In 2011 when I did the Disneyland Half Marathon it was beyond fun ... but I also said I didn't need to do it again . . . not exactly the most exciting course to run on once you leave the parks. When runDisney announced the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare, however, I immediately ignored my prior feelings and didn't hesitate to register while at the Goofy expo in January. My prior post covered the Disneyland 10K, so now here we go on a 13.1 mile journey through Anaheim, or, as I dubbed in 6 miles in .... Northern Mexico.
At 4am Man Friend and I were up and transforming into what might be my favorite race outfits - due to the fact that they were very simple to make and very comfy to run in. For the next few hours I would have the Super Mario Brothers theme song "running" through my head, and I loved it! We energetically made our way to the Disneyland Hotel for a potty stop before getting into the corrals. On the way we ran into Kristen, whom I first met in 2010 at my first runDisney race! Pretty standard corral experience - except we got to see Joey Fatone and Sean Astin!! This Goonies obsessed *NSync groupie was in heaven!! I love being in Corral B because we get to start earlier, meaning more time for photo stops, and that was our plan - to hit each and every stop and then some!
|A friend actually found this photo of us online somewhere. Cool!|
The first mile was kind of a big "Hello!" to my body. We reminisced Goofy and how the start of the race was terrifying.... being tired from running the day before and doing parks non-stop, surrounded by people on their first race, and then taking in the crazy heat and humidity! But once we entered Disney's California Adventure all of that was out of my head and I was on the hunt for character lines. Fortunately they were shorter than the 10K (hello proper corral wave release!). During our time at DCA we took advantage of the beautiful sights given to us by the sunrise. Runners really are lucky people once in a while!
With MF being a military boy forever there was no way we could pass by the green Army men!
Soon we were flying through the space between the two parks, with tons of spectators cheering us on. That was awesome! But then it was time for the REAL magic ... Disneyland!!! Running down Main Street USA will NEVER get old!! This time was different though, we got to pause and hang with Aladdin and Jasmine before we took our jaunt down my most favorite street in the entire world! I almost forgot! It was in this line that MF and I were in a photo with this cute little Asian girl that was so excited to see Mario and Luigi. AND I helped the gal in front of me ... by pinning her wings to her sports bra. True story. I love how runners come together in a race and help out, even if they are complete strangers that they will never ever see again! We have great spirit!
Since it was our second leg of the Dumbo Double Dare I felt it only appropriate to pause with the one and only Dumbo himself! And then I drove a car....
|Trust me, I can find any excuse to goof off and/or sit down during a race!|
Mario and Luigi, those guys are always trying to save the princess ... and we were thrilled to get to Sleeping Beauty's Castle and find her there and safe, phew!
It was a battle to save her after all, I mean we ran into crazy characters like Darth Vader! *Note: in 2011 Team Jam was right up there to get their photo with Darth Vader and he decided to go on a break. For 2 years Darth Vader has been thought of as a jerk ... he redeemed himself this time!
I was standing in line for Cinderella when out of nowhere came Jaime! She was having a great race so far and paused only long enough for a photo before continuing on her way. Not even two minutes later Tara came up behind her also pausing for a photo stop. Wait - does that mean I was the character this time?!?! Now I could have easily jumped out of line to have Tew Legit and Team Freedom merge and finish the race together - but I knew that my fun time in the park was almost over. Bam, Bam, Bam it was a string of princesses and then nothing. Then it was off to Anaheim. Perhaps I'd run into my friends later??
I was completely excited to get another chance to visit real life animals backstage on our way out of Disneyland property. And this time I HAD to visit the tiny cow. I probably didn't have to make out with it as much considering I had 9 more miles to run with cow all over my hands and arms, but it was just too cute to not snuggle up against! Can you blame me?!?
Keeping with Disney race tradition - one that started in 2011 in almost this exact same spot ... the cartwheel happened.
Mentally I was starting to check out. Around the time I started noticing we were running in Northern Mexico (I saw zero signs with English on them for quite a stretch), I ran into Emily!! We bonded over being the Pacific NW runners that were absolutely dying in the heat. Too. Much. Heat.!!!! My new strategy became to walk when I was heading toward the sun and feeling blinded, then running in shade or when I could actually see. Emily and I would come and go from each other for the next couple of miles, it was nice!
But then what happened?!?! Who was there?? Jaime!! Team Freedom was once again running together - and we stayed together the rest of the race - well, 3 of us anyway. Mentally I needed that! MF and I were both just feeling miserable and having our new favorite with us really brightened up the course. We met up during a 2 mile stretch of cars, which was right up MFs alley, and reminiscent of the WDW Marathon!
If I wasn't a whining slacker I probably would have run more, but I was dying. This is where Jaime and Tara really had the advantage - being from Arizona and all. My Oregon blood could not handle it out there. At one point my body was revolting against me so much that I think I gagged on water and shot some out of my nose. So sexy! But I had so much fun being lazy and goofing off with Jaime and MF, made this race memorable for me!
MF was also busy being a ham. He is ALWAYS the #1 character, so this time it drove him nuts that everybody cared about Mario first. He made sure to get attention pointed his way when going through the Anaheim Angels Stadium. He IS a character, let me tell ya! Let's have some random photos, less text:
I call these two photos "R0nda absolutely DYING and not even seeing the cameras, while forcing everybody else to walk along with her while she tries to not whine about dying!"
|This is what I live with every day.... To his credit he did get the spectators yelling pretty loud!|
|He says this is his favorite photo .....|
We were in the last bit of mile 12 when a ray of happiness came floating through . . . Abby!!! I just adore her so much, so I was thrilled to see her smiling face!
And so there we were, closing in on the finish line and deciding that maybe we should suck it up and .... run! So we did, and I actually had a good photo that I will now force you all to see!
My finish line moment was so close to being awesome. The downside was some chick dropped her phone and some random ran in, pushed MF INTO Mickey Mouse so she could grab the phone, and the photographer just stopped photographing to watch. Dammit. A) I crossed the finish line jumping up like Mario and B) how awesome would a photo of MF crashing into Mickey have been??
Getting our medals was freaking rad! One race and you're putting 3 medals on me? Yes, please! And so for the final time at a race site, until we reunite, Team Freedom was together for post-race celebrations. However it was a celebration of "this was freaking hot and that course sucks, let's not do this again." Will I run it again? Tough to say. If I do it would be because Team Freedom is doing it together and we are awesome! Now why Team Freedom? -- Braveheart! FREEEDOMMM was our expo madness battle cry and it stuck for the entire weekend! Let's finish with more photos!
|An official FREEDOM!!! finisher's photo - sans Tara who was in the shade somewhere|
|I found this on the runDisney page! We're famous!|
|Our post race thoughts - in photo form! I love our Team!! You guys are the best!!|