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The Inaugural Disneyland 10k!

by Meghann on September 2, 2013

It’s official! I’m no longer a RunDisney Disneyland newbie! Yippee!

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On Saturday I ran my first RunDisney race – the inaugural Alice in Wonderland themed 10k – in Disneyland!

Shhh… don’t tell the other RunDisney races, but I think the Disneyland 10k had officially taken the spot as my favorite race of the RunDisney series (that includes both World and Land races). What I really LOVED about it is the course. Unlike the races at Walt Disney World or the Disneyland half, the 10k course is about 90% through the actual theme parks.

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It’s seriously a GREAT course! You get to run more of the theme park than if you were running just the half!

Also, you can’t beat the start line location. Unlike Disney World races where you have to wake up three hours before the race to make it to the start line on time (even if you stay on property), my alarm was set a mere hour before go time. Race start was at 6:15 and my alarm was set for 5:15. Since I was staying at the Grand Californian (beautiful hotel, by the way), all I had to do was roll out of bed and WALK to the starting line! No buses, no shuttles, and no worries about parking or walking a million miles to the start line. Beautiful.

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(Ariel themed costume thanks to Sparkle Athletics!)

There was a bit of a hold up getting to the starting line since the 5k only started 45 minutes before the 10k ( and the first runner of the 5k crossed the finish line before they got through all the corrals at the 5k start line!), but after the 5kers all crossed the start line it was smooth sailing. I made it to my corral with plenty of time before the start to enjoy the pre-show and even wave to a few friends.

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Hi Rudy! Hi Carissa!

At 6:15 the first corral set off, then corral B followed quickly there after.

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I was definitely riding a RunDisney high this whole race. I had no goals for the run, just to have fun and enjoy my time running through Disneyland Resort.

After the start, it wasn’t long before I ran into Heather (I heard Carissa announce her name at the start a few seconds before mine) and settled into a 9:00-ish min/mi pace with her around the first stretch of the race.

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(photo via Heather)

We ran around the outer edge of the Disneyland resort and I saw Ali Vincent, Joey Fatone, and even met Pavement Runner for the first time on the course. I love the laid back feel of RunDisney races. Everyone’s always in high spirits and so happy to say hello and wish fellow runners words of encouragement.

Heather and I ended up sticking with each other for the first 4 miles of the race. We entered California Adventure through the back entrance and ran through Cars Land before making a left on Paradise Pier.

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Here’s where the half and 10k differ. In the 10K you run the full circle of the pier, where the half you only run the inner edge. You also enter from the opposite direction.

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We exited California Adventure through the back staging area and veered right before making a left into the Disneyland entrance. The route through Disneyland for the 10k is similar to the route through Magic Kingdom for Walt Disney World races (enter through main street, make a right through Tomorrowland, and make a big circle to the back entrance of the castle), but is different than the Disneyland half route, which is the opposite approach).

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Though, they do take you an extra long route back to the castle. They sort of tease you by bringing you by the front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle when you first enter the park, then take you on a big loop of the back staging area and back through Toon Town.

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I lost Heather in the back staging area when she stopped to take a gu. My legs were feeling really good at this point and I was ready to pick up the speed. I treated the last half of the race like an interval workout and was basically sprinting between photo ops.

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Luckily I was still early enough where the lines weren’t terrible for characters. I waited 3 minutes tops for each photo. There was actually an “Eric” before me in one line and the photographers thought we were together. Nope, just a random Eric and Ariel waiting in line next to each other.

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Finally, the castle!

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You enter the castle with about a mile to go before the finish line. This may not have been my fastest 10k time ever, but the race definitely flew by as if it was. The 6 miles went way too fast!

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The last stretch takes you straight through Downtown Disney, which was awesome. Tons of crowd support and a great, fast and flat piece of the route to finish on.

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As soon as I spotted the finish line, I couldn’t help but sprint to the end. I finished with my hands in the air and the biggest smile on my face (especially after hearing Carissa announce my name at the finish).

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Official time: 1:03: 32 – not bad considering the photo stops!

And, of course, you can’t forget the bling!

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The 10k medal was legit! They weren’t messing around with this bad boy!

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Once we got our medals, we were funneled through the exit and handed a recover Fitful box on our way out.

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When the FitFul boxes first debuted at RunDisney a few years ago, I wasn’t impressed. The boxes of snacks weren’t the bagels or whole fruit I’m used to grabbing after races. However, I was happy to see it this go around. The snacks are all pretty tasty and even if I’m not craving it at that very moment, they’re all great for putting in a bag and nibbling on in the parks later on.

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I took my recovery nutrition in my own hands and headed straight to the Jamba Juice in Downtown Disney for refuel.

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I would like to petition to bring Jamba Juice to Downtown Disney in Orlando. Our Downtown Disney could really use one. 😉

After a quick shower, I couldn’t wait to wear my shiny new medal while exploring the parks with my twin brother (who lives in Los Angeles).

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But, I’ll get to that in another post (I have SO MUCH to share about my first visit to Disneyland!).

What’s your favorite RunDisney race?

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 meredith September 2, 2013 at 5:27 am

How awesome! Looks like you had an amazing time, I hope one day to get to Disney World for a half marathon! I always wanted to run one.
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2 Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy September 2, 2013 at 7:30 am

How fun! I want to do a Run Disney Half in February. I love your outfit! My boyfriend and I are running a Halloween half here in St. Louis and you better believe we are dressing up together!
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3 Alicia at Poise in Parma September 2, 2013 at 7:46 am

I’m jealous of that easy pre-race schedule – an hour from rolling out of bed to start line is so much better than WDW! You’re right – that medal is no joke!! Congrats.
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4 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 2, 2013 at 9:13 am

Sounds like such an amazing experience! Too cool!
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5 Dustin September 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thanks so much for posting this! I ran the Disney World half in 2012, and I’ve been wondering how the Disneyland races compare. I’m hoping to make my first trip there this fall, though I’m currently training for the OUCH half in December in Orlando. And I completely agree: we could definitely use some Jamba Juice around central Fla!

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6 Pam September 2, 2013 at 10:08 am

Looks like such a fun race – I want to do this 10k and half next year thanks to you!! 🙂 Have a fun time with your brother today!

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7 Kelsie September 2, 2013 at 10:23 am

Were your race entries paid for? What about the hotel? I’m kind of confused I guess…

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8 Meghann September 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm

My race entries were paid for, as was my hotel. However, I paid for my own plane ticket and other travel costs to get to Disneyland.

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9 Jill C. September 2, 2013 at 10:28 am

Such a cool race! I love all of your photos from the course. The Alice in Wonderland theme is a definite draw for me, as Alice is my favorite ever 🙂 I can’t wait to do a Disney race!!!
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10 meghan @ little girl in the big world September 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

That route looks awesome. The lack of theme parks is one of the things that makes the Disney World RunDisney races so boring so often.
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11 Meghann September 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I know a lot of runners don’t like running in the service roads in WDW, but I don’t mind it. I think it’s just as fun seeing other aspects of WDW. Plus, RunDisney does a great job adding in entertainment. However, I’ve done a WDW 5k and wasn’t impressed that the 5k only took you through Epcot. I really enjoyed how both the 5k and 10k takes you through a good chunk of both Disneyland and California Adventure, plus Downtown Disney.

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12 Megan (The Lyons' Share) September 2, 2013 at 11:35 am

You are TOO cute! Seeing the joy on your face makes me want to go out for a run and just enjoy it. Thanks and congrats!
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13 Diana September 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

It looks like the 10k was so much fun! Seeing your race pics all weekend is making me looking forward to my first half marathon, the Disney Wien & Dine half marathon, this November!
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14 Ashley September 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

What a cool sounding race! Glad you had such a great time!
PS: I wish I looked HALF as adorable as you do finish that race! I always look like I’m dead or dying in race photos!
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15 Molly @ There Goes Molly Rose September 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

That looks like such a fun experience!!

I have never done a RunDisney race…they sound kinda stressfull! Waking up 3 hours before the race?? eeekies! But sounds like you did it right!
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16 Suzanne @ hello, veggy! September 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Love your costume! My ultimate goal is to run the Disney marathon! Until then, I’ll keep training and hopefully run my first half-marathon this May!
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17 Meghann September 2, 2013 at 9:30 pm

You’ll love the Disney marathon! Good luck at your first half!

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18 Katie @ balanced RD September 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm

That race looks so fun!! I love your costume!!!
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19 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm

This looks like so much fun! I’d love to do a Disney race in the future!
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20 Ja @Ja on the RUN September 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I would love to do this in the future!!! Looks soooo much fun!!! So jealous looking at everyone’s pics on Instagram!!!
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21 Runner Girl Eats September 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Looks like such a great race! And thats a great time considerign your photo stops! Congrats 🙂
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22 Katie September 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm

OOOOOOoooo. That course map has me sold! How awesome!!
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23 Sonia the Mexigarian September 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

looks like so much fun! ah! wish i could have done it. i haven’t been to Disneyland in ages (I live in Nor. Cal) but still remember a lot of the sights. really neat. congrats on such a fun run 🙂
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24 Pavement Runner September 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for the shout out… it was really great to meet you as well…. Totally knew who you were and was excited when you introduced yourself. Always great to meet fellow bloggers/twitter folks.

Great job out there… I had TONS of fun on the 10k course as well. The runners were really into it.
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25 Karla @ Foodologie September 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I did the Disney 10k too! I thought it was so fun! It definitely flew by! If I hadn’t had such a crazy day (I went straight to LA to photograph a wedding after the race! Eek!) I would have suggested a meet up!
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26 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep September 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Great job and great costume! It was awesome running into you at the expo! Looking forward to hearing what you thought of the half marathon course.
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27 Heathers Looking Glass September 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm

YAY! I had so much fun running with you for the better part of the race! Glad you enjoyed it. I agree, the 10k course was so epic. It is making me want to run the tink 10k now. hhmm… Hope we can run again at another runDisney event! See you at wine and dine! <3
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