This year’s Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend gave runners the opportunity to collect up to five finisher medals.
The first event was a 5K on Saturday morning of the Labor Day weekend. Seen here are the first to enter the starting corral.
The day was themed to Alice in Wonderland, and the race organizers were dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Note the “5K” on the page of the book.
The race started precisely at 5:30 a.m., into the darkness of the Rabbit Hole.
It was a new 5K course this year, entering Disney California Adventure Park. Seen here is a run through Cars Land.
The course went through all areas of California Adventure and exited through the new Buena Vista Street front entrance.
The 5K course then crossed over into Disneyland. Seen here is a water stop in Town Square.
Some areas of the park were lighted with low level ground lighting, as seen here along the refurbishment wall of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
The last stretch of the 5K went through Downtown Disney.
And finally, into the Finish Line. Look closely at the sign. It says 5K and 10K.
There is no official count of how many participants ran the 5K, finished, and immediately went back to the starting line to run a 10K. However, it was quite a large number, and the time available to do this was very tight. Seen here are the last of the 10K runners entering the start corrals. It took me about 15 minutes to get back into the first corral again, arriving at 6:09 a.m. for a 6:15 a.m. start of the 10K!
What a difference in 45 minutes! Now you can see the monorail beam. Note also that the page has been turned in the book, it now says “10K”. The 10K race is new this year. It’s one of the reasons why the Half Marathon Weekend sold out in 26 hours.
A look at the participants, ready to race and have fun.
With a spray of confetti, we’re off to do the 10K race.
The first two miles or so circled around the Anaheim Convention Center, across the street from the Disneyland Resort.
The course entered Disneyland Resort on a service road behind the Tower of Terror …
… Running through Paradise Pier.
… Past the fountains of the World of Color show.
… Running through Buena Vista Street again.
However, this time the course continues past the Tower of Terror.
This time, to cross over to Disneyland, the course went through a service tunnel that connects backstage California Adventure to backstage Disneyland park.
In the service tunnel.
From backstage, we entered Main Street USA again.
Passing through Tomorrowland.
Passing the Matterhorn.
The course went backstage again, with various departments displaying their work proudly. Here a parade float is decorated with costumes for the upcoming Halloween parties.
More parade floats.
Horses and other animals normally seen on stage at the Big Thunder Ranch.
The course re-entered Fantasyland and ran through Sleeping Beauty Castle.
On to Frontierland …
… And through Downtown Disney.
… To The Finish Line again!
Wristbands helped keep track for those registered for certain race combinations. There are bonus medals for completing them. Here a green wristband has been added by a volunteer.
Skip ahead 24 hours … it’s time for the main event, the half marathon.
Actor Sean Astin (“Lord of the Rings”, “The Goonies”) ran the 10K-half marathon combination, called the Dumbo Double Dare.
Alison Sweeney from “Days of Our Lives” and “The Biggest Loser” ran the half marathon.
Joey Fatone from N Sync also ran the half marathon.
Approximately 17,000 were entered in the half marathon.
The early distance of the half marathon covers much of the same route as the 5K and 10K. Here’s the fountains of the World of Color.
Main Steet USA.
The majority of the half marathon is through the city of Anaheim. A highlight was several city blocks lined with 300 classic cars.
Another highlight is running through Angel Stadium. The stands are filled with cheering spectators, and you can see yourself running up on the stadium’s big scoreboard screen.
The Finish Line, now themed to the half marathon.
Mickey asked to pose with the five medals. Then he quickly disappeared. Left to right are the 5K medallion, the 10K medal, the half marathon medal, the new Dumbo Double Dare medal for completing the new 10K and the half marathon, and the Coast-to-Coast medal for completing a Disney half marathon in Orlando and in Anaheim in a single calendar year.
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