Since I wasn't able to run the 5k at Disneyland, my friend Danielle was more than happy to fill us all in. If you guys read my half marathon recap, she was one of my awesome running buddies and grabbed a PR herself! It was great meeting her mom and sister this weekend (and running into them on a regular basis!) and I do believe Danielle might have converted her sister into a runner. :)
Head over to her blog, "Live, Run, Grow" to read about her half marathon experience and follow her in all of her training! (All photos below were also taken by Danielle) Thanks, Danielle!
Hello Eat, Sleep, Run Disney readers! I’m Danielle and I’m here to tell you about the Cars Land 5k Rally!
The Cars Land 5k Rally was my 3rd runDisney event. I started last November with the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (my first race ever and where I met Jenn!) and in January I followed it up with the full marathon, but this was my first 5k, and not only my first runDisney 5k, my first 5k EVER! Yes, somehow my running career went straight to half and full marathon without ever having participated in a 5k!
To be honest I have my mom and sister to thank for getting me to register for the event. Way back in February I had registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon. Having never been to Disneyland and REALLY wanting the amazing runDisney Coast to Coast medal I figured it was high time for a trip out west! My mom and sister were planning on coming along and one day my sister text me and said they had decided to sign up for the 5k! Well, in the spirit of back to back racing (since I am also registered for Goofy 2013) I figured I would run the 5k too and registered just in the nick of time – it sold out about an hour later!
We arrived in Disneyland on Friday afternoon and made a quick trip to the expo to pick up our race packets before heading to California Adventure for a few hours (I wanted to save Disneyland for our first full day). We didn’t last long though since we were exhausted from traveling and were still on east coast time so we headed back to the hotel to get to bed, we had an early morning ahead of us!
Since we were staying at different hotels I met my mom and sister at the 5k starting area around 5:45am (the race began at 6:45am). Being on East Coast time the early morning start really wasn’t bad at all. We were able to stretch, take a few pictures and then managed to get a pretty good place it the corral once it opened (the 5k is untimed and there are no pre-assigned corral placements, in other words, it’s a giant free for all!).
As soon as the race started I understood exactly what Jenn and Daniel meant last year when they said the 5k was only “ok” when they did it as part of the unofficial “Dopey”. For the first half mile it was so congested it wasn’t even worth trying to run, you just sort of shuffled along with everyone around you – definitely not a race for the super competitive! At the same time it was great to see so many families and walkers participating, kudos to everyone just for being out there!
By the time we got in to the first park, Disneyland, the crowd had really opened up enough that we were jogging at a steady pace. Being my mom and sister’s first race (although I did drag her through a Warrior Dash a few months ago…) we were just planning to move along at a comfortable pace and take lots of pictures!
Since this was my first time to Disneyland and I hadn’t seen the parks yet the 5k was actually a really cool way to get a “preview” of everything! It was like watching a video tour of the parks on fast forward. As we ran by everything my sister and I kept yelling back and forth to each other “oh, look at that, it’s different than “our” Disney!”, “oh, there’s Splash Mountain!”, “Ahhh…the castle! It’s pink and small!”.
I actually loved getting my first glimpse of the parks this way, it was a nice teaser for what was to come the rest of my trip!
After going through Disneyland the 5k brought us into California Adventure where we ran through the Pier and then towards the finish line in Cars Land!
I had been really excited about the finish being in Cars Land. I had imagined turning a corner and getting that amazing view of Radiator Springs I had seen so many pictures of, but unfortunately the way the finish was set up it was so congested and sort of towards the back of Cars Land so it didn’t feel all that impressive. I was momentarily disappointed and thought “this is Cars Land?!? This isn’t so great…”, but once I was passed the finish and saw we were towards the back I realized to see the view I had been looking for I had to be down the other end of Route 66. I decided I would reserve judgment for when I came back (and good thing I did because CARS LAND IS AMAZING!).
After we crossed the finish line we collected our medals and were given a bottle of water and a box of snacks. We made our way through the crowd to find my husband Jason who had come out to meet us at the finish. After a few pictures in Radiator Springs we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready to start our first full day at Disneyland!
I actually really enjoyed doing this 5k, especially because it was my first time through the parks – what a unique way to see Disneyland for the first time! I definitely wouldn’t do the 5k every time I’m at Walt Disney World or Disneyland for a race, but if I had family or friends participating I’d be happy to join! Still debating adding the 5k to my “Goofy” in January and making it “Dopey”! Either way, I can’t wait until my next runDisney event!