Monday, January 20, 2014

Tinker Bell 10K race report

Got up bright and early -- well, maybe not bright, because we were up until 12:30am -- and made our way early to the start area so that we could pick up our bibs. I heard some other runners complaining because "the expo should stay open later" -- but, of course, the expo time is published months ahead of time… And, yes, they want you to pick up your bibs at expo … the sponsors and expo vendors pay good money to feature their products at the expo, so yes, please, stop by!

Anyway, the line to pick up our 10K bibs wasn't super long, and it moved quickly. So thanks to the RunDisney staff and volunteers for saving the day when Alaska Airlines messed up!!!
emergency bib pickup on race morning -- we would get our shirts later in the day at the expo
Yay to be fast enough (at this race, in this crowd) to be assigned to Corral A!

phew! bib!
I felt like I could totally relax at this point -- a quick 6.2 miles was nothing compared to the travel hassle of the day before!

This race had just 4 corrals -- A - D -- but like all RunDisney races, the corrals were large. I do think they would be better off with more, smaller corrals, and less time between waves.

pre-race pic… wow that Brooks logo is big and bright!

As we walked along the road to get to our corral, we passed this large display screen on the Downtown Disney "overpass", where the front of corral B was located. I managed to snap this pic just as the animation started -- I assure you it was prettier in person!

We entered corral A at the back edge and headed forward. We placed ourselves at the far right-hand side, about halfway back, where we could sip water and relax a little. At about 5:45, the RunDisney race announcers arrived and started chatting. The theme of the morning was that they were all "Fairy Trainers" (Fairy Coaches?) -- we would see additional "Trainers" dotted here and there along the course during the race, cheering the runners on. 

One fairy was "Fairy Jerry", who led us through some warmup exercises, told us about the fairies associated with each corral (we were Iridessa, who represents speed), and showed us a video about the Pixie Hollow Games. The other hosts encouraged each corral to cheer, but we could never hear corral D, which was slightly amusing. 

The national anthem was performed by a trumpeter -- a trumpeter!!! -- in a very handsome fairy costume, complete with some kick-ass wings. I only wish I had gotten a pic of him! We were encouraged to sing along, but most people didn't. 

Finally, it was time to go!

photo courtesy of RunDisney

photo courtesy of RunDisney

I LOVED this course!

It was nice to get into the park so quickly, rather than run a loop on the streets around the park. Lots of cool backstage areas I had never seen (or at least that I hadn't remembered!), plus a pretty thorough tour of both parks. The only sad bit? That the last 2.2 miles were essentially a tour of the streets around the park.

One minus: getting in to the parks early on meant we didn't have much time to spread out as a group. If we had run the outside streets first, we would have had more room on wider roads, to spread out, and then they could also have opened the streets back to traffic earlier.

We kept moving at a really good clip -- we felt good and comfortable right away, and we didn't have any need to stop. I did, however, pick up cups of water at the stops -- I figured I was pretty dehydrated.

We saw some interesting characters on the course -- ones we had never seen before, including Constance (the Haunted Mansion bride) and the tightrope walker from the stretching room. We also saw Daisy -- DAISY!!!! -- along with the laydee chipmunk; some of the Incredibles; Buzz Lightyear; and -- joy of joys, Mary Poppins and Bert in their jolly holiday outfits. But we didn't stop to see any of them, we just kept moving.

At some point Wil -- who was actually looking at the clock as we passed each of the kilometer markers -- sped up. I mean, it was pretty easy, because we were on broad city streets at this point. We hit the U-turn to the finish, sped down the chute holding hands.

They managed not to capture a picture of us as we crossed the line, but we did get some cute if long-range pics just after, including this one:

this pic shows why I LOVE running with Wil -- a smooch at the finish!
We made our way through the finish area, picking up our sweet medals, some mylar wraps (figured they would come in handy the next morning!), avoided the photography lines, and then slipped through and picked up Powerade, water, bananas, and our snack boxes. It was too early to go to the parks -- they wouldn't open for another couple of hours -- so we decided to just head back to the hotel for a shower.

My Maleficent costume -- okay, really just a hat and a raven on a stick -- attracted a lot of attention, and I got lots of nice shout-outs. The hat is absolutely one of the best costumes I have ever made. Totally comfy, easy to make, easy to run in, and gosh darn cute.

post-race medal pic!
We decided to walk back to our hotel following the course backwards rather than winding through Downtown Disney. This had the extra benefit of letting us cheer for the runners still on the course. We cheered and cheered, called out good costumes, told people how long to the finish, and got lots of love in return. We saw one woman running in a pair of fur pants as part of a Cheshire Cat costume… RESPECT, sister!

We loved this race -- nice and short, interesting course, lots of friendly faces. I do wish the race was part of a "challenge" (like Glass Slipper or Dumbo Double Dare) which could earn us a bonus medal. But I do like a bit of bling...

snack box -- AKA BREAKFAST
BTW, we added up the calories in the snack box -- 748 -- which is approximately how many calories we had just burned.

nice medal, very pretty ribbon
2014 Tinker Bell 10K medal

The next day we ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon! See our race report.

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