Like all runDisney events, this race started early--at 6:15 am. It was still dark, but the sun had started rise over the Horizon. I am always a tad nervous on race morning, but I can usually keep it in check until the first runners start. I am a mid to back of the pack running, so I usually have a good 20ish minutes before the race officially starts and before I cross the starting line. Of course, the announcers keep it fun--they play up beat songs, they tell silly jokes--its a fun way to pass the time.
Finally it was my turn to start! In runDisney style, each corral gets a rock star send off with fireworks. We were off and running! First we ran the Disney hotels, then toward the Anaheim convention center. I liked that this course was different than both the Disneyland Half Marathon course and the Tinkerbell Half course. By the time we ran around the convention center and entered Disney's California Adventure, we were hitting mile two. By now, the sun had risen and I got a glimpse of CA park. The Paradise Pier area of the park is my favorite, so I was excited to run through it. They were playing the "World of Color" song, so I sang along as I ran. (World of Color is an amazing night time light/water show in CA park!) Another fun thing for me in the California Adventure was the Monsters University characters/parade floats. My kids love this movie, so I was so excited to see the characters.
After running in California Adventure, we race across to Disneyland! That first glimpse of the castle always takes me breath away. No matter how many times I do a runDisney event or how many times I enter the park gates, its always a special experience to me to see the castle. One fun thing about a runDisney race is all the time you spend in the "back stage" areas. For a Disney geek like me, its so cool to see all the behind the scenes stuff! We got to see extra ride vehicles, parade floats, Christmas decorations in storage and the animals of Disney--so cool, typical park visitors never get to see thing kind of stuff. After some time in the back stage around came mile five and the big event, the reason people do runDisney events--the run through the castle! This time, I turned my iPhone around so you could run through the castle with me. Check out my video.
After the castle run, runners made their way through New Orleans Square, then out of the park and through Down Town Disney to the finish. Down Town Disney was lined with people cheering the running on. I could see other runners who had finished wearing their medals. I could not wait to get mine! I ran into one of my running friends about a half mile from the finish line. We decided to sprint to the finish together! After high fiveing Mickey, I crossed the finish for the first ever runDisney 10k!
I got my medal, water and snacks and started to walk back to my hotel. I saw another running friend alone the way who was cheering on the last of the finishers. I decided to stay with her to cheer on the rest of the runners. After a few minutes, I could see these little golf carts--the sweepers. I was so happy for the people just in front of them, but sad for the
people on the golf carts. After that is was off to the shower for me, then to Disneyland to meet my friends for a character breakfast! Next up, the Disneyland Half Marathon!
A dream is a wish...