I went to bed at about 10:30pm and was pretty restless - some nerves about the race, some nerves about the alarm not going off - I finally just got up at 3:15am, before my alarm. I snacked on a tortilla dipped in peanut butter while I got my costume ready. I was out the door at 3:25 and upon exiting the hotel, I saw the shuttle at the traffic light, so I ran to it and she thankfully let me on (something that is apparently illegal which she had to tell me). After the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, it was nice getting to the race early! I checked my bag, went to the bathroom, drank some water, had some granola bars - after all, I had another hour until the first corral left the start gate - I was in Corral D (the fourth corral). There wasn't much pre-race to do (nor was there must post-race...I recommend doing a race in Orlando over Anaheim), so I headed to the corral and talked to some nice people from the area for an hour. Then, we were off!
I have to say that I loved the first 5 miles of the course - past all the Disney hotels, through the palm tree lined streets, through California Adventure and then into Disneyland itself. Lots of parade floats and characters - no one I hadn't seen before however, unless you count Aladdin in his Prince Ali outfit. Yes, please! And Smee too...I don't think I've had a picture with him before. Definitely the most fun miles of the race...because once we were off Disney property, it was only speakers playing music every so often, cheerleaders, bands and some cool vintage/muscle cars. Don't get me wrong, I loved the music - speaker and band created - and the cheering, but there just wasn't enough of it. I was too spoiled by the Disney Princess Half Marathon, which is entirely on Disney property - a character every mile practically! And I didn't see Mickey or Minnie on the course until the Finish Line, and who's going to stop right before the end to ask someone to take a picture of you? Not this guy. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel that was mile 5-9 was Angels Stadium. Running under the huge "A" and down into the stadium to come out onto the field (right field), run around the warning track to a HUGE crowd of people filling the infield stands was amazing. A definite morale booster, and enough to keep me going until mile 12. Just enough. ;)
Overall, I had a great time - I'm glad I finished, I got some great photos and my time was a personal record - 2:44:45 (that's 2 hours, 44 minutes, 45 seconds) - about 43 minutes faster than my previous half marathon. Looking forward to relaxing the rest of the day - going to head to California Adventure and take in all the new attractions and shows that have appeared since my first visit to Disneyland in 2009. And I'm here for another two full days - woo hoo!