Y’all, I love a good 10k. (I also love to say y’all, even though I’m from New Jersey.)
When I began my running journey in 2011, I started with a 5k mud run. From there I did an 8k road race before jumping in distance to the runDisney Princess half in February 2012. The elusive 10k distance didn’t happen for me until fall 2012 and with one race, I fell completely in love with the race distance.
Hearts in my eyes, swooning, in love.
Problem was (and is), there weren’t a whole heck of a lot of 10ks around these parts. I ran a 10k in October 2013 but haven’t gotten the opportunity to do one since.
Fortunately, runDisney started adding 10ks to their race weekends and sweetening the deal by creating challenges that incorporated these races. The 10k distance AND Disney? Be still, my beating heart!
As soon as I got the idea in my head about doing the Dumbo Double Dare challenge in California, there was no stopping me.
I knew that Cam would agree to it because Cam really loves my ideas and is always down for anything that I suggest. You know, until it comes to the race and then she’s all “Meridith, what did you get us into?”
That’s when I usually do the “Isn’t this FUN?”comment during a really, really fun part of the race (like while we were jamming to Elvis in Cars Land) so she remembers the fun and not the fact there we were so sweaty, the sheen had our arms slipping against one another the entire race.
I let Jess slide when it came to doing the challenge, being that this was her first half ever. Next time I know she’ll be all in!
You know what’s rad about the Disneyland races? Waking up at 4am and then walking to the start from the hotel – we stayed at Best Western Stovalls Inn. It’s so easy breezy and when you’re a bundle of excited energy who doesn’t really sleep well before races, easy breezy is always appreciated.
A hush fell over the crowd as Elvis crooned the Star Spangled Banner. This race’s theme was Stitch, with an emphasis on Elvis, Hawaii and all things Polynesian. Cam decided to pay homage to Pearl Harbor with our costumes and we were feeling very patriotic.
We lined up right behind the D corral and waited for our turn to go. The energy was great within the corral and everyone was looking forward to making our way through the course.
I decided to ditch the watch this weekend. Disney races are never about the time for me. Plus, the more time I can spend with friends, the better!
We got the GO ahead (see what I did there) and crossed the start line to the sounds of Elvis. Our game plan was to do an easy run throughout the course and stop for any must have pictures.
The first two miles were through the streets of Anaheim and around the Convention Center. They were pretty quiet, which I can understand because it was early in the morning. No bands, no cheering squads, but plenty of smiling faces of race supporters and awesome volunteers.
There were a lot of younger kids running this race, which is something I always love to see. Going into mile two, one was running on the median and must have stepped wrong because he fell. Yikes!
A few of us stopped to see if he was okay but thankfully he jumped right up and kept running. It was a good reminder to be aware and stay on the marked course. I know the want to go faster is there for some but we need to race smart!
The air was hazy and humid as we made our way into California Adventure but spirits were high! Running through the parks is always the highlight of these races although in Disneyland the time in the parks is less – mainly because there are less parks.
Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen were out in Cars Land but we decided to skip the lines in favor of a brief pit stop. Hello, real restrooms! Always hold out for the real deal if you can. Totally worth it.
Everything part of me was sweating at this point. So gross and so awesome, all at the same time. Let’s just say that I was very grateful I decided to wear bike shorts under that skirt. (I also had my Spibelt under there to hold our fuel – Laffy Taffy – so I bet that everyone else was grateful I was wearing bike shorts, too, when I was hiking up my skirt.)
Races with Cam always rock because she’s a really cool chick. I mean, Disney races are always fun but when you’ve got Cam by your side you can expect dancing, singing, seeking out and mugging for race photographers, and jokes that make you giggle the entire time.
We didn’t seeing many character photo opportunities during this race, which was a bummer, so we decided to stop in California Adventure to snag a shot. Selfies weren’t really cutting it because you could see our faces but not much of the background! Thankfully cast members are always there to lend a hand.
Cam and I both commented that the air in the parks was actually cooler than the air on the streets of Anaheim. Is it possible to air condition outside air… outside? Disney magic, hard at work!
This tunnel was actually pleasant because there was a cold spot right smack dab in the middle. I sort of wanted to stay there! Alas, we continued on because there was more fun to be had.
Feeling parched in Toontown, we made our way to water fountains… only to find the water to be hot! Not so yummy. Then I nearly tripped off the curb because walking is hard. Very grateful I had Cam to grab on to and didn’t turn an ankle!
We knew the Castle wasn’t far. Holla!
I think this is the first time I actually got to RUN through a castle during a race. This race was crowded but probably the least crowded of all the Disney races I’ve done.
Of course, no race is complete without a random shot that you didn’t mean to take.
After a few more turns around the backlot, we were headed to Downtown Disney and ready to wrap up this party. Around this point I texted Jess because she requested I let her know when we were around mile 5. The plan was for her to meet us at the end however she was still zzzzzzing away, right up until the text. Whoopsies!
Also, texting while running is really difficult so I decided to just call her. And then I was THAT GIRL on the phone. Please, feel free to judge me. I was judging myself.
The crowd support was high in Downtown Disney, including a sign that said YOU ARE WINNING. There were people calling “Hey Sailors” to us too, which made us grin ear to ear! It was perfect.
And so was the finish line!
Water bottles were handed out directly after the finish, which was appreciated and necessary in the hot, hot heat. From there, we made our way to the volunteers handing out the medals and collected our super cute Stitch medals.
The Dumbo Double Dare bracelets were handed out directly after that. Pictures and Medical were located nearby (we skipped both) and headed straight for the snack boxes and freezing cold bananas. Those bananas! I mean, who would know I could get so excited for a piece of fruit. BUT I DID.
Side note: Came home, put bananas in the freezer and forgot I did it until my husband brought them to me with a perplexed look. Then they were too cold to bite.
There was awesome entertainment and while we snacked, we took a few minutes to soak it all in.
Later we visited the park to celebrate with Dumbo.
I’ll bid you adieu the same way I began…
Y’all, I love a good 10k!