Monday, May 9, 2016

Tinker Bell Half Marathon race report

On the flight home from Long Beach Airport (#bestairportinamerica)... it's time to write up the half. 

After the 10K, we decided to take a Disney day off -- just like last year. Originally we talked about going for a hike in Runyon Canyon, but thankfully learned that the park is closed for repairs before we left the hotel. 

In the end, we decided to have a quirky Hollywood day, first starting with a trip to the Hollywood Forever cemetery, where we saw "the sign"...


... then visited Johnny Ramone's grave ... 
(Seemed odd to have a tribute from Lisa Marie Presley?)


... then a little memorial to Toto...


... a marker for Jayne Mansfield, who isn't buried here... and she was actually 5 years older, apparently...


... and it was Rudolph Valentino's birthday. I guess. 


After the cemetery we decided to drive Mulholland Drive -- lots of fun twists and turns, some great lookouts, and some very irate locals passing the tourist vans and cars on blind curves. Woot.


This might be the best trail sign ever. 


Oh, and, well, we went to a Souplantation. Because it's almost a Sweet Tomatoes. Then back to the hotel for an early night. 

Why early? Because we had a 4:45 am wake up call for our 5:30 race. Oof. But, hey, at least we didn't need to be on shuttles 2 hours before the start!


It was a nice morning, and we easily slipped into our corral (B!) just in time to the national anthem and the wheeler start. 


View to the start:


and a view back along the long line of corrals:


And then we were off. I had an achy hip from the slippery 10K the day before, but was otherwise pretty okay. 

The course was interesting -- a swing around the outside of the park to stretch out the field, then into Disneyland for a bit. Due to the build-out of Star Wars Land (!!!), we ran a very different route from previous years, but still spent some quality time both on- and off-stage. We both especially liked the hairpin out-and-back along the riverside to the Haunted Mansion. 

I had been concerned that there was an overlap between mile 5 and mile 12 on the course -- that the slowest runners from the rear corrals and the fastest runners from A might come into conflict. But of course Disney had that figured out. When we got to the stretch, it was clear that the lanes were divided up, and no one had come around to lap us yet. (Phew.)

Then it was time to head into the quiet streets of Anaheim, where a flock of wild parrots squawked noisily at us and I started to really flag. 

But soon we hit the "far point" near the Pond... and a MASSIVE group of Red Hat ladies. They arrived exactly where I needed them: right around the eight-mile mark. I LOVE the Red Hat ladies. Probably 100 yards of whooping, cowbell-clanging, purple and red goodness. So great. They had lots of little  Pink Hat girls with them, too... and some great sights about inspiring strong women. I always blow kisses to the ladies and exchange high fives and laugh and whoop till my fave hurts. It's bringing tears to my eyes just remembering it. 

And, as a bonus, Strangers With Candy were right in the same area, so I got to eat a Red Vine...

Then we turned back toward the parks and the finish, down long flat stretches of road interspersed with surprisingly few bands. 

Finally we were back on property, where I was a little surprised to see that they had already closed the course so that we didn't see anyone at mile 5 when we were on 12. 

(Brief 10K memory: after the race we were walking back to our hotel and spotted the unmistakeable signs of a sweep point: buses, bicycles, lots of volunteers, and some weary folks. This was around mile 4, when the remainder of the course would still be on property. It made me sad to see, but I did wonder if the people were at least a little relieved?)

Back to the half: so maybe I wasn't surprised that they had already swept some people, given that they wouldn't have made it through Anaheim at the pace they were going. 

Finally, on a very sore hip and tired feet, we made it to the finish line, getting a costume shout out (which we didn't get at the 10K!!!) and having a nice kiss at the finish line. 

We picked up our medal haul, took some pictures (custom challenge backdrops!), and picked up our snack boxes before heading out. Oh, and of course we decided to continue the tradition of having a cocktail at the Uva Bar!


We went into the parks, rode Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Star Tours; stopped in California Adventure for a beer, a cheese dog from Corn Dog Castle, a fast pass for Radiator Springs and then headed back to the hotel for a quick dip in the pool and a nap. Oh, and some #blingpix:

The weekend's medal haul: 10K, Half Marathon, Pixie Dust Challenge, pink Coast-to-Coast, and blue Coast-to-Coast. 


And a collection shot of all five of my Tinker Bell Half Marathon medals... Oh, and did I mention the Legacy Runner ribbon? Nice. 
 

After a well-earned nap we went back into the parks where we won our race in Radiator Springs...


decided on a whim to go see Jungle Book in Downtown Disney, and made it back to the park for World Of Color. 



After that ended we crossed over to Disneyland, wandered around under the fireworks, took a Suz-inspired photo:


... then rode Autopia, where Wil got to experience being the car in front. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)


We ended up walking on to Buzz Lightyear, where somehow I managed to pwn Wil. 


(yeah, that's my score on the left...)

Finally, we capped the night off with the big sparkly parade (well, that SHOULD be what they call it) and that amazing float with Mickey:


Today we wrapped up our weekend with a ride on Luigi's Rollicking Roadsters (so cute!!!)


Fulfilled Wil's dream of Star Wars name badges:


And I got to compare shoes with Mickey. (I'm pretty sure he was jealous.)


We had a fun weekend, rode more rides than we often do, and even had a day "off". Nice. 

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Looks like you two had a full day!! I like the poop sign!