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2014 Run Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland

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The adrenaline is still pumping – hours later! I competed in my first half marathon yesterday morning: the Tinkerbell Half Marathon hosted by Run Disney at Disneyland. I had SO much fun at this race! I was fortunate to be able to run it with my dear friend Sandra who is a veteran marathoner. This was her first Tinkerbell & the last of the Run Disney races that she needed to complete to have run them all! Needless to say, she helped me keep a good pace and was a joy to run with. Everything is more fun with a friend.

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The events of the weekend actually started on Thursday with the opening of the Expo held in the convention center at the Disneyland Hotel (Thursday – Saturday). This is where runners pick up their registration packets & have the opportunity to purchase official race merchandise, merchandise from various vendors, and participate in a speaker series that addresses various areas of the sport. I ran up on Thursday night with another friend to pick up my packet & some merchandise, but since we got up there late, we only had an hour there. So – I returned on Saturday morning when Sandra went with her children to pick up her stuff. A few of the vendors had fun Tinkerbell themed opportunities like getting sprinkled with pixie dust (and there’s a whole ritual to it, she doesn’t just toss glitter on your hair) and there was this amazing photo opportunity with fairy wings.

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Beautiful Fairy Princess!

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Getting sprinkled with pixie dust!

On Friday, runners participated in the Neverland 5K and on Saturday, participants ran the Tinkerbell 10K followed by the Run Disney Kids Races: special races for children up to 8 years old. These fun events include a diaper dash for 12 months and under; 100 meter dash for 1-3 years, 200 meter dash for 4-6 years, and a 400 meter dash for 7-8 years. These little runners even get their own Run Disney Medallion!

Sunday morning came really early for us – the race started at 5:00am so we left at 3:30am in order to be there by 4:00am. Despite the early hour, there was excitement in the air – runners were decked out in a variety of Disney-themed costumes. Sandra & I wore matching Tinkerbell-inspired tutus that I made.

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It was dark, but as you can see, magic was in the air and we were ready to run! We headed over to our “corral” to await the starting gun. At Disney races this pre-race time is full of fun entertainment provided by Disney characters (this time Minnie & Daisy) along with a couple hosts & a send off from Tinkerbell herself (accompanied by fireworks, of course)

Waiting in the corral for the race to start

Waiting in the corral for the race to start

And then we were off – flying through Disneyland and California Adventure then out through Downtown Disney to be cheered on by hundreds of ladies from the Red Hat Society for the stretch before mile-marker 6. There were bands, cheerleaders, dance teams, Disney Characters and Disneyland cast members along the course cheering us on. The ladies from the Red Hat Society provided such fun encouragement leading into the second half of the race.

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Some of the ladies from the Red Hat Society who came at 4:00am to cheer on the runners!

Photo op with Merida from Brave

Photo op with Merida from Brave

We had a great run – we stopped to take a picture with Merida and we walked quickly through the water stations (to avoid spilling water all over ourselves!) and we maintained a great pace, gradually picking up speed toward the end. Unlike last year when I ran the Disneyland 10K, I was able to sprint to the finish – what a rush! We finished within 5 seconds of each other, seconds after the 2 hour mark.

Every mile is marked so you know how far you have run & how far you have to go :)

Every mile is marked so you know how far you have run & how far you have to go 🙂

We did it! 13.1 miles in 2 hours!

We did it! 13.1 miles in 2 hours!

After crossing the finish line we were awarded our medals, given solar blankets to stay warm (the sun had only been up for about 30 mins) and we got our goodies to refuel – water, Powerade, a banana and a snack box. It was great race and a wonderful start to our day. Hey, by 7:30 am we had already accomplished so much – the day was still new and opportunities are always just around the corner.

Tinkerbell Half Marathon Finishers - we got our bling on!

Tinkerbell Half Marathon Finishers – we got our bling on!

Next month I’ll be traveling to Florida to compete in the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I’ll be running the “Glass Slipper Challenge” which includes the Enchanted 10K on Feb 22 and the Princess Half Marathon on the 23rd. I will also be completing the Coast-to-Coast Challenge with that race. Lots of Disney bling to earn next month!

The "goods"

The “goods”

For more information or to register for a Run Disney race visit www.rundisney.com

Julie is an OC Supermom to six beautiful children in Orange County. She is an editor with Astraea Press, active in the community and enjoys running in her free time.

 

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16 Comments

  1. What an awesome accomplishment! I didn’t even know there were Disney marathons. I’m not a runner but it sure sounds like fun for those who are.

    • Thanks! It was so fun! And they have family 5Ks that are great for “non-runners”

  2. Wow good for you! The Disney runs look like so much fun. Anyone who can get up and go and run has my respect. So exciting!

    • Thanks! The Disney runs are so much fun! Nothing quite like it.

  3. That is amazing! I want to take up running just to do this – magical inspiration!! 🙂

    • The first race I ever signed up for was a Disney race – they are so much fun! Nothing quite like it. Registration opens for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend on January 28th if you want to try a 5K or 10K – you have plenty of time to train 🙂

  4. Woot!!! Congrats. Two of my girlfriends also ran it yesterday for the first time and I think they’re hooked. Such an amazing accomplishment.

    • Running is seriously addicting – especially the Disney races! Last year I ran a total of 4 races – this year I’m looking at possibly doing 1 a month!

  5. Congratulations! The event sounds magical and it looks like you guys had such a blast.

    • Thanks – it certainly was a magical experience & we did have a blast. So much fun to do it with a friend.

  6. What a great opportunity and congrats to you. Certainly something to be proud of and what a great memory as well. Loved the photos.

    • Thanks Grace – It was an amazing experience & I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to run this race. I think I will always remember this race because it was my first half marathon & it was such an amazing event. I’m so glad you liked the photos 🙂

  7. So early!!
    and so awesome!
    Congrats!!!!!

    • Yes it was so very early! I was up at 2:30am to get ready – crazy, huh? But the adrenaline was pumping & it was so worth it!

  8. So awesome! Congrats! I hope to some day be able to do what you are doing! Its been a dream of mine to run in all the disney 1/2 marathons and earn one of the Disney coast to coast medals! Some day! 🙂 until then I’ll live vicariously through you and your adventures!!

    • Oh Erin – you can do it! I only started running a year ago & I’ll be earning my first coast-to-coast next month at the Disney Princess Half Marathon. It does take hard work & dedication – plus the money 😉 But it is an experience of a lifetime. I am so very grateful to have been able to participate in this race. I’m glad that you are able to “live vicariously” through my posts – I’ll be sure to continue blogging about my races 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Here We Come! - OC Mom Blog | OC Mom Blog - […] Julie has been training for months for this big weekend in Florida and successfully completed the Tinkerbell Half Marathon…
  2. Run Disney Glass Slipper Challenge - OC Mom Blog | OC Mom Blog - […] lot of time in the day for mom to take off and run for an hour or two. Last…

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