We left the hotel and made our way through Downtown Disney early Sunday morning towards the staging area. I made it just in time for the team picture at the St. Jude Heroes tent. (I walked up just after it was taken on Saturday). After dropping off my things I said goodbye to Brooklyn and her mom and made my way to the starting corral. I nudged my way forward until I found Richard again. We waited again for the first to corral to take off then made our way to the starting mat.
Richard & I had a simple strategy for the race, it was much different than the day before. Take all the selfies for the first 6 miles, then finish out the run around Anaheim because it will be hot and we will be tired. Here’s how it played out. The first 6 miles wrap around Disneyland and California Adventure. Staged throughout the parks were all of the character photo opportunities. We took full advantage of the picture stops and stopped for a few extra on our own. Our 5k split time was 40:31, my 10k split was 2:04:38! One of Richard’s friends, Cheryl, was with us in the corrals and said she would run with us. She said maybe because we were stopping for pictures she would be able to keep up. She had no idea what she was in for and before we reached mile 4 (and the 20 minute wait for a picture with Tink) she told us she couldn’t make herself stop anymore. Here are a few of the highlights.
While we were galavanting through Toon Town and standing in line for pictures with Donald and Pluto I spotted Brooklyn, her mom, and their friend Terri running by and called out to them. They stopped for this picture then ran off ahead while Richard and I continued our way through the parks.
We exited the parks just before Mile 6 and almost immediately after I spotted my friend A.J. along the guard rail. I stopped to say hi and ended up waiting with him for just over 20 minutes for some more friends to come by. Richard was battling a little pain in his knee so he didn’t wait around. He was ready to be done. Ivie and Dani were running together and we ended up taking this great group shot while other people were trying to run. (They must not fully understand how to properly #runsocial)
We exited the parks just before the 10k mark and pushed out to the Anaheim streets. No characters, no magic, just runners pounding the pavement. I moved to the side of the road and ran along the far less crowded sidewalks. Encouraging runners as I went by them (as I always do). I passed by Brooklyn and her crew, they all turned around when they heard me coming. Apparently, I can yell pretty loud while I’m running. The last 7 miles took me just over an hour to get through. Battling a little traffic and and the sun had started to come out. I wasn’t in a big hurry, but I was tired of running for the day.
I came through the finish chute at 3:02:38. No sprinting to the line today. Just get through and grab some water while I waited for the rest of my friends. As everyone finished their run they all met up at the St. Jude tent for pictures and laughs before taking off. We had lunch in DTD at Tortilla Joe’s (#alltheguac) before heading to LAX for the flight home.
I’ve said it many times before & it always holds true. runDisney events are all about the people around you. My friends are the reasons that I continue to participate in these races. Regardless of the cost, of the travel, of the parks banning selfie sticks while on rides preventing me from capturing photo gems, I love these weekends.