Spoiler alert: this recap will not have as many pictures as the EPICALLY awesome WDW Marathon recap…but I sure hope you still enjoy it!
On January 20, 2013 (just a week after running a marathon!) I was waking up on the opposite coast getting ready to run 13.1 miles with two friends I had never met in real life: Heather and Becka. We were on a mission to accomplish one thing and one thing only: to have the most fun EVER, as they had not only run the marathon last week as well, but they had actually gone GOOFY (13.1 on Saturday of Marathon weekend and 26.2 on Sunday)! Our costumes were loosely based off of the Sugar Rush portion of the recent Disney animated feature, Wreck it Ralph so I was ready to sparkle as Vanellope!
I woke up at 3:30 AM (the race start was 5 AM and the corrals were literally across the street from the hotel we were staying at, Paradise Pier) and texted H+B Since H is a So-Cal local, they were driving in and I was going to meet them at Corral A. In true ‘it’s a small world’ style, I ran into a handful of pals from one of my running clubs, Pacebook! That was cool 🙂
It was pretty chilly that morning, but since I warm up fast running, I was pretty stoked about that – totally different than the marathon the week before!!
A little before 5 AM, I met up with H+B and before we knew it, we were OFF, running around the Disneyland property (my mom and sis were spectating and saw us early on, the first of many times!) before crossing into the parks (course map) which meant one thing: CHARACTER PICTURE TIME!
B had a “real” camera that she would slip back into her SPI belt, so that was super cool. Some character spots had character attendants and some didn’t…thankfully there were people willing to snap our silly selves 😉
Crossing into Disneyland Park, we ran into some friends of H+B so we took a pic with the pirates (and TINK on the top of the float) thought this definitely took FOREVER.
We were getting really silly around Disneyland – and in this pic above, B suggested we do yoga poses with Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers…apparently, H and I don’t know what that meant…
Seeing Peter and Wendy was pretty neat!
I legitimately freaked out when I saw Clarice, one of my pal Theresa’s most favorite characters! I tweeted it immediately to her.
Seeing these pals in front of it’s a small world was pretty magical too…and hey look….
I was incredibly excited to see Merida, as I had never met her in the parks before! She even had the accent 😀 That was a definite highlight, but definitely wasn’t the longest wait…like this guy:
I SWEAR this was the REAL, LEGIT Jack Sparrow! He seemed to like B a lot! 😉 Oh, and somewhere in there we also saw this cute couple:
Character-palooza, right? Well, it couldn’t last forever, unfortunately 😉 After about 5 miles, we were running through Downtown Disney (and I saw my cheer squad again! YAYY!) and then past the enthusiastic Red Hat ladies and then onto the streets of Anaheim. It certainly became a lot quieter at that point, but it was kind of nice to have wider streets and a calm vibe.
I haven’t been out to Anaheim too many times so I actually really loved this part of the race too, it was quiet and it was a nice time to chat…
I had to take a picture of the library, of course! Here you can see how much the crowd had thinned out 🙂 We were running a really easy pace (10 min-ish?) and thus could really just enjoy the course…sights like these:
Now, this is weird, but around Mile 11, I started to get really sad! I knew there were only 2.1 miles left and that would mean the end of the race…and my epic racecation! But I put my smile back on when I glanced back and saw my pals!
…and really, how can you have a frowny face when you see a monorail?
We could hear the sounds of the park and soon enough, the roar of the crowd at the finish line…side note: after the race, I heard that people didn’t like the finish because of the extra twists and turns instead of a straightaway toward the finish line – I loved it for that reason 😉 More race! And another bonus…saw my mom and sister one last time! That definitely put a pep in my step!!
After 3 hours, 11 minutes and 24 seconds – our magical journey through Disneyland and Anaheim was complete! This was my wayyyy slowest race ever (by an hour and seven minutes) but definitely the most pixie dusted – and extra bonus…absolutely no pain after the race! There’s something to be said about taking a race easy!
I was able to find my mom and sister pretty quickly after the race…and was sooo stoked to run up to them and get a picture with the AMAZING sign that my sister had held through the race!!!!!
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience than what I had at the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon. No complaints, whatsoever…so many fabulous characters, countless places for spectators to see their runners and of course, SOO much Disney magic!!
So, if you’re thinking about earning your Coast to Coast medal with runDisney in the future, you really cannot go wrong with either West Coast option (this or Disneyland Half Marathon). I cannot wait to head back out to Disneyland for the 2013 Dumbo Dare – sure to be another weekend to remember!
Where would you rather run…Walt Disney World or Disneyland?