This past Saturday I participated in my third Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend at the Disneyland Resort in California. 2014 was the first year run Disney offered a 10k option the day before the half marathon. Initially I had only registered for the half but after participating in the 10k associated with the Disneyland Half Marathon this past Labor Day weekend I knew I had to add the Tinker Bell 10k too, only problem it was already sold out. One of my girlfriends told me that there were spots available through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Team Lemon, I was familiar with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation having participated in and donated to their Million Mile Run last September so I requested the registration information.
It took me a couple of days to commit to running as part of Team Lemon, although I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation I seriously questioned my ability to raise the minimum amount required for the race entry. You see, I am not good at asking people for anything, let alone to part with their money even for a worthy cause. I knew this was going to be my struggle; compared to raising money the 6.2-mile run was the easy part! I did know I wanted to do this so I sent my registration in, as soon as my registration was accepted the Team Lemon Coordinator, Jennifer Kelly, contacted me and gave me all the information I needed regarding my registration as well as what I needed to set up my fundraising page. I went about asking for donations a few various ways, I Facebooked, tweeted, emailed and asked friends and family. I started my fundraising efforts three months before the run and happily two days before the run I received the donation that put me at my fundraising goal.
The 10k was scheduled for Saturday morning so Tony and I headed down to Anaheim Thursday evening, allowing us to visit the expo on Friday. On Saturday morning we got up nice and early (a requirement for runDisney races) got dressed, fueled up and left the hotel at 5:00 am. Our hotel was only a couple of blocks away from the start line so we had no problems walking over and being in our corral in plenty of time.
The temperature was in the low 50’s when the race kicked off at 6:00 am, there were four corrals for the race taking off just about 5 minutes apart so we had the chance to watch the start four times. Before I knew it we were off.
The course was crowded as we started out down Disneyland Drive but as soon as we entered into Disneyland itself it seemed to thin out. I normally run intervals – 3 minutes running followed by a 1.5-minute walk. But I felt strong and wanted to take advantage of the course being open, so we ran straight through until we came up on the Rivers of America, where we couldn’t resist stopping for a picture. We made a few more picture stops in Disneyland before the course led us into California Adventure.
It seemed as we flew through DCA, after one last photo stop with Sully, Mike and the crew from Monster’s University we were at mile 4 and out on the very crowded streets of Anaheim.
This was the part of the run that I thought we’d be able to really open up and get some good running in. We bobbed and weaved through the next 2 miles, once we got close to the corner of Katella and Disneyland Drive we were greeted by the cheering of all of the awesome spectators. We ran into the finish and collected our medals.
I went out and ran but it wasn’t about me this time. I felt honored to be able to run as part of Team Lemon and to raise funds and awareness for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. I would love to run for Team Lemon again in the future and I will continue to support and donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Have you ever run for Team Lemon or raised money for another organization/charity? We’d love to hear about it in the comments! And make sure to check out Vic’s pictures from her own trip, with special guest star, Heather.