Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Race Report: Disneyland Half Marathon

Overall, I had a lot of fun at the Disneyland Half Marathon. It was my first time running this race and since I am doing a bunch of half marathons this season, I wanted this to be my fun one.

Just like the other Disney races, only bits and pieces are actually run through the parks. I think the first three miles were around and through Disneyland and California Adventures. Then the bulk of the middle miles were spent running up and down the streets of Anaheim where they had a pretty decent line-up of bands and cheerleaders for entertainment. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to go inside the ballpark in Anaheim, just around it. Last year, the course had you actually run the bases which I thought would have been cool. Finally, the last mile or so took you back through California Adventures and then Downtown Disney. Here's the course map in case you want the full view:

Running through the parks was fun as they had characters cheering you on. I had to stop to get a picture with these guys as my sister and I loved the Finding Nemo show at Disney. Definitely one of our favorite attractions that I highly recommend! On a side note, I didn't really see that many runners take pictures with the characters compared to the WDW Marathon where it seemed like all the characters had lines of runners waiting to get their pics with them.

Here's me running through Disneyland - very fun! But look what a mess I am, I've got my hands full with my iPod and water bottle. Not something I will be doing again.

My favorite part of every race... the final stretch to the finish line! It was so cute to have the characters there to greet you, too.

Here's me afterward with my two medals:

Pretty nice bling, right? The one on the left is the half marathon medal and the one on the right is the medal for the Coast to Coast challenge (running in the WDW marathon in January and running the Disneyland Half). Disney gives the *best* medals - you can see the Mickey one from the marathon here.

I love the Coast to Coast challenge medal - here's the inspiration!

Did you know Tinkerbell was there, too?

OK, let's talk about how I did. Final chip time: 2:17:20 (10:28 pace)

This was my fifth half marathon ever and the slowest time out of the bunch - the other finish times ranged from 2:08 to 2:13. I was a little bit disappointed because I felt my training runs were going really well this year but then when I thought about it more, it all makes sense that I didn't have my best showing and here's why (kind of reads like an excuse list, but really is meant as a reminder for myself for upcoming races):

1. Weather: Apparently, the temps this year were much better than last year when it was in the 80s when the race *started* at 6AM (yikes!). I think for us, it was in the high 60s when it started and then later on it was in the 70s. That is too warm for this runner. I prefer 50-55 degrees. And when I think about it, all my other half marathons were in much cooler temps, the kind where you needed to have some kind of layering while you wait for the race to start - always a good sign in my book!

2. Water stops: My usual approach to a half marathon is three evenly spaced stops - one for water, one for gatorade, another one for water and then on to the finish! That always seemed to work well for me. But since it was so hot, I stopped for water at almost all of the dozen water stations.

3. Other misc breaks: Since I approached this as a fun run, I was a little bit more disorganized than I normally would be. Examples: I stopped once for the Nemo pic, stopped again to put my camera back in my belt, stopped again to put my ipod in my belt, stopped again to turn off my ipod and shove my headphones in my belt, stopped again to dump some of the water in my water bottle since it was kind of heavy and I was mainly taking from the water stations anyway, etc etc... so yeah, I was a disorganized mess!

4. Bad refuel plan: I didn't really adjust my refuel strategy for the weather conditions. I probably needed more than just the gatorade I took at the halfway point - they did have Gu's or Clif shots of some sort at one point but for reason I didn't think I needed it. On second thought, I probably did need an extra boost in the electrolyte department.

Some other random notes (again, mostly for myself):

- This was the longest run I've ever done in my Nike running skirt and I was pretty happy with it... the compression shorts didn't ride up on me or bother me at all!
- Did NOT like carrying the water bottle - should have stuck with one of my fuel belts.

And in case you're curious, here are the splits courtesy of Mr. Garmin:

1 - 9:26
2 - 9:50
3 - 9:49
4 - 10:40
5 - 10:05
6 - 10:05
7 - 11:36
8 - 9:49
9 - 11:12
10 - 10:33
11 - 10:32
12 - 10:49
13 - 10:12
0.32 - 2:56 (9:10 pace)
Total: 13.32 mi, 2:17:34

Official Race Results:

Chip Time - 2:17:20
Overall Place - 3538 / 10849
Gender Place - 1439 / 6407
Division Place - 255 / 1061

In summary, the race was fun and although I don't think my finish time was *that* bad, I really do hope I can improve in my upcoming races.

I leave you with a picture of me showing off my new medal to Minnie:


*aron* said...

awesome report! LOVE all the pics!!! so cute!

congrats again on another half marathon finish!! sounds like it was a great time.

and i agree with you 100% about the 55 degree temps. i cant wait for those to arrive in the bay area :)

Julianne said...

Great race report Audrey!!! I love those medals. Maybe I need to do one of those Disney races to collect one of their finisher medals. ;-) Oh, I ran with Run Club SF this past Saturday! Were you there??

Running Knitter said...

Those have to be the coolest medals I've ever seen!
Congrats on a great race and I'm sure you're next one will be even better!

bill carter said...

Congratulations!! Great pictures also as you look so happy and have such a great smile. It is an interesting thing that the more races you do, it is so easy to look at how you prepared and say "yeah that is about right in terms of performance."

Congrats again.

Marcy said...

CONGRATS chica! You are the happiest looking runner I've ever seen! I love it!!

Is that a Nike skirt? Dang that baby has a nice little reflector strip on it. I think I need one :P

Cindy said...

totally cute pictures! that looks like a really fun hm. the finish line pic looked like goofy was ready to pounce on someone. i don't think i'd be able to handle the warmth there, good job!!

Danica said...

Love the pics, congrats on the finish, looked like fun run and the medals are really sweet!

Runner Leana said...

Congrats on getting the double bling! You are right, your half marathon time wasn't bad. It was supposed to be a fun run, right? I'm glad to hear it wasn't as hot there this year as last. I heard last year was brutal...

joyRuN said...

CONGRATS! Awesome report, and thanks for posting the pics :)

How do you manage to look so awesome during the race? I always look like a wet rat about to throw up.

Grace said...

nice lil' summary of your race! i loved the Finding Nemo pics. Very cute :)

RoadBunner said...

Great race report. I love the picture of you and Minnie and the one with the statue. Do you know I TOTALLY spazzed and missed that we ran right in front of the castle and the coast to coast statue!?! I didn't realize it until the loop back when we were running away from the castle down Main Street. I was going to cut across the course and go back to get a picture, but I didn't want people to think I was cheating when I cut back over to where I had come from.

Run For Life said...

Nice race report, that looks like such a fun one to do! I'm the same with liking cooler temps to run in. Thanks for sharing the pics now I want to go to Disney again, haha.

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