After running the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare in 2013, I decided that was my last Dumbo Double Dare. It was hard work, two very early mornings, and I was too tired to enjoy Disneyland. So last year and this year, I signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon only. I’ve run the Disneyland Half Marathon every year since it started (which, in runDisney parlance, makes me a Legacy runner) and I will run it for as long as I’m able. That all changed in May, when the theme of the Disneyland 10K was “leaked” during Disneyland’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend.
The image above (which appeared on the ESPN marquee as we walked to the starting line on race day) appeared on the Galloway training schedule. Social media immediately erupted in speculation about what the actual Disneyland 10K theme would be, centering around villains and Snow White. I’m a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fan and I love the Disney villains, especially Chernabog and Evil Queen, so I went on the hunt immediately for a 10K bib (the race had sold out long before). Luckily, my travel agent, Get Travel, had just had a cancellation, so I was able to secure the 10K entry.
The pre-race events were pretty much business as usual: the usual long merchandise line at the expo, the usual sell-out of merchandise, (because runDisney doesn’t limit race merchandise sales to race participants; the 10K “I Did It” shirt sold out before or early Friday), the packet pick-up, the early race morning, the corral jumpers, etc. However, the race itself was so much more fun than I’d anticipated! Even knowing the theme, I was happily surprised both by the mile markers and the on-course entertainment.
Another stalwart in the runDisney canon is the start/finish line. There is no skimping here. Each race has its own start and finish line decor, matching the theme of the race.
Each mile marker had a different villain and not always the obvious ones. I laughed out loud when I got to Mile 2 and shivered with joyful trepidation at Mile 6.
In addition to the characters on the course, there were also hype crews, wearing special t-shirts and cheering us on, and Disney Bounders. This is the first time I’ve seen official Disney Bounders on a runDisney course. Disney Bounders are people who dress in a style that evokes a Disney element, but doesn’t cross the ephemeral line to being an actual costume. I saw Dr. Facilier and Ursula bounders and heard via social media that there was a Mr. Smee on the course, too. The official use by Disney of bounders is intriguing. I wonder if we’ll start seeing lines of merchandise that facilitate bounding and what the bouding community thinks of that. Dr. Facilier was an especially interesting choice, because the Dr. Facilier character was on the course a couple of miles later. I saw the Ursula bounder on the marathon course, too.
The characters on the Enchanted 10k course made this one of my favorite runDisney events. They dug deep and gave us a unique Disney experience. Serious bang for our bucks here. They lead us in gently, with Lotso greeting us at Toy Story Midway Mania.
King John, of Robin Hood fame, came next, followed closely by Dr. Facilier, outside of the Animation Academy.
Evil Queen and Red Queen were holding court in front of it’s a small world.
Then we headed backstage where a series of Disney Did You Know signs motivated us further. I think my favorite is the one directed at the runners.
When we looped back into Disneyland via Toon Town, I decided to run back over to it’s a small world to see if different characters had come out and, boy, am I glad I did! I’ve seen Governor Ratcliffe out in other events.
I have NEVER seen his companion out at any Disney event, runDisney, parade, party . . . never.
In case you’re wondering, that is Shan Yu, the Hun attacking Mulan’s troop and the emperor in MULAN!
Mr. Smee (Captain Hook had apparently run off after Peter Pan) was cheering us all along at King Arthur Carrousel.
Our final foray through the park took us out via Critter Country, where Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear were looking for Br’er Rabbit.
Cruella De Vil and Jafar were bringing the runners in, with Rudy Novotny and Carissa Bealert, the voices of runDisney.
My favorite costume on the 10K course was a team of the Little Green Aliens from Toy Story. They even held squeakers in their hand and squeaked their way through the course. Happy!
This was my favorite runDisney 10K and my favorite 10K ever! How often do you get to see Shan Yu, King John, and the Splash Mountain Br’ers in the parks? The medal, the bib, and the t-shirt are some of the best runDisney has designed.
My thumbnails and the buttons I used to pin my bib to my shirt are the closest I get to dressing in costume. I guess you could call me a running bounder.
I’m not going to sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare next year, but might be tempted back in to the 10K, if they do another fun theme like this one. Or, maybe, I’ll volunteer for the 10K. If I do, I’ll report back about how volunteering for runDisney works. All of the volunteers on the course were smiling, cheering, and genuinely seemed happy to be there, despite the early hours. Thank you to all of the volunteers, the runDisney team, and the cast members who were there for an early morning, especially Third Shift Custodial, and the one who shouted, “You don’t have Jafar to go now!”