park for a few hours.  We had lots of fun riding a few attractions before taking a break to pick up our race packets.


Thankfully the expo experience went very smoothly.  We quickly went downstairs at the Disneyland hotel to grab our bibs then headed back upstairs to get the goodies.  I loved the shirts they gave this year, much more silky material than previous races!  Plus they are a pretty magenta color.


We spent about an hour wandering around the expo, getting some KT tape questions answered and stocking up on Cliff Shot Blocks.  I was VERY tempted to buy the NB Cinderella shoes…  The only drawback to the expo was the lack of official merchandise left.  We were there shortly after it opened Saturday and we didn’t see much Coast to Coast merchandise and there were no “I did it” shirts left.  Definitely get to the expo early if you want to purchase souvenir merch.


After the expo we spent more time in Disneyland and ate some pasta at Pizza Port in the park.  Then it was early to bed for us 3:45 am was a very early wake up call come Sunday morning. We woke up, quickly dressed and headed across the street to the corrals.  I highly recommend staying close for the CA races, other hotels provide shuttles but I would think there are long lines.  We stayed at the Anabella Resort and were able to walk 2 min to the start line!!!  Both of us started in Corral C and we wanted to be up at the front to avoid as many crowds as possible.  It seemed like seconds before we were sprinkled with virtual pixie dust and we were off!

The course between miles 2 and 6 is in the parks and some parts are very narrow.  I liked the changes this year; instead of running into the park and to the right where Tomorrowland is, we ran left through the castle initially.  Some may not realize that the back of the castle is what you see on Main St. USA so I guess we were running the correct direction this year! Ha! It was about mile 3 that my friend had some tummy trouble.  She said she was going to just take it easy and enjoy the race and that I should go on ahead.  I was feeling great and hoping for a PR so I took off.  As I passed It’s A Small World the clock was striking 6:00 am and the characters were out.  I love this part of the race and I’m so happy that practically half of the race is in the parks. When we got out to the streets of Anaheim I was able to jog/run the whole 13.1, I took water about every other stop.  It seemed to me that there weren’t as many cheerleaders and bands as in years past.  I also noticed the new “Shhh… neighbors sleeping” signs.  I wonder if residents complained?


Miles 8 – 11 were more monotonous, we entered the back lot of DCA at mile 12 and I texted my fiancée that he should start looking for me. Plus, he is an expert photographer and managed to snap a pic as I flew ran by.


I was so happy when I crossed that finish line and got my text with my time!  PR by 6 minutes – the rest of the day I was grinning.


We waited for my friend to finish and by that time it was almost 8:30, so we figured we could head over to Disneyland park for opening at 9.  The Fantasyland rides become so crowded after the initial park opening and we wanted to ride Peter Pan and visit Tink with our medals.  We lined up for rope drop with many families who asked us what in the world was going on that morning!  We assume everyone at the park was there for the race, not so!

2014-Tink-Recap6   2014-Tink-Recap7

Despite a change of plans for her, we both love this race and we are so thankful that we can run it together each year.  See ya’ May 2015 Tink!

Sarah’s Note: I want to congratulate Kinnereth & Andy on their wedding next week!!  You two are a great couple and I wish you a lifetime of happiness!


I’m Kinnereth from sunny CA. Currently living and working in Napa with my fiancé, Andy (we’re getting married in 11 days!!!). I teach high school Spanish and work at a winery on the weekends. Both Andy & I love running Disney races, I’m also training for my first full marathon. I’ll be running the Napa Valley Marathon in March. Other than that our little Doxie keeps us busy.

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  • Congrats on your PR! Great recap!

    We stayed at the Anabella Hotel too – what did you think of it overall? I really liked the location, but I thought it could use some serious renovations. Kinda pricey for what it is/offers…but maybe I’m just overanalyzing a bit too much.

    I also agree (so does my hubby) that there was a serious lack of official merch for Tink. Definitely helped my wallet though lol!

  • Thanks for the well wishes, Sarah!

    Lauren, We only stay there because it’s close. This year we got a bigger room and it was perfect. I agree that it seems a bit pricey. I really dislike the way that hotel handles the parking situation!!! I think in an emergency they would be screwed — they let everyone park in the red fire lanes (Yikes!)

    In previous visits for race weekends I have stayed at other hotels on the Disneyland drive side of the park & all are an easy walk to the starting line. Much cheaper, but also really old…

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