2008 Disneyland Half Marathon Race Report

The night before the race, I got all my stuff ready – pinned my bib on my tank, put my chip on my shoe, stocked my belt with necessities (ID, money, hotel key) and nutrition – Clif Blok Shots – Margarita flavored. I checked my iPod and it was about 80% charged, so I left it to charge fully.

Kristine arrived around 10:00 PM. We set the alarm for 5:15 AM to give us time to get to the start at 6:00 AM.

I first woke up around 4:00 AM – UGH. I went to the bathroom, then tried to get more sleep. I am not sure if I actually fell asleep, but I rested at least until about 4:50 AM and got out of bed. I started getting washed up and dressed. Kristine got up when the alarm went off.

Things were going smoothly, I got my stuff together, checked my iPod and… it was now uncharged! It was down to the last red bar. WTF? Crap. I swore a few times, rechecked the cable, and decided to try and charge it for 15 minutes. We were going to leave around 5:30, but didn’t leave until 5:40.

We started the trek towards the gate. And then realized that the start was at the OTHER end of Downtown Disney – a bit farther than the 10 minute walk to the front gates.

We walked briskly – there were A LOT of people with bibs on, even behind us. As we neared the parking lot, we saw fireworks start to go – the first wave had gone. Corral A, B, then C would start. As we neared the starting line, I noticed I was in Corral C! Kristine was in Corral D. I asked someone where Corral C was and was informed- they already left. Oops.

So I booked it towards the starting line, fiddling with my iPod to get started. I think I might have been the last person in Corral C to cross the starting line. Mickey and Minnie were on the platform at the start. I waved mightily at them, then looked up to see Donald and Daisy in the monorail up ahead and waved, too.

I was off! And it was HUMID!

Course Map

My adrenaline was pretty high, I think – the first few miles were kind of a daze. We started down Disneyland Drive, where I caught up and passed the back of the Corral C pack. We turned the corner onto Katella – I remember the pretty palm tree lined street, and not much else.

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I had decided that I would not check my pace on the iPod throughout the race – I thought it might drain the barely charged battery. Then another left onto Harbor for Mile 1. The clock read 0:18: something – so I started at least 6 minutes after the clock was started.

We ran through the parking lot, just water for me at the first station – I drank a few sips then poured the rest onto my head, then turned into the entrance of Disney’s California Adventure and were headed around Paradise Bay towards the pier when we hit Mile 2. I think the clock was at 0:30: something now. The first 2-3 miles of the race is always slow going as I try to find my pace and work through the pack.

We continued through DCA, then went through the tram area, and headed into the Disneyland entrance. I passed several characters – more like floats – that I wasn’t as interested in taking photos with. I got my first photo with Flik from A Bug’s Life, then a few minutes later, Buzz Lightyear.

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We took a side route around to Tomorrowland, which looked VERY much like the Disney World Tomorrowland, and continued around through to Fantasyland for Mile 3. We went under the Sleeping Beauty Castle. We passed the 5k chip mats (37:10). Then I got a picture with the Finding Nemo crew.

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We ran through Frontierland, Adventureland, then back out the park through the Tram Area, got just water at the next aid station – again a few sips and the rest on my head, and then onto Disneyland Drive for Mile 4.

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Once we left the park – it was just a run with a lot of people. We turned onto Ball Road – another few sips of water for me, then I decided to grab some Powerade, too. Then we hit Mile 5. I was feeling good, running all the time. My sciatica was twinging a tiny bit, and my right ankle, too, but nothing major. We turned onto Anaheim Blvd, and when we hit the first medical station, I decided to go ahead and grab some biofreeze. I quickly smeared it on my ankle and right glute, and kept going. The humidity was crazy. To get the biofreeze off my hand, I swiped at the back of my neck, which was drenched with sweat and the water I kept pouring on my head.

We hit Mile 6 on Cerritos – and I was pleased to notice that I was making up good time. I was calculating about an 11 minute mile off the start clock and the previous miles. I had already made up nearly 3 minutes. Another water stop as we turned onto Lewis Street.

All this time we saw lots of police officers, cheerleaders, marching bands. And families of the runners. A dad near me saw 3 boys cheering on their dad, and lamented, “Where are my kids?” I empathized and said something about it being nice to have family on the route. He then said that he only lived 5 miles from where we were. Oh. I was glad to have the excuse that my kids were in Colorado. I felt bad for him.

We passed the 10k chip mats (1:09:54). There was a group of Hawaiian dancers on this street (I think) – and there was a cute group of little girls in their grass skirts and leis. Adorable!

We turned back onto Ball St for mile 7 – over halfway finished – YAHOO! I decided to dig into my Clif Blok Shots and had one – yummy! Back onto Cerritos for Mile 8 and another water/Powerade station. We crossed the Orange Freeway, took a short jaunt down Douglass Road and got onto a nice dirt bike trail. That was a nice surprise for me. I like trail running. Another Clif Blok Shot gave me more energy.

The past few miles were pretty boring, and I relied on my iPod to keep me distracted. I kept hoping that it wouldn’t quit working before the finish. Each mile was a triumph.
As I was running down, I heard Rob Bass’ Joy and Pain and sang it to myself. A guy next to me said – “Keep singing – sounds good!” So I felt bolstered, sang the chorus a bit louder and used that energy to pass more people as we came upon Mile 9.

Joy! And Pain!
Like Sunshine
And Rain
RoB BaSe – Joy & Pain – Rob Base

We passed the 15K chip mats (1:42:51).

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Then we came around Angel’s Stadium. Here there were even more cheerleaders, bands, girl/boy scouts. We hit Mile 10, another water station and I had another Clif Blok Shot. “Only 5k to go!” I yelled. “Almost there – WOO HOO!”

We hit Mile 11 as we turned onto S Anaheim Way, and I was so happy! We went through a tunnel and then back onto Disney Way. I caught and passed the 2:30 Clif Pace group – and I was feeling good as we hit Mile 12. Just 1.1 to go!

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I got a picture with the Monsters, Inc. crew and Elastigirl as we re-entered Disney’s California Adventure and then blew through Downtown Disney for the finish. As we passed the 13 mile clock, I was bummed to see it read 2:30:10 already.

I rounded the corner to the finish, and saw the clock ahead at the finish read 2:28!!! – so I started booking it! I really wanted to finish under 2:30:00.

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I heard my name from the announcer as I crossed. YAHOO! I ran the whole thing!

I grabbed a bottle of water and a glove full of ice from the medical tent. I shoved the ice glove down my back and chugged the water.

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Then it was a blur – chip removal, then I got my medal. Shortly afterwards, I got my Coast to Coast medal for doing both the Walt Disney World Marathon and this one.

I grabbed a bagel, banana, and mandarin oranges from the food tent. I got my photo taken with my medals. As I headed out, I saw the Pushing Daisies booth. They were giving out free pies courtesy of The Pie Hole. And I answered a trivia question and got a free Pushing Daisies Pie Cutter. (What was Ned’s beloved dog’s name? Starts with a D…

I checked out the overpriced tees and tanks from Disneyland commemorating the half – I had my tech shirt and it was nicer than anything I saw hanging there.

I walked back to the hotel. I started running a cold bath, then ran down to get 2 buckets of ice for the bath. I poured them in, took off my shoes, socks and tank and got in the tub with my shorts and running bra. Not cold enough. I went down and got 2 more buckets of ice. I got back in the tub and dumped those 2 in – Perfect. I closed my eyes and sat there until all the ice melted. I was beginning to think the water wwasn’t so cold anymore, so I checked the temp with my hands – BRRR – still super cold. I sat for a while longer.

Finally, I decided to get up, drain the tub and start my hot shower. Ahhhh…

Christine came in while I was in the shower – she finished and was doing okay – YAY!

I went online to check my official time



Age: 39 Gender: F

Distance HALF MAR
Clock Time 2:28:56
Chip Time 2:21:23
Overall Place 4016 / 10849
Gender Place 1722 / 6407
Division Place 327 / 1021
Age Grade 48.2%
5K 37:10
10K 1:09:54
15K 1:42:51

2:21:23 Chip Time – YAHOO!!! 10:47 Pace overall – not too shabby.

I’m definitely a half marathon kind of gal.