Monday, September 05, 2011

2011 Disneyland Half Marathon Race Report

Alice and Greg Web

Alice and I waiting in the pre-race corral before the race

This year the Disneyland Half Marathon was held on Sunday, September 4, 2011. Alice and I had registered early on in 2011 since we enjoyed the 2010 race so much.

We started around 1:50 AM when we rose from sound sleeping to prepare for our race day. We were going to our running friend and fellow racer Nancy's home in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock) and then off to the race in Nancy's large and spacious SUV (thank you for driving, Nancy).

Upon arriving at Nancy's home, we were greeted by Kiki and Mikey her dogs. They were happy to see us and greeted us with their barking. While Nancy tried to quiet Kiki down, I went to the bathroom.

We were soon on our way to Anaheim and Nancy made it a quick and pleasant drive to Disneyland. Parking was easy and it was a short walk to the course.

Last year Alice and I stayed overnignt at the Anaheim Marriott and took the shuttle over to the race. Frankly, the drive was so easy and parking so good, I would recommend folks drive to the race (sorry overpriced Anaheim Hotels that add on mega-taxes too).

We made our way out of the parking structure, hit the bathrooms and walked up to the pre-race corrals. Of course, we went to the ones from last year and they had been moved. We found our correct corrals and it was almost time to start the race.

Here is a photo of Alice and Nancy which is pre-dawn.

Alice and Nancy web

The race was soon to start and Disney true to form made it a spectacular display with fireworks.

Pre-race with Fireworks web

After the national anthem, the race started, but we were in the last corral "G" and it would be another 30 minutes before we would cross the start line.

Here is a photo of the wait, just at first light of the day.

Pre-race getting lighter now web

Finally, we were about to start the race. Here is the video.

We were soon running our 30 second run and 45 second walk - Run/Walk/Run Jeff Galloway method and settling in at a relaxed pace, due to Alice's left calf muscle which she has been rehabbing from a nasty tear during the Los Angeles Marathon training season.

We were soon heading into the California Adventure theme park.

Here is some video.

We were all doing well and happy to see the sights and sounds of the Magic Kingdom.

Alice and Nancy Walk Break web

Alice and Nancy on a walk break

There was entertainment.

Race entertainment web

Nancy and Alice were smiling.

Alice and Nancy Smiling web

Next, we headed into Disneyland.

Then, along Main Street.

After we left Disneyland, I put the Bloggie back in my pocket and concentrated on the race.

It was a humid and hot day. While we started with temperatures around 63 degrees the humidity was around 80%. By the time, we left the Disneyland Park proper (around 4 miles), it was probably 72 with no cloud cover.

Alice, Nancy and I ran together until mile 8 when they started to speed up, went to a 2 to 1 run/walk/run ratio and left me. But, it is a good thing since Alice had a "dilemma" and lost some time as I plodded along in the heat and sun.

I, soon entered Anaheim Stadium and saw my running self on the big Jumbo-Tron while avoiding the myriads of running folks who stopped to take many photos.

The next three miles were hot.

I was maintaining my estimated half marathon race pace until mile 10.5 when it was apparent that around 80 degrees, my body would not perform. So, I started taking a few more extended walk breaks to try to cool myself down. Unfortunately, on this part of the course, there is little shade cover and the sun was HOT.

It was all good and I figured that I would do the best that I could in the heat and then Alice and Nancy joined me from behind. They said hello, explained Alice's dilemma and soon took off again.

I was planning to run the last mile and a half fast. I had enough energy left in the tank and I figured I could get close to my PR (personal record) if I sprinted the last way.

It was not to be.

When I started to pick up the pace, first my right calf cramped and then the left calf. I almost fell over. I resumed walking. Funny, I could walk fine, but when I went to run, the muscles cramped (probably due to the heat and dehydration).

So, I walked and periodically would try to run. I must have looked funny because I would run on one leg and then the other - limping all of the way.

Finally, I could jog and did that until the finish.

Onto the medal dispensing folks, then the photo and the bagels. I soon met up with Alice and Nancy who had finished about five minutes before me.

I was happy and we made our way to the car and a post-race meal at Marie Callender's - even had a piece of cherry pie!

OK, will I do the Disneyland Half Marathon next year?

Yes and I hope that our other running friends, Tara and Mary can join us.

Here is the money photo:

Medal 3

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