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Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Recap | Tuesdays on the Run

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We know you had a full holiday weekend: running, racing, sleeping in, whatever you did, we support it!

Happy Labor Day!

Now that it’s over, we’re back to talking running on Tuesdays on the Run. This week the topic is FREE TOPIC.

Yep: if it’s running related, it’s legit.

Link up with ErikaMarcia and me for this week’s Tuesdays on the Run.

Disneyland half weekend Jane

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Recap


I got home late last night and slept pretty much all day today. I think my body was telling me something: Shenanigans, you are out of Disney shape, my friend!

This weekend whooped my bootay, and I *only* ran the 10K. I say only not to downplay the distance but to distinguish between my usual 2-3 race weekend.

I arrived late on Thursday, stayed up later than I should have chatting with my roommate Jane, and then woke up way too early to top it off.

We didn’t mean to get up at 5:30, but when at runDisney, I suppose our bodies just knew what was expected of us.

I adore the Dapper Dans. Nothing says Disneyland to me more than listening to these guys sing on Main Street, USA!

We headed to the parks for some breakfast and some rides, enjoying the Disneyland 60th Anniversary one last time.

I got one final trip on Hyperspace Mountain, and I sure hope it’s only gone for a little while. I would love to see this back as a semi- permanent attraction.

Around lunchtime, I headed over to meet my friend Mindy from This Fairytale Life and we hit up the Cigna Blogger Meetup. These events are a lot of fun with laughter intertwined with learning about health. (More to come on this one!)

Thanks, Cigna, for continuing to support the runners at Disneyland and encouraging healthy practices.

After a few more rides, a nice dinner, and laying out our race clothes, we hit the hay pretty early for the 10K in the morning.


Soooo… the 10K.

I did everything wrong in this race that you could do.

Starting with, oh, putting very little effort into my training.

Look, I don’t pretend to take the racing aspect seriously, but I KNOW BETTER than this. I know me, and I know my body, and I can’t just whip out a 10K without working for it. This summer was just lame when it came to running, and I tried to get in some miles at the last minute.

My feet, back, quads, and hip felt it big time.

I also went out way too fast. I started with my friend Julia and her daughter Tori. This was Tori’s first race, and we all thought she’d take it slow and easy. Well, it turns out 20-year-old slow and easy is very different from 42-year-old slow and easy! Who knew?  Bahahahaaha!

I hung in for the first 1.25 miles but had to give up at that point.

Pre-race pictures with JasMAN and Carpet. Tori was in heaven!

Pre-race pictures with JasMAN and Carpet. Tori was in heaven!

I always run the 10Ks with a water belt and fuel, just in case. I left it in the hotel this time. It’s “only a 10K…” bit me in the butt.

I wanted a Gu (had one on me) but didn’t have water to wash it down, so never took it. There were two water stops on the course, which is probably plenty for a 10K, but I think there are usually three on runDisney race weekends. I kept looking for one that never came. Did I “need” the Gu? Probably not- but I think it might have mentally boosted me out of the mile 4 slump I was in.

So there I was with no real training, no water, and starting too fast. It left me in ITB pain around mile 5. I haven’t had any issues with my ITB for years now- but if I run too hard too fast, guess what? The ITB doesn’t like it.

Hey, let’s just say, lessons learned all around, and this is one race experience I won’t repeat!

DL 10K 16

The bright side is that I thought the race itself was pretty well run, but…

Man, Disneyland. I wish you’d kept Rudy as the race announcer. He was missed.

Carissa was Carissa. Kwami- I liked him, he  was fun!- but the other new announcer did nothing for me. She was a bit shrill when she sent people off, and that just doesn’t work at 5:30 am, yo! We need Rudy’s booming voice.

This was my first runDisney race ever without Rudy sending me off, and I noticed. It’s odd that his contract was extended on the east coast but not on the west coast- politics? I don’t know, but it’s not too late to admit you made a mistake, runDisney. Let’s fix this shiz.

I loved the character options and how they were placed on the course.

Of course, this was my favorite!

We were all able to selfie or get a fellow runner to snap a pic, but no time lost in all the lines. And lines weren’t too long (except Jasmine), and the back of the packers still had plenty of picture options.

NICE. This is what runDisney should be: equal character opportunity for all. It was appreciated!

Characters on the course:

  • Ramone
  • Mr. & Mrs. Incredible
  • Goofy & Max
  • Frozone
  • Officer Judy Hopps & Nick Wilde
  • Picture frames
  • Donald Duck on his boat
  • Jasmine & Abu
  • Pinocchio & Geppetto
  • Pooh on a Main Street bus
  • Storm Troopers
  • Mickey and Minnie

That might be the most characters in a 10K that I’ve seen in a very long time!

After the race, we ate an excellent meal at Steakhouse 55, had a mimosa, and went back to the hotel for a nap.

Four hours later… yeah, that happened. It was so needed, though. Did I mention how out of shape I was feeling? Oh, my!

paint the night

After an early dinner and sending Jane off to bed, I hit Disneyland for the night.

Disneyland 60th has been a very cool 15 months. I was there for the opening weekend and there for the closing weekend, with a few trips in between. I am not a huge parade & fireworks person (I’m all about the rides!) but I absolutely loved the Paint the Night Parade and Disneyland Forever Fireworks. I’m glad I found Julia and her family on Main Street to watch the shows with them.

Somewhere around 1 am I fell asleep, only to get up and moving around 5:30 am for the half.

As I creaked out of bed, I thanked Mickey once again that I knew my limits and didn’t sign up for this race. Summer training doesn’t happen for me, and clearly a half would have been a disaster.

peggy sue dl half

I headed out to cheer on the runners at mile 12. The weather was PERFECT for running, and everyone looked great out there. I wasn’t able to stay until the end this time, which I regret. But everyone I did see was looking strong!

After the race we ate, and guess what? Went back to sleep. Naps are apparently my new Disney thing.

Seriously. I think I need my thyroid checked again because this level of tired was off the charts! Or you know, I need just to run more if I want to walk 40,000 steps a day all over Disneyland. Either way, the napping was glorious.

Back to the parks to say goodbye to the shiny diamond castle and my favorite Disney park.

Donald 60th

Donald: my #1 Duck!

Did you have a good Disneyland Half experience? What was your favorite part of the race?

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Sarah Dudek

Wednesday 7th of September 2016

This looks like so much fun. I'm sorry that it wasn't your best race, but hey, they can't all be great and sometimes we get lazy with our training. I love that pic of JasMan. Brilliant! Every time I read a race report from Disney I get closer and closer to signing up for one. You're convincing me!

Kimberly Hatting

Tuesday 6th of September 2016

I have been to Disney World numerous times (10?), but never Disneyland. And I have not done a Disney race.....yet. I might have to play the DIsney trump card to get the kids to do a race with me (no shame).


Tuesday 6th of September 2016

I have never run a Disney race, but after reading your blog, I think I will have to add this to my list! Looks like so much fun and would be a great 'girls' trip! By the way, I absolutely love your costume!!!

[email protected]

Tuesday 6th of September 2016

Congratulations on your race! The pic of you and Donald is too cute! That is so frustrating when need water and can't get any.


Tuesday 6th of September 2016

Thanks Lacey! It was still fun-ish. :)


Tuesday 6th of September 2016

Congratulations on your 10k. Love your race recap - great job. I really hope to do the Dumbo Double Dare next year! I was wondering is the park extra crowded being it is Labor Day Weekend? This seems like an odd date to hold a race weekend, What hotel did you stay at?? Hope you have a speedy recovery from you ITB pain.


Tuesday 6th of September 2016

It was not busy at all until Sunday afternoon. I think annual passes were blocked out for some people and the racers like to save their legs when possible. Plus the end of the 60th-anniversary things made a lot of locals come in for one last look. All the Disneyland races are held on holiday weekends- no idea why! I was at the Holiday Inn & Suites on Walnut. :)