Disneyland 1/2 Marathon Weekend – Part 2

Part 1 ended with the runDisney Meet-up on Friday morning.  Now to the main event – the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare!

The expo

What a zoo!  We have NEVER had such a hard time getting into registration … runDisney definitely wasn’t ready for the amount of people they had!!!

After what felt like hours, we finally made it down the ramp and into registration.  We headed straight to our Dumbo Double Dare Challenge check-in station and were able to get our things quickly.  Then, another line to get out! Again – never seen that before!!!
We were expecting the merchandise line to be long, which it was! (We know people who got there at 8 am, went straight to merchandise and didn’t pay until 12:15!).  But, we have never seen a line like this just to get into the expo!
Once in, no problem!  Surprisingly – no line to take pictures with the castle backdrop or Dumbo.  We were shocked – we don’t normally take these photos because the lines get so long!


There was no wait to pick up our shirts, either!  And, the vendor booths weren’t particularly crowded … no complaint there from us!


Some of the congestion could have been alleviated had they opened the expo a day earlier. (This is apparently the plan for next year- to have the expo/ packet pick-up open on Thursday evening.)  With the addition of the 10k and DDD this year (in addition to the 5k), most runners HAD to come to the expo on Friday to be ready for the races on Saturday morning.  

Perhaps having another route for people only wanting to get their race shirts/bags would have been good as well- if it would have been logistically possible.  The majority of people in line were there only for race merchandise or New Balance Disney shoes. Hopefully in future years they come up with a solution to make this process more efficient, as it has been in previous years.

We took this opportunity to meet up with a few people we had promised SKIN STRONG samples to.  If you’ve never tried them – these products are FABULOUS!  Any questions – feel free to ask us, we use them all!
We also took time to visit a few of our favorite booths and people …
And, of course … Ali Vincent!  We were excited to hear her speak – she is very motivational and entertaining! If you ever get the opportunity to see her present – take advantage of it!!!  And, if you are looking for quality entertainment – check out her show Live Big With Ali Vincent on the Live Well Network.

Cupcake Meet-up

After Ali’s prensenation we quickly headed over to the Grand Californian to help Krissy get ready for her Cupcake Meet-up.

Krissy and her friend Morgan did a great job putting this together and were able to raise $800 for St. Jude’s!

After everyone had a chance to eat their cupcakes, it was raffle time.  We figured we could add in a sample pack of Hammer Nutrition products!

Finishing Up The Day

Trying to stay off our feet some, we headed back to the expo to take advantage of the exclusive screenings they offer on new upcoming TV shows.  We watched the pilot for The Goldbergs and then decided we needed some food.

As we walked into Downtown Disney, we wondered if Sean was still hanging out in the ESPN Zone.  We decided to head upstairs and got there just in time because he was wrapping everything up.

While he finished signing autographs, Kris and George challenged one another to a crazy game of air hockey … I’ve never seen so many pucks going at once!

We stuck around and watched while Sean tested his skill at the football game (in honor of Rudy) … ummm … he should stick to acting!

Once he was done, we chatted with him some and snapped the obligatory photo we had forgotten to take at the meet-up that morning.

We then ate at Tortilla Jo’s Taqueria, made another walk through World of Disney, grabbed a dessert at Marceline’s Confectionary and called it a night.

Saturday Morning – The 10k

Since we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, the wake-up call wasn’t too terribly early.  With the 10k not starting until 6:15, we planned to wake up around 4:30-4:45 so we could be out of our room around 5am.  We meet up with George and stopped under the sorcerer’s hat to meet up with a few twitter/facebook friends before heading to the corrals.

We then hung out in the ‘holding area’ for a little while.  The 5k started at 5:30 and they were not letting any 10k runners into the corrals until all 5k runners were out on course.  We really didn’t pay attention to the situation because we knew we had time.  Around 5:45 we knew we needed to head to corral A and started walking as we normally do – we zig zagged our way to one side and past the crowd … thinking it was normal runDisney crowd.   To our surprise, it was a mess similar to the zoo we encountered at the expo.  I’m not sure how, but we managed to get our way up to the front for a bird’s eye view of the drama.
They had barricades set up at the intersection stopping us from going anywhere and were funneling us all to one side through a small opening (unfortunately, not the side we were on) … we were going nowhere!  (Kris here.. for those that know the area, the corrals for the race line up on Disneyland Drive southbound.  While making our way to the corrals, all runners were funneled north from the Disneyland Hotel area on Downtown Drive.  As we walked toward Magic Way, the street that connects to the corrals, there was a large sign showing Corral A/B/C with an arrow pointing right.  The issue was the sign wasn’t quite correct.  runDisney was trying to have everybody go left onto Magic Way and the loop back towards the corrals.  There was only one small opening on the left side of Downtown Drive where people were trickling through.  The sign was misleading and we were surrounded by people from the front corrals trying to turn right on Magic Way, but unable to due to the barricades.)
  At one point we realized it was getting close to 6:00 and we knew we needed to get going. The crowd was pretty upset and the runDisney staffer stationed to work that area wouldn’t move the portable barricades (understandably so, I’m sure he was told not to). We truly didn’t think we would make it to the start in time.  Thankfully, someone with a little more authority came and let us through.  We rushed to corral A, zig zagged our way up to the front during the National Anthem and ran into a few friends.  (Kris: The issue here was the first, less authoritative runDisney staffer at the barricade kept telling people they would delay the start and make sure everybody got to the corrals in time.  Pretty sure he was just making it up- if you don’t have the power to move the barricade, I’m not trusting you’ll hold the race start up.  Needless to say the race started on time as far as I could tell, and given the fact we made it to the corral during the anthem, and we were at the front of the mess, I’m pretty sure there were lots of people who didn’t make it on time.)  Enough on crowd flow, it’s time for the race!
Kelly asked if I was running with them this morning.  I had been going back and forth on my race plan for this weekend and finally decided that I wanted to try to run the 10k as quick as I could and then enjoy the 1/2 marathon … the opposite of what most people were doing.  With that, I started out with the quick crowd to see where I fell in.  My first mile was averaging a 6:45 and I already had a handful of ladies in front of me.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep that pace and thus, wasn’t finishing on the podium – so, I dropped back and decided to have some fun! It wasn’t long before I found my Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum buddies and we had a GREAT run through the parks!

This was a FUN course!  Opposite of most Disneyland events, the first couple miles keep you on city streets and then the rest is in the parks.  First through DCA, then over to Disneyland.  Like the others, we finished through Downtown Disney.  There were a lot of character opportunities and great support on course … I’m just glad we made it to the start in time and I had fun friends to run with!

I would definitely run this course again and would recommend it to families! I just hope runDisney fixes the problem they had with the corrals in the morning & next time I will plan to give myself more time, just in case! (K: I agree, the course was fun and fast!  My plan was to try and run fast for the 10k, then try and run fast for the 1/2 marathon as well.  I was hoping to be close to a 6 min/mile pace before I knew how warm and muggy it was going to be.  All told, I held a 6:17 per mile pace and that was good enough for 13th overall and 3rd in my age group.  Which reminds me- I hate my age group.  The top 5 men 30-34 finished 1st, 4th, 9th, 13th, and 14th overall.  Yikes.  The heat was definitely a factor- mid to upper 70’s an 70% humidity at the start… I just hoped it wouldn’t wipe me out for the 1/2 marathon!)

Back To The Expo

Once we got cleaned up, it was then time to brave the expo again.  We normally wouldn’t rush to go back; but, for some reason Kris never received a finish time for the 10k.  They had his 5k split but never showed him finishing.  (We were hearing, via Twitter/Facebook, that quite a few issues were popping up regarding the timing chips and bibs.)  He wouldn’t ordinarily put too much time into worrying about this except he had kept pace with the fastest guys and was near top 10 – possibly snagging an age group award.  So, back down to Runner Solutions we went.

Thankfully, more true to our past experiences, getting down to the registration area was easy this time.  We figure the problem on Friday was that almost everyone needed to go to packet pick-up that day – those doing the 5k, 10k and Dumbo all had only one day to pick everything up … leaving only those doing just the 1/2 marathon … of which, I’m sure not all waited until Saturday to go!
Unfortunately, the line for Runner Solutions was fairly long.  That makes us believe Kris wasn’t the only one with a problem to solve from the morning.  He was more than a little disappointed by the way he was blown off when asked about results.  The cast member assisting him said official results would be up by 1 pm and assured Kris his finish time would show up then.  Kris asked what he should do if he still doesn’t have a finisher’s time and was told he would have to come back to have his timing chip checked out … which he did. On round 2, he was given an email of a person to contact.
It all worked out though (after an email and a few days waiting, which is normal) and Kris did place 3rd in his age group!
We had planned to go back into the expo at this point but when we saw the line we opted to wait.  We didn’t think it was possible for the expo line to get any longer than it was on Friday … but, apparently it did.
Instead of the expo, we met up with George for lunch at White Water Snacks and dessert at non other than Marceline’s Confectionary again.

After filling our bellies, we braved the expo – actually made it in okay.  Wandered the booths, said hello to friends, and watched a couple more exclusive screenings (Trophy Wife, Back in the Game & Once Upon a Time in Wonderland).

We finished it off with Sean’s presentation on Inspiration.
We told Ali we would record it for her since she wouldn’t be able to see him … if interested, you can see it all here.  Due to length limits on youtube, it’s split into 4 parts.

Once Sean was done – it was time for dinner.  Our tradition is to get pizza at Naples the night before a Disney 1/2 marathon.  If you join the Patina Group‘s email list – you get a $30 gift certificate to use for your birthday.  With this event being around my birthday and Tinker Bell being near Kris’, it works out perfectly! (K: Prosciutto and Melon pizza is back on the menu and the perfect pre-race meal! So excited it was back after not having it the past few races.)

Another early evening for us … time to get ready for the 1/2 marathon!

Sunday Morning – 1/2 Marathon

We had a great time! This is such a fun event – Kris and I have done it 6 times now and I still love it!

We learned our lesson on Saturday and decided to meet a little earlier this time and head straight to the corrals.  Along the way we ran into a few friends.

We made our way to the front of Corral A where I was able to find Ali and wish her a great race.  Her goal this year is 13 half marathons and this was #8.  She was doing it with a friend who was competing her very first and they did an AWESOME job!

Kris found his buddy, Chris,  and they had their plan for the race – run fast and try to keep up with the female leaders.  It almost worked… only the top three females chcked Kris.  But, Kris still had a great race, finishing 30th overall and 7th in age group. (K: So much for my plan…but I’m pleased since none of the top 3 ladies ran the 10k the day before.  And unofficially, I was the 5th fastest combined time among Dumbo runners!)

Kelly and I met up again and found Sean.  Saturday after the 10k we made a plan for the 3 of us to run together and try to help Sean set a new PR.  When we all met up prior to the start he informed us that he had spent a full day in the parks with his family after the 10k and didn’t get much sleep … uh oh, this could be tough!

Before we knew it, it was ‘go’ time!  The race plan was to start slow, see how we were feeling and try for negative splits.  So, Kelly and I had the job of keeping Sean going and controlling the pace.

By mile 2 you are in DCA – running past World of Color.

It’s then through Cars Land, around and out – over to Disneyland … for the run down Main Street.

A favorite in Disneyland has to be running through the castle!

After making your way through the backlot, you are out on the streets of Anaheim for a few miles.  While this isn’t the most exciting scenery, runDisney does a great job of keeping it entertaining with bands, performers and a whole mile of classic cars.

I also have an easier time getting through these miles knowing they are taking me to Angel’s Stadium … my FAVORITE part!

Once we reach the Honda Center, I know we are getting close!

From there we take a dirt path along a retention area.  Once we are back on the road we are greeted by hundreds of boy scouts, girl scouts and cheerleaders as we make our way to the stadium.

As you enter the stadium, all you hear is cheering!

The bottom section of the stands are filled with spectators who have a lot of energy.

As you run past the photographer and videographer the announcer calls your name and you are shown on the jumbotron!

Can you tell I like this part?

Mile 10 is always one of my fastest during this race.  It’s hard not to get caught up in the energy and excitement in that stadium!!!

Once you leave the stadium, it’s a 5k to the finish.

By mile 12 you are back on Disney property as you head around the back of DCA.

Next thing you know, you turn the corner and head towards Downtown Disney.  You hear the cheers from the crowd and give it all you’ve got!

One thing’s for sure – I have the best running buddies out there! I had so much fun all morning … despite the heat and humidity!

Kris showing off his bling – the big ‘D’ is the medal we got for this race.  The Dumbo in the middle is for completing the Dumbo Double Dare and the blue lanyard on the left is the Coast to Coast medal for completing a 1/2 marathon (or full) at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same calendar year.(K: Earned my hardware!  My plan was to just settle in to a good pace right behind Cindy (last year’s female winner).  I knew she was hoping to finish around 1:24, and while that seemed like a bit of a reach for me after the 10k, I wanted to give it a shot.  My plan worked wonderfully until about mile 10 or so, when my tired legs didn’t have the fight left to weave through a pack that formed between Cindy and I.  You can see me in the background of all her race photos until Angels Stadium, then I get farther and father out of frame.  I ended up finishing 44 seconds behind Cindy, and 15 seconds behind the 3rd overall female.  It was nice to have a rabbit to chase as I don’t think I would have done as well without one.  I ended up 30th overall, and 7th in my age group…given the heat, humidity and the 10k the day before, I’m happy with my time.  If nothing else, it’s a new PR on the Disneyland 1/2 marathon course for me!)

After we recovered some, it was time to show our #run3rd love …

We stayed to cheer on some runners and then made our way to the hotel to get cleaned up.

As always, thanks to Hammer Nutrition for getting us through!  Especially on these hot, humid days you have just what we need to finish strong and recover quickly!!!

Our race day nutrition included:

1-hr prior to race: Anti-fatigue, Endurance Amino and a water bottle with Endurolyte Fizz in it.

15 minutes prior: Hammer Gel

During: Hammer Gel every 30-45 minutes; Anti-fatigue, Endurance Amino and Endurolyte capsules every hour. (K: I popped a Hammer Gel at mile 4 (Huckleberry!) and mile 10 (Tropical with caffeine for a boost the last three miles!)

After: Almond Cacao Vegan Recovery Bar

We also made a point to use Endurolyte Fizz tablets in our water bottles during the days leading up to the race.  Between the meet-up on Friday, the expo both days, our flight/traveling, etc. it’s easy to get wiped out before even starting the race.

If you’re interested in trying some of the great products Hammer Nutrition has, check out their website www.hammernutrition.com and use referral code 155476 to save 15% off you first order.

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