Yesterday I talked about how I did the Disneyland Double Dare Challenge, why I did it, and how the weekend was all about my family. But when it comes to it, what was the Disneyland double dare challenge like? Could anyone do it? What was my favorite part? What were my race results? Let me tell you everything.
The race was a magical Pixar weekend of fun-filled runs during the happiest races on Earth for the 2017 Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend. The excitement goes “To Infinity and Beyond” during the Disneyland® Half Marathon, which celebrates some of our favorite “Toy Story” characters, including Buzz Lightyear and Woody. Then it’s everyone’s favorite scarers from Monstropolis, Mike and Sulley, who scare up plenty of fun and surprises during the Disneyland®10K. Doing the two races was so fun!
Saturday I woke up at 3:00 am, after a full day at Disneyland in 105 degree weather. Adrenaline is starting to run through my body because being tired doesn’t even cross my mind. The kids are laying in bed, we pick them up, and head to the car ready to race.
Looking at the temperature gauge I thought I was seeing something. There is no way it could be 85 degrees at 4:00 am. Starting a race, you don’t want to have that kind of weather. As I stood there waiting to start, sweat running down my back, face, everywhere! It was so hot! Going into this race I wanted to try to place in my age division. I don’t know what I was thinking. Was I thinking there were only 17 people in my age division signed up? There were a total of 8198 people running the race and to place was ridiculous.
Not only that, but I didn’t want to push myself too hard because of the weather. Have you ever been corralled with a bunch of people? I was in corral G, meaning there were six other corrals full of people going before me. This also meant that I wouldn’t start until 5:32 am. Once I finally got up to the start I knew I was going to have a blast.
3-2-1-GO! I started my watch, put in my headphones, and started my 6.2 mile journey. When you run a Disney race, you don’t just run through Disneyland, you run through all of it: parking lots, back lot areas, and of course the park.
I ran on the curb trying my best to get past the walkers. Being so far back, I was set up with slower runners/walkers and I needed to do everything to get past them. Once you finally get to a more open space, this wasn’t as difficult and you just run and enjoy the music playing as you’re running.
Really, it’s a magical experience, but since you are in the park the entire time family never really sees you until the end. There was my family, cheering me on, hot and exhausted, but cheering me none the less.
My stats weren’t exactly what I wanted, but they were good enough for me:
Age group (35-39): 88/412
The half marathon is a completely different experience. You run out of the park to places like The Honda Center, Angels Stadium, and back to Disneyland Hotel. This makes it easier for family to see you as you’re running. Disney characters are out along the inside of the park cheering you on, but what’s on the outside of the park? Entertainment by mariachi bands, Mexican dancing groups, hula dancers, radio stations lined the roads. It really is a fun race and you see places in Anaheim you wouldn’t see driving around.
My favorite part every time is running through Angel stadium. You enter and head to the side dirt area. As you are running, they are filming you and you can see yourself on the big screen. I think the smile that is on my face explains just how much I loved this part.
Leaving the stadium, you have three miles left, but they are the longest three miles ever. As I ran I tried the trick of motivating others to keep myself motivated. It worked! I would run next to someone and say, “We got this! We only have three more miles!” or “You’re doing awesome! You got this!” Seriously, it’s so motivating cheering on others as you yourself are trying to get through it.
Finally, you hear it. The cheering starts to fill the air and slowly you start to hear the announcer saying names as people are crossing the finish line. It pushed me to really speed it up. Suddenly I was in a full sprint, and as I looked around for my family I saw my son on my wife’s shoulders. He could see me and started waving. Next thing I knew, I was sprinting to the finish line.
The heat made it exhausting, but I think I did great with all things considered:
Age group (35-39): 240/490
I did it! I finished the 19.3 miles I signed up for and I loved every second of it. Seriously, if you have never done a Disney race, it’s time. With all the fun themes and times of year they have them, you can’t go wrong. So do what I did, set yourself a goal and make this your reward. If I can do it, so can you!