Last Sunday I had the privileged of participating in the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon and completing the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge! The race was such an amazing experience. I can't not wait to tell you all about it!
Race morning started out like most other--early! The girls in my room and I got up at 4:30am. We got dressed and left the room by 5:00am. One thing I love about west coast races is that, due to the 3 hour time difference, the start did not feel as early. I try to stick to Eastern time when I only go for a few days by getting up early each day of the trip. A 4:30am wake up call does not feel as early in California as it does in Pennsylvania.
The great thing about staying at a Disneyland hotel is that we could walk to the start. It was so nice to not have to wait for a bus and the make a ride to the start. When we got to the corrals, it was very crowded. My friends/roommates--Danielle, Chelsea and I were all in corral D. We barely fit! The race got started at 5:45am. The race DJ's were good, but the start was rather uneventful. I was expecting fireworks and a big send off for each corral. Each corral got there own "Ready, Set, Go" but that is really it. There was a huge TV screen showing the send off of each corral. I really enjoyed that.
The beginning of the race went past the Grand Californian Hotel and then the Paradise Pier Hotel, where I was staying. We made a turn and run behind California Adventure Park. In the road were these big reflectors, each about an inch high. At about the .5 mile distance, an older man tripped on one and feel. He smashed his face and his nose was bleeding. Some police that were directing traffic jumped into action and helped him off the course. I hope he is ok!
By about mile 1.5, we entered California Adventure Park. We entered the park in the Paradise Pier section--right near the roller coaster. All the exciting rides really got me pumped! After running through Paradise Pier, we ran over the bridge and toward Cars Land! We did not run through Cars Land, but got a great view of it running by. Next was the Back lot and Hollywood land! This is where the California version of the Tower of Terror is. My favorite new part of California Adventure is the Carthy Circle--a replica of where Walt Disney opened his first full length film--Snow White. This is part of the complete transformation to California Adventure. We exited CA and ran the short distance into Disneyland!
We entered Disneyland though an employee/service entrance. We turned the corner and I got a glimpse of the castle! Wow, it took my breathe away! We headed toward Frontierland and then back behind Fantasyland. Here I was--the big moment--the run through the castle. This, to me, is the big moment of the race, even more than the start or finish. So magical!
After the castle, it was on to the rest of Fantasyland, including my favorite Disneyland mountain--the Matterhorn. This ride is like a tamer version of Expedition Everest in the Animal Kingdom. After Fantasyland, we ran through Toon Town. Toon Town is something extra special in Disneyland because it no longer exists in Walt Disney World. When we were done in Toon Town, we exited Disneyland but were still on Disney property. We were in that mystical place called the staging area. I loved seeing all the pumpkins and fall decorations ready to decorate the fall. One not so pleasant area of the staging area was the Disneyland Farm. This is where all the Disneyland animals live--like the main street transpiration horses. The horses were so stinky! Did you know that all the "pardoned" presidential turkeys go to the Disneyland farm?
By the time we exited Disney property, we were only at mile 4. I so enjoyed my run in the Disneyland parks. It was nice to have them so close together. Disneyland is so magical! Running there was such a blessing.