At first my friends and I complained that the Tinkerbell Half Marathon was starting at 5 a.m., 45 minutes earlier than last year. We were worried we would sleep through the start of the race or that it would be too cold that early in the morning. Thankfully, none of that happened. We made it to the start on time, along with about 14,000 other people, and the weather was perfect.
We got to our corral about 15 minutes early, which was just enough time to have a pre-race snack and get situated. Then we were off. There was no time to psych ourselves out or think about the aches and pains that had suddenly hit the week before; we just ran.
The fun part of any of the Disney races is that you get to run through the parks. We started just outside of the entrance and first ran into Disney’s California Adventure. I only took a few pictures because, unlike last year, I wanted to run as fast as I could and not stop too many times.
The best part of the race for me (next to finishing!) was running through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
After leaving Disneyland we ran through Anaheim neighborhoods. Here is the sun coming up (finally) around 6:30 a.m.
Running through Anaheim wasn’t quite the same as running through Disneyland, but there was still plenty to see. There were marching bands, cheerleaders, the lovely ladies from the Red Hat Society cheering us on along the route.
After a few more miles we were back near Disneyland again. Unlike last year, the race felt completely manageable to me. I’ve had some catastrophic races before, but I was confident from the start this was not going to be one of them.
Before the race, I followed all of the advice that Fitness Expert Holly Perkins gave me for race day. My friends and I ate a good dinner the night before, a good breakfast when we woke up at 3:30 a.m. and then had a concentrated sports drink right before we started running. I felt amazing and I think the MomsLA #MakeBetter Challenge had a lot to do with that. I’m 10 pounds lighter and in much better shape than last year.
We all felt really good after the race (except for 2 of us who ended up with stomach flu by Sunday night) and were happy with our times. I had a personal best. My race time last year was 2 hours 44 minutes and this year it was 2 hours 16 minutes! That’s a 28 minute improvement! My Nike + app, which I started when I began running and stopped when it said 13.1 miles, said my time was 2:10. Either way, I’m very happy!
But what I’m most happy about was spending time with my friends who came in from Tucson for the weekend. We had a great time and I don’t think the race would have been half as fun without them.
Are you interested in doing one of the Disneyland races? The Disneyland Half Marathon and Disneyland Family Fun Run go on sale today. There’s also a new addition to the Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 Race weekend; the Disneyland 10k and the Dumbo Double Dare. The Double Dare is where you do the 10k on Aug. 30 and the half marathon Sept. 1 for a special medal. The Disney races sell out fast so act quickly if you’re interested.
Disclosure: I don’t have one. I was not compensated for this post in any way. In case you were wondering.
Yvonne Condes is the Editor and co-Founder of MomsLA.com, a community of Top Mom Bloggers in Los Angeles and Southern California.