Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013 - New Disneyland 10K Race
Early this year runDisney announced a new race for Disneyland's Half Marathon weekend - a 10K to be held on Saturday. And that brought with it a new race challenge: the Dumbo Double Dare for those wishing to run both the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. Do I even need to say that Lee and I were quick to sign up for that? I didn't think so. :-)
Today was the first runDisney 10K (they have since announced three others), and for the most part I think it went pretty well. The 5K was also run this morning - it started at 5:30, and the 10K started at 6:15. That meant they had to clear the starting area of the 5K participants before they could start loading the 10K runners in the corrals...and that didn't not go as smoothly as it could have. Even though in the pre-race area they told us to go to the corrals, they hadn't opened them yet, and we stood for a while without moving at all. Once we started moving, those of us in A,B, and C were ok, but those in D-G found a lot of confusion and disorganization - I think all those corrals were eventually merged together.
Fortunately they did not make the race too large (7829 finishers, so probably around 8000 started it), and I think that helped make that problem not as bad as it could have been.
The weather was much more of a factor today than it normally is - we've been having hot and humid weather and it was about 74 degrees and humid at the start of the race - not typical southern California weather at all. I know that disappointed a lot of our out-of-town visitors (and it didn't make us very happy, either, since we're not used to those kinds of conditions). We had some clouds in the morning, though, so at least the sun wasn't beating down on us.
Other than the weather I really, really loved this race. I'd never run a 10K race before, and it was a GREAT distance for me - I still had plenty of energy left at the end. The course was a lot of fun, too. The first two miles were on the streets of Anaheim, but the remaining four miles were on Disney property - backstage, in the parks, and through Downtown Disney with a finish in the traditional location near the Disneyland Hotel. There was lots to see, and a lot of characters, parade floats, and cast members out to cheer us on. Here's the course map.
The race had an Alice in Wonderland theme, and that was a lot of fun. All of the new mile markers were pretty elaborately painted.
There were Alice-inspired characters in various places - like these "flower ladies" in DCA.
And in Fantasyland at Disneyland there were the White Rabbit, two Card soldiers, Alice and the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. (Lots of runners in costume for this one, and I saw more people dressed as Tweedledee and Tweedledum than I did anything else).
There were a lot of other characters out as well: Red the Firetruck, Mater and Lightning McQueen, and DJ in Cars Land, Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear at Toy Story Midway Mania, and Mike and Sulley in Hollywoodland. Over at Disneyland I also saw Clarice and Daisy Duck, and Chip and Dale.
Backstage at Disneyland they had floats from the Halloween Costume Party parade, the Christmas Fantasy parade, and Soundsational.
And they had a few backstage residents out to cheer us on, too - this cow's name is Clarabelle!
One thing I thought could have been done better was the water stations. There were only three: at mile 1, just before mile 4, and after mile 5. With the warm weather we had this morning, the almost three miles between the first two stops was way too long - I really could have used the water much earlier. I also heard that later on they ran out of cups at that second water stop. There was no Powerade offered, either - only water. They are still handing out the runDisney food boxes at the end - though they've added a handle to them. That at least helps with trying to carry everything. There's still not much food in them, though.
I finished in 1:10:46, and I was really happy with that time, because I stopped for lots of photos! Lee started in Corral B (I was in C), and he ran it in 1:00:03 - soooo close to breaking an hour. :-( But still a really good time for him especially considering the weather.
Those of us participating in the Dumbo Double Dare got a green wrist band at the end of the race as proof that we finished - tomorrow we'll exchange that for our Dumbo medal. Those participating in the coast-to-coast challenge have a red wristband, so there's lots of people wearing two wristbands! (Lee and I feel like under-achievers, but we received our C2C medal back in January...Goofy Challenge one weekend and Tinker Bell Half Marathon the next!)
The new 10K medal is very nice - lots of detail, and most importantly has that "Inaugural" word at the top. :-)
I think I have a new favorite Disney race. I really loved this distance!
Tomorrow is the half marathon - we were hoping for cooler temperatures, but it doesn't look like it'll be too much different than today. We start 45 minutes earlier, so that'll help a little, but we're also going to be out there for 6.9 miles more than today. And almost all the fun Disney stuff is in miles 1-4 - after that it's kind of a slog to the finish line, though the people of Anaheim come out and keep us as entertained as they can with lots of bands, dance groups, boy scouts, and cheerleaders.
You can see some additional photos and info by reading my tweets: @allearslaura