Last year the Tinker Bell half marathon made me cry. I should have gotten a PR but I didn’t and watching my PR slip away was heartbreaking. It was the first and only race that literally brought me to tears, but I am happy to report that this year that was not the case.
Since I had known my training had been lacking I wasn’t expecting much and decided that this year I wanted to PR in fun and I did just that!
I’m still not a fan of the 5 am start time, but once I’m up and going I’m glad to get it done early and still have all day to spend in the parks! Unlike the 10k the morning before there was no flat Summer laid out. Instead there was a balled up Summer laying on the sofa in the room, and when my alarm went off at 3:45 I grumbled a bit and begrudgingly rolled out of bed. After getting dressed and downing a protein shake I was ready to head down to the lobby to meet up with Kirsten again.
I have to say that the lobby was much busier that morning and the feel of the half marathon was very different than that of the 10k for sure! You definitely knew what the main event was, and we were hoping we were ready for it! We both have ran several half marathons before, but with the vision of the 10k sweepers still fresh in our minds we weren’t as confident as we normally would have been. In fact I posted this status update on Facebook and being blessed with awesome friends they had some wonderful answers for me!
After settling into corral C and taking the obligatory corral selfie I was feeling a little better about the mileage ahead of me, but only a little. The national anthem was sang with fireworks a blazing and shortly after that the wheelchair racer took off. For some reason this always chokes me up a bit, and usually brings a tear or two to my eye.
After the wheelchair racer was well on their way corral A was off, followed closely by corral B, and before I knew it was time for us to head out on our own 13.1 mile journey through the Disneyland Resort Parks and the streets of downtown Anaheim.
After making a loop around Disneyland resort we headed back stage, and then into California Adventure where the fountains for World of Color were on and absolutely beautiful!
From here we headed towards Cars Land, which is just amazing to run through when it is all lit up! I would also like to give runDisney huge props for the slight change of course from last year, and the added light to the paths that were really dark in the past! It was greatly appreciated!
This sign made me giggle a bit so I had to get a picture of it in case I needed to use it somewhere down the line. The other side said “Not Slow” but I couldn’t get the picture to come out with the spotlight shinning on the “sl”
After running around most of California Adventure we hit the 5k mark as we exited the park and headed across the way to the Disneyland park! It was in the area between parks that I noticed another great change runDisney added to control the flow of cross traffic, similar to what they do on the parade route, and that was greatly appreciated too, as there has been more then once that I almost plowed into a spectator trying to run across the course in front of me.
Once in Disneyland there were character picture ops aplenty, but after the run in with the sweepers the day before I opted to skip all of them but this one, that I mostly took for #3 since she loves puppies and kitties and is known to try and use “cute paws” on me.
After running through Disneyland, and hitting the last real restroom, under the Hungry Bear Restaurant, we were on our way through Downtown Disney and toward the amazing Red Hat ladies! I was completely surprised by them the first year, and I greatly anticipate seeing them every year, and they did not disappoint! They are hands down the most amazingly enthusiastic group of spectators I have ever seen!
After leaving the Red Hat Ladies and Downtown Disney behind it gets pretty quiet, and I knew there was nothing but the streets of Anaheim left to see. A little after mile 6 we stopped at the medical tent so I could get a band aid. When we were back stage at Disneyland I could feel that one of my toe nails were cutting the toe next to it so I wanted to prevent any further damage. I was a bit surprised to see as much blood as there was, but I put the band aid on and thankfully my shoe went back on with no issues and we were off again. These were some of my favorite signs from the neighborhood portion of the run.
There was also this sign in the business area of the course. Don’t worry my mom taught me well and I did not take the candy from the nice strangers on the street corner, but I did take a couple of the orange slices and they were quite heavenly!
Around mile 9 I stopped at another med tent, this time for some Tylenol. My hip had held up really well, but it was giving me some itchy sensations off and on so I wanted to be a bit proactive and take it before I absolutely needed it. It was at this stop that I lost Kirsten. She kept running and told me to catch up when I was done and I somehow passed her without seeing her. #SadTrombone
But I did find a couple of people from one of my Facebook running groups at the med tent and they invited me to run with them, so I did. Just before mile 11 I happened to check my phone and noticed I had a missed call from DisBroad Patty, silly lady. I will text, Facebook, and tweet during a race, but I draw the line at answering the phone. ;)
There happened to be a text from her as well checking where I was. I was actually just behind her and the rest of the Tink DisBroads so she told me to stay at the mile 11 sign until I see them. As we approached the mile 11 sign I said good bye to my running partners and ran toward the sign when I heard a loud cheer yelling "Summer" and there they were! DisBroads April, Patty, Amy and Tania were already at the sign waiting for me!
With just over 2 miles left to go we decided to finish the race together, using the motto #NoDisBroadLeftBehind and in this case that DisBroad was me!! As we finished the race together, spirit fingers in the air, we were diverted to one side as there was a runner down receiving medical attention and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. Yes, I'm that girl who cries over everything! His wife later posted in one of the Facebook groups I am a member calling him the "Lost Boy who tried to go to Neverland" and reported that he ended up having open heart surgery, but is expected to make a full recovery and their goal is to get him completely rehabilitated in time to run the Wine & Dine half in November!! Again this made me tear up a bit, but I was glad to hear was going home and doing well.
As we exited the finish line area and made our way toward the medals we came across runDisney’s Bob Hitchcock and he very graciously posed for a picture with us! He was so nice and his lighting crew even offered to light up our cell phone picture for us!! It was a very brief, but wonderful experience.
Now with an absolutely amazing race behind us what is in the DisBroads future? Rumor has it we will ALL be in Disney World next month for the Princess Half marathon!! #TureStory The word epic is being thrown around, and we hope you will be there to join us!