Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 6th stop on our Special runDisney Edition of The Magical Blogorail.
“You can run. You can run. You can run.”
Few running enthusiasts will forget the drum roll prior to the official announcement of this inaugural event; Disney sleuths were whipped into a frenzy with the runDisney Facebook mystery challenge- 10 clues that would reveal their newest race before the April 19th, 2011 news conference at Disneyland. Personally, I knew from the first hint that this exercise would not be my forte:
Game aside, it was quite apparent that Disneyland needed another endurance contest. Last September’s Disneyland Half Marathon reached capacity in record time. Disney runners coveting the Coast to Coast medal had only one West Coast option. Building upon the huge success of the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon Weekend, and acknowledging that women are the most rapidly growing population of racers also made perfect sense. Looking for a feminine yet spunkier attitude, Disney announced its new race, the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, would be held January 27th- 29th, 2012 at the Disneyland Resort.
Sold out in less than 4 months, this Half Marathon would host 12,000 runners (of those, 920 were “Lost Boys”), and the entire weekend welcomed 17,000 participants.
– Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo Friday, January 27th 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday, Jaunuary 28th 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Conveniently located in the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall, the Expo included Packet Pick-up, health and fitness speakers (including Jeff Galloway and the new runDisney Moms Panelist, Lori Lovell), the runDisney Official Merchandise store, Dooney & Bourke Tinker Bell specialties and the expected running gear bonanza.
– Never Land Family Fun Run 5K Friday, January 27th 10:30 pm Start
runDisney’s first-ever evening 5K coursed through the Disneyland Resort- beginning at Main Street, U.S.A and ending at Disney California Park. Each participant was given one Twilight Theme Park Ticket (good for either Disneyland Resort Park) that was valid for one entrance after 4 pm through Monday, January 30th. Was that a bargain at $99 or what?!
– Disney Kids’ Races Saturday, January 28th 8:00 am Start
Diaper Dash, Kids’ Races (according to age group) and 1 Mile Run. Children 13 and under enter the appropriate race at the Disney California Adventure Park.
– Tinker Bell Half Marathon Sunday, January 29th 5:45 am Start
Kicking off on Disneyland Drive- near Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and finishing in the Simba Parking Lot, also alongside the hotel. NOTE: If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, there is no need to allow extra travel time for buses, as this area is in walking distance from all three of their hotels!
|The Pre-show outside Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel|
The 13.1 mile course traversed the Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, the City of Anaheim, and then through Disney California Adventure Park. Nine beverage stations, offering water and PowerAde, and one refuel stop distributing Cliff Shots were positioned throughout the race.
|Charging the castle!!|
While this Half Marathon did offer its spectators ChEAR Squad packages, these reserved viewing locations (outside the AMC 12 Theaters in Downtown Disney and the Finish Line in the Simba Parking Lot) did not include any zones inside either park.
In addition to the usual Disney entertainment and character interactions, I must give a shout out to the City of Anaheim, and its hordes of high school cheerleaders, local marching bands, a military rock band and beautiful young Hawaiian dancers who gave us a much-needed boost through the later miles. I was so impressed by these young people- they redefined hospitality! Of course, it should be noted that the well-deserving Anaheim Community Foundation was the Disney appointed charitable beneficiary of this weekend.
Also of note, was the two-person team category. These runners each completed the 13.1 race (not as a Relay), and received Commemorative Team Bibs and eligibility for special Team awards.
Registration for the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon started at $120, and for my yardage, was worth every dollar. Since so many folks are vying for their Coast to Coast Challenge medals, I suggest keeping your focus aimed at the second star to the right. I’m betting the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon will sell out faster than you can say Pixie Hollow.
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail is Tips from the Disney Diva.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop~ Disney Babies Blog
2nd Stop~ Adventures of a Disney Princess
3rd Stop~ The Disney FAITHful
4th Stop~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts
5th Stop~ Growing Up Disney
6th Stop~ DIStherapy (You are here.)
Final Stop~ Tips from the Disney Diva