2013 Neverland 5K Recap

My time in Disneyland was short, but I was sure to pack it well with lots of fun events:

Thursday: arrive mid-day with BFF Matthew, checked in to Grand Californian, met up with mom and sister and spent evening at Disney California Adventure (DCA) + watched World of Color.

Friday: Official runDisney meetup, Disneyland + DCA, move over to Paradise Pier Hotel, race expo and Club 33  (recap/review)

Saturday: Neverland 5K, more parkhopping (!!)

Sunday: Tinkerbell Half Marathon (recap)

…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!

Flora, Fauna and Merryweather
Flora, Fauna and Merryweather AKA my mom, me and my sister 🙂

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!

The pre-race pic!
The pre-race pic!

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.

Fairies in Disneyland!
Fairies in Disneyland!

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!

Posing on Main Street USA
Posing on Main Street USA

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!

Fireworks before the start!
Fireworks before the start!

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.

In front of it’s a small world

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.

With Peter Pan and Wendy!
With Peter Pan and Wendy – right before iasm.

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.

How perfect for a Neverland race...the lost boys!
How perfect for a Neverland race…the lost boys!

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!

Sis in front of her fave attraction!
Sis in front of her fave attraction!

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:

Lightning McQueen + Mater!
Lightning McQueen + Mater!

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…

Arriving at Paradise Pier!
Arriving at Paradise Pier!
Cheesin' for the photographers!
Cheesin’ for the photographers!

…and this is where it gets hilarious…

So excited I cannot keep my eyes open ;)
So excited I cannot keep my eyes open 😉

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!!!

Finally caught up with her!
Finally caught up with her!

We had to move FAST to catch her, but we did and linked arms for a photo finish!

Laughing so hard!!
Laughing so hard!!

We exited the chute quickly and were awarded our medals and treat bags!

Official finishers!!
Official finishers!!

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.

5K done, ready to start the Disney day!!
5K done, ready to start the Disney day!!

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?


    • Thanks so much, Ali! You’ll have a fantastic time, especially if run with friends and/or family!!

      We definitely had a blast, I am so glad we were able to experience this together ❤

  1. Oh my goodness – you three are ADORABLE!!! This may be one of my favorite race recaps ever 🙂 I want to run with you all sometime!

    • Thanks so much, Megan! This definitely was one of the most fun experiences that I have ever shared with my family and I was so stoked that it happened to be while doing one of my most favorite things, running 😀 !!!!

    • Thanks so much, Tasha! I am stoked that they were such good sports about it 🙂 Now….to get my hubby to wear a costume – that’d be a challenge!!!!!!!!!

  2. Terrific recap!!! I’m working on my sister to do a runDisney 5K with me – after her baby is born. I’ll share this link and it may motivate her. 😉 Great costumes, Krissy! Did you make the capes to match the Team Sparkle skirts?

    • Hey girl! Yes!! that would be a great way to have fun with your sister post-babe, she’ll probably love to do that with you!!! And yes, purchased the sparkly fabric at Jo-Anns for the capes 😀

  3. What a fun race!! Great recap. I love your costumes!! And how fantastic you got to do it with your mom and sister. (P.S. I am anxiously awaiting your Club 33 recap!! I need to know more about this place!)

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