My time in Disneyland was short, but I was sure to pack it well with lots of fun events:
Saturday: Neverland 5K, more parkhopping (!!)
…so as you can see, it was so much fun – and I refuse to believe that we’re coming up on a month since it all happened…I guess I am in denial! But since I am all about runDisney, it’s about time I share this recap – truly a top 3 moment in my racecation!
The Neverland 5K was my second runDisney 5K event (see this recap of the 2012 Jingle Jungle 5K) and it was especially special because it was the first event that I would be participating in with my family! My mom and sister have done a few 5Ks in the past, but never one at a Disney resort or in costume I had tossed out the idea to both of them a few months before Tinkerbell rolled around (they already were going to be traveling to the Disneyland Resort to see me run the half) and they both seemed pretty interested in it! The race was already sold out at that point , but there were still some registrations avaialble through an official travel agency (Hsubu, would definitely recommend them) so I jumped on those!
Like many other runDisney events, this one took place in the early hours before park open – and though the start time was 5:45 AM, race instructions had requested runners arrive starting around 5:00 AM. Fortunately, that meant a 4:30 AM wakeup call instead of 2:30 AM or 3 AM one like in Walt Disney World, since it was just a 15 minute walk.
I met up with my mom and sister right outside the gates of Disneyland and we were sure to drop some items at bag check (outside the park) then grab a pic before proceeding in. It was the first time for both of them to wear Team Sparkle and they looked so cute!
Headed into the park, there was loud pop music playing! My sister is a part-time Zumba instructor so she was warming up with some sweet dance moves I tried, too, it certainly didn’t look as…well…skillfull We were having fun though, so that was all that mattered!! It was kind of chilly and dark, but the warm personalities of Pirates Carissa and Rudy, the time passed quickly…before we knew it, we were off (Corral B) and en route through Disneyland!
We settled into a comfortable jog pace pretty quickly and I confirmed with my mom and sister that we’d grab pictures with the characters we were interested in. Early off, there were folks walking so it was a bit of a dart and dash scenario, but not terribly congested.
Running by ‘it’s a small world’ was definitely a BRIGHT moment for me (hehe). It is my favorite attraction, and seeing it all lit up was so magical! From that point on the course we went backstage a bit, back on and through Fantasyland and Toon Town.
We were a bit ‘ahead of the crowd’ which was nice – short or no line for pics! Soon enough, we looped out to Frontierland / New Orleans Square area.
We were getting lots of compliments on our costumes and it was feeling just so darn fun! My sister and I were waving around our wands like crazy and my mom was rocking the pace, despite saying she “hadn’t trained.” PSHAW!
We kept on and before we knew it, we were crossing over to Disney California Adventure! There were less character opportunities, but we still had a blast checking out the park dressed up in lights. Then…this awesomeness:
The friendly character attendant in Cars Land took this pic for us – and yes, if you have never been to Cars Land before, it REALLY does feel like you have stepped into – err, ran into – Radiator Springs! Ka-chow!
Mile 3 was upon us before we knew it…
…and this is where it gets hilarious…
At the Mile 3 marker/photo opp, my mom looked at both me and my sister and said, “Oh, only .1 left?” and once we confirmed this she TOOK OFF! I mean, total sprint!! We had to high tail it after her!!!
We had to move FAST to catch her, but we did and linked arms for a photo finish!
We exited the chute quickly and were awarded our medals and treat bags!
It felt so awesome to finish the race with two of my favorite people with me! I think they got a taste of why I love runDisney so much and honestly, running with them showed me a whole other aspect to enjoy about the races.
So, if you’ve been hesitant about running a 5K, I’d definitely recommend checking out a runDisney one if you can! The atmosphere is totally low pressure (no official timing) and is for all levels – from walkers to joggers to runners (my friend Gwynne actually was the first female across the finish line that morning). And if you’ve done some of the longer races before, like halves or full marathons, consider adding the 5K to your race weekend – it’s a fun way to shake out your legs
What’s the coolest 5K you have ever done?