Half Marathon – 1st Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Report

After I had my 3rd baby, my cousin got me into running. I never got very fast or even very good – I always seem to have continuing Asthma problems with it – but I kept trying and I did about 9 Half Marathons in the span of having my 3rd Child and my 4th. Now 4 Months after giving birth to my 4th child, I have yet to get back on the wagon of running… Hopefully soon!
1 Month after having my 3rd baby, I discovered the DisneyLand Half Marathon. Now, if I was going to run ANYTHING, this is the race that I wanted to run! It was of course too late to run this one, baby #3 was born mid-July, and the race was Labor Day weekend – yeah, no way – not only was it sold out, but I had never even run before. Plus we had a trip to DisneyWorld planned for that December (already planned and paid for)
So I set a goal to go the next year, and convinced my sister-in-law she should do it too 🙂 I then discovered the Coast to Coast Medal, which led to us getting Season Passes, 4 trips to Disneyland in a year, and a quick trip to DisneyWorld for me… I also managed to do 4 other half Marathons in preparation for this first Disneyland Half! 
Yeah… my grand ideas cost us alot of money 😛 But it was a FUN year. I was turning the 30, so I figured I would make it a year long celebration! 
This post is about the FIRST Disney Race I participated in!  I will be posting about my experience at all the Disney Races I’ve done, but thought I would start with the first 🙂 (so stay tuned! They are coming soon!!!)
So a year after setting this goal, (this is 2011), we had a Marathon trip! We started by flying from our home here in the NorthWest, to go to Washington DC (coming soon to this blog!) to visit with my family who lives there. Then we flew to LA, to spend a week at Disneyland, culminating in the Half Marathon weekend and us getting annual passes (I then ran the Tinkerbell inaugural Half Marathon, took a 30th birthday trip, and ran the Disneyland half  again). This is the post I wrote (on our private blog) right after the race..
My Husband and kids took park in the Kids’ races and the 5k, which I will discuss later in this post!
So a year after I set my goal, the time had finally come – I was so excited!! I was up at 4:15 to get ready. Our hotel was close enough to just walk, so Amelia (my sister-in-law) and I got to the race area about 5/5:15. There were TONS of people there – not a big surprise. I was in Corral E and Amelia was in Corral F  – the last corral was Corral G.
Amelia wanted to run by herself, which I totally understand because I prefer to run by myself too. Not sure why, I just like the zen of being by myself – maybe because it is so rare for me to get “alone” time. So we both went to our respective corrals. My corral left about 25 minutes after the start of the race.

The race was AWESOME! Well, at least the first 5 miles and then the last couple of miles – the in-between, not so much 😛

There were characters all over for the first few miles we ran in the parks – we ran in the parks for the first 1-5ish miles. I stopped at mile 2 to get a picture with Phineas and Ferb, because I knew it would get me lots of cool mom points, and their line was short! I also needed to fix the laces on my shoes – they were too loose! I didn’t stop for any other character because the lines were really long, and I do much better if I don’t stop during races – for some reason, it is not good for me to stop!

They had many of the rides running through the park and some characters riding on them. They had employees out cheering everyone on – it was fantastic! Something about people out there supporting you and cheering you on really keeps you motivated and going strong!

Running through the Castle was pure magic – it REALLY slowed down through the castle though! Running through the backstage was cool and saw lots of the floats and where they fix stuff!

After we left the parks around mile 5, it got rather boring and not as exciting. They did have some cheer squads and bands, which was cool, but the scenery of Anaheim left much to be desired!

It got fun again around mile 9-10 when we got to run in Angel Stadium and run the bases and see yourself on the jumbo screen… That was pretty cool!

After Angel stadium, I knew I was going to finish in plenty of time, and it was getting HOT! So I slowed down and walked much of the rest of the race. I knew I didn’t want to be too sore, because I still wanted to have fun in the theme parks, so I made the decision not to push it, plus I do not do well in the heat and I was starting to see my hands swell.

So I finished the race in about the time I did my other Half Marathons. I apparently have a certain time I hit! I am not fast at all, but I finish and that is all that matters to me – my goal is to just finish and enjoy the ride it takes to get there!

The finish line was filled with characters. We got our medals and I saw lots of people getting their coast to coast medals – next year baby! I am excited about that!!!  You could then get your picture taken, but the lines were long, so I skipped it, knowing I am too cheap to pay for it anyway 😛 Got food and water – they gave us cooling towels too. The food was good for refueling, but not as yummy as many of the local races I’ve participated in.

I couldn’t get a line out to call my husband and there were SO MANY, MANY people, so I kept walking to Downtown Disney and finally was able to call my husband about a half hour after I finished. I waited there, in the shade, for Amelia too.

She met me in Downtown Disney and we walked back to the hotel. My Husband and his other sister, had taken the kids to Disneyland for the morning, so we showered and took a quick 15 minute nap. They came back to the hotel and we had lunch and went swimming and I sat in the hot tub 🙂 I then put the 14 month old down for a nap and fell asleep with him too!  Then I was ready to go. I was feeling great – not sore or anything 🙂 Which was my goal! We went into Disneyland and rode a bunch of rides and had a great evening!

5K and Kids Races
These take place, Saturday, before the Half Marathon. The Kids races are probably the best deal that Disney had because they are CHEAP and they get a medal and a t-shirt! Here is what I wrote after their races:
My Husband and his sister, Mary, got up early on Saturday morning and ran their first 5k!

I was so excited for them, and my Husband was excited it was a Star Wars Theme, because of the new Star Tours ride. He got a Star Tours themed medal and t-shirt!

They did a great job and they both said it was a lot of fun. Lots of characters were out and the lots of Star Wars characters!

Once they were showered and dressed, we headed to the kids races. They were near the Disneyland hotel

The problem with the kids races, is they ask you to be there early, but then you just wait around… and it was HOT and you are in the sun on blackyop! They needed to put tents up over the corrals where they have the kids waiting. That would have helped ALOT! Then EACH of the kids had their own corral, but luckily we had aunts that could help us wait with them in their respective corrals. Otherwise, I am not sure what we would have done – one of the kids would have had to wait by themselves, which I would not have liked (or as I learn at a later race, they can just go with a younger sibling, which no one told us :P).

Once it was finally the 1 year old’s turn, he was crabby and not too happy about having to wait around and be in the same area without getting to explore. It seemed to take them FOREVER to queue up the babies and get them running. Once it was finally his turn, I put him down to run, and he just wanted me to pick him up. He was hot and tired. So I basically walked him to the finish line. He got down just before the finish because he was so excited to see all the characters at the finish line! He got very distracted by Donald and Mickey (they had all the major characters at the finish). Then he got his medal 🙂 I couldn’t leave with him because I left his claim tag with my Husband, who had just run back to be with our 2nd oldest for his race once the 1 year old completed his. So I had to have Amelia run me his claim tag so we could hurry and watch the 2nd oldest run his race. At least they were keeping the kids safe by not allowing anyone to leave without a claim tag!!

Then it was the 6 year old’s turn (2nd oldest kid) turn. Joseph (my Husband) ran with him. First, they were queuing them much faster than the babies (thank goodness!) Apparently, the kid in front of our son tripped, causing Jonathan to fall. But Jonathan just got up and kept running his heart out! I was so happy he just got up and finished – he was pretty scrapped up too – his knee and elbow were bloody. Joseph said he cried a bit, but then finished the race. He gave Mickey a high five at the finish line and got his medal!

I was supposed to run with the oldest, but there was a mis-communication and Joseph ended up running with her. She was way into running and was excited to see all the characters at the end

We celebrated with lunch at Rainforest Cafe, which was right next to the races. We got a VOLCANO! Yeah, the kids love that place. The food is alright and the atmosphere is fun – plus I get free gift cards to pay for our meals 🙂

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