|Half Marathon State # 07
Half Marathon #14
On Sunday, August 31st I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon in California. This was my 7th state completed in my 50 By 50 Challenge. With the completion of this race I am also a RunDisney Coast to Coast medal holder, which means I have completed at least a half marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California in a calendar year.
Well, coming from the east coast this race was much easier to get up for. I woke up at 4am (not the typical 3am in Walt Disney World), which feels like 7am back home, so I popped up ready to go. Here at Disneyland races, the race starts right at the on property hotels, so we could walk to the Start line about 45 minutes to start time. It was awesome, no waiting on buses like in Walt Disney World.
At the race start, it was not the pomp & fireworks like at Walt Disney World. As a certified pyrotechnician, I love the fireworks for Walt Disney World starts. Not Here… The reasoning is that the non-Disney community is right next door, so they could not be shooting fireworks off for every corral start at 5:30 in the morning. That was a bummer for me. They did fire a few small red comets during the national anthem though.
It is a pretty amazing starting line.
The corrals were policed well as with all RunDisney races. I was in Corral B, so I figured we would not go until at least 5:35am. Surprise…. Corral A & B, you are going together, so get ready, and off we went. It was a little warmer and humid than I expected, so my race plan was adjusted almost immediately. It was 70 degrees and 94% humidity at the start, and I had planned to shoot for a 1:55 finish. Not happening, but I was close at a 1:58:46.
The race starts on Disneyland Drive near the Disneyland Resort & Grand Californian Resort. It runs past the final of the three on property resorts, Paradise Pier before turning left on Katella Ave. for a block before turning into the back of Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) Park. The start of mile two runs through the DCA park passing the World of Color fountains in front of the Mickey Ferris Wheel, then through Cars Land, and Condor Flats and Soarin’ Over California. Greg over at Why I RunDisney did a prequel to the event, so here is a pictorial of this section of the race.
Here are a few DCA pictures that came out decent… World of Color….
Red Car Trolleys…
At about mile 3 we park hop over to Disneyland Park. That is right, it is just a quick 75 yard run from one park entrance to the other. Far cry from the Walt Disney World park separation. In Disneyland Park we enter through the main gates in front of the train station, run down Main Street USA toward the castle.
Unlike the races in Florida, we bank to the left (instead of right) running through Frontierland toward the Rivers of America, and on to Fantasyland and through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
Unlike Florida, where you go to the right out of the castle, here at Disneyland you run straight out, and then turn left into Tomorrowland. In Tomorrowland was the only character stop I made, it was with Darth Vader and the StormTroopers.
After leaving Darth we pass the CLOSED Nemo Submarine ride, and head straight for the Matterhorn.
After wrapping around the Matterhorn, you head for It’s A Small World.
Right before It’s A Small World, you turn to the left doing a little downhill into Toon Town. After a quick jaunt through Toon Town, you adventure in the parks is over. The remaining race is on the streets of Anaheim. You are now at about Mile 4. I refer you again to Why I RunDisney’s second prequel for this section of the race.
Once we were out of the parks and out on the streets of Anaheim, the great benefit was wider streets and more room to run. Throughout this section were many different things to entertain you such as marching bands, cheerleaders, Mexican dancers, hula dancers, etc. As you get closer to the Honda Center, where the Anaheim Mighty Ducks play, you are near Mile 8. At this point, you are entertained by at least a 3/4 mile stretch of classic cars. These owners and families were awesome, and offered up awesome support.
After running around the Honda Center, you go off road a little for about 3/4 of a mile on the San Anna River Trail. This was a neat transition, but was quite narrow, so it made passing others a little more difficult. However, the gravel trail eventually turns to pavement.
I once again refer you to Why I RunDisney’s post on Running the Streets of Anaheim.
At about Mile 9 comes something exciting for me, to which I looked forward to. The Anaheim Angel’s baseball stadium! As a huge baseball fan, this made me totally forget I was running.
Coming through the parking lot to the stadium, you have your Cliff Gel stop, and lots of cheering fans.
Once we entered the stadium, there is a slight decline and incline.
However, once in the stadium, we were surprised by near 10,000 cheering fans in the lower bowl of the stadium. It was very uplifting. However, no luck on finding any sightings of Albert Pujols or Mike Trout.
You enter the stadium on the right field line, run past the dugouts and home plate, and back out through the left field area. They have someone there reading out your names as you run through, and also video you and put you up on the jumbo-tron; however, I never saw myself.
Once out of the stadium, you run through the parking lot, and it is lined with cheerleaders taking you to Mile 10.
Nothing spectacular occurs in the Miles 10-12 that stood out, so we will press on through this section. Have some good tunes to motivate you through this section.
Once you get to Mile 12, you are back on Disney property, running the backstage of DCA. We ran this earlier in the race between Miles 1 and 2. You are now in the home stretch. Pull out all the energy that remains! At about Mile 12.5 you cross over Disneyland Drive and pass the Paradise Pier hotel, running behind the resort and around to the Disneyland Hotel and the Finish Line! I refer you to Why I RunDisney’s final segment where he discusses this last section of the course. He has a lot more photos through this section that I did not get.
You can check out the medals over on the California medals page. I hope you enjoyed this race recap. It wasn’t a bad race; but as you will see you only get about four miles of Disney park running during the race.