Monday, September 10, 2012

2012 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

Another great year at the Disneyland Half Marathon was had by all!
You can read about last year here and here.

There were 8 of us total... Annie & Martha were coming from Alaska,  Jamie & Amanda were coming from San Francisco/Bay Area, Leah & Sue were coming from NY, and Annette & I were coming from Florida!  We all arrived into Orange County or LAX on Saturday morning.
We met up at our hotel (Hilton Anaheim), had lunch and then cabbed it over to the Expo for packet pick-up.  Like last year, everything was organized and we were in and out in no time.

the graphics for the shirts are always cute!  just wish they had ladies sizing
 After dropping all of our race bags, bibs, etc. back at the hotel, we took the shuttle over to Disneyland Park.
We had all purchased Pasta in the Park tickets, which included Twilight park tickets, allowing us to enter the park at 4pm.
After hitting up a few rides, we headed over to Big Thunder Ranch for the pasta dinner.  The food was what I expected (two types of pasta, chicken, salad, rolls and dessert), but overall the group was not that impressed.  I think eating there is better than eating at one of the fast food restaurants in the park, but I would love to hear where others had a pasta-type dinner before the race either in or around Disneyland.  Please do tell :)

Last year Big Thunder Ranch was decorated for the race with a "Good Luck Runners" sign, the characters were dressed in their track suits, picture back drops were race themed... all little things that got you pumped up for the race. You can see all this in the pics from last year (link above).
This year the characters were dressed in western outfits since the rest of the place was a country western theme (hence the location name - Big Thunder Ranch).  Eh.

When comparing this year to last, Pasta in the Park was a let down.  Not only because of the non-race theme, but also because it was the same amount of money and we did not receive the two Fast Pass tickets that were included last year.  When trying to zip through parks on a 2 day visit every minute counts :)

We still enjoyed the characters though and got pictures with them all...
Chip & Dale
Donald & Daisy
Goofy & Pluto
Ladies only!
Mickey & Minnie

One thing that was not a let down... race day!
The Disneyland half marathon course is definitely one of, if not, my favorite runDisney course.
Loved it last year, loved it this year.

Start corrals were not as congested as last year and there was definitely better signage.  This year I got to start in Corral B, so the first 3.5 miles were not as congested as last year.
I LOVED running through the new Cars Land!  So exciting to see something for the first time.  I loved the little changes on the course through Disneyland Park and the time flew by.  I couldn't believe it when we were exiting the park onto the streets of Anaheim.  During mile 7 there was a whole street of classic cars which was just so amazing.  What a great idea!  I saw a white convertible that looked like "Grease Lightning" - loved it!
All the entertainment was great, running through Angel Stadium is the best, I love that it is a flat course.  Just all around a really fun 13.1 miles.  Coming from hot and humid South Florida, the weather on Sunday was a dream.  While the sun did feel a little hot towards the end, the lack of humidity made this girl very happy.

This was probably my best half marathon effort in a year (since last year's DLHalf) and it felt really good!  The last couple of miles were painful, but it felt like a good pain and not just pain :)

After crossing the finish line, I got my Disneyland medal, a cold towel (best finish line perk ever!), and then got in line for my Coast to Coast medal.  Leah & Sue crossed the finish line right after me, so we waited in line for the medals together.
We got water, snacks and our check bags and then headed out to the parking lot where Amanda, Annette and Martha were waiting for us.  We sat around and waited for Jamie & Annie to finish.
Martha & Annie both got PRs - woohoo!
Well done runDisney!!
Lots of bling!
WDW marathon & DL half marathon - love it!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the hotel, laying by the pool and then heading over to California Adventure with our Twilight tickets.  After the early morning start, it was a nice and relaxing rest of the day.
We got to go on Soarin', California Screamin' and the TowMater ride & Radiator Springs Racers rides in Cars Land.  Cars Land was truly right out of the movie and the rides are always so fun :)

a snag it of the Photo Pass pic I bought - love it!
 Amanda, Annie, Martha & I went over to the new Carthay Lounge for drinks and apps to share.  It was so good and I am glad we got to try out the new place!
We ended our night at DCA at the World of Color show.  I am definitely more of a ride person than a show person, but this show was so good!

Following the park, some of us headed to Downtown Disney for some more drinks to celebrate the night!  If you haven't heard me say this before, I love that you can walk everywhere in Disneyland.  Amazing.

Monday everyone started to leave :(
People were dropping like flies all throughout the day...Some of us had brunch, then some of us went shopping, then two of us laid by the pool, while two went to the parks.  Finally it was Leah, Sue & myself.  We met up at Napa Rose at the Grand Californian Hotel for dinner before I had to get my shuttle to LAX.  Again, another delicious experience!

I was sad when the weekend was over.  We all had such a great time with some great memories!  Can't wait to get together with these girls again!
Coast to Coast 2012 is complete!