Tinkerbell Half Marathon, Part 2

A few months ago I began to tell the tale of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, but clearly become distracted...

Danny and I went back to our hotel after the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour and relaxed in the hotel for most of the evening. We did go out to dinner with two of Danny’s cousins which was very fun and a nice distraction from worrying about how the race would go the next day.

We woke up early (for us), got ready, and went outside to catch the race shuttle. Being on the shuttle was nice because we were able to scope out some of the other race outfits and start getting mentally ready. The shuttle dropped us off where the Disney busses normally drop folks off for a day at the park, but the race start area was all the way over by Paradise Pier Hotel so despite catching a shuttle we still had a bit of walking to do. The pre-race area was hopping with music, bag checks, and people warming up. We didn’t linger in this area long, but did manage to stop and take a few pictures of people with great costumes!

We then proceeded to the corrals. We hung out in this area wearing our trash bags to stay warm since it was still pretty early in the morning. Before we knew it the race was beginning and we made our way onto the streets on Anaheim. Running up a highway on-ramp was not very fun but I am happy we did it at the beginning of the race and not near the end. Eventually we ran into Disney California Adventure where Danny and I both took advantage of the bathrooms near the Carthay Circle Theater. Next came Disneyland and it was pretty magical to run up Main Street towards the castle! The sun had just started to rise at this point and just in time to go back stage. The backstage area housed the Disneyland Trains, some parade vehicles, and even a few extra parts to classic attractions. It was both disturbing and fascinating to see a hallowed out elephant body from the Jungle Cruise just hanging out. Danny tried to take a few pictures back here but we were in a good running groove – also a cast member was standing there. Oh well! The grounds crew for Disneyland was out in full force and had hung a banner encouraging the runners and cheering us on. This was yet another example of the pixie dust that Disney is known for! After exiting backstage it was time to refuel with Clif Blocks and get a few pictures. First we met Clarabelle Cow in Toon Town then we met the Lost Boys in Fantasyland.

After leaving Disneyland we proceeded to run around the city. This was not very enjoyable to me. There was nothing very noteworthy about this portion of the race. I did appreciate the local high school cheer/dance teams and bands but there were many long stretches of houses and businesses that were pretty boring. At Mile 8 I told Danny that I will finish this race and also do the Wine & Dine Half so that we could earn our Coast to Coast medals, but after that I didn’t want to do races greater than a 10k. This was just a little too long for my liking. Maybe if I trained and was able to run more (aka finish sooner) I wouldn’t have been so bored, but the reality is that I am not very fast and don’t think I have the patience to become faster. I like being able to complete my goals and it doesn’t matter how long it takes.

Getting back to the parks was the home stretch and we went back into Disney California Adventure where we ran past the Pixar Play Parade, World of Color Fountains, and then out to Downtown Disney. There was a little winding through parking lot action right before the finish line and I was happy to see the end approaching. As Danny and I crossed the finish line I held back a few tears of joy. I couldn’t believe that we did it! Having the medal placed around my neck felt great!

We finished the morning with Disney snack boxes, stretching, and end of the race pictures. The snack boxes came with cute little Peter Pan tote bags that Danny and I both use for lunch sacks from time to time. Walking back to our hotel on Katella was by far the worst part. After the adrenaline wore off I was pretty beat and even had to stop and sit down for minute to rub my feet. We also had to go through the park back check area which just seemed cruel to have to wait in line after running 13.1 miles! We both took a quick ice bath and nap after the race and then went to the parks for the rest of the day. The one thing I will never race without is Tiger Balm. Just a little over all our sore joints and muscles and we were mobile again. Our reward for finishing was lunch at the Carthay Circle! It was delicious as always but they did take my beloved pulled pork off the menu, boo!

My goals for the race were to not get picked up by the sweepers and to finish the race. I am proud to say that I was able to do both! Our time was not amazing, being just over three hours, but I feel it was very respectable for our first half marathon, especially since we didn’t train for it. One of my big worries was blisters and chaffing and I was pleased to not have an issue with either. I was really able to listen to my body and not hurt myself in a major or minor way.

If you are thinking to yourself – can I do a half marathon? The answer is yes. If you are worried, Disney is the perfect, encouraging environment to do it in, too! We will see how the Wine and Dine goes and if I really will give up half marathons or not. It has been cool to see Disney adding so many 10k races to the race schedule because I feel that is the right distance for me but Danny can do halfs if he wants to and we still get a Disney vacation out of it!

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