I’m kind of sucker for runDisney races. Some people don’t get the love-affair and simply see the Disney races as expensive, crowded, and gimmicky. I’ll concede that they’re not cheap, but I’m a kid at heart and I love Disney—since we started dating, my wife and I have taken at least one trip to Disney each year. Being able to combine Disney with running is exciting to me, they’re two of my favorite things. It’s also nice to schedule races that are just for fun, which is what Disney is for me. While I love train hard and push myself as far as I can, I’m not the kind of person that has it in her to be constantly pushing. Breaking it up and throwing some easier and fun races in the mix keeps it fresh for me.
Being that this was our first trip to Disneyland, it was also our first runDisney race in Disneyland. To be honest, I think I liked it a little more than I do in Disney World for the simple fact that you can wake up and walk right to the start. You don’t have to catch a bus and then walk for a half hour to get there. So, extra sleep! The other plus to the Disneyland races is when you’re not actually running in a park, you’re on the regular streets of Anaheim instead of Disney service roads. There’s a bit more to look at and they’re less monotonous.
With the Dumbo Double Dare being part of a challenge with races on back to back days, there was an extra medal in it for runners who took part. And on top of that, my wife and I were also completing the Coast-to-Coast Challenge, a race of half marathon distance or longer on each coast in the same year, so there was fourth medal in it for the two of us. Bling Central!
Disneyland 10k - 55:34
With the wife and I being East Coasters, waking up early on Saturday morning wasn’t too difficult and it wasn’t made any harder by the fact that the Disneyland 10k started later than any other runDisney event we’ve taken part in before. We quickly got ready, scarfed down some Picky Bars, and then made out for the short walk over to the starting area. There was some confusion before lining up in our corrals due to slow turnover in switching the starting line over from the 5k to the 10k, but this was the only hiccup we experienced all weekend.
Without too much of a wait, we were off down the streets of Anaheim! While we’re both marathoners and have done the Goofy Challenge a couple of times, neither of us have been in the best of shape lately. I’m mostly recovered from my injury earlier this year, but I’m still very much getting used to my new life as a trans runner. Hormone replacement therapy zapped most of my testosterone and took with it most of the speed I used to have before. I’m still feeling out what kind of paces I can expect to run. Taking that and my wife’s recent injuries into account, we wanted to take it extra slow. The goal was to just have fun and not work our legs too much.
The first couple of miles were out on the streets, but it wasn’t long before we made our way into the parks for the real fun! This was actually our first time in either of the parks in Anaheim so it made for a nice little tour of what we were going to be doing after the race.
The Disneyland 10k is the shortest runDisney race I’ve done, but it certainly wasn’t short on fun!
Disneyland Half Marathon - 1:57:47
After the 10k, we spent most of the day at Disney’s California Adventure and a little bit of time at Disneyland, but we called it a night right after our 6pm dinner. Despite the half starting at the time we were used to for runDisney events (EARLY), getting up on Sunday was, again, no problem since we were still running on East Coast time. Just like the day before, we scarfed down our Picky Bars and made our way over to the start.
While waiting in the corral for the race to start, we ran in our best-Twitter-friend Krissy Murphy and chatted it up for a bit while we watched a marriage proposal and interviews with Joey Fatone and Sean Astin up on the screen. Once we were sent on our way by Mickey and friends, Krissy took off and it was just the two of us again.
Our goal for the day was to keep our time around two hours, again, we take Disney races easy and just have fun. We found a nice pace at just under a nine-minute mile and held steady. Despite a couple early bathroom stops, we kept it locked in at a fun pace and just enjoyed ourselves.
Unlike the 10k, the half marathon starts in the parks first before taking you onto the streets. We again had a blast running through the parks and our photos really show it. Unfortunately, I didn’t run the race as “me” so I won’t post the photos, but I can say without hesitation that they’re my best race photos ever.
After the parks, the course dumped us onto the streets of Anaheim again for a trek over Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Being that we were out on the regular streets, there was plenty look at and there was a ton of course entertainment along the way. Without a doubt, this was the best “dead zone” of any runDisney race we’ve run.
After a quick loop around the field in a very roaring Angel Stadium, it was time to head back to Disney. As has become typical for us on the second day of a runDisney challenge, we picked up the pace significantly for the last few miles. Taking it easy the way we do always leaves us with a lot left for a huge finish. We passed a few hundred other runners in the last three miles and crossed the finish line hands held!
At the finish line, we were given our Disneyland Half Marathon medals, our Dumbo Double Dare medals, and our Coast-to-Coast medals. There was some serious clanking going on!
In comparison to the Goofy Challenge, I think I’d have to say that I enjoyed the Dumbo Double Dare a lot more. It’s an easier challenge that not only leaves more time in the parks, but also leaves your legs in a usable state for a couple of days on your feet in the parks.