2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

Continuing with our Disneyland Half Marathon weekend blog posts…

On Sunday, September 4, Rachel and I ran our 3rd consecutive Disneyland Half Marathon. RunDisney changed the theming this year to “Disney Duos,” so Rachel wanted us to consider dressing up for the race. Now, we typically don’t dress up for Disney races; however, a lot of people do! We’ve seen some amazing running costumes in almost 5 years of running Disney races. I think the biggest part of it for us is taking the time to come up with something that would work for running 13.1 miles and is worth the time/effort.

Now, Rachel loves the movie Wall-E. LOVES it. I tease her that she has a slight crush on Wall-E. So naturally, she suggested we dress up as Wall-E and Eve and, of course, I agreed. Rachel went into full planning mode. I was super impressed as she began making the plans to execute these costumes. The good thing was that Eve didn’t require as much work, since she is basically all white with a little green logo.

However, Wall-E took some extra planning. I tried to help a little with picking out the shirt and socks, but honestly, the credit all goes to Rachel. She put together a beautiful costume that I was proud to wear alongside her.

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On to the half marathon…

The night before, we laid out our running outfits and hit the bed early to get up by 3:30am the next morning. Fortunately, our hotel was only a short 15-20 minute walk to the starting line. We made our way to Rachel’s corral, which was G. (Long story…ultimately, Rachel should have been in a much higher corral, but initially ended up in the last corral. Fortunately, we talked to runDisney Guest Relations – who were awesome! – and they were able to get her corral moved up a few spots.)

The weather was just about perfect, especially compared to the hot/humid summer we are having in Atlanta. By the time we started the race, it was about 65 degrees with a nice breeze. Perfect running weather.

With me deep into Chicago Marathon training, I asked Rachel if we could use this as a nice, easy long training run for me. She was happy to oblige.

I love the Disneyland Half course. You start out the first 4 miles almost exclusively in the parks of Disneyland and California Adventure. There is just so much to see as you begin your journey to 13.1. We stopped multiple times in the parks to take pictures (since we were wearing costumes, we wanted to take as many photos as possible).

After you get through the parks, the next 3-4 miles are mostly through the streets of Anaheim. The crowd support is excellent. There are usually a lot of community groups out with bands, dance groups, etc.

As we made our way to mile 8 or 9, we came up on hundreds of old cars with their owners cheering us on beside them. I love this part of the course!

Next comes my favorite part…running through Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Stadium. You literally get to run through the track inside the stadium with the crowd of people cheering you on, as you see yourself up on the big screen. It’s thrilling!

The last few miles took us back to the Disneyland property and the finish line just outside of Downtown Disney. As always, we were very happy to finish and pick up not only our 3rd Disneyland Half medal, but also our 3rd Coast to Coast medal.

With several big plans in the works for vacations in 2017, it’s highly unlikely we will be coming out for a 4th consecutive year. But, no doubt, this race will be back on our agenda again in the future!

Several extra thoughts for this recap…

  • Running in costumes ended up being quite fun. We heard so many people shout out for “Wall-E and Eve!” during the race. In fact, we were asked to get our picture taken by a random runner. I’ll take that as a win for sure.
  • This race was easily the best I felt during and after a Disneyland race. The weather had a huge part to play in this. So ready for cooler weather in Atlanta!
  • While our time wasn’t the fastest…I was pleasantly surprised at our overall time when you take out the stops for pictures and the bathroom stops during the race. I think Rachel and I have found a nice groove when we run together. That’s huge!
  • My only real big complaint for the race was the congestion at the beginning. I personally think they could split the corrals up a little more to help with this. There are WAY too many runners in each corral. I felt like we almost had no room to run for the first mile. It seems to be that way every year, but for some reason it seemed even worse this time.
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