Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tinker Bell 10K race report


We ran last year's inaugural Tinker Bell 10K and somehow managed to run a PR. We had been placed in Corral A (ha ha ha), and just had a good run, despite telling ourselves we needed to take it easy because we had to run the half marathon the next day.

The race was nice enough, but we decided we wouldn't need to run it again... until, of course, this year they announced the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge. (Three inaugural races in four years is a bit... excessive... but we're suckers!) So of course we decided we were *in*.

Spoiler alert: we are not going to run the 10K again next year ... for no other reason than financials. While I want to keep my status as a legacy half marathoner going, the other races are just collateral.

I was awake before my alarm, and we quickly dressed, at a little bread, and were out the door by 4:55. We had the advantage of feeling extra perky because, well, we were dressed like this:


We happily marched through a quiet Downtown Disney -- always one of my favorite parts of a Disneyland race. I love seeing the costumes worn by our fellow runners, and seeing the mixture of excitement, nervousness, confidence, and even terror on everyone's faces.

We made our way to our corral, stopping to see Suz, adorable in her dalmation costume. B wasn't too crowded; we easily found a spot we were happy with and listened to the Star Spangled Banner, the wheeler start, and then corral A. It occurred to me that the wheelers would finish before the last corral had a chance to start. Woot!

We started to move up when A started -- I'm always a little surprised at how far away the start is, even from corral B.

I loved the Tinker Bell 10K course -- this year they clearly heard my plea to do the first mile or so outside the parks, allowing some room to stretch out a bit before diving into the park. This also meant that I can't imagine they had to sweep anybody, since most of the course was actually on property, and the only road they would have to keep closed was essentially their own elaborate driveway to the hotels.


As we ran through the parks, we saw all 5 of the (original) supporting fairies: Iridessa, Silvermist, Fawn, Vidia, and Rosetta. I didn't see Tink at all, but, still, 5 character stops in 6 miles is pretty cool.

teeny tiny castle in the background

Amusing aside: as we ran past Big Thunder Mountain I noticed they had set up one of the big glowing "Mickey head" lamps. A woman near us said, "Oh! Look! It's the Halloween lamp! ... Except for not being orange." So, umm... a lamp….

Wil stopped in the Fantasyland bathroom, and while I waited I saw a "Donald". She and I waved at each other and she ran over to take a photo. Wil arrived at the same time, so the three of us posed for a friend of hers. DUCK DYNASTY!


I struggled a little towards the end, but otherwhise felt pretty strong. My foot is still feeling weirdly painful, but that's what happens when you don't rest things, hey?

We saw some amazing costumes out there, including a guy dressed as Aladdin on a flying carpet (SO AWESOME), a spot-on Jake (of Jake and the Neverland Pirates), and my absolute favorite: Hades. HADES! From Hercules!!! And it was a GREAT costume. The hair, the cape, everything. He was amazing, and totally put us to shame. (Like when I thought I had a cute Chewbacca costume and a guy nearby had a FULL CHEWBACCA SUIT. Sigh.)

It's fun to see the castmembers out cheering and waving, especially the ones who get excited by the different costumes and call them out.

We finished in 1:07:03, much slower than last year, but completely acceptable given our level of training (low), the level of pain in my foot (moderate to high), and the twists and turns on the course. And I got a nice kiss.



We picked up our medals -- this year the fairies' wings had been enamelled white, which I'm not sure I like, but I know some people like something different each year.



2015 Tinker Bell 10K medal
love the ribbon, as always!

2015 Tinker Bell 10K medal
close up

I was surprised that there were no snack boxes at the finish -- apparently, the applesauce pack in the box had expired, so they didn't give them out. Being Disney, and therefore smart, they knew the Disney moms would FREAK OUT if they were given food past its "best by" date. Apparently the internet blew up about it. But at the end of the day, you just ran 6.2 miles and burned fewer calories than were in that box. So relax, okay?

I love how runDisney learns and adapts. People want to see fairies? We'll give you fairies. People want more time in the parks? We'll give you more time in the parks. People were sad they couldn't keep up with the required pace time and got swept? We'll change the course so that it will be extremely unlikely that we'll have to sweep anyone. Everybody is happy. Except that they didn't get a snack box. :)

We didn't have time to linger after the race... we had a very special breakfast planned!


1 comment:

skroman said...

I saw that Mickey lamp and worried it might be a sweep indicator. I think I read that at Wine and Dine they attach helium balloons at the mile markers at the point when the runners are falling behind pace. That added to my concern that I would get swept and pushed myself a little more than I had intended for the 10k.