Friday, September 7, 2012

Race Recap: Disneyland Half Marathon

So here’s my disclaimer: I went into the whole Disneyland experience thinking it wouldn’t be as magnificent as Disney World. I don’t know why. If anything Disneyland should be better than Disney World. After all, it is the original; the framework to making Magic Kingdom “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” As a Disney lover, I should be paying homage to the resort Walt actually saw to completion. Instead, I was afraid I’d spend the entire trip saying, “Well in Disney World…”

I was right. I couldn’t help it. Disneyland is the perfect snapshot of Disney World; it has all its greatest hits. I had hoped for more Disneyland originals in terms of the rides and shows, but they were far and few between. It did make it easy to determine what rides to check out, and allowed up to maximize our day between the two parks. It’s a snippet of the Disney World experience though, and it left me wanting more.

 Aw, it's so tiny and cute!

Since I was comparing Disney World to Disneyland, I couldn’t help but contrast the Disney Princess Half to Disneyland Half. The Disney Princess Half was everything I had hoped, which is good considering the price tag. The Disneyland Half rarely matched up. This isn’t to say it was a bad race – on the whole, it was a fun race, and if it was in the Philadelphia area, I’d sign up again. I wouldn’t, however, go all the way across the country to do it again.

I loved how close and convenient it was to get to the starting line from all of the area hotels. We had to walk through Downtown Disney, and a lot of the food places were open at 4 AM, ready to feed and caffeinate us. I wish Disneyland had told us the businesses would be open, but that’s okay. They could have and we just missed it. The finish line was also next to the start line, which made it an easy trip “home” in time to shower and check out. An easy start/finish is crucial to the experience, especially when you need to be in your corral by 5 AM.

The race itself was pretty boring. The first couple miles were through the two parks, and then it was all industrial roads until we hit the Anaheim Angels stadium. After that it was more boring roads until the end. Running through the stadium was probably my favorite part, even if it was really crowded. The course was also pretty narrow, and with 17,000 it really stressed me out. There were a lot of spectators out cheering for us, which was awesome, but I was expecting more of the Disney flair. The characters that were out were limited, and on the whole the race was less dramatic than the Princess. Probably because the race was on public roads and not Disney World on ramps, but still – don’t tell me Disney doesn’t have enough money to put a pirate ship in the middle of the road!

That being said, I wouldn’t have been able to see any of it anyway. We were running into the sun the majority of the time. Looking at my official race photos, you’d think I ran the entire race with my eyes closed:

I wanted to buy the photos, but I’m not sure I can justify $99 on photos of me sleep-running.

The Coast-to-Coast medal was absolutely worth pursuing, because I doubt I would have made it to Disneyland otherwise. Dan and I had a blast in the parks, and I PRed at the race by over 10 minutes!

No comments:

Post a Comment