Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon

Before I begin this post, let me stop for a moment to pay my respects to the men and women who lost their lives on 9-11.

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My heart continues to go out to their family and friends as we approach 12 years since the attacks. May we never forget. God Bless America.

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If you haven’t already, please check out my previous Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend posts:

Karen MousketeerKaren Mousketeer 2

One of my favorite things about the races of  Disneyland was the fact that I could wake up at a “decent” race morning time and walk right to the start line – it was perfect!

On the morning of the half, I met up with Scott at the Magic Ears (Disneyland Hotel) and we began the short trek to our corral. Thankfully, there were no mishaps in making it to our corral and we were able to squeeze into A before it filled up! 

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We weren’t in our corral long before I heard my name…

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It was Tweedle Mom and Tweedle Daughter aka the lovely ladies of We Run Disney! So glad I was able to see them before the race! Aren’t their outfits adorable?

Disneyland Half Marathon Start Line

Before the race, Carissa interviewed Joey about the VMA’s – she asked him which was harder, training for a marathon or keeping the VMA’s a secret. He definitely verified that keeping the VMA’s a secret was the harder of the two!

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With a countdown start complete with fireworks, we were off!

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Here we goooooo!

The route for the Half Marathon led us down a similar path as the 10K the day before – we ran near the Good Neighbor hotels before entering California Adventure park. As we neared the park, I heard someone running up behind us saying, “JOEY JOEY JOEY”! I turned around and it was Daniel and Jenn!

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Of course I had to take a picture with Jenn!  We were super excited to see each other! Fun times! By the way, we were super sweaty and it wasn’t even mile 2 yet. Lovely.

Oh yeah, and about the Daniel/Joey thing…I soon realized that Joey Fatone was running just a few steps behind us! Craziness!

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Before entering California Adventure, we noticed several parade floats lined up in the backstage area. Pretty nifty!

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Loved seeing World of Color all lit up…and with hardly anyone around, too!

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Yay for Mile 2!

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I absolutely love this statue. It depicts Walt in the early part of his career, when he first moved to Hollywood. So much anticipation and excitement of things to come – and I was dressed as a Mousketeer! Perfect!

After leaving California Adventure park, we made our way to Disneyland.

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Disneyland Half Marathon Main Street

Main Street!

We stopped for several characters during our journey through Disneyland Park.

Disneyland Half Marathon Storm Troopers

Storm Troopers

Disneyland Half Marathon Snow White

Snow White

Disneyland Half Marathon Merida

Merida! I was most excited about this one!

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Captain Hook and Mr. Smee on the Carousel were cracking me up! I’ve seen characters on rides in commercials but never for myself!

Ok, pause for a second here – I have a funny story about Joey. Remember how I mentioned he was right near us earlier in the race? Well, after passing him outside of California Adventure, I noticed that he passed us as we were waiting in line for characters in California Adventure. This back and forth thing happened for several miles. Finally I told Scott, “I can’t take it anymore! I’m going to take a picture with him!” :0)

I ran up beside him and asked if I could snap a quick picture. He was super nice and agreed…and this was the outcome of picture #1…..

Disneyland Half Joey Fatone1

FAIL!

He saw the picture and told me he would get behind me instead….

Disneyland Half Marathon Joey Fatone Photo Bomb

…and that’s the story of how I was photo bombed by Joey Fatone. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t a TRUE photo bombing, but I’ll take it! This picture is all kind of amazingness wrapped in one. If I could go back and tell my 16 year old self everything that transpired during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, I would probably laugh in disbelief!

Ok, moving on! :0)

As we ran out of Disneyland and into Anaheim, the sun began to make its appearance.

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Before we knew it, we were at Mile 5.

Disneyland Half Marathon Mile 5

Disney had several bands, cheerleader groups, and dancers along the course to keep us motivated and they were GREAT!

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Do you see what I mean? Back and forth for several miles! I do believe this was the last time we saw them, though! He ran this race Galloway style with his wife and his friend.

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Halfway there!

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This tent marked the official halfway point of the race. They were SO nice and gave out orange slices (a nice cool treat in the California heat) and twizzlers!

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I was so excited about my twizzler, I wasn’t paying attention and I BUSTED my tail feathers. As in, the ground shifted out from underneath me and suddenly I was laying on it. I slipped on a very slippery puddle and couldn’t catch myself. Thankfully, my left arm/hip caught my fall and I didn’t hurt anything. Several runners were SO nice and stopped by to make sure I was ok and didn’t need anything. I think I was more shocked than anything, especially since I’ve only ever fallen while running once before (at my house in the dark). I felt like a complete moron but oh well. I was ok, still able to run, and my ears stayed in place (thank goodness for bobby pins) and that’s all that mattered! Yay!

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Since I slipped and fell in a puddle, my entire left side was wet, including my shoes. Yuck. Squishy shoes and I aren’t friends nless I’m running in a downpour! Lucky for me, Scott was ahead and missed the entire thing.

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As we continued our run, we soon met up with an entire road of classic cars!

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The Mustang club was even out to cheer us on!

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We passed the Honda Center on our route, too!

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Loved this mock of Lightning McQueen!

I absolutely loved the classic car area. I think part of what made it even more special to me is the fact that the spectators knew who I was dressed as! Several of them were “excited” to see “me” aka Mousketeer Karen. One lady even gasped and said, “You were my favorite!”

Loved it!

We left the cars behind and made our way to Angel Stadium.

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First, we ran along a deep ravine and Scott said, “I didn’t know a trail run was included in this!” Guess we missed out on Hill training workouts AND Trail run workouts! Ah well, we know for next time! (On a serious note, this really wasn’t a “trail”, it was more like a sandy/rocky area before we met up with pavement again.)

The above and below photos were taken by Scott….thanks for sharing! 

Disneyland Half Marathon Angels Stadium 1

As we reached Mile 9 and Angel Stadium, the lifetime baseball fan inside of me screamed! Apart from running in the parks, this was the one moment I was looking forward to the most!

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Angels Stadium of Anaheim…home of the Anaheim Angels (gee, did you guess that one already?)

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As we ran into the park, we were greeted with hundreds of screaming spectators. I LOVED how this was set up! I almost felt as if we were running into a stadium full of adoring fans. I had a momentary day dream that I was a major league ball player, running onto the warning track before my first career appearance. Maybe it was the heat? I don’t know…but I laughed at myself as soon as I snapped out of it!

Disneyland Half Marathon Angels Stadium 4

What I saw of this field was beautiful! I would love to go back and attend a game one day!

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Our time in Angels stadium was far too short lived. I made sure to enjoy every moment, and I cracked up at the lady in front of me who was trying to take a piece of grass from the field with her. Not sure if she ever succeeded on that one or not!

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I took this photo for one of my BRF’s, Heather. Yeah, she knows she loves the Pujoles!

The miles beyond Angel Stadium led us back towards Downtown Disney and the finish line.

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We ran through this really long tunnel and I did NOT try to hold my breath (I probably would have passed out!).

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Mice on the loose!

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This sign cracked us up so we had to stop for a picture! TRUTH!!

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I thought this guy’s costume was too funny! He was a monster from Monsters Inc, and he had a sock pinned to his back! (If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about!)

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Made it to Mile 12! Almost there!

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We ran past the backside of Racers on our way to Downtown Disney.

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At this point, I began to feel really tired and my legs felt like lead. I didn’t want to continue running, I wanted to walk…but because Scott was still moving, so was I. I’m grateful for him being there, he helped me finish the race on a strong note.

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Finish line!

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With a time of 2:33, I officially gained a new runDisney PR! If you followed my previous runDisney race reports, you saw that I liked to stop and take pictures and goof off during runDisney races. Well, this race felt like it was half runDisney (fun) and half “real” (run hard)  to me…hence the reason for a faster race time! I really liked the layout of this race, it was definitely different from any runDisney race I had run in the past!

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After crossing the finish line, I was given my Disneyland Half medal and a chill towel for cool down purposes – such a nice and unexpected treat!

We grabbed water, then walked over to the Dumbo Double Dare tent for our Dumbo medal, then to the Coast to Coast tent for our Coast to Coast medal! After a year of training, it felt amazing to finally have that Coast to Coast medal around my neck!

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Scott and I posed for a few pictures after the race with our Coast to Coast, Disneyland Half, and Dumbo Double Dare Medals, then said our goodbyes! I had a great time running with Scott in Disney World for Goofy’s Challenge and again in Disneyland for Dumbo’s Double Dare. Thanks for being a great running buddy (and a good sport with photo taking), Scott!

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After saying goodbye to Scott, Jason and I just happened to be near the stage during the awards ceremony, so we stopped to watch!

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Top 3 male finishers

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Top 3 female finishers! Cindy is in the middle – she was last year’s DL Half winner and she placed 2nd this year! Amazing!

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This Mousketeer was excited about earning ALL of her medals over the Half Marathon Weekend. Receiving the Coast to Coast medal was like a dream come true! I never thought I would be in possession of one and I’m so grateful that everything worked out for us to go!

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My reason for Coast to Coast….Goofy’s Challenge and Dumbo’s Double Dare!

A few thoughts on the Half:

  • I loved this course – I loved how it was half Disney parks and half in Anaheim. I especially LOVED running through Angels Stadium. I have no complaints about this course at all!
  • This course contained plenty of fluids and electrolytes. I’ll admit, I was slightly worried after the 10K the day before, but I had nothing to worry about! I never felt as if water or electrolytes were in short supply!
  • There were plenty of characters out and about to see while in the parks!
  • Loved the extra on-course entertainment (bands, cheerleaders, dancers, and classic cars)
  • There’s just something about Disney races that other races don’t have – I guess it’s the atmosphere and excitement of it all, people dressed in costumes, and the pure magic of running down main street and through the castle.

Overall, this was a fantastic race and I had a great time! I would run this race again in a heartbeat! Thanks runDisney for another amazing experience!

Have you ever run the Disneyland Half? What were your thoughts on the race? Did you like the course?

31 comments:

  1. Yay! Congrats on the Disney PR, Karen. Loved your recaps! Rey says he thinks I'm going to pass all the fun & characters up b/c I'm always so driven to get a good time when racing, but I think I'll be able to stop and have fun. It's Disney, after all!

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    1. I understand that feeling all too well - I'm super competitive with myself and like to do the best I can in races. That being said, I don't really follow that philosophy when it comes to Disney races! My goal is to take as many pictures as possible and have a great time. Aren't you running Glass Slipper Challenge? Maybe you could play around and take pictures/have fun for the 10K, then take the Half seriously and run for time...that way you could get the best of both worlds! :0)

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    2. No, I decided against the challenge since it was my first half. I just wanted it to be about the Half, not the challenge (if that makes sense!) I will definitely be doing GSC in 2015 though...unless for some bizarre reason I hate the PHM?? LOL...as if! Oh and I forgot to tell you that I LOVE the Joey F. pic! LOL! Did you find running WITH someone at Disney races is fun? I normally don't like running with people b/c I'm worried that I'm going to fast/slow and paranoid about it the whole time, but I was thinking maybe it was different at a Disney race. I'm concerned I'll feel "lonely"??

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    3. I completely understand that! You will not hate PHM, I promise! :0) Thank you! I loved running with Scott...we had a great time, although I do fear I slowed him down a little bit. I doubt you'll feel lonely on the course - there's so much to see and do, and I've made friends with those around me before, so I know you'll have a great time no matter what! :0)

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  2. SOOO fun! Love your review.
    I definitely want to run this race in the nearish future. Thanks for a great review!!!

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  3. Love love love your recap!!! So glad you didn't hurt yourself in your fall! And yes I would LOVE to run this race one day!!!

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    1. Thanks, Mindy! I'm glad I wasn't hurt, too! :0)

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  4. Your time was amazing with all of the pics you took and the heat! Great job Karen!!
    Loved love loved the pic with you and World of Color and the Storm Troopers. You looked like you had so much fun. Congrats on your Coast to Coast!

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    1. Thanks Nicole! We had a blast!! Appreciate it! :0)

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  5. The sun didn't come up until mile 5?! So jealous.

    Sorry about your fall :( that's my biggest fear. Glad you were ok!

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    1. It was coming up some time around Mile 4, but we didn't actually see it until we crossed that bridge. Thank you! I'm glad I was ok, too! :0)

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  6. Great recaps, and congrats on your Disney PR! This was my first half (and my second 10K) and I loved it--except for the couple of miles where I just wanted to stop and had to push past the mental barrier. Can't wait to do Tink in January and Dumbo again next year. May even do Wine & Dine and get my Coast-to-Coast!

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    1. SO much fun! What a great race to run as your first half!! Great job on pushing through and finishing it out! Woohooo....you're hooked on the Disney race madness now! :0) Congratulations!

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  7. OMG how clever, the monster with the sock on his back. I love clever costumes like that. too funny! Sad I didn't see you on this day well, actually I did, just not the RACE haha

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    1. I agree, I love clever costumes, too! :0) I'm sad your text didn't go through...wish we could have met up before the race! Glad we were able to hang out after! :0)

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  8. It was so fun to read about your experience! Looks like you and Scott had a blast. :)
    This was my third year running the DL half and Disney always works to improve the course. This was the first time they closed the trail portion and added guard rails. Last year there were bikers on the path... going the opposite direction. :/
    Congrats on your Coast-to-Coast! :)

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    1. I'm so glad they closed the trail...I can't even imagine that trail with other people/bikes on it! Way too congested! Thanks so much, Kim! :0) Congrats to you as well!

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  9. Loved your recap, and so glad we ran into each other! Not gonna lie, I was more excited to run into you than Joey. And we kept leap frogging him too over and over again! So much fun!

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    1. Haha I was SO excited to see you too!! Yay...glad we ran into each other! :0)

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  10. Thanks for the awesome recap, I hope my recap in January is as fun, although I don't think I will be stopping for photos at my pace :(

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    1. You're going to have a blast at Tink, Sarah! Can't wait to read about it! Thank you! :0)

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  11. Nice recap! Running through Angel Stadium was my favorite part of the entire Half Marathon! Thank you for calling the Angels the "Anaheim" Angels. Their official name is silly. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Really? Every Angels fan I know calls them either the Anaheim Angels or goes old school and calls them the California Angels.

    When I read the race recaps of those speedier runners like youself, it gives me so much motivation to continue to improve my time. I was in Corral G and my picture taken on the freeway overpass on Ball Road is so different than yours. My picture shows just how blinding the sun was for us all the way up to the Honda Center. It was brutal. Next year, I'm going to make sure I'm not in Corral G. I will probably not be speedy enough to earn a Corral A placement. However, I will be closer to the front and hopefully avoid some of that sun. Congrats on the runDisney PR! I got one too!

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    1. WOW the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim...that's a mouthful! I don't think I realize they renamed the team! How did I miss that?! Ah well, they will always be the Anaheim Angels or California Angels to me! :0)
      I'm so sorry about the sun! That sounds miserable! Congrats on a Disney PR! Excited for you!

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  12. I've read all of your recaps on this epic weekend - what a fun, fun experience! Plus I loved your Mouseketeer costume...too bad Scott didn't dress up as Cubby since he was running with you! Very cool Joey pics, too. Congratulations on enjoying everything!

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    1. Aww thanks so much, Shelley! I told Scott that we will definitely have to make him a Mousketeer next time! :0)

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  13. Congrats on the Disney PR!!! And coast to coast! And I am officially jealous of your pic with Joey!! The Monsters Inc costume was so clever. I loved running through Angels Stadium. Outside of the parks, it was my favorite part of the race. I thought they had enough water / fluid stops - every time I thought I needed one it seemed like one was just up ahead.

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    1. Thanks so much, Emily! I agree about the water/fluid stops...better than the 10K, that's for sure! Congrats to you as well!

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  14. I did not run the Disneyland races but reading your recaps has me excited for the Glass slipper challenge in Feb! I was concerned when I read that you slipped and fell. So glad you are okay! This race looks like it was a blast. Glad you had a great time! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  15. Great race recap! And you're right, there really is this unexplainable thing that Disney races have that others don't....its gotta be the magic!

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  16. Congrats on a Disney PR! I know that's no easy feat...I like to goof around along the course, too! Sorry about your fall...I've totally done that on training runs on more than one occasion, haha. I love your pictures -- looks like you had an awesome time. It was definitely a FANTASTIC race! :-D

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