Cars Land 5K Rally

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It was finally time for the Cars Land 5K Rally.  The night before the race we laid out all our race gear so we had no problem getting up and dressed on race morning! Upon arrival near the start line, runDisney was hosting a dance party and I pushed D in to join in the fun!   When the official runDisney video camera showed up to video tape the dancing crowd, the dance floor cement quickly filled up! The “corrals” opened at 6 am but before we rushed over, we posed for a quick photo! The reason I quote “corrals” is because there weren’t actually corrals – we were at the tram loading area for the Mickey & Friends parking structure but there was no distinction of who should line up where.  We literally lined up in the order in which we joined the crowd.  I was relieved to see we were more towards the front than the middle or back.  K got nervous about being too close to the front because he was worried we’d get run over.  I assured him we wouldn’t.

runDisney suggested everyone get in the corrals at 6 am and that’s what we did.  But then we stood around for 45 minutes waiting for the start of the race.  D was bored and antsy.  And my feet started to hurt just standing there, waiting.  So I took pictures to distract ourselves.

Finally, at 6:45 am, it was time to start! It’s always great to start a race with support from friends! And we were off.  We followed the same route the trams follow when transporting park goers from the parking garage to the parks.  Except, instead of going through the front gate area to enter the park, we entered in a gate to the side.  We were running in the back area and D was getting confused as to why I said we’d be running “in” Disneyland.  In spite of the confusion, both D and K were going strong, D never even asked for walk break (even though we took them)!  We were running 3 minutes, walking 1 minute.After a mile (give or take) we entered in to the park near Splash Mountain and that’s when D’s excitement hit an all time high.  She instantly recognized where she was! D started calling out every attraction she recognized…which is everything!  Her head was going from left to right to front…her speed increased – not just her feet but her mouth! Just beyond the Pirates ride, we stopped for the first and, subsequently, ONLY character photo-op we noticed, Chip and Dale.  Later in the day I discovered that the Cast Member didn’t actually snap the picture of D and I with Chip and Dale!   Upon my “missing picture” discovery, D cried a river of tears.  Having run 2 previous Disneyland half marathons, I knew Disney was great about having characters and floats out.  Except, none of these things were out for the 5K.  Seriously, Chip and Dale were the only characters we saw along the route that we could pose with.  I had to wonder why that was.  I figure it’s because there are so many kids running the 5K and the lines would be insane if characters were out.  I wasn’t aware there wouldn’t be very many along the race route and I had set the expectation with D that there would be characters.  So I can appreciate how devastated she was that the only characters that were out and we stopped for, the picture didn’t take.  I can neither confirm or deny that D has cursed that unknown Cast Member.  I digress.

We ran through Adventureland and made our way in to Fantasyland.  D was ecstatic when she saw the castle! As we ran through the Castle, I think D actually giggled.

In Tomorrowland, we encountered our first and only water stop.  You may not have noticed that I am not wearing my water belt during the race. I would never run without water in Phoenix, not even for a mile, but the weather was so nice in Anaheim, I went without the belt.  I was worried I’d regret it but that regret never happened.  At the one water stop, we each drank half a cup of water and were good to go!

After a tour through Tomorrowland, we were back in front of the castle and stopped for a quick photo before making our way down Main Street! We exited the park and made our way across Downtown Disney to enter Disney California Adventure at a side gate near Soarin’ Over California.  This is when K started playing tour guide pointing out attractions he recognized.  Ha! I loved how much time we were running through both parks .  D and K were both  holding up great in spite of how they look in this picture after the “hill climb” coming out of Paradise Pier!  (They’re such posers!)Shortly after taking the picture leaving Paradise Pier, we rounded the corner to this discovery! D and I screamed, hollered, and cheered as we raced past our good friends!
Then we rounded the corner to the new addition to Disney California Adventure, Cars Land! Finish Line dead ahead!!!  K told us to go for it so D and I launched in to a full blown sprint and tore off down Route 66 to the finish line!!! After we all crossed the finish line, I stopped my Garmin.  We finished in 43 minutes!!!  Excellent work!!!  So proud of D and K for their amazing accomplishment.  They trained the past 5 weeks in Phoenix and all their hard work paid off.  They both crossed that finish line with so much to be proud of!!!  I’m so glad I registered myself to run this race with them so I could experience, with them, their proud moment!  Even though K said the best thing about finishing the 5K was knowing he didn’t have to go home and train any more!  Ha! After a lovely breakfast, we played around in the pool.  Later in the morning, we returned to our room and I fell asleep for a nap.  When I awoke, I discovered Sleeping Beauty had joined us for a post-race snooze!

I loved the experience of running the Cars Land 5K Rally with D and K. I wish I had known there wouldn’t be characters along the route so I wouldn’t have hyped that up to D.  Lesson learned.  The lack of characters did not distract her from enjoying the experience of running through the parks – she really enjoyed every magical step!