RunDisney knows how to keep you entertained. Let’s just get that out there! This past weekend was a blast and Disney races are always close to my heart because 1. I’ve loved Disneyland since I was a child and miss my annual pass greatly. 2. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon was my first 1/2 ever I always get nostalgic coming back to the resort. 3. The spectators (which is my favorite part of any race) are fantastic at RunDisney races.
A little reminder I saw last Friday at the Health and Fitness Expo of the challenge to come
I mentioned previously that this year was the inaugural Disneyland 10K and the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare. About 5,300 people (including myself) signed up for this challenge, which, if participants successfully completed the 10K on the Saturday and completed the half marathon on the Sunday, would receive more bling and bragging rights.
My brother, Anne-Marie, Tony, and I after finishing Saturday’s 10K
The 10K on Saturday had us running around Anaheim, passing the Anaheim Convention Center and making our way into the Disneyland Resort. Now when I say that Disney knows how to keep you entertained, I mean they know how to keep you entertained. While running through the parks, they have parade floats, trains, cars, Disney cast members, princesses, characters, and more along the course cheering you on and keeping your mind occupied and motivated. On top of that, there are tons of spectators along the way cheering on friends, family, and random strangers.
6.2 down, 13.1 to go! Me (and the adorable little boy behind me dancing) after the 10K
I wasn’t sure how to go about the challenge of this weekend. Take the 10K easy in order to reserve energy to try and PR for Sunday’s 1/2? Give both of my races my all? I actually did not choose to make a decision other than “take it as it goes and go with the flow.” I finished the 10K with a time of 55:48 (not my fastest, not my slowest). Now, the heat and the humidity were no joke. After almost 2 miles I found myself drenched in sweat, unlike any race I have run before. It left me worried for the next day, but I tried to do my best to plan accordingly.
Sunday’s half marathon was a blast. We started bright and early at 5:30 in the morning, running through both Disneyland and California Adventure once again, then making our way around the Honda Center and through Angels Stadium. Truly, there are not enough “thank you’s” I could give to the cast members for their support. I loved seeing them with their Mickey Mouse hands, high fiving us along the way. While running through the streets of Anaheim, cheerleaders, dancers, marching bands, and other spectators kept us energized and entertained.
My brother, Stephanie, Tony, and I after 13.1 miles!
Now, I’ve mentioned that during races, I always tear up; what usually prompts it is all of the support. My favorite part of this half? Not the finish line, but running through Angels Stadium. The stadium was filled with people cheering us on. The screams and yells were enough to give runners that extra boost of energy and bring me to tears. LOVE. Finally, I crossed the finish line and high-fived Disney characters (just take a look here. How could you not have fun at the finish if this little guy and his friends were waiting for you!?) before heading to receive my half marathon and challenge medals. I completed the half with a time of 2:01:15, which, I’m not going to lie, I’m rather disappointed about, but I’ll just have to step up my game for next time.
Amerie and I bonding post half marathon!
One of my other favorite parts? During one of the course’s aid stations, I caught a glimpse of a volunteer picking up trash. After a closer look, I realized it was my old friend and co-worker, Phillip! I must have caught him off guard out of excitement as I literally yelled his name and jumped to give him a big hug! I have always remembered Phillip to be full of energy, happiness, and excitement. Later in the day I told him how happy it made me to see him and how it gave me the extra boost of energy I needed, and his response brought a smile to my face:
JANINE!!! Not only are you inspirational and wise, but you are FAST and amazingggg!!!!! I was so surprised when I saw you running so fast and ahead of the crowd! Seeing YOU gave me a BOOST of energy to continue picking up trash a lot the course for thousands of runners behind you! :) Ohh the fulfillment in the little things in life :) Continue the great work and continue inspiring others! It’s working! It’s working!!!!! See you at the next 1/2 marathon :)
Inspire others by doing something I love? I couldn’t ask for anything more!