So I was ready to break that record in 2016! I wanted to be out there for over 3 hours if possible. Hey those Disney races are expensive I want to make sure I get the most bang for my buck.
I once again opted for a cross-over character. Meet:
Chewie the Wilderness Explorer
I was really hoping people would get it. From the initial Instragram response, I was happy to see people would. :)
Since I was planning on being out on the course awhile, I let the wife go back to sleep after she helped me get the costume in place. I needed a lot of pins to help get the bandolier in place (it bothered the crap out of me during the 10k the year before).
It was chilly - even for this New Englander - so I opted to wear the heat blanket I received after the 10k as a shawl until the half started.
I took the same route as the previous two mornings as I made my way to Corral A. And of course I once again tried to maneuver myself as close to the front as possible. Folks got to the half earlier than the 5k and 10k so I couldn't get as close as I wanted to. But I can't complain. According to the results I still started 11 seconds after the race gun went off.
Just after the wheelchair participants were sent off, I ditched the heat sheet and got the Garmin ready for the 13.1 magical miles.
The half is only in the parks for the first 4+ miles then you are running through the streets of Anaheim. Now Disneyland doesn't own the streets around the parks like in Disney World so there aren't character stops along the rest of the course. In Disneyland races, they offer you local high school cheerleading squads and marching bands as the course entertainment. Additionally there are Cosplayers in Star Wars costumes during Miles 8-9. This is awesome, especially for those that don't stop at character stops during the Park portion of the course because of timing concerns.
While I was daydreaming about the race, Rudy had started the countdown.
If you haven't gathered by now, the Half starts the same way the other two races do. :P Seeing a pattern. ;)
I was excited to see who the first character stop would be. I knew it would be at the same spot on the course as the others.
Holy unflattering picture Batman. Boy I hoped the rest of the morning wouldn't go this way. This does teach me to buy a shirt when you are feeling fluffy. Friends remind me I am not an XL. We tried to make it more fitted with safety pins, but it was still quite flowy.
I forgot the Mile Markers for the half are all the same style. The only difference is the Mile number. Many folks ask why I take a picture with every Mile Marker. Well one of the main reasons is to help me remember what I saw during which mile for my recaps. Sometimes the brain needs a little extra help. :)
Mile 1: 9:03
When I ran up to the Chewie photo stop, I realized he forgot his Wilderness Explorer uniform. Awkward!
Of course I had to make another stop in front of Small World. It looks gorgeous all lit up.
Mile 2: 9:49
We would be leaving the parks shortly so I had to take the opportunity to use a real bathroom before it became port-o-potty only in the back half of the course.
I tried to make BamaGirlRuns proud again with my mid-run bathroom selfie. Someone definitely popped in while I was taking the selfie and was wicked confused. Get with the cool kids lady. Everyone is doing it. ;)
I was CRUSHED that none of the Castle photos the MarathonFoto photog took with my iPhone. Do you think she purposely messed them up? Kidding. Kidding. Or am I? :P
To keep the "take a picture with every charcter" streak alive, I had to stop for another pic with the Rebels from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon.
Bye Bye Castle. You are beautiful any time of day.
After running down Main Street we were headed out of Disneyland for good. :(
Why isn't anyone else taking pics with Mile Markers?
Mile 3: 11:20
I asked if I could take a Speeder Bike to the Finish, but someone said it would be cheating apparently. Hey gotta ask...
Big thanks to the cast members offering to take photos of the gorgeous scene in California Adventures.
I seriously can't get enough of this view.
My legs were feeling great. I mean all of the time spent waiting in line gave me ample time to stretch. Plus I had been wearing compression socks whenever possible.
One more trip through the trash compactor and I was off to Cars Land.
Each step made me happy and sad at the same time. So many hours of training and the race weekend was ending too quickly!
Mile 4: 13:00
Yay! R2D2 and C3PO were in the same spot as the day prior. The line was long, but the cast members were doing a great job keeping people entertained. Plus you end up seeing the same folks over and over again so you have familiar faces to catch up with.
Why was no one ready to go exploring with me?
Anywho, it was time to head towards what would be the longest line of the morning: BB-8 of course.
Again the cast members and photogs were moving the line along as quickly as possible. While in line, I actually met online friend Tam in person!
YAY! I love literally bumping into friends during races. :)
Woo! Final pic with BB-8 secured and we were officially making our way out of the Parks and into the streets of Anaheim.
Mile 6: 9:40
FINALLY I found him. Went in for a big hug and a quick selfie. I somehow missed seeing the Fitfam, which I was sad about.
Once I had seen some familiar faces, it was snack time. EWWW!! I bought a new bar a local convenience store. I should've taken the extra walk to the CVS to get a Luna or KIND bar, but my lazy side took over. Boo!
The high school groups along the course were ON POINT! I had a to stop for a quick dance party. Darn I wish I had someone with me to capture my sweet moves. For now you can all dream them up in your head. Enjoy!
I loved the signs this group was rocking. I would end up seeing them multiple times on the course.
Man! Over halfway done with the fun. :(
Mile 7: 10:27
The second half of the course is all through local neighborhoods. Not a TON of crowd support, but the folks there are mighty! :)
There actually was an emergency in the area and the fire department had to get through the crowd to help. Thankfully runners got out of the way and didn't get huffy. I hate when folks get huffy when things happen on the course that are out of their control. Especially when it is clearly an emergency.
Even though I am not a fan of GU I took one since I was NOT a fan of the bar I had. I wanted to make sure I had something since it was getting a little hotter as the morning went on.
Oohhhh cookies! Dark Side for me!
Ran into my friend Chris so of course we had to selfie. #Standard
It was awesome to see the Cosplayers start just before Mile 8.
Mile 8: 8:56
Man does anyone think I was having any fun? I really hope that is coming across through this post. :) Mile 9 was awesome as always. I made sure to take a little video of the cool Cosplayers I saw.
Mile 9: 11:59
We are approaching the final few miles my friends. I knew all of the character stops were behind me so it was time to focus on the Finish Line.
Then I spotted THE sign made JUST FOR ME! Okay it wasn't, but let's pretend.
Mile 10: 13:40
Well folks Mile 11 must've been either extremely exciting or extremely dull as the only pic I have from this mile is the Mile Marker. Ha! I think I was busy texting my wife and Pavey during this time.
Mile 11: 10:55
Now have I mentioned how awesome the signs were along the course. Well apparently Mile 12 was where the sign game really started to step up.
Mile 12: 9:45
GAH! Just one mile to go. Noooooo.... I knew the wife was just before the Mile 13 marker so I picked it up a little, but I needed to snap pics of the signs.
Then I took the final few lefts and rights towards the Finish chute.
And there she was! YAY! A quick kiss and selfie and I was off.
"Get to the Finish!" - the wife
"I will, but I need a pic iwth the Mile Marker first" - me
Crowd bursts out laughing
"What? Priorities!" - me
Mile 13: 9:18
But before I could end the fun, I had to grab a quick selfie with Carissa!
FINAL TIME: 2:46:14 (12:41 min/mile pace)
WAHOO!!! I grabbed my half medal and was quickly ushered to collect my Rebel Challenge bling.
Once I was blinged up, I headed through the post-race area to meet up with the wife.
We headed towards Starbucks to get some caffeine and final hugs from the We Run Social crew.
Once back to the hotel I had to get THE medal pic.
Oh hello 4 medals, 3 races and 22.4 miles of fun.
Overall the race was a blast. As always the volunteers were energetic, the bands/cheerleaders were enthusiastic and the crowd was supportive. I wish there was more park time, but I know there are only two parks and laps around those aren't really possible. But I would do the 10k course then leave the park - if possible.
But the bling did NOT disappoint. I can't wait to return in 2017.
Once we were cleaned up, we headed to the park to get THE official bling pic.
Next Up: Park Fun