7 Races in 11 days – The Finish and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

This was it. The 7th and last race of our 11 day race schedule. The Dopey Challenge was complete. The 5K and 10K Tinker Bell races were complete. It was time to finish the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and congratulate ourselves on our test of endurance. (oh, and to ice our tired muscles, and rest our weary heads)

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Course Map

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Course Map

We were ready. More than ready. We found our sleepy selves in Corral B. Kari went as Peter Pan, and I had on my Tinker Bell wings. I liked these wings as they were meant for kids. Not too big so they didn’t flop around. Powered by pixie dust, (as my Bondi band said so) I was ready to go! tink half pre race sign

Pre Race in B corral

Pre Race in B corral

We started the race on Disneyland Drive, with a short portion on Ball Road to Harbor Blvd. Before we knew it, we entered California Adventure.

Miles 2-3 in California Adventure

Miles 2-3 in California Adventure

It was pretty dark so we didn’t stop for too many photo breaks. Most of which were repetitive from previous days, so we kept running towards Disneyland’s Main Street. Along the way, we came across a few familiar faces.

Tinker Bell, Pirates and Smee, Oh My!

Tinker Bell, Pirates and Smee, Oh My!

We ran down Main Street and stopped briefly for a picture outside the castle. Unlike the previous day, the castle lights were on which was pretty awesome.

Disneyland's Main Street and Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Disneyland’s Main Street and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

It wasn’t too long before we ran through the castle and then ran into a few Lost Boys.

The Lost Boys at the Ferry Go Round

The Lost Boys at the Ferry Go Round

Now, this guy was pretty close by, so I’m sure he kept a watchful eye on those crazy kids.

Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and a Running R2-D2

Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and a Running R2-D2

Our next stop was at It’s a Small World. Again, this is one of my favourite sights in all of Disneyland, so I had to stop and take a couple of pictures.

Just outside It's a Small World

Just outside It’s a Small World

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

We finished up running through Disneyland from mile 4 to 5 going through Fantasyland, Frontierland and I think a bit of New Orleans Square. Before we left we found these characters.

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Our next stop was Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is where the infamous Red Hat Ladies cheer on the runners. I have no idea how this began at the Disneyland races, but their group sure seems to grow in numbers year after year. Any runner who passes by them was sure to have gotten a jolt of energy.

Red Hat Ladies

Red Hat Ladies

After mile marker six, the course changes, and we find ourselves running on the quiet (and not so quiet) streets of Anaheim. Some would say it’s the boring part of the course, however, I quite enjoy it. A part of it is residential housing, so it can be quiet, but on the more busier streets, there are numerous marching bands and cheer squads to get our energy pumped. I like a good marching band, and these groups are really fantastic. If you happen to be using video as you go by, most will give an extra special loud cheer. They are a very energetic bunch.

Here are some of the sights of Anaheim.

Shhh...Running down residential streets of Anaheim

Shhh…Running down residential streets of Anaheim

Cheering Squads and Marching Bands

Cheering Squads and Marching Bands

The time really flew by in the second half. Before I knew it, we were coming up to the finish. I was really pleased with our times given all the stopping we did along the way for pictures. As well, this was our 7th race in the last 11 days. One would think our times would be much longer, however, next to the 10K the day before, our time on the half was second best. Who knew? Our chip time was 2:36:35 and my place overall was 3412/11490. Not my best time, but a decent time for a Disney race.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finish Line

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finish Line

Of course, before we left the finish line, we had to pick up this little guy…

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

It was indeed….

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On a side note – This was the last time the Tinker Bell race weekend was to be held in January as it’s moving to Mother’s Day weekend for May 2015. I suppose this enables other runners who have opted for the Walt Disney World marathon weekend in January to perhaps consider Tinker Bell in future race plans. In it’s 3rd year, I’ve really seen it grow and become a popular race amongst the Run Disney family. I can only see it gain in popularity and it’s a great addition to the Disneyland run schedule.

Until we meet again Run Disney, Happy Running.

Tinker Bell 10K Race Recap

The inaugural Tinker Bell 10K started at 6am on Saturday January 18th. 15 minutes later than the 5K the day before. You know what that meant; 15 more minutes of sleep time. My inner Sleeping Beauty was really enjoying these later corral times. We were excited to experience the inaugural 10k for the Tinker Bell race weekend.  The only down side is that Run Disney didn’t market this as a challenge as they did with the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge (running 10K & half).  Oh bother!  We were happy to be a part of it. Perhaps in the future Run Disney will do something similar?

We left for the corrals around 5am. The short walk to Disneyland Drive to the start of the race was enough to shake out our legs. Upon arrival, we saw a path leading to the runner stage area with several tents, port-o-potties, race information and lots of volunteers. We continued on the road as we aimed to find ourselves in A corral.

On our way to the start of the 10K Tinker Bell race

On our way to the start of the 10K Tinker Bell race

Biding our time before the race.

Race Selfie

Race Selfie

As with the WDW Marathon weekend and two other Tinker Bell races, I didn’t have a costume for this race. I decided to wear blue. Blue compressions socks, blue Sparkle Skirt, Blue tech shirt. I topped it off with a Blue Bondi Band that had the words “Just Livin the Dream” printed on it. I slowly came to realize I must have been channeling my inner Sully. That played out delightfully later on during the race. (read on for my most favourite pic of the day)

In our corral above, there was a big screen indicating we had arrived at the correct place.

Big Screen - We knew where we were, whew!

Big Screen – We knew where we were, whew!

Once the race began, we found ourselves running on Disneyland Drive towards the backstage, then onwards around It’s a Small World, Mickey’s Toontown, Critter Country, Frontierland and then around Fantasyland.

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

Mile 1 - Only 5 more to go!

Mile 1 – Only 5 more to go!

Outside The Golden Horse Shoe in Frontierland

Outside The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland

Front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and onwards down Main Street.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Running Down Main Street towards California Adventure

Running Down Main Street towards California Adventure

We entered California Adventure at the main entrance and continued our journey to Condor Flats, and Grizzly Peak areas. Soon we arrived at mile marker 3 as we were coming towards Paradise Pier. A perfect time to stop and take a few photos.

Paradise Pier at California Adventure

Paradise Pier at California Adventure

Soon after we were deep into Cars Land passing by the Cozy Cone Motel and Flo’s V8 Cafe.  Unfortunately, this is where I was almost taken out by an overly revved up Car runner, who decided to suddenly cross in front of me.  I got lucky and I shifted into first gear before I ran into him.  Whew!

Cars Land

Cars Land

The last part of California Adventure was through Hollywood Land and then outside, onto Harbor Blvd for the last two miles of the course.  I can’t remember if I saw Mike and Sully first or the Tower of Terror first.  In any case, both of them were within short distances of eachother.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

I think I fit in here!

I think I fit in here!

Soon enough, we found ourselves outside of California Adventure at mile 4. We had two more miles along Harbor Blvd, Disney Way and Katella Ave, to arrive at the finish.

Before we got to the end, I saw this sign…

Hmm...Maybe if I was still a pirate?

Hmm…Maybe if I was still a pirate?

Onwards to the end…

Tinker Bell 10K race complete

Tinker Bell 10K race complete

I have to say, I really enjoyed this course. We snapped tons of photos along the way and we took our time to really enjoy the sights. We still managed to get a decent time of somewhere around 1:13 for the race. Not super fast, but given the stopping, we were much happier with this time over the WDW Minnie 10K which had tons of traffic.

Next on the Tinker Bell Race weekend coverage – The Tinker Bell Half Marathon and race wrap up!

Until then, Happy Running.

Never Land 5k -Tinker Bell Race Weekend

Friday January 17th kicked off our 3 day running spree at Disneyland.  We were super happy we got to sleep in.  Sleeping in meant we didn’t have to wake up until 4am.  This was a luxury to us in comparison to Walt Disney World.  The Never Land 5k was to start at 5:45am so we made our way out our hotel door at 5am.  It was a short walk across the street towards Main Street inside Disneyland.  Participants made their way to corrals during this time.  Although Disney does ask participants to corral themselves according to their pace, most don’t and upon arrival, seed themselves in the next available corral. When we arrived, we were able to place ourselves in C however we soon found ourselves stumbling to run once we began our race.

Pirates "Argh"

Pirates “Argh”

Start of Never Land 5k

Start of Never Land 5k

I always enjoy the start of the race as they play the Disney theme song and Tinker Bell flys out of no where (or Never Land if you prefer).  She is suspended on wires and zooms around the castle. Remember when you used to watch The Wonderful World of Disney on TV and Tinker Bell would come out and fly around the castle? It was kind of like that! Cool eh?

Once we were off, we made our way through Disneyland. It was still pretty dark. Disney had some props out and we took a few pics of them as well as Toon Town.

Disneyland in the dark!

Disneyland in the dark!

One of the fun photo ops was at It’s a Small World. It’s one of my most favourite visuals at Disneyland. Bright lights, big city? Nope, it’s just a small world after all.
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Once we made our way through Disneyland, we soon entered California Adventure.

Smee!

Smee!

We made ourselves around Hollywood Land, Cars Land, Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier. The Mickey ferris wheel and lights is always a wonderful sight.

Soon we found the end of our 5k adventure. We received our medal and picked up our snack box and drinks. Before we left, we were sure to take a few celebratory pics over looking the water.

Never Land 5k complete!

Never Land 5k complete!

All in a days work right? Really it was only around 7am. It was time to shower and change for our big day. We returned to the expo and then spent the rest of the afternoon at California Adventure.

Next up on our Tinker Bell running trio – Tinker Bell 10K.

Tinker Bell Race weekend – Video Recap

It’s been a rainy and snowy day in the Toronto area so I’m still running on my Treadmill.  Here’s hoping Mother Nature brings us some warmer temperatures soon.  It would be awesome to have something above 5 soon like we did in early January.  Even if only for a day or two. *Crossing fingers

I finally finished my video of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland this past January.  Hope you enjoy it!

P.S. Urban Running Girl’s 20% off shrug sale is still on til Friday.  Enter code : URGFEB If you dislike the thought of tying your jacket around your waist one more Spring during a run, now’s the time the order!  Don’t miss out!

Disneyland Tinker Bell Half Marathon Recap

We had a spectacular time in Anaheim during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. The weekend was jam packed with running, park hopping, and roller coasters!  Let’s just say, that by the time we left Anaheim to go to L.A., I was pretty much fueled with the help of caffeine and perhaps adrenaline.

We arrived in Anaheim on Friday afternoon and after a quick stop at our hotel, we made our way to the Tinker Bell Run Expo to pick up our race packs.  Once we got our race bibs and shirts, we did a little shopping at the expo.

I went by Sparkle Skirts and picked up a skirt for race day.  The booth was packed as many Tink runners were also in the mood for a little sparkle in their step.

Tinker Bell Race Expo

Tinker Bell Race Expo 2013

On Saturday, we made our way to the start of the Neverland 5K. The race began inside the Disneyland park, so we entered into Main Street to make our way towards the castle. As we were walking towards the castle, I had a chance meeting with Sean Astin. How cool was that?  As you can see, he was totally into Tink spirit as he was wearing wings!                             

Neverland 5K

Urban Running Girl & Sean Astin at Neverland 5K

Neverland 5K Finish

The 5K is fun, however, if you plan on running this race, make note it will not be a fast race. Much of the course has narrow running paths, and lots of congestion.

After our 5K, we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for a full day of fun at California Adventure.

On Sunday morning, we were up bright and early. Here we are, prior to leaving for the race.

Ready to run the Tinker Bell half marathon

Ready to run the Tinker Bell half marathon

I had an excellent time, running the course. I have to say, the people of Anaheim are fantastic at cheering along the runners. There were several marching bands, and cheerleaders from various schools.  Also, I can’t forget about the Red Hat Society ladies.  They were out in full force cheering us on! There were some great signs along the course, but my favourite by far was this one…

We found out at the expo that all male participants were put in corral C by default, therefore; ‘Peter’ and myself were not starting at the same time as I was starting in a corral ahead of him. This worked out perfect (or so we thought), as I had planned on stopping and taking lots of pictures along the way which would give ‘Peter’ lots of time to catch up to me, and that we would be able to finish the race together. Although, we did finish together, it came down to the very last minutes of our race. I had expected he would have caught up to me around the 15K mark, however, he was no where in sight, so I slowed my pace down, in the hopes that he would eventually meet up with me. It wasn’t until the last stretch of the race, where there is a hairpin turn that I saw him running up on the other side. I think I was about 200 meters from the finish, and I waited for him to run around the hairpin, so we could cross the finish line together.

As always, it was another excellent Disney running adventure. In the next couple of weeks, I hope to be able to share a video of our running adventure with you.

Birthday Blog!

I’ve been in a great mood lately.  January can be tough, and I’ll admit my mood can be affected by the weather.  However, last weekend the temperatures went up to 15 degrees!  It was just the pick me up I needed for my last training run before the Tinker Bell Half marathon this coming weekend.  I was able to wear a pair of running tights and a t-shirt on my long run last Saturday.  It was absolutely gorgeous outside.

Of course, Mother Nature hasn’t decided to change it’s winter season this soon.  The weather dipped down as of yesterday, and Toronto is back to -3 to +3 averages.  Which really isn’t that bad.  It certainly could be worse.  Today, I went out for my Birthday 6K run and it was quite pleasant at 1 degree.  The sun was nice and bright which took the edge off any dreary winter run.  Oh, by-the-way, Yes, it’s my birthday.  Today!  Yep!  No big celebrations though as I will have more than enough fun this weekend and into the following week.  However, I did have a slice of this….

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And THIS is delicious!  Our favourite cake shop called Dufflet calls it the Lemon Coconut cake and describes it as “Coconut cake filled with alternating layers of lemon and coconut buttercream; frosted with cream cheese icing and finished with snowy coconut”.

It’s absolutely worth the extra calories on anyone’s birthday!

Speaking of indulgences, I went a little kooky yesterday and had my nails done in the closest green I could find that matched Tink’s fairy dress.

What do you think? It’s O.P.I.‘s ‘Don’t Talk Bach To Me’ from the Germany collection.

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I plan on wearing a few items during the race to celebrate the Tinker Bell run.  Of course, I have my laces I used last year.  I love the little Tink metal attachment that came with the laces.  Not sure what else I will be wearing at the race.  Skirt? Tutu? Wings perhaps?

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If you happen to be on Urban Running Girl’s Facebook or Twitter feeds, stay tuned as I will try and post updates when I can about the weekend. 🙂

Until then….. Happy Running!