Race Recap: 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon— Disneyland, CA

It was a whirlwind weekend trip and I had a blast at the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon on May 8!

Taylor and I sport our short sleeve Tinker Bell shorts at the expo

Taylor and I sport our short sleeve Tinker Bell shorts at the expo

It was a three day trip for me— the four of us (two runners and two spectators) arrived in Anaheim on Thursday evening. We elected to skip the expo Friday so we could spend the whole day at the parks.

Going to Disneyland before the race is awesome. However, it does wear on the legs and so on Saturday we vowed to take it easy.

We went to the expo on Saturday and had a blast. Although the official merchandise tent had sold out of some items, there was still a lot to look at. Taylor picked up a limited edition print, a nice memento from his very first half marathon. I finally picked up a running hat, which will be necessary as I train for the Portland Marathon this summer.

This may be my favorite picture from the weekend and it's not even from the race! it's cool that tehy had a Tinker Bell Half Marathon autopia car out. We even got commemorative licenses.

This may be my favorite picture from the weekend and it’s not even from the race! It’s cool that they had a Tinker Bell Half Marathon Autopia car out. We even got commemorative licenses.

We also picked up packets and numbers. I was very excited about the race shirt— my first short-sleeved runDisney race shirt and green is my favorite color!

After a home cooked meal of pineapple teriyaki chicken and rice, we got to bed super early. Even though all of our race things were laid out, our alarms were still going off at 3am.

At that early in the morning, it was still dark when we got to the race start, but the sky was getting lighter and lighter. We went through the super smooth bag check process, said goodbye to our cheer section, Kelly and Jason, and then walked to our corral.

In the Corrals for the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon!

In the Corrals for the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon!

Every other runDisney race I’ve done has been in January, and it’s dark for the first half of the race. Here, it was practically light by the time our corral, Corral D, took off and by the time we entered Disneyland, it was a gorgeous morning.

Our costumes were awesome, great to run in and we got lots of call outs from people who loved seeing them. We rocked this race as Judy and Nick!

We had such a blast running our costumes. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde from Zootopia are also just great running costumes for a race because they are such active characters. They were some of the most complicated running costumes I’ve ever worked on because of sheer number of pieces (not pictured is Taylor’s amazing tail).

I thought they may prove uncomfortable for such a long race, but they gave us no problems at all!  In fact, they held up really well for the entire 13 miles.

But of course, the coolest miles of the race was inside the parks where we stopped for quick photos in a number of spots.

Lost Boys found! Of course they're riding the carousel and whooping it up like any kid having fun.

Lost Boys found! Of course they’re riding the carousel and whooping it up like any kid having fun.

The route had changed from previous years, most likely due to the Star Wars Land construction and it was similar in many ways to the Star Wars route. Of course, neither of us really cared because running in Disneyland is such a great feeling. It’s the quickest way to give your feet wings.

Goofing off in front of the Rivers of America. In the background, you can bunches of runners in bright colors taking over New Orleans Square.

Goofing off in front of the Rivers of America. In the background, you can see bunches of runners in bright colors taking over New Orleans Square.

Because of the course layout, we spotted Kelly and Jason cheering for us in a bunch of different spots. They ran from location to location to cheer us on. It’s really such a boost seeing people you know turn out for your race day.

Obligatory selfie with our cheer squad. So excited to see them!

Obligatory selfie with our cheer squad. So excited to see them!

We wound in and out of the parks. Even strangely empty (except for thousands of runners), the parks seem to teem with energy.

The views of California Adventure were amazing at that time of day.

The views of California Adventure were amazing at that time of day.

By the time we left the parks we were halfway done with the race at mile 6. We got incredibly lucky with the weather for our run and it stayed cool most of the morning. In fact, temperatures were higher at home in Portland, than they were that weekend in Anaheim. Even so, by Mile 8 we could really feel it heating up, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared Southern California in the spring might be.

At some point past mile 8, dad caught us and cheered us on. It was such a great surprise seeing him at that point on the course! It was also quite sunny by then.

The Red Hat Ladies were absolutely astounding and hands down win the prize for best cheering group, spanning about four blocks around mile 8. They’d been cheering for hours and showed no signs of stopping. It was truly impressive. MiceChat was once again handing out my beloved Redvines around this spot. I found out my costume had a handy place to store them and I stashed them for somewhere down the road.

At this point in the race, you also start to see the fellow runners around you fading, especially if people are undertrained. People slow down, expressions change and heads start to hang with exhaustion. Keeping a happy attitude during the later stages of the race has become my new goal this past year and it really makes a difference in how I enjoy my races. I accept tiredness, but I refuse to let it change my attitude.

We may be feeling tired, but we're still happy to be here. At this point, we still look good and only have a 5K left in the race.

We may be feeling tired, but we’re still happy to be here. At this point, we still look good and only have a 5K left in the race.

Attitude conversations with myself go something like this: Feet hurt? Duh, I’m running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and I’ve ran 10 miles already and it’s been so freakin’ awesome and now I’m running back to Disneyland! This day is amazing and some people haven’t even woken up yet! A magical, sweaty day!

Of course, it may have worked too well. Around mile 12, I was positively manic, occasionally skipping and bursting out into song. I blame crazy runner brain. Other runners were probably harboring dark thoughts toward me and I have honestly no idea where it came from because I was pretty exhausted.

And as we approached the finish line, I found out why I was so tired! We totally beat all expectations of time and beat the 3 hour mark for my best RunDisney time ever. RunDisney is supposed to be a slow race because of the stops, but I wasn’t too far out of my non-runDisney Half Marathon times. Of course, now I wonder what I could have gotten for a time had we not stopped at all, but where is the fun in that?

After the race, we rejoined our cheer squad and then went straight to Disneyland (not kidding, I cleaned up in a wonderful restroom on Main Street). Then Taylor and I picked the craziest thing we could possibly do in the park on tired exhausted legs. We climbed to the top of Tarzan’s Treehouse just to say we did.

I'm sure this is an unusual location choice for a post-race, in-Disneyland-Park photo.

An unusual location choice for a post-race, in-Disneyland-Park photo, but it was fun, even if we usually skip Tarzan’s Treehouse on normal park visits.

Time: 2:53:11
Ran With: Taylor
Best Costume-related shout-out: “It’s called a hustle, sweetheart!”
Most Surprising Snack Box Item: Drinkable/slurpable applesauce— appalling idea to me pre-race, delicious nectar of goodness post-race.

 

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Running Costume Reveal for the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

img_6285Okay, so maybe that’s more of a teaser than a reveal, but to be honest, I’ve already packed my bags. A better picture will have to wait!

Taylor and I are very excited to be running as Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. I’m so excited, I can hardly wait.
Tinker Bell Race Weekend officially starts tomorrow, and we’ll be flying down tomorrow evening.

It’s Taylor’s first half-marathon! What better place to run it than at Disneyland?

Corrals and Course Maps for the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I know we’re getting closer to race day when the event guide and corrals are posted! I worked on our race costumes this weekend while following coverage of the Star Wars Half Marathon: The Dark Side at Walt Disney World.

Corral Placements

Tinker Bell Corrals
By looking up our race waivers to get our bib numbers, we were able to see our corral placements.

This may be the last time I can use my PR time from the 2014 Run for Sight for corral placement, but it was good enough to place me squarely in B corral. As I plan to run with Taylor, this doesn’t really mean anything, aside from making me smile, since last time I ran Tinker Bell, I was placed in C corral.

Taylor, after running Race for Warmth only 10 days after starting training, managed to get placed in D corral— a huge improvement over F Corral, which is where we thought we would be if we hadn’t found a 10K we could run before the time deadline. His bib number shows us that he just barely missed being placed in C corral, so I’m guessing he will be in a higher corral for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September.

Jason ran a few numbers and it looks like the corrals breakdown is as follows:

750 people in A corral
2500 each in B and D corrals
1750 in C Corral
4500 each in E and F corrals

Only 300 people in D corral had seed times faster than Taylor. Since Taylor is faster than me now and I was placed in B corral, our current plan is to start as close to the front of D corral as possible. I’m sure we’ll mix with C corral and B corral.

Course Map

I was guessing the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon course would have to differ from previous years because of the construction on the new Star Wars Land in Disneyland. With the publication of the Event Guide, we finally found out the course, and I’m pretty happy with it.

The official course map from the 2016 Tinker Bell Event Guide.

The official course map from the 2016 Tinker Bell Event Guide.

I’m glad it differs so much from the Star Wars Half Marathon and it looks like we spend a good chunk of the race on Disney property. Taylor actually overlaid the course map onto another map to get a better feel for how the course goes through the parks.

Taylor's version gives a bit more detail.

Taylor’s version gives a bit more detail.

Next weekend, Taylor and I will go on our last long run (14 miles) before the race and teh following weekend I’ll be cheering Jason on as he runs the Eugene Marathon. Before you know it, Tinker Bell time!

Portland Marathon No. 2 and my Crazy 2016 Race Schedule

Well, the year 2016 is shaping up to be absolutely insane! Last night, Jason and I took the plunge and signed up for the 45th Anniversary year of the Portland Marathon.

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I had such a fulfilling time at the 2015 Portland Marathon, my first marathon ever,  and have been thinking about doing it again since about 20 minutes after I finished the first one (which still shocks me, but the race was just that good).

It was one of the best races I’ve ever completed in my life (and I’ve done several runDisney races too) and I often wear my finisher pendant on a necklace to remind me of the accomplishment and good times.

If you are looking for a first marathon experience, I definitely suggest the Portland Marathon and I’m so looking forward to running it again (and with better training)!

That being said, my race schedule this year is absolutely insane now and I’m sure I’ll be logging the most miles in a year for me ever.

And I’m not the only one— Jason is signed up for two full marathons!

After a challenging first marathon with record-breaking heat at the Foot Traffic Flat, Jason will tackle the distance again at the 10th Anniversary of the Eugene Marathon on May 1st.

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He loves following pro runners, so what better than a race in Track Town USA that finishes on the track at Hayward Field? I’m really looking forward to watching him race. Plus, I went to University of Oregon, so I’m excited to see friends in the area and visit campus again.

I’d be interested in the doing the race myself, except it’s bound to be a fast field of runners, and more importantly, I’ll be running the very next weekend at Disneyland!

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016

The 5th anniversary of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon (registration is still open) is my next major race. Jason and I will switch places as I become the runner and he becomes the spectator. I’m so excited to be running with my brother Taylor in his first half marathon ever and we’re already hard at work planning our costumes.

Taylor and I are also celebrating our July birthdays (which are two days apart) with people by completing a half marathon.

Twilight Half Marathon

The Twilight Half will be my first major nighttime race and first major race during the summer. It’s in nearby Vancouver, Wa. and looks to have a very nice flat course around Vancouver Lake. I’m a little nervous, but hopefully I’ll overcome my issues with running in summertime temps and this looks to be a ton of fun.

If the conditions are right, it’s also my best chance for a half marathon PR this year because of the four half marathons I’ll run in 2016, three of them are RunDisney races.

In fact, if everything works out, I’ll complete my 10th Half Marathon at Disneyland in September!

2016 Disneyland Half

My whole family will be participating in the Disneyland Half Marathon race weekend (registration still open). I’ll have both Taylor and Mom as running partners during the half. I’ve been wanting to do this race for a while, so I’m very excited to be going!

A month later, I’ll be running the Portland Marathon!

And then, perhaps I’ll take a break.

I don’t think I’ve ever had to train at such a high mileage for so long before, so I really don’t know how it will feel. With the exception of the Portland Marathon, I’ve got running partners for all of the races and I’m so excited for them. I think that will help me avoid running burn out. There will also be smaller fun races sprinkled in.

In fact, next weekend is the Luckython 5K! I look forward to wearing green and running with Taylor and Katie!

Training for Tinker Bell (& Other News)

training for tink

It’s official— I’ll be running the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon on May 8th!

After spectating at the 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon, Taylor was getting really excited for his own runDisney experience. His original plan was to do the 10K during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, but then I let it slip that there were still spots open for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon…

Regardless, once he looked at the training plan and realized he could train properly for it, he texted me and very soon Taylor and I were signed up! The 2014 Tinker Bell Half was my first half marathon. Now, not only do I get to run the 5th Anniversary of the race, I get to run it with my brother!

I couldn’t be more excited.

5th anniversary Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal.

I’m in love with the 5th anniversary version of the beautiful Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal. Can’t wait to take mine home!

However, the fun just keeps on coming! Just because Taylor and I are running in May doesn’t mean we abandoned the idea of doing the Disneyland Half. In fact, my whole family is now signed up. Jason, Taylor, Mom and I will be running the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 4th while Dad will be doing the 5K with his sister for a second year.

Last year, my Aunt and Dad did the 10th Anniversary Disneyland 5K in the most amazing race outfits ever— Rooftop Mary Poppins and Bert. I’m excited to get to go this year!

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Have you seen a more perfect pair? Plus, my aunt even sported the umbrella (parrot head created by my mom).

Change in RunDisney Costume Requirements for Races

A lot of furor has been raised over RunDisney’s new costume requirements, especially as the announcement came right before two major races weekends, Walt Disney World Marathon and Star Wars Half Marathon.

I’ve definitely heard concern by Star Wars runners regarding this line:

Layered costumes, that could conceal prohibited items, are not permitted (e.g. Jedi robes).

No Jedi Robes?

Star Wars Logic

Star Wars Logic

Although it may not be fair to announce new costume guidelines right before races when people have already worked on their costumes, I think I understand what RunDisney is trying to get at, although the wording on the “layered costumes” line is problematic and ambiguous.

Overall, I am okay with seeing less large bulky or prop-based costumes. They were amusing, but also contribute to crowding on course. This may also require a little more creativity into converting an idea into a running-friendly costume—I’ve always had fun seeing how runners do that, especially for the longer races.

I love running in costume, but I also believe they should be inherently running friendly, to the runner and to others on course.

Top 10 Disney Running Songs new to my RunDisney Playlist

The Walt Disney World Marathon is this weekend and after that, the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend is next! That gives me only about 10 days to perfect my running playlist for the Rebel Challenge. Since I’m struggling with that pinched nerve, I’ll need some truly great tunes to help me out.

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Since my previous post on my Disney running playlist, I’ve added many new songs to the list, removing some that just weren’t working and adding new discoveries. As a result, here were my top 10 new disney song additions to my upbeat Disney running playlist. They are certain to make it onto my 2016 Rebel Challenge playlist!

1. When Can I See You Again (Owl City)

Not only was this song featured in the end credits of Wreck-it Ralph, but the song was also adapted for Disneyland’s Paint the Night parade. The upbeat, positive song is a perfect addition to my running playlist.

Need proof? Here’s a lyric sampling:

Switch on the sky and the stars glow for you
Go see the world ’cause it’s all so brand new
Don’t close your eyes ’cause your future’s ready to shine
It’s just a matter of time, before we learn how to fly
Welcome to the rhythm of the night
There’s something in the air you can’t deny

2. Mickey and Minnie on a Moonlight Night (Beverly Stanton)

The first version I heard of this song was a done in a 50s doo-wop style (Eric Troyer). I still like that verison, but the techno style is my new favorite and perfect for the run. When it comes on my running playlist, I invariably get a massive grin on my face and pick up my pace. Several of the other songs on the Disney Cuties album (Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Mickey Mouse Club March and Little April Shower) also made it on my playlist, but this remains one of my top favorites.

3. Go The Distance (Julie Griffin)

This has always been a problematic song for me. The lyrics of this Hercules song are absolutely perfect inspiration for running (“I know every mile/ will be worth my while…“). Unfortunately, the movie version is way too slow and the movie’s pop version, still slow, is sung by Michael Bolton… and I can’t stand him. For a long time, I had the Lucas Grabeel version from Disneymania album on my running playlist, but that also started out slow, which is just difficult to have when you’re trying to keep your pace up.

Finally, I found this version on the Mousercize album. Unfortunately, all of the songs on this album are preceded by a short, rather cheesy spoken encouragement, but the one for “Go The Distance” isn’t actually too bad (“Now some races are short and some are long, but it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you go the distance!”) and seems on point for the playlist. Better yet, the song itself has a perfect back beat to accompany the inspirational lyrics.

4. I Wan’na Be like You (Fall Out Boy)

I had five versions of this classic Jungle Book song already (including the fabulous swing version by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy), but none seemed quite right for a running playlist until I found this version by Fall Out Boy, which really rocks. It may not be my all-time favorite version of this song, but it really moves me forward during training.

Fall Out Boy also performed “Immortals” (from Big Hero 6), another amazing Disney workout song.

5. Main Titles from the movie Endurance (Theodros Tadesse)

I’ve had this on running playlists and workout playlists for years but didn’t realize that Endurance was actually a Disney movie. The movie is about Haile Gebrselassie, a famous ethiopian distance runner who won the gold for the 10,000 meters at the 1996 Olympics. You can probably imagine that the music has a great running rhythm.

Since I only realized it was Disney this year, I’m justifying its place on this list as it is new to my disney playlist.

6. The Ballad of Davy Crockett (The Kentucky Headhunters)

If you are familiar with the ballad (perhaps the version by The Wellingtons) you may wonder how the deliberate pace of the ballad could possibly be a good running option.

Well, the Kentucky Headhunters have made a swinging country version that really moves by comparison. It may not have the fastest tempo on the playlist, but it’s great jogging music and the country vibe is a welcome change of pace from all the techno-type workout music (in small doses, of course).

7. The Throne Room — From Star Tours (John Williams)

John William’s epic score for the final scene of Star Wars: A New Hope was reworked for Disneyland into a much faster piece— perfect for atmosphere music in the parks. Even the fanfare at the begin is speeded up. It still has that epic feel at a workout pace, all adding up to perfection.

8. Pineapple Princess (Annette Funicello, remix by Kinsey Moore)

This might be the weirdest song on this list. Annette Funicello is definitely before my time, but I’ve been listening to her singing since the 1995 Classic Disney Vol. 1 album featured her and the Beach Boys singing “The Monkey’s Uncle” as one of the tracks. I love her version of “My Little Grass Shack” with its punchy trumpets and bold singing, and I came to know her better when I was researching the 1950’s Mickey Mouse Club TV show for my mouseketeer running costume I wore for the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon. After all, she was arguably the most famous and popular Mouseketeer.

“Pineapple Princess” was a popular hit of hers in the 60s and the era reminds me of Disneyland’s Adventureland and Enchanted Tiki Room. I love having the remix on the playlist. It’s a smooth track, a steady beat perfect once settled into the even pace of a long run with a vintage feel that pops up, Annette’s voice hinting at the flavor of the original.

If you have this on a rundisney playlist, it will have you dreaming of dole whip by the end of the race.

9. Rotten to the Core

I never saw the Disney Channel’s recent TV movie Descendants, but I was mildly interested in it. I hadn’t realized it was a musical, but after listening to the music, I had to add “Rotten to the Core” to my playlist. Most its songs were too teen pop for me, and although Rotten to the Core has a bit of that, it stands out. A little bit of that bad girl/boy attitude in the song is a perfect soundtrack for a take no prisoners approach to running.

The “Mirror Mirror on the wall” sections are a little slow, but strengthen the Disney vibe in my mind. I think the movie version might be better than the Sofia Carson version for running— her version seems just a tad slower, although perhaps better overall. Either would work on a running playlist, however.

10. We Are Here to Change the World (Michael Jackson)

Michael Jackson performed two songs for Disneyland’s Captain Eo attraction. I’ve had “Another Part of Me” on my playlist for a while. Of the two, I thought it was the better for running and for a while, I was so tired of Michael Jackson’s music, that I couldn’t have too many of his songs on a single playlist, even though they are great for workouts.

However, “We are Here to Change to World” is an energetic song and I think the melody is a little more uplifting, to say nothing of its lyrics. I had to add it in!

More Disney Running Songs

Of course, in addtion to these 10 new additions, there are a bunch of disney songs that will always be classics to workout to.. There are over 60 songs on my Disney running playlist now (and that only includes the ones that I can find on spotify) and you’re welcome to follow my playlist on spotify, or make your own using these songs for inspiration.

I love mixing disney songs into any running playlist!