Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Race Report

Woke up pretty early, had a slice of bread and cheese, and headed out to the start. We were lined up in a different area than for the Disneyland half -- which meant I had no idea where the actual starting line was. I had been placed in B, with Wil in C... Apparently they didn't want any men in the first two corrals. Whatever.

But we squeezed into C, and managed not to get into an argument with a woman grousing that men were in the race. ("I don't know why men registered for this race... There are so many events where they DOMinate") I held my tongue, rather than snap at her that I happen to enjoy spending time with my husband and best friend...

After corral A started, we started to move forward... which was when I realized just how big the corrals were!! With eleven thousand women and eight hundred men in only six corrals, well, you do the math.

Soon B went, and we moved forward again. I still couldn't see the actual start line yet! But then, finally, we inched forward. Nice inspiration - saw a woman with a shirt that read that she had lost 142 pounds, and that anyone reading the shirt had the power to change their life for the better. I wish I had hugged her or at least congratulated her!

Then a quick glimpse of Minnie and Daisy, an animated Tink, and we were off.

this was the only glimpse we had of Tinker Bell during the race!
Nice course change -- we did a mile or so on the wide roads around the park first, giving us all a chance to spread out. Then we headed into Disneyland, where, oddly, we ran into the castle as opposed to out of the castle. Maybe they were worried about too many photo ops? Nice touch: lost boys riding the carousel.

All too soon we were out of the park again and winding around Anaheim. We ran out to the area where Muzeo is, and then back. Not much to see, sadly. Thought they missed a trick by not having the Ducks mascot outside their training rink.

It was also a bit of a relief to realize that we were at mile 7 relatively quickly, and without too much struggle. Nice.

Started really feeling my lack of training around mile 9. Heck, I'm glad I made it that far before fading! Ended up walking until somewhere just before the park driveway... I always perk up in the parks!

Not too many memories of California Adventure... I hoped we would get a sneak peek of Cars Land, but no. Suddenly we were out the back side, and there was the finish line! We held hands and left nothing in the tank... Wil graciously letting me cross first.

After the race we collected our pretty medals, grabbed some snacks and drinks, and then headed toward the parks. As we walked into the Grand Californian, I heard a little clank. Wil noticed that the Tink had fallen out of my medal!

I knew that Disney would make things right -- after all, hadn't K80K had her Coast to Coast medal replaced when the safety bar at the Haunted Mansion broke it? -- but Wil reasoned that I would want it fixed and we might as well go back and get it taken care of.

So back we went, swimming decidedly upstream against the tide of finishers. We had to essentially force our way through a "finishers" tent, and struggled to find anyone who could help us. But then I saw a gentleman wearing a Run Disney jacket. I showed him the medal, he laughed and said, "Why don't you just take his?" (with a smile) The then told us to wait where we were, and he would get us a replacement. 

We had to wait a little while, and after a couple of minutes another race official told us we weren't allowed to stand where we were standing and tried to shoo us out. We started to protest, but our hero appeared, told the other guy we were waiting for him, and handed me a shiny new medal. Hooray. (The second guy was extremely apologetic -- and we had a nice little chat with him before leaving.)

Then back towards the park, cheering for people as they rounded their last few turns, and started giggling at the ladies complaining that they were slowed down by "all the walkers". Now, now offense ladies, and we all get to run our own races, but the course was rarely crowded. We walked for two miles and still finished ahead of you. Just enjoy it.

We walked into a very quiet Disneyland and went on our favorite rides -- very nice. By the time we left to go back for a shower at the hotel, the course had closed. I always love cheering on the people at mile 11, so I missed that part! 

We headed straight for the pool, stripped off the electronics (and my socks), and jumped into the pool. Fantastic!

All in all, a fun race, but I probably won't run it again. Was stunned to see that the "earlybird" rate for the Disneyland Half is $150. For a half marathon! Amazing. Of course, I would still consider running the Wine & Dine half... :)

A few random memories:

  • the amazing woman who had lost 142 pounds -- still wishing I had hugged her!
  • the men dressed as Tinker Bell. Lots of them.
  • the pancake-flat (well, other than a couple of freeway overpasses) course
  • seeing Jenny and Lynn before the race
  • the UH-OA at Trader Sam's after the race!