While the 5K is considered the gateway to running distance events, the 10K is gaining in popularity as the logical stepping stone towards the coveted half marathon. When I made the runDisney leap and ran my first 5K, I struggled to find the next perfect race. I knew I wasn’t ready- physically or psychologically- for 13.1, but needed to push myself towards the more serious bling. Luckily, at the time, runDisney offered the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay, and I was able to “step up” to the 8.3 leg. (I would have preferred the 4.8, but darn, my partner snagged it.) I’ve never looked back, but I do have to say I was still looking forward to a runDisney inaugural 10K race. The inaugural Disneyland 10K was it, and I was there! (Our 10K-runDisney Love Affair)
I simply love running races at Disneyland; strolling leisurely from my resort (Disneyland Hotel) to the starting line (nearby Disneyland Drive) means not having to stress over transportation and ultimately a later wake-up call.
The Alice in Wonderland theming permeated the corrals and starting line, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum warmed up the crowd of 8,000 or so runners for our 6:15 am kick-off.
Early on, the course winds through the city and past the Anaheim Convention Center. Spectators and neighbors lined our path and gave us our 6.2 mile boost.
The magic went into overdrive after Mile 2, as we entered Disney California Adventure Park. Hello Route 66!
Mickey’s Fun Wheel further set the mood.
After a short run between parks, we entered Disneyland at about Mile 3.5, and as always, relished our time on Main Street, U.S.A..
Into a deserted Toontown…
And through Sleeping Beauty Castle. Pure enchantment with a blue bird sky.
A final chEAR from the many, spirited spectators lining Downtown Disney District.
To the finish line at Mile 6.2…
I barely had time to cool down on the short walk back to the resort.
This race is by far my favorite 10K to date. Park time is a-plenty, and I always find the residents of Anaheim to be supportive and enthusiastic. Last year’s weather didn’t cooperate, although the high temperature and humidity levels felt strangely familiar to Orlando runners.
While the 2014 Disneyland 10K course is unchanged, the starting time has been adjusted to 5:30 a.m., which should translate to a cooler race. (Unlike 2013, the Disneyland 5K will take place the day before the Disneyland 10K, eliminating the need for a later start.)
For some, the Disneyland 10K is simply a cog in the Dumbo Double Dare wheel, but for a great many others it is their first “real race”; a timed event that takes training and concentration. The runDisney 10K is a brilliant addition that widens the brand’s appeal to the masses of varying motivation and fitness levels.