Let me start by saying that I can't believe it is over... again. I was prepared this time around about how I would feel when I returned home. Participating last January 2013 in my first runDisney weekend at Disneyland was also my FIRST Half Marathon... a huge deal to me and something I worked VERY hard towards. The emotions are high when participating in such an event... I must also add that I do not have the budget to do multiple runDisney events... so for me this was it. When I came home last year after our time at Disneyland I felt like crawling in a hole. To have this goal out in front of me for months and months... working towards it and then accomplishing it was awesome but also a learning experience of pacing myself. I have learned that I need goals in front of me to keep myself motivated. That is an entirely different post... SO lets get back to the business at hand here... How was the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2014?
First of all... I felt so fortunate to be able to go back and repeat this experience in 2014! It was AWESOME (again)! I still can't believe I have 2 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Medals hanging in my house... (actually 3 because I ran the Inaugural 10K on January 18th as well and you can read about it HERE.)
The Half Marathon was on Sunday, January 19th. Exactly 364 days since I had run my first Half Marathon... right there at the same magical place! This Tinker Bell Half Marathon would be my 6th Half in one year! Wow! What a year! My friend Carrie and I were prepared for the early morning wake up. We had laid out our race necessities the night before so when that alarm went off at 3am we were ready!
We stayed just off Disney property at the Best Western Stovall on the corner of Katella and Disneyland Dr. In my opinion there just isn't an off property hotel with a better location and set up for runDisney Race Weekends. Free Breakfast, reasonable prices, and close proximity to the Racing area... just can't beat it! Did I mention the reasonable price? We saved so much!
We made our way to the Corrals on Disneyland Dr which was literally just a few minutes walk from our hotel room door. I was in Corral C and Carrie was in Corral E... so at this point we parted ways and wished each other luck! I walked on down to Corral C and entered the fenced off area. There were volunteers checking our Bibs for the correct Corral assignment to prevent folks from entering a corral that wasn't assigned to them. Being a "rule follower" I appreciated the checkers and said thank you to them.
It is dark at 4:15 in the morning!
above photo credit - runDisney
World of Color and Mickey's Fun Wheel
Carthay Circle and the Red Trolley at California Adventure
After the course wrapped through California Adventure we headed across the Esplanade and into Disneyland Park.
Running through the castle to Fantasyland
Backstage areas... the Train!
Circle D!!! My Favorite! Home to the Happiest Horses on Earth!
This is Lucky! I want to bring him home with me!
Soon we were heading out of the parks and onto the friendly streets of Anaheim.
I had not noticed these signs in 2013... maybe they are new. These signs were along the route in some of the Anaheim residential neighborhoods.
The route through the streets of Anaheim was pleasant... many high schools had come out with their bands and cheerleaders to keep the runners motivated and happy! One group in the downtown area was even handing out red vines to the runners. Generous for sure! The race itself was awesome... plentiful water and powerade on the course.
Ellen and I celebrating!
Merritt and I with our medals!
(Merritt is a friend from home and came to run her first Half at Tinker Bell!)
Carrie coming into the FINISH!
Just 3 girls from Stanwood, Washington
with our Tinker Bell Half Marathon BLING!
I had so much fun this year... when the Half was over I was so sad. I only had that day left at the Parks and then was headed home on a very early flight Monday morning. The race was so well organized and the weather was perfect! For 2015 the Tinker Bell Race Weekend is moving to May on the Mother's Day weekend. I am not sure if I will be able to come back in 2015... funds are tight and my poor kids need a trip sooner or later. I am going to try my best to make it happen! We were able to get them there in December of 2011. I have been 3 times without them now and they haven't even seen Carsland yet. I do feel a bit guilty about that.
I would love to encourage anyone to consider training for a runDisney event. Such an amazing experience! I thoroughly loved every moment (both years)! Thank you runDisney for a terrific time! I can't wait to do it all over again!
Both of my hard earned medals from the Half Marathon and the 10K that had taken place the day before. I am also wearing a "Challenge" Medal that I purchased through a fundraiser that commemorates finishing both races in 2 days! This is taken outside the door of our hotel room... this gives somewhat of a good perspective how close we were to the Parks.
Did you run Tinker Bell this year? What was your favorite part?
If you could participate in a runDisney race other than Tinker Bell - which race sounds fun to you?
Have you run other runDisney races? Which one is your favorite?