My mom was very nervous - she was about to tackle her very first half! But I kept telling her it would be fine and that nerves were normal. We focused on getting some food in our system, took a few pictures and then we were off into the dark balmy night towards our corrals. When we got to the runner area we noticed that the Green Army Men from Toy Story were wandering around in the crowd and saying hi to the guests. We knew we had to get in on that action!
Knowing we had to make our way to corral H, we didn't spend too much time in the runner area and after a quick good bye to the hubs, we meandered what felt like forever to get into our corral. To say it was packed would be the understatement of the century. With 18,000 runners it was obvious that this was going to be a jam packed event. I have to give runDisney credit though - they moved those corrals rather quickly and within 30 minutes of the original gun time, we were off and running the streets of Anaheim. Mom and I decided pre-race that we would do splits of run/walk with a mile run and a .10 mile walk interval. This worked perfectly for me since my legs were killing me and the heat was killing any energy I thought I may have. After about a mile or so, we were making our way inside the parks through Disney California Adventure.
After we snapped a quick photo in front of Mickey's Fun Wheel we came to our 2nd character stop of the race - Cars! Since Mater and Lightening had a long line, we opted to jump into this line instead. After a quick photo, it was back to running! I thought we may see Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc by the Tower of Terror, but alas - there would be no Monsters for us to enjoy this time around. It was in the Hollywood area that we saw Jake the Pirate - my mom thought about stopping but decided against it - wanting to save her time for some classic characters we hoped were waiting for us in Disneyland. She definitely got her wish.
I guess my symbol of the weekend was the thumbs up, because it is in every picture! My mom got so excited to see her main duck waiting for us on Main Street so we paused and got in line. Mom was a little nervous about the time spent in line - not wanting to be swept for her first race - but I told assured her we were making good time and that if we didn't stop for the characters, we were missing the point of the runDisney experience. And once she hugged that duck she was rejuvenated. We crept along down Main Street toward Tomorrowland where we say the Storm Troopers from Star Wars. Neither my mom or myself are Star Wars fans so we bypassed the very very long line and made our way past Finding Nemo towards Fantasyland. It was as we passed the Matterhorn that I saw something I could not believe - two very distinct horns - peeking through the crowd of runners. As soon as the runners cleared I saw the best character ever. The one character who is my all time favorite, who is never available for character experiences and who can only be seen from afar during Fantasmic. The one, the only MALEFICENT!!!! I damn near cried. I have an obsession with the Mistress of All Evil and was a little bummed that I was Daisy instead of Maleficent for the half, but I knew regardless of the line it was picture time. I screamed and ran as fast as I could to get in the best line. Ever.
I do not stop for "face" characters. I am not about the princesses or Wendy or Peter Pan. But Maleficent?! Always. As you can tell from the above photo I was in hog heaven. I told her how awesome she was - I even bowed. It was epic. It was here we also saw Jafar, Cruella and other villains but I was happy with my Maleficent photo and mom does not care for the villains so we continued on.
Of course after the parks it gets pretty boring so I told mom here is where we can plug in and just focus on finishing strong and healthy. Luckily the weather gods were on our side and we had cloud cover for the majority of the race which helped with both heat and eyes. At mile 5 I saw my personal race photographer - the hubs - who wanted to wish us luck since this was the last part of the race we would see him until the finish.
After a few miles of boring streets came the line of classic cars. There were so many! Mom and I were able to take a picture in front of the car styled after Lightening McQueen but I somehow missed the Batmobile! Oh well. After the cars came the Santa Ana trail - which should be retitled the Dust Bowl trail because there was nothing but dust the entire time we were running. My mom started to tire a bit at this point and we increased our walk/run intervals to .50 mile run and .10 walks.
Angel Stadium was amazing! All the spectators cheering us on - thank you! It was definitely needed at that point. Once you are out of Angel Stadium there is only about 3 miles left and by that time the sun had come out and I knew it was going to be tough. Luckily though we stuck through it and though my legs felt like bricks towards that final mile I was able to cross the finish line and get my shiny new bling!
It was a great time... but definitely not one I would repeat. I hate running in the heat and Anaheim in August?! HOT. Also - Anaheim is just not a pretty city so the overall course was pretty boring outside from the parks and the stadium. Let us not forget the hefty price tag that comes along with Disney runs!
All in all though I had a great time - especially showing off my triple threat in the parks afterwards.
Anyone else out there complete the Dumbo Double Dare?! Or the Disneyland Half?! How did you do?