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Old 09-13-2011, 02:16 PM   #16
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 35

cool! looking forward to reading more
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:07 AM   #17
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 96

September 3, Star Tours 5k

Good morning! I managed to wake up fresh and early to hit up the 5k. I got dressed, grabbed a bottle of Powerade (I stuffed 10 of them into my check-in luggage to fill it with some sort of weight) and headed to the start line. I had no idea where to it started so I just started following people with bibs on.

The 5k corrals were simply packed. Having only consumed Powerade prior to the race, I had to go back and forth between the start line and the portables toilets a lot. I should have known better to not drink it. I could not get an ideal spot in the corral, having to start somewhere in the 10+minute/mile marker. I wanted to go to the front, but they didn't allow me to go up any further. Once I settled in, a jedi, Darth Vader and two Stormtroopers had a skit going at the start line.

From here, I just followed the traffic out onto the course. Hopefully next year the corrals will be a little more accommodating and have some fireworks. I love fireworks.

I would caution anyone who wants to run a family fun 5k to be wary of a few things:
-watch out for kids. They're small and you might trip over them.
-pylons are everywhere. They're smaller than kids and you might trip over them.
-surfaces are uneven, so watch your step. Unfortunately, I passed an older woman who seemed to have really hurt herself on the course. I hope she's doing better now.
-if you want to run the course, make sure you're at the very front of the starting corrals. Otherwise, you'll be stuck behind a bunch of walkers who will block your path.
-always thank the volunteers who woke up just as early as you to participate in a fun event.
-most of all, enjoy yourself. It's Disneyland, and you can't not have fun here.

The lineups to the first characters already had a long lineup. It didn't stop me from joining them.

Shameless plug: Many thanks to Canadian clothing line lululemon for sponsoring me a running shirt for the weekend. They held a bunch of running/yoga at the park days locally and I attended all of them. To show their appreciation, I was given this shirt and I had to tell them what I liked/didn't like about it. I bought the shorts on my own will. I like bright running clothes.

This is my pirate face. Go me

It was really cool seeing the four by the finish line.

All said and done, I spent almost an hour on the course, hopping around lines, pylons, running on rocks, yelled "GOOD MORNING!" at the cast members, hi-fived a bunch of spectators, and savoured the run as best as possible. It makes me wish I dressed up for these events. Maybe one day.

I think the only improvement should be in the corral area. Allow more space for the late folks (or in my case, the small-bladdered) to get in the front of the pack so we can enjoy ourselves better. I would also space out the start times as well. By the time I stood in line for Tiana, the strollers were already out. Not only did I have to duck a bunch of walkers, but strollers as well. It's too much of a safety hazard for everyone involved.

I still wish there were fireworks. Am I asking too much? haha

It took a long time to get those photos uploaded. I'll briefly touch on the parks, how awesome a hotel the HOJO is, and the 1/2 marathon.

Last edited by BACON; 09-14-2011 at 12:14 AM. Reason: resized images
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:36 PM   #18
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 96

Well it took a while for me to get back to this. I had some withdrawal issues going on. I went through my photos numerous times, searched youtube for various disneyland half marathon videos (there weren't a lot of them and I'm upset at myself for not committing to making one), the Aladdin musical (genie jokes and whatnot) and wishing I could go back. On the other hand, I started classes a week after returning home and I'm taking a break from studying. This update gives me a chance to look at my photos again :

Post 5K

The time zone change was extremely beneficial. I remember at WDW I had to take a nap before continuing my day. I returned to my hotel, grabbed some continental breakfast and checked out. I almost called for a cab to go to the HOJO, but I checked the map and decided the walk wouldn't be too much of an issue. I definitely put my Heys luggage to the test, pushing it along the sidewalks and carrying it up and down a small flight of stairs.

Walking around the area, including the ART system, was one of the best parts of the trip. I used to work in municipal politics, so I have a small interest in city development and planning. I enjoyed reading into and observing the development of how the ART system came in effect, as well as the little things, including a maps of the area on city sidewalks, wide sidewalks, and the green areas. My city stinks and needs more grass and trees in urban areas.

11:30am - Once I found the HOJO, it was way early to check in, but I decided to try to get in a room anyway. Their front desk was extremely accommodating to me, even with the amount of guests checking out and inquiring about other things. I ended up in the main floor building 2. My room included a view of the pool, which was a nice setting. The room also had one of the most comfortable and softest beds I ever had in a hotel. That was easily one of the best feelings ever.

In an effort to perform well for the half marathon, I decided to replicate the same activities as the WDW half marathon. That included eating at my favourite restaurant:

I ordered the chicken carbonara because not only is there a lot of pasta, but a lot of bacon. I love eating bacon before a big race (and in general. I guess that's how I decided on this username.) I also ordered an amazing key lime cheesecake for dessert. Fortunately for me, I sat beside two lovely ladies who were also running the half marathon so we chatted about training and expectations for the race.

After the Cheesecake Factory, I returned to the HOJO to pick up a 3-day hopper to the parks. The prices between the 3 and 2-day passes weren't terribly bad, especially considering my plan was to meet some WISHERs and catch the Aladdin musical show. On top of that, there were really short lines for several rides and attractions, including Mr. Incredible.

I also spent a grand total of 10 minutes in the Tower of Terror line. What an amazing ride! I haven't been on the one in WDW so it was really thrilling for me.

5:00 pm - The unofficial meeting time for WISHERS to meet up at La Brea bakery. I couldn't tell if it happened until one member wore the neon green shirt. We chatted for roughly 45 minutes before everyone parted ways. I spent the rest of the night catching the Aladdin show with a fellow DIS-er. The show was incredible and it was absolutely enjoyable throughout. I rewatched it a few times on youtube since! After it was over, we grabbed more pasta at DCA, and tried out the Toy Story mania ride. I don't know how good of a score this is, but I was entertained by the ride.

After Toy Story Mania, I parted ways with them and tried to catch any glimpse of World of Color. My view was blocked by a bunch of tall people and a tree, so my pictures didn't turn out very well. However, it looked amazing from where I was standing and it was a great way to end the night.

One of the biggest differences between preparing for this half and the WDW half was the amount of walking I did the day before. In January, I ended up hanging out at the outlet and Millenia malls in Orlando so I could conserve my energy. I did the complete opposite for this race. I spent more time walking around DCA and the Anaheim streets I was pretty sure I would bonk out halfway through the run. I was definitely nervous when I went to sleep that night.

As far as race strategy goes, I laid out my outfit and gear the night before and went to bed. I regret buying that hat, and I wish I had worn Mickey ears instead. It's as stupid as it looks.

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Old 09-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #19
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Race Day

4:00 AM - I haven't woken up this early in a long time. I got myself ready, but really slowly. I made arrangements with some WISHERS staying at the HOJO to walk with them to the starting corrals, but they were ready to go by the time I was still preparing myself. I didn't want to keep them, so I let them take off as I tossed some contact lenses into my eyes.

For some reason, I was extremely dependent on Powerade drinks for this race. I bought 10 bottles and tossed it into my check-in luggage to give it weight, and the night before the race, I drank 1 1/2 bottles, and brought another bottle with me in the morning to walk and drink to the corral. Yes, this was way too excessive and I hope for future races I don't overdo pre-race hydration again.

I headed into corral C at 5:45 am, which was already packed to the brim. Some post race reports suggest the volunteers weren't keeping a keen eye on corral placement, and runners with other corrals easily jumped ahead. I didn't let it bother me; all I wanted was to finish injury free. To kill time, I took some pictures:

The very end of corral C


Part of the reason why I wear running Canada gear abroad: finding other Canadians. She used to live in my city and worked within 10 blocks of my house.

Going into the race, my plan was to take it easy and maximize a bunch of time in the parks. As I mentioned in the WISH sub-forum, I injured myself (metatarsal stress fracture) earlier this year, and I got doctor's clearance to train again mid-June. I had to start from the very beginning, doing two-minute intervals (run two, walk two.) I needed a lot of patience in my training to get through today.

I loved that the sun was coming out as I approached the start line. The sky looks beautiful out here.

I'm excited at the idea of creating this outfit from running apparel and fixing up lights and reflective tape in the future.

Phineas & Ferb

I wish this photo was more clearer. They weren't on course during the WDW half so I was really excited to see them here. I think I'm going to bring an actual camera on my next Disney race.

Running down Main Street.

The man and the mouse. And me, who doesn't know how to pose.

I spent a lot of time in line to take pictures of the princesses, and it was totally worth it.

There was a huge line for Darth Vader and it upset me that he decided to leave when I was waiting for him

I need to brush up (no pun intended) on the Mary Poppins film. The sweepers were fun to speak to.

Also a long line for the Snow White witch, so I snapped a photo of the castle.

I forgot what she scolded me about, but I couldn't hold my laughter in. She needs to be hugged.

Probably my favourite photo from the entire trip.

And then we spilled onto the streets. My race splits tell me I spent 57:03 on the first 5k. Totally worth it. I spent almost as much time on the next 10k.

Admittedly, this is when the race became a bit boring. The support was really stagnant between here and Angels stadium. When they were present, it gave me that extra motivation to get moving.

Part of the on-course entertainment. I ended up chatting to one family in this group while waiting in line for Star Tours. They hope to run in it next year.

I wish I had a better shot of this outfit.

We are now 8 miles into the course; I hope Teemu Selanne has a good year with the Ducks. That being said - Go Jets Go.

This was a nice change to run through. Running past a bunch of furniture stores got really boring.

More on-course entertainment.

I reached my 25 image per post limit, continuing into the next post.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #20
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 96

One more on-course entertainment photo

I hate looking at mile markers and times because the numbers mess with my performance. I would rather not know how I'm doing until I start training for Boston, then I can worry about my time. The time is about 12 minutes ahead of my start time.

Running through Angels stadium was neat, and I'm glad they let us do it, especially when there was a game scheduled in the afternoon.

And done. I was hoping for at least one or two more characters to show up on course before I finished. I was a little disappointed I didn't see one. At the same time, I was amazed at how great I felt. I had no soreness in my legs, and I felt like I could keep going. I wasn't relieved the course was over. I definitely had the energy to continue for a longer distance.

I wanted to keep the coast-to-coast bracelet for my running scrapbook. I don't know why they made us return them :

Not going to lie, when the medals hit each other, it sounded like victory.

I'm definitely inspired to run in costume on my next Disney race. I haven't decided on which character.

My current training program is to run the Goofy challenge and it's going great so far.

Some casual observations between the WDW half and the DL half:
-characters were more spread out in WDW, but I imagine it's easier for them to do that.
-fireworks were set off for each corral at the start line in WDW, and only for corral A at DL. Fireworks rule.
-cast members/photographers for ASI/brightroom (the company who takes photos on the race course for purchase) were at each character in WDW and it was much more limited in DL. I often had to pass my phone to another runner and have them take it for me (and vice versa.)
-further to the above, my photos taken by brightroom look awful. I had some great shots of me in the WDW half.
-the DL medal is way heavier than I had expected. Probably the heaviest race medal I earned so far. The coast-to-coast medal is boss.
-the pool at the HOJO, plus a few beers in my hand, was a better way to relax post-race than an ice cold bathtub in Orlando.

I imagine some of the differences between the two races were the logistical aspects and other forms of inconveniences that made each experience so widespread. For a registration price of $135, I would have hoped for similar benefits that I had in the WDW half, but they fell really short here. It lacked excitement once we were off Disney property and I hope the organizers can look into offering a greater experience to future runners.

The Parks, which I'll write about later on, and the city of Anaheim, was a much more enjoyable experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself here. I love visiting Disney property, but there was a certain charm in Anaheim that blew my expectations away. I'm definitely making a return trip in the future.

Overall, I'm happy to have gotten my coast-to-coast medal. I'm not injured; and I was able to walk around the parks later that day without any pain. I suppose I'm just more informed about injury prevention, not just with the stress fracture, but also plantar fasciitis. That's an awful pain which I can't bear talking about. PF bothered me a lot after I finished the WDW half.

I bought a shadowbox at Michael's for my race bibs and medals so I can display it in my house. I'm looking forward to the DIY project.

I'll do one more post about the parks, and this report will be done.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:59 PM   #21
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I must do this race. Sign me up
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:12 PM   #22
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 96

Aim for coast to coast. I love the medal.

Much respect for those who routinely post about their pre-trip and post-trip plans and experiences. This took a lot more effort and time than I had anticipated.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:30 PM   #23
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Location: MA
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Congratulations on completing two disney halfs and getting the coast to coast medal. It's an accomplishment to be proud of. Loved your trip report and all the pictures.

I did the princess half in feb and it was such an amazing experience. I'm looking into a DL trip next summer, and came across your trip report. Thanks for sharing.
Kathy Michael-DS11

FEB 2014-Princesspalooza!!! Can not wait!!!
Feb 2011-Princess half marathon trip!!!
Aug 2010-michael's surprise trip!!!
Nov '09-Pop w/Jim,Beth & Taylor!!!
Jan '09 Pop-just Michael and Mom
April '08- Pop-w/ Jane + Jessa
Dec 06- ASMusic-Michael's 1st time/5th B-day/Xmas trip w/ cousin Taylor etc.
May 2000- ecpot during work conference
April 1996-ASSp-family trip
Oct 1991- CBR-my first trip
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:10 AM   #24
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Posts: 344

Congrats!! Thanks for sharing. You did great!
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:05 AM   #25
Has had no bacon
Skiing fast to chocolate
But, will he succeed?
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Location: Drive to DL, Fly to WDW
Posts: 28,453

Good stuff, I can't wait to see what else you have to share.
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