My alarm went off about 3 am. I tried to get up as quietly as possible so I didn’t wake Debbie. I got dressed and figured out my hair piece. I even remembered to fill my water bottle. I made sure to use the bathroom one last time before leaving the room. Debbie did wake up briefly just before I left. I wasn’t exactly sure how to get to the staging area. So, I followed the people I saw up at this hour. It turns out we had to go through the security area into Downtown Disney. Then go around ESPN to the parking lot area. If I remember correctly, the first thing I spotted was my friend, Eric. He was with a group of ladies dressed like Ewoks and he was C3PO. After saying hello, I saw there were a couple picture ops in the area. I knew I had time for one before heading to the corrals. So, I got in line for the trash compactor. I must say, I like this picture.
After getting that picture, I decided to wander to the corrals. When I got to the entrance, they weren’t open yet. Here was the view of the first split.
Since I was waiting at opening time, I was one of the first people into my corral. I had the friendly volunteer take a pre-race picture for me.
I then talked to her for the next 30 minutes while waiting to move forward. She was cold and huddled in her multiple layers. Since I spent so much time with her, I had to get a picture together.
Since I was at the front of the corral, I could see the back of the corral ahead of mine. Here is what the entrance looked like.
No, we could not see the start line from our corral. Eventually, the National Anthem was sung. Then they started the wheelchairs. Then the first corrals. After B started, the volunteers got the rope in hand and the man moved the metal barriers. Then we were on our way towards the start. We pulled up shortly before each corral started. Then we could finally see it. The start line!
I did miss Rudy, but I must say this guy did a pretty good job. For our corral, he did a beat box Star Wars mash up. It was unique and I loved it.
Only seconds later, we were off. Unlike Walt Disney World, there are no fireworks at this start. We started off down Disneyland Drive. We ran by Paradise Pier.
We turned left onto the road leading backstage on the other side. (sorry for the blurry picture)
In this area we ran by screens
and projected images.
We emerged in Cars Land.
I saw many people taking a shortcut to the first character stop.
The rest of us continued around through Bugs Land and found Mile 1.
Before long, we were leaving Bugs Land.
This is where we found the first characters, R2D2 and C3PO. Due partly to the cutting and partly from the uniqueness of the picture opportunity, the line was quite long. I did a drive by picture instead.
Next we entered the loop around Paradise Pier in DCA.
You can see the people ahead of us exiting the loop. My selfie with the Fun Wheel wasn’t great.
We ran under the lit up Paradise Pier sign.
This area was so cool in the dark all lit up. Midway Mania is also in this area.
Soon we finished the loop and turned to the left. You can see the runner entering the loop straight ahead.
There were some cast members by the Grizzly River Rapids bear.
The cool lit up jars were in the trees.
We came out of the woods into the Condor Flats area.
In this area was a backdrop with no characters. However, there was almost no wait so I stopped.
We ran across the front entrance and along Hollywood Blvd.
There were some Jedi training along Sunset.
We got to Mile 2 as we were heading backstage.
Shortly after the mile marker was the first water stop.
We curved to the left in the backstage area.
BB8 was projected onto on of the buildings.
Next came the “hilliest” section of the course, going under the east entrance road.
When you go down, you have to come back up.
They did have some nice theme music and lighting effects going on in the tunnel.
Some workers were out cheering for us. They did have some banners in the back.
We got to Mile 3 on our way around the outside of Disneyland.
Next came a photo stop with BB8. Once again the line was pretty long.
We reached the halfway point.
More projections on buildings.
We turned left in this backstage area.
Then we ran through these guard stations.
The sunrise prevented this picture looking good. It was some third shift workers cheering and giving out high fives along with a third shift custodial banner.
Then we came to the second and final water stop.
There was also a well used medical station as we rounded the corner.
Another group of cast members cheering by this custodial sign as we finally made a right turn towards the park.
Toontown loomed ahead of us.
We came out of Toontown and went by It’s a Small World. I had to stop.
We turned left in front of the Matterhorn. The people straight ahead are further along on the course.
Next came Kylo Ren. Since I was dressed as his mother, I had to stop. They told me the line was 25 minutes but it didn’t take that long. They actually cut the line off before I made it up to take this picture.
Storm troopers were pacing along the Launch Bay.
There were some more Jedi training in the Tomorrowland area.
We ran by the waterfall side of the Matterhorn.
Mile 4 was just after we turned left to run into Fantasyland and had already passed the Tea Cup ride.
This point was just after the part where you could see people coming from It’s a Small World.
From there, we ran around the carousel.
And then through the castle.
I stopped on the other side to get a castle picture.
Next up was Frontierland.
We turned left at the Rivers of America and passed the Pirates of the Caribbean entrance. Sorry for the blurry photo.
This little section is essentially an out and back so you can see the runners in front of me heading back over the entrance.
The turnaround was just after the Haunted Mansion. Then we came back in front of it.
We kept to the right and ran through Adventureland.
When we reached the hub, we continued right towards the entrance. We found the horses and their handlers before entering Main Street.
Then came Main Street.
Towards the end of Main Street was this console. I later learned that Chewbacca had been there earlier.
Captain Phasma was on the railroad bridge we ran under to exit the park.
We ran through a gated path of the Esplanade. There were some spectators here cheering.
We turned left and exited through the security area by the bus drop off.
We turned right before we got to the main road and onto service roads. This is where we found Mile 5.
We continued around to the right on the backstage roads.
We emerged from the backstage area to cross Disneyland Drive by Paradise Pier.
We turned right in the parking lot behind Paradise Pier.
Mile 6 was just before this picture. This is about where my phone died. We continued straight and ran by the Adventure tower of Disneyland Hotel. The finish line was in the parking lot just beyond the Disneyland hotel. I was amazed to hear them call my name as I was finishing. They kept asking where I was until they saw me waving at them. I’ve never had that happen before. You can tell how happy I was by the huge grin I have in this picture.
Once I crossed the finish line, I continued until I found a person to put my medal around my neck. Then I hurried through the water and powerade area. I did get an official finisher picture.
I went swiftly through food box lines. I almost forgot to grab a banana and turned back to get one. Then I was trying to hurry to the room since we had an 8:50 breakfast reservation at Plaza Inn. I quickly discovered the even though we ran right by my room, it was much more difficult to get back. We had to walk all the way around to the security check point by ESPN. Then continue around ESPN to go back out through the security across from Adventure Tower. However, there was no crosswalk on the course at that point. You had to walk along the course all the way to the other end of the Adventure Tower before there was a crosswalk.
Since my phone died, I couldn’t get my medal selfie until I was back in the room with my phone plugged in.
Overall, I really liked this course. It was completely on Disney property. There were plenty of stops and things to see. The only drawback is the walk back to the Disneyland hotel afterwards. I think that is more from the new security stops than anything else. My official time was 1:50:48 although I never worry about time at a Disney race since I make it a point to stop for pictures. If I lived closer and not all the way on the East Coast, I would definitely do this race again.