Tinkerbell Half Marathon Race Review

14 miles total (13.1 & nice warmup through parking garage)
Happiest Strides on Earth

As I told you, on Friday I turned into a Flu-zee.  You know the kind of person who sleeps around [the house] and sports smeared eye makeup all over her face and disheveled hair.

I guess that the echinacea pounding, vitamin C popping, Zinc lozenge sucking week trying to prevent it kept the flu to a minimum because on Saturday I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck, but fever free and just slept all. day. long.  I went to bed unsure if I’d run on Sunday morning.

IMG_2841On Sunday I randomly woke up super early feeling so so and unsure if I should go.  After a quick shower to wash away the last flu-zy remnants I decided to go and take it easy and roll with my body.

Yes, 2:34.  The one downside of Disney races is that they are SUUUUPPPPEEER early to get the race done before the park opens.

IMG_2844While waiting in line for the Port-A-Potty I decided to play a super fun game of I Spy with myself and it went something like this…”I spy with my little eye a red sweatshirt…wait is Skinny Runner under that hood?”

Neither of us were sure what we wanted to run so we just opted to start together and see how it went.  The Run Disney people put together a fabulously organized race.  With around 12,000 people, they got everyone rounded up into 5 corrals that went off in approximately 5 minute intervals.  In fact, we heard them still sending off the last corral around mile 4.5.

Lucky for us we got into Corral A and made our way towards the front.  Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck gave one last cheer and we were off….

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SR and I were just running and chatting and were pretty surprised to have pulled out a 7:35 first mile.  Feeling great we just kept chatting and running around 7-7:30 minute miles.  I didn’t wear a watch or timer, but only know thanks to SR’s Garmin.  Despite it being a lot of people, the pace we ran left us with a very open course – not crowded one bit.

Around mile 5  is where I started asking EVERY Disney employee where the next bathroom was and was told, “Just ahead” (one pointed behind me..uh no thank you).  I’ve never stopped in a race because I had to go #2 so badly, but I should have remembered what Strawberry told me the day after his fever broke “I had diarrhea all morning.”

Eventually I made it to a bathroom and was in there for FOUR flippin’ minutes (to anyone in there I apologize, it was loud, I was panting and catching my breath, it was all shades of ugly and probably sounded like a rabid dog trapped in a bathroom stall trying to get out).

I got back on track right onto the course, but sadly my stomach staged a revolt of sorts the rest of the race.  Every fast food restaurant, gas station and port a potty passed made my stomach lurch and churn longingly for a visit.

Around mile 5.5ish the race course leaves the park you hit the streets of Anaheim.  For those in corral A this meant a VERY long stretch of very dark streets.  Fear not, there were police officers on literally every corner (I was sure to thank as many as possible) and while some found it a little weird and creepy, I actually found it kind of liberating to not know what was ahead and to just run….

Even without a watch I’d usually mentally track my splits, but let’s face it my mind was on one place the last few miles – BATHROOM.  Despite my 4 minute potty break I finished in 1:39:22.  I came in 6th of 1923 in my Age Group.

I literally crossed the finish line as the sun was coming up and snapped a picture with SR and Kristina before grabbing my super fabulous snack box.

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Disney does a great job with the details.  As you finished you got a bottle of Gatorade, a bottle of water, a banana and the box of snacks below (not to mention the super awesome medal which weighs as much as my left leg).IMG_2851

I spent another 20 minutes in a port-a-potty and then stopped to thank some of the ChEAR Squad.  One of the best things about Disney races is the amount of course support – there are tons of cheerleaders, bands, Disney Cast Members, and other social groups cheering on the runners.  One of the best groups was the Red Hat Society.  I stopped to thank them for their support and we ended up having a fabulous photo shoot.  These ladies were great!

2013-01-20Despite my GI issues during the race and the 4 minute potty break, I ran a great time – especially since I had the flu the few days leading up to it.  Sadly, my body was not so happy about my results and I literally spent 4 hours in the bathroom after the race.

It was a pretty rough post-race day as my body probably wasn’t ready to handle the stress of a race at that pace, but all in all it was worth it!  I laid around watching football and eating nothing much because every bite seemed to put up a fight with my stomach.  Good news, I’ll probably eat nonstop on Monday and Tuesday.

I know Disney races are pricey, but they really do know how to run a great race – everything is super organized.  If your a newbie or looking for a first race, I’d say it’s worth it to pony up to pay the cash for a great course, great support and to participate in a race that moves like clockwork!