In honor of today’s much anticipated RunDisney announcement – I figure it’s time I sit down and write out my Tinkerbell Half Marathon Recap. Okay so it’s way PAST time… but whatever. I could talk for days about this trip. DAYS! But since this is my race recap, I will keep it simple.
I ran this race with some of my best friends in the world. We had rented a hotel room at the Anabella resort right across the street from the starting line – and it was the best decision EVER! We woke up at the butt crack of dawn and got all ready to go. Luckily, Meghan and Beth are just as anal as I am. Everything was all laid out – ready to go! Meghan and Beth and I spent a while getting our outfits just right. Pirate themed glitter Mickey on the front, and the best quote ever on the back… “RUN? I thought you said RUM!”
Krissie met us at the hotel and we were off! The weather was cool, but wasn’t too bad. We all had on throw away sweaters in order to not freeze. We had all trained pretty hard for this race, and were thrilled when we all got C corral placement. Since this was Krissie’s first actual half – she had no times to submit – and was in a corral much further back. We wanted to start together, and so planned on all going back to be with her… but we were able to sneak her up in to our corral (sorry, Disney!)
The starting line, as usual, was electric. There were fireworks during the anthem, and then Tinkerbell counted down all the corrals. I was a liiiiittle bummed out that there weren’t fireworks at each starting gun, but I’ll survive. I forget that Disneyland is in an actual city – while Disney World is pretty much a city of it’s own.
When the map came out a few weeks before the race I was really bummed out. The first 5 miles were through the parks, and then that was it! Then you were on your own. It looked like to me that all the “fun” would be over so fast… but BOY was I wrong!!
Meghan’s first race was the Princess the year before – and due to the extreme heat and humidity she did not have a good race. She really wanted to finish in under three hours… so we decided that we would not stop for pictures with characters and we would get to that finish line in time! Well, once we got in the park we were like six year olds. We made a turn and then saw them! PIRATES! And we go “OHMYGOD! PIRATES!” and stopped for a picture!!
We stopped a few more times on the course in the beginning – at the castle (duh) and we also stopped at the water in California Adventure. Seriously when you turned that corner you could hear everyone in the route “ooh”-ing and “aah”-ing. It was incredible. I haven’t ever stayed to watch the nighttime water laser light show but after seeing what they had going on that morning… I may have to next time! It was incredible!!!
I was very surprised at how long it felt like we were in the parks – in a good way! They really did a great job planning out that course! Eventually though, we did have to leave. And I was not disappointed at all with the rest of the course. Krissie hung with us until Mile 8. She had trained differently than we had, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to finish in order for Meghan to hit sub 3… so she told us to go on.
There were spectators almost the ENTIRE way. Tons of high school marching bands and cheerleaders… and the BEST part was the almost FOUR HUNDRED red hat ladies screaming us on! It was incredible!!!!! They were amazing. Seriously – my favorite part may have been the red hat ladies. (We even ran into some of them later that day in the park, and we talked for like 20 minutes about how amazing they were!) We crossed the finish line together (in under 3 hours!!!) and Krissie wasn’t too far behind us. The rest of the day was spent celebrating at the parks and it was amazing… I want to go back!!!
I have so many more wonderful pictures from that weekend – one of the best experiences of my life. I can get seriously choked up when I think about it. Next year – Tink has been moved to Mother’s Day Weekend. I think that my next “Disney Goal” will be the PINK Coast-to-Coast (Princess Half and Tink!) – that will be much easier to do when the races aren’t so close together.
Here are the “official” RunKeeper stats from the race – I think mile 4 is when we stopped to take the most pictures. And you can tell at the end when we really pushed it in order to make sure we made it in under 3 hours.
Writing this recap has me SO BEYOND excited to go run Dumbo Double Dare with my Dad. We’ve already started talking costumes… I’m pretty sure we’re going to dress as Gepetto and Pinocchio for one of the races – Probably the 10K! I’m still trying to come up with an awesome costume idea for the Half. And I’m also hoping that Dad agrees to dress up with me!!