Every mile is magic, especially when you run them inside of a Disney park! This run took me all the way to Disneyland Paris.
The week leading up to the race I’ve began noticing some changes – a lot of mood swings, overall anxiety, particularly high irritability about everything. I don’t think it had anything to do with all the travel leading up to it though. It seemed independent of it. For those of you who didn’t know, I traveled for about two weeks straight. I went from the Rock n Roll Philadelphia race, straight to work in Seattle, then back home to Denver for a night, then to Paris for a week and then some, and then back home to Denver. Although it wasn’t that long, and most of it was for fun, I was really craving some quiet time. I sometimes miss sitting around and just not doing anything, to be honest.
Anywho, here I was in one of the happiest places on Earth. The race had three corrals – A, B, C. Strange, perhaps. My husband is about twice as fast as I am but also ended up in C corral. They ended up releasing us in mini-waves anyways, so no one got trampled. There was one guy who was flinging elbows though during the first few minutes, which was really strange to me because this is a Disney race and if he really wanted to be the first in his corral, he should’ve waited behind to start first in the next one, or elbowed his way up earlier in the wave. Or he could realize that no one really makes up their time in the first mile or so anyways.
The opening fireworks were cute. There seemed to be a lack of characters at the start, like the Disney World races.
The race starts in Disney Village and winds into both parks, Disney Studios and Disneyland Paris. Running through the park reminds me a lot of the runs through Disney World and Disneyland in Anaheim. It looks similar but…different. I don’t remember the parks well enough but at this point they’re beginning to look very similar. The sunrise casts a golden sheen over everything, especially as I run around and through the castle.
The race had a lot of the same signature magic from other Disney races, except a few perks. Since I’m a back-of-packer, we got the benefits of getting full bottles of water and full bottles of Powerade during the race. I took the opportunity to fill my entire race bottle with the good stuff, since it had been warming up considerably. I didn’t take advantage of the on-course goodies, but they looked good. They were just so different compared to what I was used to.
A lot of things seemed to be different, in fact. The starting chute was much more narrow. Men seemed to prefer to pee in the bushes near the start rather than the portapotties. There were outdoor urinals which were about 5 feet tall, which was really weird to me but normal for the men I guess. People still smoked near the start line (runners!). Instead of gels they gave real snacks, like full-sized granola bars. The race also went through a substantial part of the parks, as well as the back lots and the hotels. It also went through the Chessy countryside for a bit, and circled a local neighborhood and trail before heading back into the park. The snack box was even different – no cheese!
I definitely felt like I was running a lot slower than usual – it may have been all the picture stops I took along the way, but it was also the drastic change in diet due to the trip. Our meal plan came with continental hotel breakfasts each day. I was hoping that meant what I was used to at hotels here in the US – things like waffles (for the fancy ones), oatmeal, etc. At the Hotel Cheyenne, that meant lots of breads (of many different sweet and plain varieties), cheeses, lunch meats, yogurts, fruit, cereals with cow’s milk (I say that because apparently I’ve gotten so picky with my milk that I now prefer almond and soy milk), coffee, tea, apple juice, and orange juice. I felt pretty bloated after having been off my usual food regimen for almost a week and my time certainly showed it.
Here, I didn’t even bother saying hi or smiling at the photographer. The course winds around the last of the hotels and into Disney Village. I’m so over this run and I just want my snack box already!
Regardless, I still had a great time. When I saw the email come out the following weekend about their challenge weekend, I was immediately intrigued. For 2018, they have a 5K + 10K + 13.1 challenge. It is incredibly tempting, but seeing as though how unhappy some folks were about the other races, I’m still waffling on the idea. There’s a lot more destinations that I have on my mind, even though Disneyland is pretty fun. However, I know that it’ll always be there to welcome me whenever I feel like coming back.
Since I completed Dopey in January (see? I’m wearing my shirt, and a few people even pointed and said hi on the course!), and now I’ve completed this race in September, it meant that I qualified for the Castle to Chateau medal!
I’d have to say that so far, the Castle to Chateau medal has been one of my favorites! It’s so fancy, and it has national flags on it. Ooh la la!
Kilometer marker signs