Runners from all over came together to take part in the 2014 Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort. Taking part the weekend of August 29 through the 31, runDisney hosted a variety of races for Disney fans and run enthusiasts of all ages.
This event included kids races, a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. Those that were brave enough took part in the “Dumbo Double Dare” which includes the 10k and half marathon.
Winner of the Half Marathon for the men’s title was Nick Arciniaga coming in with a time of 1:07:48. Jennifer Berry took the women’s title at 1:23:33.
With a long weekend of runDisney festivities, here is a quick recap of my experience as I took part in the Disneyland 10K.
First off was the Health & Fitness Expo. Before runners can take part in their race, they must first pick up their race bib and other goodies. The expo was held inside the Disneyland Hotel. In a very organized fashion, runners check in, pick up some goodies, shop around and even hear some guest speakers at the expo.
After runners located all the important information they needed, it was time to explore all that the expo had to offer. If you needed last minute running gear, this was the place to be. Even the official runDisney merchandise store had a variety of items that would help commemorate your race. There were many things to look at. The expo was packed with many booths with a lot of information. When you browse through, you may find something that peaks your interest. There was one booth selling a bag stating,”Will run for Dole Whip.”
While there, runners were even posing in front of two different photo backdrops out in the lobby. Super great way to remember your trip.
After being pumped up from the expo, it was soon race day! Saturday morning I arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking lot at 4:30 AM. So anxious, it was time to stretch it out and prepare mentally for the race. What was really cool, is that this year there was a little dance party warm up being held at the Lilo parking lot. Here there was a live DJ playing music themed with the race, Lilo and Stitch. A variety of hawaiian and beach music pumped us up. Best part was the cha-cha slide. Yes, though a bit dorky, taking part with a bunch of runners really calmed down the nerves. After that, the race corrals were open!
Once the corrals were open, runners made their way to their area. With corrals A through E, it was a tight squeeze along Magic Way. At 5:30 AM the race started. Twenty minutes or so after the start, the corral I was located in started. It is a surreal feeling running with so many people, let alone with people in costumes inspired from Disney characters. 6.2 miles were ahead of me to be completed and I sure did that.
The 10k ran through the streets of Anaheim, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park and the Downtown Disney District. Throughout the course, there were a variety of photo opportunities and character meet and greets. World of Color fountains were on, Elvis and Cobra Bubbles were posing for photos in Paradise Pier and even Stitch in his Elvis costume greeted runners in Frontierland.
With a course that kept you moving, there were several water stations located throughout. A quick cup or even a douse on your head, it was time to get back to the run. Also, there was medical staff located on the course just in case anyone needed assistance. For example, last year I tripped over a street reflector on Harbor Blvd., and I could have gotten a bandage at one of the booths.
The final moments of the race are what really count the most in my opinion. All the hard work you put into the race have been worth every minute. As I ran closer, I became a bit teary eyed. Goofy in his vacation outfit was cheering on runners at the finish line. I soon ran passed the finish line and was in complete happiness from all the I completed. Having been my third runDisney race, it was still a great feeling. I highly recommend a runDisney race.
RunDisney events are a great way to experience Disney Parks in a brand new way. How many people can say they ran through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle?
If you would like to take part in a future runDisney race or would like more information, please visit the runDisney website.
Did you take part in the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend? If so, which race did you run in?