Pixie Dust Challenge Race Recap!
I was so excited for my first trip to Disneyland! I decided to make it a girl’s weekend since it was mothers day weekend, so my mom came along. It was great to have her there supporting me during the races, but also so I didn’t have to fly across the country alone. We arrived early Thursday so that we had plenty of time to get to the hotel, settled in and explore the expo. After landing at John Wayne we took an Uber to the hotel (cheapest way since it was only $16). We checked in to the Fairfield Inn by Marriott (across the street from the Disneyland/California Adventure entrance) it was nice to be able to walk everywhere we wanted to go. After putting our bags in the locked baggage area, since we had to wait for our room to be ready (it was only 11am local time) we headed across the Disneyland/Downtown Disney area to the other side to get to the Disneyland hotel.
We arrived at the Disneyland hotel and had to figure out where to go for the expo. We followed the crowd and headed down the ramp into a basement looking area for packet pickup. Having never been there before it was a little confusing but I found the Pixie Dust Challenge check-in, got my 2 Coast-to-Coast challenge bracelets and picture taken. They had a very long line formed downstairs and I realized after that was to get into the runDisney gear area. Personally I don’t wait in line to buy “stuff”, or at least not for more then 20min. I guess I’m weird but there is nothing I need that bad. I did go back the next day right before they opened and there was basically no line. I waited 10min to get a few items to commemorate the experience since I probably will not end up going back to Disneyland for a race.
Once we finished downstairs we made our way upstairs to the actual expo. I picked up my race bag with shirts and snacks. I also got a new sparkle skirt and some wings from Sparkle Athletics to complete my Tink outfit for Sunday. The expo seemed smaller then the ones at Disney World but that could be my imagination or just because the physical space itself was smaller. We took a look around and there was nothing else there I needed. We decided to leave and I got a text saying our room was ready, perfect timing or what? So we headed back to the hotel, got checked-in and settled in. Since it was Cinco de Mayo I made reservations at Tortilla Joes in downtown Disney. We had our Mexican food fill along with some margaritas and after dinner called it a night. Flying across the country sure does take it out of ya!
Friday was the first day we got to hit up the parks! I was very excited to say the least. We got up early and spent the day exploring Disneyland and some of California Adventure. We ended the afternoon/evening at the #teamsparkle donut meet up which was a lot of fun. I got to meet all the very nice team sparkle founders as well as other sparkle addicts like myself. We had donuts, shared stories and answered some trivia questions for prizes. Does it get any better? I always love meetups and connecting with other runDisney addicts. Then dinner and an early bed time since the Tink 10K was early the next morning.
The major difference between Disneyland and Disney World races is that you can walk to the race start at Disneyland so this gives you a little more time to catch more zzzz’s 😉 . Unfortunately it was a rainy Saturday morning for the start of the 10K. I woke up, got dressed, grabbed a towel to throw over my shoulders and headed down to walk across for the race start. They had people directing you where to go since the start was under Downtown Disney and I had no idea how to get down there. There were only 5 or 6 corrals for the 10K start. I was in corral B and even though it was raining I decided to stand toward the front of the corral instead of under the overpass. I did that for the star wars half at Disney World and loved being in the front of the corral. So thankful I had my towel and figured I wouldn’t melt. When it was start time the corrals were released with a giant GO on the big screen. I was a little sad because I had gotten use to the firework starts at Disney World. I talked to others and they said Disneyland in the past had fireworks but they weren’t sure why they didn’t this time. Anyway before I knew it corral B was off!
The first mile was looping around the back lot to get to the back of Disneyland. I was so excited to be running at Disneyland that I was just taking it all in. I love Disney races because not only are the surroundings great but also the people that run the races are always so much fun! So around mile 1.5 I believe we headed into the back part of Disneyland. I have to admit I spent most of the race just looking at everything and sending snaps to my friends so they felt like they were running with me. After running through Disneyland past it’s a small world and through the castle we crossed over into California Adventure. Since we didn’t spend much time in this park yesterday I was like a kid in a candy shop! I took a ton of pictures and couldn’t get the smile off my face. We went through the bugs land, past cars and around the boardwalk. It was so much fun to say the least. The race finished through Downtown Disney, which was great since the crowd was huge and gave me so much energy for the last half-mile or so. I crossed the finish line, got my medal and met up with my mom. We then went to the bakery for breakfast which was great because we got to sit right by the race course and for the next 45min cheer on the others as they finished. The best way to end a race is by cheering on others as they finish. What a rush and sense of joy as they accomplish their goals.
After breakfast we headed back to the hotel for a much needed show and short nap. Then got up, dressed and spent the day at California Adventure. We took lots of pictures, had dinner and then went to the #werunsocial meet up in front of the haunted mansion. That was a blast! Not only did I get to meet some of the runners I follow on instagram, but we also got a private ride on the haunted mansion and some interesting behind the scenes info. We took some fun procompression sock pictures and I ended up meeting 3 super fun girls that so kindly invited me to run the half with them the next morning. After the meetup it was back to the hotel to get everything ready for the morning and bed!
Sunday morning my alarm went off, I was up, dressed, and Tink was ready to fly 13.1 miles! I had planned on meeting up with my new friends in the corral, but ended up running into them waiting for the crosswalk on the way over. I knew from that point that it was going to be a great race. So Tink, Hook, Smee, and the Crock (Tick-Tock) were ready to go! We made our way to the corral start chatting and taking a few pictures along the way. Once in the corral we had about 30min to kill so we talked and watched the on screen entertainment. Before we knew it the wheelchair start was released and then corral A. Again no fireworks but I had new running friends so that didn’t matter as much this time. A few min later our corral was released and away we flew! The first 6 miles were similar to the 10K course but we made a lot more stops this time for pictures. Since I do Disney races for fun and not time I didn’t mind and we got some very cute shots along the way. The longest line was for Tink of course so that added a good 20min on to our time. The picture turned out really cute though so well worth it.
We ran through Disneyland and then around to California Adventure. It was nice because I got to see my mom once we ran out of California Adventure which was really special especially since it was mothers day and she was bummed she didn’t get to see me during the 10K. After about mile 6 I believe, we were sent on to the streets of Anaheim. I have to admit this was a little dull compared to Disney World races, but the community does come out a support the racers cheering them on and some even bring snacks to hand out. Around mile 10 the red hat ladies were there cheering which was great. Since Disney doesn’t own the city street there were no Disney characters or entertainment the last half of the course. Parts of the course were also very narrow which became very frustrating; especially since we stopped for Tink we got pushed back into the later corrals. This makes it difficult if you want to run and everyone around you is walking and you can’t get around them. At least I had great company to keep me motivated and laughing! The course had a loop back so you came back in and around through Downtown Disney to finish. That was exciting to have the big crowd cheering you on again. We made it through Downtown Disney and around to cross the finish line with Hook and Smee there waiting for us! I crossed with my new friends and we got our half-finisher medal. Then I had to branch of for a min to get my pixie dust challenge, pink coast to coast and blue coast to coast medals. We regrouped and got our pictures taken. The race had taken longer then I was used to since we stopped at almost every character stop but that made it that much more fun. The stops added well over 30min to my time, and my body was a little spent since it is not use to being on the course that long.
I said goodbye to my new friends, met up with my mom and we started the journey back to the hotel. Unfortunately Disney did not have very good planning when it came to runners needing to get back to their hotels if there were across the street. We ended up having to wait in an hour plus long line to get through security just to walk back to the hotel. Being tired and smelly I was not at all happy about this and it is a big factor into why I probably will not run at Disneyland again. Overall the races themselves were fun because what Disney race isn’t fun? I wish the course was a little different and the girls said the other races had a different course that were much better. I wish this were the case for Tink. Even though they were celebrating its 5th year running the course was not a celebration. So thank you Disneyland for a fun filled girls trip, but I will probably stick to Disney World races from now on.
ChEARS to many more magical miles!
❤ Dr. Carrie