Tinkerbell Half Marathon

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I got up when the alarm sounded at 3:15. I was a little foggy while I was getting ready. This is when Nicki told me she didn’t really remember talking to me the night before. When we were both ready, we stopped to get bananas and bagels again. Then, we headed to the corrals. This time, Nicki was in F (the last corral) and I was in D (in the middle). I said goodbye to her at the entrance to her corral and continued on to mine. I knew the ladies from the Tinkerbell Facebook group would be at the front of Corral D and one was handing out glow stick bracelets. Well, the lady with the bracelets was out of the corral, but I recognized a few others from the meetup and dinner. I handed out a couple more purple bracelets. We talked for almost an hour before it was time for the National Anthem. During this time, the lady with the glow bracelets came back. We also learned it was one of the girls’ birthdays that was up with us.

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Soon a man with a headset came to make sure we would be nice and follow behind the rope once they removed the metal gates.

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He was a really nice guy. He organized singing Happy Birthday to the girl. Soon, the National Anthem was sung. We saw a little of the fireworks that started the first corral. We followed the rope forward as the corrals advanced. This continued 2 more times until we were at the front. Somehow, I ended up right in the front. The lady next to me had checked since they made us cross one of the 2 speed bump things. They had started our official time. We only had 2 minutes until it was our turn so I wasn’t concerned. She seemed totally upset. They removed the rope once we were at the front. The announcers on the stage to our right made a few witty comments and then we were off. I took off much faster than usual since there was no one in front of me.  I started my phone app and intervals on my watch. The first ½ mile was the same as the 10k on the road around Disneyland. During this stretch, I caught up to and passed some of the runners from the previous corral. Unlike the 10k, we kept going all the way around Disneyland. We turned right onto Harbor and continued passed some hotels before entering the backstage areas. We got to Mile 1 on the roads before entering the parks.

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Then we ran through some backstage areas. There was a band with flag corps.

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The first water stop was right before entering the parks. We entered California Adventure and came upon the Incredibles and their float.

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After we passed them, we headed towards the Mad T Party.

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We turned left just in front of there and headed towards the front entrance. Mile 2 was by the front entrance.

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There were pirates in several spots along the course.

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Then we ran through Cars Land.

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Since it was still dark, the neon and lights looked amazing in Radiator Springs. It’s hard to capture the full effect in pictures.

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Lightning McQueen and Mater were at the end of the street just like the 10k.

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We turned right (opposite the 10k) and ran passed Radiator Springs Racers.

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Soon we entered Paradise Pier.

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There were large Brazilian figures along the course here.

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We ran by the World of Color and I got a nice cast member to take my picture.

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Next came the Monster University characters.

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Then we ran by Grizzly River Run. I stopped and got another cast member to take my picture.

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Shortly after this was the second water stop.

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We then were back by the main entrance. We ran by some cable cars before exiting the park.

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In the area between the parks was a bunch of spectators.

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Some had interesting signs.

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Then we entered Disneyland through the front entrance. I got another runner to take my picture this time.

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The first medical stop was across from Town Hall. We continued down Main Street towards the castle.

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Captain Hook, Smee, and a few other pirates were just before the castle.

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A cast member had a short line for castle pictures so I stopped and waited.

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We ran through the castle and into Fantasyland. As soon as we entered, Peter Pan and Wendy were on the right. Sorry the picture is blurry here.

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The lost boys were on the left in front of the carousel.

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More pirates cheered us on.

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Soon we entered Tomorrowland through the main entrance.

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I know the picture is blurry, but Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers were here.

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We then ran next to the boarded up Nemo ride and next to the Matterhorn.

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Soon I saw some big groups of people with fairly long lines. I knew it had to be princesses. The first was Cinderella.

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After her was Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.

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We ran by It’s a Small World. I believe I got a cast member to take my picture here again.

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Just before we went backstage, Merida was taking pictures.

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In the backstage area, the train was waiting and blowing its horn. I got a cast member to take my picture with the engineer that was standing close by.

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Then we came to Mile 4.

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I was feeling good. What a difference a day makes! There was a long float here.

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There were 2 groups of cheerleaders cheering us on.

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We ran passed the barn and the horses were out again.

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I believe the third water stop was next. There was a cherry picker in the air with a sign from Custodial.

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I am amazed how involved the cast members are here. Soon we entered Toontown.

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Marie and the female chipmunk were in this area again.

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We then ran through a tunnel in a backstage area.

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We came out in the area with the Golden Horseshoe. One of the Country Bears was taking pictures there.

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We ran around by the Pirates of the Caribbean. One of the pirates was rooting us on. I think Jack Sparrow was on the opposite side taking pictures but I missed him.

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Mile 5 was by Orleans Square.

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We continued running towards Splash Mountain.

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Then we were backstage again. They has a nice logo projected on one of buildings.

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On the opposite side of the road was the Imagineering Building.

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On the way out of the backstage area, they had a bunch of the transportation vehicles set out with a couple drivers.

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I realized in this area that I hadn’t eaten my first GU yet. Then we entered Downtown Disney. World of Disney looks the same as Disney World.

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I can’t get over how different the rest of it is, though.

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I was able to use one of the many trash cans in this area after I finished my GU. This was a great sign with a guy dressed as Batman.

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The Lego building is amazing. One side is Prince Phillip battling the large dragon.

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The other is Woody and Buzz.

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We continued towards the Disneyland Hotel.

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As we got closer, I could see the red hat ladies.

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I knew they would be on the course, but didn’t realize how many there would be.

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There were amazing and cheered us on like pros.

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After the Disneyland Hotel, we got to water stop number 4. Shortly after that, we turned left and hit Mile 6.

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Soon we ran through the parking gates.

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This was the Disneyland Hotel main entrance.

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We turned right on Walnut and started passing hotels. There was a group in front of the Holiday Inn with signs.

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The area started getting residential.

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Here’s a sign you won’t see at Disney World… ‘Shhh… Neighbors sleeping…’

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Some people were out spectating.

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We got to Mile 7 before turning off Walnut.

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We actually ran by a school.

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Shortly after the school was water stop #5. Then we passed several dance groups.

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We could see the bridge we were about to run over.

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After running over the bridge, we entered another nice residential area.

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Anaheim’s finest were out keeping the course safe.

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This house was one of my favorites.

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The people at this interesting house were extremely friendly.

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We reached Mile 8 right before downtown Anaheim.

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Shortly after that we ran around the City of Anaheim Central Library.

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We came to an intersection where we turned left. We could see the runners ahead of us coming through the other side of the intersection. There were cheerleaders here to keep us going.

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Then we get to the streets of downtown Anaheim.

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There were more cheerleaders in this area.

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Love this sign! Free candy from strangers.

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I took an orange wedge from them. Soon we came to the Clif Shot area.

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The flavors on the banners were by their respective tables.

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The third medical stop was between there and the next water stop.

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Water stop #6 was next.

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Soon we were running back through the intersection with the cheerleaders. There were a lot of people coming through the first part of the intersection behind us.

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At this point we turned left on Harbor Blvd. About 1/2 of the way down Harbor, we hit Mile 9.

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I had to take this picture. My husband once told me you know you’re not in the best area when you see Bail Bonds businesses.

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We turned left onto Ball.

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Then we got to Water Stop #7.

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I had an unintentional selfie at Mile 10.

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And here is the Mile 10 sign.

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We turned right on Anaheim Blvd.

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These guys could really dance.

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This stretch had a bunch of dance groups, bands, and flag corps.

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This flag corps was taking a break.

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This couple had a great sign… Power-Up Station.

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Then we hit Mile 11.

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We went under an overpass and turned right on Disney Way. A great sign for Star Wars fans.

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This was a good sign for Tinkerbell.

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I loved this group of flower ladies.

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We turned right. Then came medical stop #4 with a line of port-o-potties and a great sign.

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This band was just beyond it.

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Followed by the pep band.

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Somewhere in here was water stop #8. Just before we turned left on Harbor, was this sign. It was made for the Tinkerbell Facebook group. This nice lady even put my name on it in the upper left area.

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At this point we were running beside Disneyland on the right with the hotels on the left.

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We got to Mile 12 as we turned into the bus entrance to Disneyland.

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We turned left and ran through a tunnel into backstage areas.

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This band played and danced as we passed.

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Next we came to the Incredibles float.

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We had been running on the same path as the beginning of the race. Soon we came to the split. We went straight.

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Next came this band and dance group.

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At this point we were running around California Adventure. I knew the end was coming soon. The cast members along the way were saying the same thing.

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We made a right turn and then a left and we could see Paradise Pier hotel and the start of the mass of spectators.

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Mile 13 was just across the street and unfortunately on the wrong side of the fence surrounded by people.

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The finishers chute was the same as the 10k. It made an S shape. I did a small leap over the finish line speed bump and ended up leaping through the confetti the person in front of me threw as they crossed. It was almost like I got my own confetti shower. The finisher’s area was set up the same. I found someone to put the medal around my neck. This time I did grab a mylar blanket. I also got a water and Gatorade. I got in the first shorter line for pictures and did a camera swap with the person in front of me.

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My text alerts were not working so I did not know where Nicki was on the course. After getting my food box, I made a stop in the long line of port-o-potties. Fortunately, it was still nice. I hung around for a few minutes and chatted with some nice people before texting Nicki that I was heading back to the room. I walked around the Paradise Pier hotel. The race was still going on. I had to cross the course to get to the hotel. They did an interesting course flip side to side to let people cross a few at a time. Soon, I got to cross.

I got back to the room and ran about 5 inches of cold tap water into the tub. I soaked for about 5 minutes and then took a warm shower. Nicki got back as I was packing.

My official time was 3:17:59. That’s over a 10 minute improvement from Princess last year. I really don’t run the Disney races for time since it’s about the experience, but it is nice to see improvement.

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About kristincooke

I am a mother of 2 that started running in 2012. I also enjoy baking and some crafts.
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