because our hotel is that close to the parks the shuttle didn't even have a stop for us, nor did the in-house shuttle run that early in the morning even on race days. boo. and so we found ourselves hotfooting it out on the streets of anaheim until we got to where the corrals were set up for the run.
because you can't ever have enough pictures, we got a pre-run shot as we waited for our turn to start.
we've noticed that there are fewer and fewer costumes at these disney runs than there were back when i first started doing them. but the ones that do come out are usually pretty awesome, like this dad we spotted who dressed up as "the claw" while his kid scampered alongside him dressed as one of the aliens.
and then it was our turn to get going.
the 5K is billed as a "family fun run." this means that it's definitely not a run to be taken super seriously, and you see lots of little kids being tugged along behind their parents as they tackle 3.11 miles at 5:00 in the morning. it's also super crowded despite the gigantic crowd being split up into several corrals released a few minutes apart. now keeping this in mind, it's especially frustrating when you're trying to make your way through the course and come across people who are HOLDING HANDS as they walk two abreast. or in this case, FOUR. YARG.
like, i get it. you're in love. or you don't want to be separated from your group. but this crowd is so closely packed together that there's pretty much no way grown ass adults are going to be separated for long. DON'T DO THAT.
before long we were veering to the left and heading back onto disney property.
the first photo op came in the form of cast members dressed in costumes from "the incredibles" posing on and around pieces used in the pixar play parade.
there were lots of these sprinkled throughout the course. considering there aren't a ton of incredibles characters, i guess they just had to make do with what they had.
did you know that there's one four-leaf clover in bugs' land? we always look up at it whenever we go through that area.
we weren't going to stop for the first mile marker, but decided we might as well take advantage. after all, this could very well be our last disneyland 5K.
she was super excited to take this picture. the excitement is visible.
i don't even remember where we took this.
as we ran down the street in the hollywood studios area, we came across a disney photographer. or, at least, where one should have been. it seems like ever since the photos became part of our annual pass perks, the photographers are much fewer and further between. hmph.
while we were prepared to stand in some lines for photo ops, we decided not to wait for this one and settled for a quick run-by photo instead.
we did get to say hello to merida though, and i was pleasantly surprised to note that she had a pretty good scottish accent. nice casting, disney.
running through the backlot, it's always nice when we come across this sign with a bunch of cast members there to wave and high-five us all as we run by.
and then we find ourselves entering disneyland via tomorrowland.
frozone was there to greet everyone, but not to take photos. the only way you could do it was selfie-style.
i had to stop and take this, because look at how awesome it is when you get to watch the sunrise at disneyland:
on our way through fantasyland we came across lotso and the green army men.
i also love the teacups at night. well, not to ride on them because i don't like spinny rides, but it makes for a fun picture.
same goes for the carousel. and the castle.
just past the castle, toy story's jessie was happily taking photos with runners.
and you know, it's just not a trip to disneyland without a castle picture.
once we started going down main street, i knew we were getting close to the end.
and just before exiting the park, we found mr. incredible...and he even looked in our direction as we snapped a selfie.
on to downtown disney!
just .11 miles left to go.
we passed disneyland hotel and turned the corner towards the finish. i knew that we weren't going to be lucky enough to get a decent finish line shot amongst all of those people. we couldn't even slow down to get any sort of gap between us and the folks in front of us.
this is as good as it got. no cute mother-daughter-hand-in-hand finish line photos this time. oh well.
and of course, my usual bling shot.
lots and lots of medals to hand out.
it was insanely warm and humid that morning. it'd been a solid 75 degrees with 75% humidity at the start...at 5am. and so we were pretty stoked when we came across a staffer who was handing out cooling towels that had been dipped in cold water.
the famous runDisney snack box.
and this. um, duh. of COURSE we're going in the "photos" area.
it was interesting to see that a tent had been set up with official runDisney merchandise. i'd not seen this before and it certainly wasn't opened up for us lowly 5K participants, but i'd always wondered why they didn't set up shop at the end of the races before. maybe they just got tired of having so much leftover stuff after the expo, or finally realized that they had a golden opportunity to squeeze some more cash out of people this way.
as we headed back to the hotel, we saw that the start line was already all set up for the other races that weekend.
and the construction workers were already hard at work at 7:00, banging and pounding on stuff for star wars land.
post-run elevator shot:
inside the snack box:
and while the old lady packed her stuff up so we could leave, i snuck one last selfie.
a couple of hours later, i continued last year's tradition of heading to the barre afterwards.
there are lots of rumors flying around about the possible demise of the western edition of runDisney. registration for both the star wars and tinkerbell half marathon weekends have been suspended, with both runs not even showing up on any of the rD marketing paraphernalia or websites anymore. some say that there are new members on the anaheim city council who are making things a little more difficult to work out, while others report that the city is totally good and it's rD that's putting a hold on things. no one at the expo seemed to know what to say when asked about future disneyland races, and so the speculation continues.
as for us, the process of running a 5K at disneyland is just too expensive and somewhat of a hassle when we sit down and think about it. it's always a great time and we really do enjoy it, but at $75 per person plus hotel costs - well, i'm pretty sure that we won't be doing this again even if it becomes available. i'd totally be down for the 10K again, but i know the old lady isn't up to running 6 miles even though their 10K courses are pretty stinking awesome.
i guess we'll just have to see. and maybe by the time they finally decide to make an announcement about these races i'll get my running mojo back. my fingers are crossed.