I started running just two short years ago. My journey was inspired by an article I came across about a woman who successfully became a runner with the help of an app called Couch to 5K. The app worked for me and I completed my first 5K race just 3 months later. Well, I couldn’t stop there. I’ve come this far, why not keep going? The next logical step was 10K. So the following year, I completed my first 10K at the Disneyland Inaugural 10K. It was the Happiest Place on Earth to run a race. When Run Disney had announced they would be hosting a new event, the Inaugural Disneyland Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon the following year, I thought, “why not accomplish another milestone and run my first Half Marathon at the Happiest Place on Earth?” I had nearly a year to train, physically and mentally. That should be plenty of time to prepare.
Before I knew it, Sunday, November 16, 2014 was here. We picked up our race packets the Friday before. Adrenaline was pumping and excitement was in the air.
Unfortunately, Javier suffered from a terrible bout of food poisoning from our Friday night dinner and was unable to run the Half Marathon with us. We were all disappointed, but we knew that just meant we would have to sign up for another Half Marathon to make up for it.
On race day, we got an early start at 5:30 a.m. It was cold and dark but no one cared, we were all happy to be there. With 12,000 runners anxiously waiting to cross the Start Line next to the Disneyland Hotel, my corral didn’t get to go for another 25 minutes. Once we got the green light, we were off. We started down Disneyland Drive through the back entrance of California Adventure. Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater greeted us as we entered Cars Land.
Superheroes, like Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America were available along the route for photo-ops. However, as expected, the lines were long and I was not interested in waiting. I had 13.1 miles to run.
A few Disney characters were also along the route, like Russell and Dug, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Mickey and Minnie.
Before I knew it 3 miles had passed and we were out on the streets of Anaheim. Cheerleaders and Marching Bands from many local High Schools lined the route throughout the entire course.
The course wound through the city of Garden Grove, past the Christ Cathedral.
Next we crossed the 22 Freeway and headed along the Santa Ana River trail. Unfortunately, we were hit with gusty winds and were pelted with dust and debris.
Along the way up to Angel Stadium elaborately costumed spectators cheered us on. It was an unexpected treat.
Mile 8 ended in Angel Stadium. We ran through the tunnel and along the green spongy baseball field.
Upon our exit, we were cheered on by World War veterans in full uniform and vintage military vehicles.
The final stretch was along the 5 Freeway through the Downtown Disney parking lot. Before I knew it, the Finish Line was in sight. I just ran, with a little bit of walking, 13.1 miles and it happily didn’t feel like. The past three hours seemed to fly by. Don’t get me wrong my legs were feeling something. I was feeling sore behind my knees. I needed a banana and some water, not to mention some stretching. All that can wait first I wanted my medal.
I happily completed the Inaugural Disneyland Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon! As usual, pumped up on a race high, I want to do another one. Which race should that be?