We are never ones to pass up a good Disney race recap so when our friend Lois agreed to share her experience at the Dumbo Double Dare race challenge over Labor Day we were excited! After visiting Disneyland for one race challenge this year, I'm not sure when (or if) we will fly cross country to do another one, but it sure was fun seeing it through Lois's perspective!
Sunday, September 6, 2015 was the last day of racing at Disneyland. It was the final leg in a long journey. It was a day when dreams came true. It was the day that I would accomplish something I had set out to do almost 2 full years earlier. It was a day I would do the Disneyland half marathon, a day that would finish up the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, and a day that I would get the coast to coast medal.
Like in Dopey, the multiple mornings with the O dark thirty wake-up call seemed like they were getting earlier. And like Dopey, the day of the longest race of the challenge I was able to get out of bed quickly and move quickly. Unlike Dopey, I didn’t get stuck in a major traffic jam as I headed to the race.
By this time, the Goofy statue and I were getting very well acquainted, as I stopped there for yet another pre-race picture. I met up with my friend Erin as we were coming out of the elevators, so we walked over to Downtown Disney together.
We met up with some friends for a pre-race picture and some words of encouragement. We met at Earl of Sandwich, which was a great place to meet. It was on the way to the start line, but it wasn’t crowded so we were easily able to find each other. My friend Melanie and I had hoped to run the half together, so I was very thankful for an easy spot to find each other.
We headed to the start line. I dropped back a corral so we could start together, but we made our way to as near the front as possible. We actually were right by the 2:30 pace group. We thought about trying to stay with them, but we also know pace groups don’t stop for anything. We decided to run our own race and pace and not join the pace group. We didn’t stop for many pictures while in Disney’s California Adventure or Disneyland, the lines were just too long, maybe due to the fact that the hero of the story was combined with the villain. We saw Lady Tremaine with Cinderella, the Evil Queen with Snow White. We did stop for DJ and Lightning McQueen and we absolutely had to stop for Tiana and Dr. Facilier since that is my youngest daughter’s favorite movie!
I think every race for the weekend I made a stop in Cars Land for a picture of whatever Cars character was out. We stopped by the Mickey wheel and by the castle for some pictures, then we headed out of Disneyland and we hit the streets of Anaheim.
I have to tell you, I had heard about the entertainment on the streets, but I didn’t think it was going to be as much as it was. It really was a street party. I loved the dancers, the high school bands. The costumes of the Spanish dancers were so bright and beautiful!! I forgot to get a picture of them, but I loved the hula dancers that I did manage to get a picture of. The classic cars were amazing. I thought it would be a small group like in the Speedway of the marathon. Goodness, no, the cars went on for over a mile. My favorite color is purple, so when I saw an awesome purple car with Elvis Stitch on the front I had to get a picture. I was Elvis Stitch for the full marathon for Dopey, and Stitch for the half for Dumbo, so it was the perfect car to just snap a picture with.
Angels’ stadium was probably one of my favorite parts of the half marathon. I grew up a HUGE Cubs fan, and I had once dreamed about seeing a baseball game in every major league stadium. So when we hit Angels’ stadium I was so excited. I love running the warning track on a baseball diamond. I do the Coors Field Homerun for the Homeless just to run on the warning track (and get a slushie for free). When I was doing Dopey, I didn’t hate ESPN zone, because we got to run on a baseball field. So to run on the warning track at Angels’ stadium just got me pumped up. I told Melanie that we should run the entire thing, no walk intervals…but then we had to stop for a picture. I loved the boy and girl scouts lining the stands and cheering us on. I high fived lots of girl scouts that day. Angels’ stadium was just a fun experience, and I would do the Dumbo challenge or the Disneyland half again just to run the stadium.
The last few miles of the race went as expected, and I kicked it up a notch near the end. I have a habit of doing this when I run, pushing harder toward the end, so I can finish. Melanie on the other hand doesn’t like to kick it up at the end, so I did end up having to pull back a little. We passed the 2:45 pace group somewhere around mile 11 (how they got ahead of us, I have no idea). We wondered if we would catch up with the 2:30 pace group that we had started with. We didn’t catch them, but we had a great finish time of 2:33. Not bad for stopping for pictures while in DCA and DL, stopping for every mile marker, and stopping for a few pictures along the half marathon course. We were quite pleased with our time.