Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Happiest Half on Earth!

I did it! Coast to Coast! I ran the Disney World Half in January and just complete the Disneyland Half! And the best part is that my Dad got to be there for this one! He ended up getting into LA late Friday night and was there to pick me up at the airport Saturday morning. That was a miracle folks. He had been stuck in Canada for THREE WEEKS and just happened to make it out the day before I got to California. I was so grateful!

We hit up the expo on Saturday and carb loaded at Naples in Downtown Disney. We hit up Sephora after dinner and we didn't get back to the hotel until midnight.  I set my alarm for 3:30am and tried to fall asleep at quickly as possible. Although I didn't get much sleep, I was wide awake at 3:30. I got my outfit together, set my garmin, strapped on my ipod and my ifitness belt with my phone and camera and headed down to my corral.

I will say there that it is absolute heaven staying on property for a Disney race. Not having to deal with parking and early morning traffic was a dream come true!

At 5:45 the race began and we were off! For the Disneyland race you run through the parks first thing.  There were a lot of great character photo ops, and it was really cool to be able to run through the new Cars Land at dawn when things were still lit up. It is AMAZING and seriously feels just like being in Southern Utah.

My favorite character of the day was Louis the Alligator from The Princess and the Frog. There were separate lines for him and then for Tiana and Naveen. There weren't many people in line for Louis, so I hopped in his line. When I got to the front I ran up to him and I am pretty sure I gave him a hug. He grabbed me and started dancing around, I danced right along.  I think that I said something to the effect of, "I wish I could just take you with me."  At that, he grabbed my hand, left his line, and started to run down Main Street with me!

We ran further than I am sure was appropriate and then Louis turned to head back to his photo line. I said I would come along because I still needed a photo with Tiana and Naveen. Louis grabbed me once again and bypassed the line for Tiana and Naveen and we both got a picture with the Frog Prince and Princess. As I was backing away into the pack of runners Louis pointed at himself, drew a heart in the air, and then pointed at me. I said that I loved him too. It was such a fun moment, exactly what these Disney races are all about.

After the parks, we headed out onto the streets of Anaheim. The sun was high, but the heat wasn't too bad. We ran past lots of classic cars that had been parked along the route, a Mexican dancing group, a Polynesian dancing group, endless cheerleaders and high school marching bands, and several boy and girl scout troops. In fact, the scouting troops lined the entrance and filled the seats in the Angels Stadium.  The stadium was at mile nine and was a much needed boost at the end of the run.

At about mile 11 I pulled my phone out to call my Dad and tell him to expect me soon. I found this on my phone:

My best friend Amy had sent me this picture of her girls cheering for me. I am not telling a lie when I say that it made me cry a little.

I finished the last two miles of the race in high spirits. I high fived Donald Duck at the finish line and claimed my medals. It was an incredible, magical race, and I wouldn't be surprised if I find myself racing with the Mouse again!

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