I was so excited the days leading up to the Disneyland Half Marathon this year. For one, it was the 10th anniversary of the run and two it is the 60th anniversary of Disneyland! So many things to celebrate during my 21st half marathon.
We arrived on Friday morning and went straight to a Cigna blogger meet-up. This is Cigna’s first time sponsoring the Disneyland Half Marathon so they had some bloggers come together for a small event Friday morning. If you’d like to read about it, click here. It was super fun.
Afterwards, Rob and I headed to the Health Expo to pick up our bibs and t-shirts. This year they also included a luggage tag! Kind of fun. We’re not fans of hanging around the expo, so we got in and out fairly quickly, but not before a stop off at the New Balance booth where I may have bought a pair of the black and white Minnie Mouse Run Disney shoes. Oh my goodness, I love them!
I also stopped in to the official merchandise area – where they had a line to get in. By the time we got in the stuff was pretty picked through. I don’t understand why Disney doesn’t make more of the items or hold some stuff back for people that can’t arrive on the first day of the expo, but it’s okay. I saved some money by not buying anything.
After we took our picture with the castle, we spent a fun-filled day in the park. P.S. if you haven’t seen the Paint the Night Parade or the new fireworks, it’s a MUST SEE!
Saturday, we did the parks all day and hung out. It was a nice, relaxing day. We got back to the hotel around 8:45pm and set our stuff out for the early AM wake up.
Sunday morning rolled around and we found ourselves being awakened by the 3:45am alarm we set. Sigh…I know these races start early, but it’s so hard sometimes to wake up that early.
We got dressed and headed over to Jamba Juice to grab some oatmeal. It was a beautiful morning, cool, but not too cold and a nice breeze, which stuck around through the entire race.
We headed to the race start area and took some pics and listened to the DJ. Then we headed to the corrals.
I was in corral B and Rob was in corral A (because he’s speedy), so we parted ways and headed towards our separate corrals.
I had already made the decision to take it easy this race. My training has been pretty scattered these last few months, so I didn’t want to push myself into injury.
About 5 minutes before the start, they had a cast member sing the national anthem, it was really beautiful. Plus, they had some fireworks, which always makes the singing of the national anthem even more beautiful.
First to be let out of the gate was the wheelchair division, then corral A and then it was our turn! Corral B – GOOOOO!!
We were off! They changed the beginning of the course a bit, but before I knew it we were in the parks. Like I said above, I decided to stop for character pictures so that’s exactly what I did.
For about the first 4 or so miles we ran through CA Adventure and Disneyland. I knew I was way behind my regular pace when I looked at my watch and noticed I had been on the course for an hour and I had only gone 3 miles…lol…whatever I was having fun.
Once out to the streets of Anaheim, we encountered a ton of course support. One of the reasons I love this race so much is the course cheering. So many people and cheerleaders and dance groups (I love the Mexican Folkloric dancers and the hula dancing group). Then around mile 6 comes the long stretch of classic cars. SO FUN! I just love looking at them, especially when they honk their horns – A-OOOGA. LOL.
After that, I was feeling tired. I caught up with the 2:45 pace group from corral C, so I decided to stick with them to the end of the course. Star, who was the pacer for the group, was great. She kept everyone very motivated and we had a walk/run, so it made it easy to keep up.
Finally mile 8.5ish rolled around and we were in Angels stadium! There is nothing like running into the stadium to the roar of the crowd. Amazing and so uplifiting!
Now, we were in the home stretch. Star kept us all going at a very steady pace and I was feeling great. Around mile 12 – I decided to pick it up and take off towards the finish line. Just as I was getting ready to cross, I spotted some friends on the sidelines and yelled their names! They got my picture mid-run 🙂
As I was approaching the finish line, I spotted Minnie and gave her a hi-five and off I went to cross the finish line. Number 21 half marathon complete at 2:48:36, which is pretty slow compared to my PR of 2:06, but whatever, I had a great time.
After I was done, I met up with Rob and we headed back to the hotel to shower and go eat at PCH Grill! Super fun and delicious.
I said to myself when I signed up for this race that it would be the last Disneyland Half I would do for a while, but I don’t know, I’m having second thoughts. Maybe I will sign up for the 2016 one. It’s so hard not to do these races, because they’re so fun…we’ll see…
QOTD: Did you do the Disneyland Half this year? What did you like the most/least about the race?