Monday, September 16, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Recap - Party 3

I warned you guys this would be a multi-parter; we're just getting to the good stuff now!!

Saturday morning my alarm went off bright and early so I could get ready for the Inaugural Disneyland 10K. I met some PbRC friends at the crosswalk to the main Disneyland entrance so we could hike to the pre-race area together.  It was about a 20 minute walk to the starting line from the Harbor Avenue hotels but we all talked on the way there; it was neat chatting with folks in person that I have only talked to online!

Once we arrived in the pre-race area we all huddled for the mandatory group picture and waited for the 5K to start so we could enter the corrals.

The stage in the pre-race area


Peggy Sue!  I told ya you'd see her again.  I just LOVE her signs!

Ready to go!!!

Unfortunately I don't think runDisney thought the whole back-to-back races through very well because it took AWHILE for the corral area to clear out so that the 10K runners could enter.  The race was scheduled to start at 6:15am and we were not in corrals until less than 10 minutes prior.  Not always a bad thing because no one wants to stand around in corral just waiting but still - there was not a lot of standing around, an outstanding trumpeter played the national anthem and then - we were off!!!  And I mean that quite literally - we thought they were going one corral at a time but they weren't so it wasn't long before we crossed the starting line.

The first mile of the race took us outside the Disneyland parks in Anaheim, by the Anaheim Convention Center.  The convention center had just played host to the D23 expo a few weeks prior and they still had some signs up!  

Beautiful California sunrise over the convention center!

We entered Disney's California Adventure Park first, coming in behind the Tower of Terror.  I was most excited about this part because we had not made it to California Adventure the day before so it was my first time inside this park!  We entered the park behind the Tower of Terror and came down through Cars Land - and I have to give it to Disney - Cars Land looks JUST LIKE THE MOVIE.  True story.


After running through Cars Land we headed over to Paradise Pier - just a stunning sight!!!


Afterwards, we entered Buena Vista street and ran by Carthay Circle restaurant before heading down into Hollywood Land and running by the front of the Tower of Terror before heading into Disneyland.


Entering Main Street USA and running towards the castle gives you such an adrenaline rush, no matter which park you are in!!!  

Seeing this was humbling - this is where it all began!!!

Hello again castle!

The Matterhorn!

It's A Small World

We ran through the backstage area of Disneyland where they had some of the decorations and floats out from Mickey's Halloween Party, as well as the barns where the horses are kept.  Yup, they have horses at Disneyland too folks!


Then we headed back into Disneyland through Toon Town.  Toon Town is no more at the world and after running through it at the land, I kinda miss it!


Then it was the time every runner waits for - running through the castle!!!

Back side of the castle

We then ran by the Rivers of America, right by the spot where I had watched Fantasmic the night before:

That's a big boat!

We then exited Disneyland and ran through Downtown Disney towards the finish line next to the Disneyland Hotel.  This may sound crazy but running through Downtown Disney was one of my favorite parts!  Spectators were rather limited in the parks but here in Downtown anyone could come cheer, and trust me, there were LOTS of people there!

See?  There's Peggy Sue again!!!  She was right next to the Mile 6 marker

Running towards the hat!  We turned right next to it towards the finish line.

Finish line in sight!!!

A respectable 1:20 finish.  I never set out to hit any PRs out there, except maybe a PR in fun, which I am pleased to say I accomplished!  And check out who else was running the Dumbo Double Dare that weekend:

Yup, it's Ali Vincent, the first female winner of the Biggest Loser!  Just love her!

And finally, the bling:

So pretty!!!  I love how the medal has Inaugural at the top - definitely one of my favorites!

Oh, and one last stop to make before heading back to the hotel to shower:

Then there were two!  

They made sure to inform runners before the weekend that you would have to get the Dumbo Double Dare wristband after the 10K or you would NOT get your Dumbo medal after finishing the half marathon on Sunday.  I'm pretty sure they did this to ensure that you earned said medal, and I think this was a good idea.

I told my chEAR squad that they didn't have to come to the 10K because I knew it wouldn't be very long so I called Owen as I was heading back towards the hotel but he was headed to meet up with me!   AND he brought me a lovely iced coffee (told ya I had a problem).  We walked back to the hotel and I got a shower before we headed out for more fun at the parks.  Since Owen hadn't been to California Adventure, that is where we spent our time.

That bottom left picture was my lunch - a turkey leg!!!  And it was DELISH!!!

It was BLOODY hot in California - everyone kept saying how the weather was unusually warm, so after we ate lunch I decided it would be best if I had a nap so Owen and I headed back to the hotel while my sister and BIL took off for more park hopping.  We met up with them for dinner in Downtown at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen.  Our original plan had been to eat at the Italian restaurant (ya know, so I could carb load) but when we got there a little after 5pm they had a TWO HOUR WAIT.  UHM, no thanks.  Owen and I had grabbed Fast Passes for Radiator Springs Racers and we had to be back to ride that at 8:45pm so I knew that would be pushing it so we opted to walk across the way to Ralph Brennan's and it was one of the best choices we made all weekend!    

The views from our balcony table, and then views from the ground looking up at the restaurant

I scanned the menu before we walked in and saw they had a chicken pasta on the menu - sounded perfect for carb loading!  I had that and they also brought me some birthday beignets!  They even melted a candle to the plate and lit it and sang to me - and those things were SOOOOO yummy too.  Definitely glad we ended up eating there!


Before Owen and I headed back to California Adventure I had to stop at the Grand Californian Hotel to meet DisBroad Patty!!!  

She's super awesome - SO glad I got to meet her in person!!!

And the Grand Californian Hotel - WOW.  Just WOW is all I can say.

We headed back over to California Adventure and killed time in Paradise Pier while waiting to use our Fastpasses.  We rode Toy Story Midway Mania and Owen smoked me (yeah, I'll admit to that, but look, my accuracy was WAY better than his!!).  Then we headed over to Radiator Springs to ride the Racers and if I have to say anything about California, it's that you MUST.RIDE.THIS.RIDE.  Yes, just plan ahead and do it, ok?


We also rode Luigi's Tires which was neat but by that time it was getting late and I had an even earlier wake-up call the next morning so it was back to the hotel for bed!  But first, time to lay out flat Kristen:

Can you guess this costume??? :)

Next up - we'll recap the half marathon and out last day at Disneyland!!!