Dumbo Double Dare 2015 Recap: Expo & Disneyland 10K
This past weekend I completed the Dumbo Double Dare. Spoiler alert: it was awesome and I had a blast! I wanted to do a recap of the experience and jot down a few thoughts because this will be my last Disneyland Half Marathon, at least for a few years.
As always, the first step was picking up the race packet at the Health and Fitness Expo. Since I went fairly late on Friday evening, there were no lines for bib and goody bag pickups, and the crowd was relatively light.
There are loads of interesting vendors at the Expo, but I generally don’t go for merchandise or collectibles. My favorite booth is Clif’s for the samples, which is how I got hooked on Gel Bloks last year. I also had to visit the New Balance booth to look at the new runDisney Donald Duck shoe. I think it’s beautiful and Donald is my favorite Disney character, so I spent a good amount of time waffling over whether or not to buy it. Ultimately I decided my Cinderella pair (purchased at the 2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon expo) was enough, not to mention I already have too many shoes as it is.
Afterwards, it seemed like a fun idea to hop on the Monorail and make a quick stop at Space Mountain since it was about to close for work on the Ghost Galaxy overlay. It turned out not to be so quick as the line was an hour long, but that gave me enough time to take care of dinner dinner by snarfing down a pepperoni slice from Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port with time to digest. By the time I got out, it was getting late so it was back on the Monorail to skip the walk through the park and Downtown Disney on the way to the parking lot.
The next morning, it wasn’t hard for me to roll out of bed and hit the road at 4:15 am on Saturday morning because I was so wired from the anticipation and excitement that I didn’t sleep a wink. Note: I do not recommend pulling an all-nighter before any running event.
Since the 10K is a smaller event, parking was quick and there was more than enough time for bag check. Corral A was still a few minutes from starting, and many people were still streaming into corral D after I got there. To pass the time, there were, of course, some amazing costumes to look at, including the chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins. My boyfriend was in an earlier corral and was blown away by the amazing churro.
The route took us down Disneyland Drive and through the Anaheim Convention Center, which I had never visited so it was interesting to see something new to me. Then we made our way into California Adventure and down Route 66 while it was still just dark enough for the neon lights of Cars Land to pop and look gorgeous. Notice the friendly runners waving? :)
The World of Color music was very uplifting and I love seeing the fountains as we ran by, even though the sun was already out you could still see a bit of the color.
The course went around Paradise Pier, through Grizzly Peak, towards Carthay Circle, down Hollywood Land, and then a short portion backstage before we reached the entrance gate to Disneyland.
Running down Main Street towards Sleeping Beauty Castle is probably the biggest draw for me to do these events. There’s something about being there at that ungodly early hour with thousands of other people who love Disney that is distinctly different from being on Main Street any other time with any other crowd, it’s even better than being one of the first in the park at rope drop. Honestly, I’ve always thought it’s kind of a shame this part of the course is so early in the half marathon. During a 10K though, it’s around halfway through, which places at just the perfect point to get hyped up again.
I picked up my pace a bit as we reached Tomorrowland because it’s my least favorite land and I wanted to get past it quickly. The Matterhorn looked gorgeous in the morning light, and you could hear the seagulls chanting “Mine!” from the lagoon, one of those sight and sound combinations that are so distinctly Disneyland.
After Small World, there was another backstage portion where I almost stopped to take pictures with the horses that had been brought out to “cheer” with the cast members. I know they’re used to crowds on Main Street and the general bustle of large numbers of people, but it was still amazing to see how gentle and patient they were as people ran right up to them for photos.
Then it was into Toontown!
Then it was out to Fantasyland where the teacups were happily spinning away. I love the whimsical look of this area so I had to stop and take a picture, and the cast member operating the ride gave me a big good morning wave.
I also got my only non-blurry picture of a mile marker, even though it’s mostly blocked. The half marathon mile marker is mostly the same each year, so seeing these themed mile markers that were all different was one of the things that made the course more fun and interesting.
Then it was through the castle…
And into Frontierland…
After we passed Splash Mountain and into another backstage area, I again quickened my pace to get through a very crowded Downtown Disney to the finish line (I grabbed this picture later on as I was leaving), with a time just under 1:15.
Once done, I went straight to The Coffee House at the Disneyland Hotel for my much needed morning coffee, which I enjoyed as we rested in the hotel lobby to soak in the happy atmosphere and people watch as the runners walked around with their medals proudly displayed. We decided to have another go around at the Expo when it opened, and I got two sample packets of Jelly Bean Sports Beans, which I would later come to appreciate very much.
A short time later, the Kids Races started and it was an adorable sight seeing the kids dashing through the course, some with their parents darting after them. Many seemed to be having a blast, though from the wails of others, there were a few that just weren’t having it. I completely understand, kiddos.
We decided to leave at that point because we realized by the time we reached home, it would be time for In-N-Out to open. And the only thing better than an In-N-Out Double Double is an In-N-Out Double Double with a chocolate milkshake after running a 10K.
Even though I’m just getting started, I’ll save the half marathon for next time because unlike a 6.2 mile course, this post has gotten much too long.