On Sunday I earned my Coast to Coast 2013 medal by completing the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland - after completing the WDW Marathon and WDW Half Marathon just a week before. (Goofy Challenge). Thank you, God for getting me through all these miles and airports safely this month.
I woke up bright & early Sunday morning, sleepy, but ready to take on the last 13.1 of my January runDisney journey. I had never run the Tinker Bell Half marathon and I was excited - really looking forward to it. At this point I've run the Princess Half, the Disneyland Half and the WDW Half - so I was looking forward to adding one more notch onto my fuel belt. (Nerdy run pun. You like, no?)
The walk from my hotel to the start line was all of 5 minutes. I was early enough that I was actually able to walk past the finish line and use those porta potties on my way to Corral C. If you are staying off-property, hotels on Katella are a safe bet for walking. Once I reached my corral I chatted with a Bay Area mom until start time. The race started at 5:00am, but my Corral started about 10 or so minutes after...until then we were kept entertained by the announcers.
We ran through the streets up Harbor and into California Adventure. Hello World of Color! Please remember to stop for photos. Don't miss opportunities for beautiful shots like this. Unfortunately, my iPhone wasn't cooperating in the low-light and I missed some shots. If you have a tiny point and shoot - I recommend bringing it.
We ran through Cars Land (no pics - my iPhone was not cooperating!) and eventually made our way across the Esplanade to Disneyland. Welcome to Fantasyland!
The timing of Tink Half couldn't be better - we were greeted by It's a Small World in full holiday dress. Gorgeous!
Now we made our way backstage - behind Small World - where Cast Members cheered us on. This banner says it all. These races are the best because even the Cast Members are proud of complete strangers.
We made our way back into the park and were reaching the castle, but first I ran into trouble in Fantasyland. Lost Boys!
We've all seen the backside of water here at Disneyland, but what about the backside of a castle?!
Peter Pan and Wendy were located right by Peter Pan's Flight, of course!
With only an hour or so into the race I was feeling fantastic. I was keeping a slow steady pace - walking a lot. I didn't think that after Goofy I'd really be capable of working a full non-stop week at work and then running another half just days later...but I was wrong. This course was great, the energy was great...and the weather was amazing. I think being back in California - at Disneyland - was what I needed. I ran through the castle and stopped again and waited for a photo with Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip.
A little more backstage action before we head out to the streets again. This building gives me chills. Every. Time.
Once you are off-property you can start making up for the time you may have lost waiting in line to take pictures. I put a little extra spark in my step and made up some time until I ran into this guy. If you're an avid California runner, you should know all about Michael Blackson Moonrunner. I love that he and his crew set-up a boom box playing MJ classics. I just had to stop and take a pic with him.
The miles were flying by fast...I ran into so many familiar runDisney faces. So great to see people who had also run Goofy the week before. The weather was still nice, the sun was up, and Anaheim PD allowed me to continue my new favorite race photo pose.
Coming into the home stretch; just those last of couple of miles left. I'm still on Cloud 9. Totally loving this course and this race.
3 hours after I started (my fastest half marathon time this month) it was over. What a wonderful time I had. I was so excited and relieved to get my hard-earned bling.
I honestly came into this race so emotionally drained and stressed out from my job that I thought I'd either A) get sick and B) walk the whole course and be swept. On the contrary, I was not sick, I was not sore, I was not tense or in any kind of pain. In fact, there were so many photo opportunities with characters that I missed because of my fear of being unable to finish that I wish I could start the race all over again! Thanks to the ENERGYbits and the change in my mood & mindset upon starting the race - I finished strong.
52.4 miles. 2 states. 3 races. 5 medals. 1 week. I did it!
I went straight to the shower & then to the parks to celebrate! I cannot wait to run this race again!