Race Report: 2014 runDisney Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes 5K
Early registration for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members for the 2015 Avengers Half Marathon Weekend opens Tuesday, March 24th, noon EST. General registration opens on Tuesday, April 7th, noon EST. New for 2015 the Captain America 10K and the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge.
I’m a big fan of the rebooted Ironman, Captain America, Thor, and Avengers movies. When runDisney announced this race weekend, I had high hopes for the Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon Weekend. In my mind I pictured awesome character opportunities and themed merchandise. What I experienced, I can sum up with one word….meh. However, because this was an INAUGURAL race weekend, I know in my heart of hearts runDisney will listen, learn and come back to give their runners what they want.
The Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon Weekend’s official merchandise in my opinion was a disappointment. Did the merchandise sell out? I’m sure it did, however, for me it missed the mark in variety and design. But more importantly for the bean counters, the merchandise didn’t have me opening my pocket-book. I left the expo purchasing only 2 car magnets and a Hulk water bottle. This was a significant drop in my average runDisney expo purchase.
runDisney 5K’s are some of my favorite races. First, they are not timed. Second, the 5K’s are less intimidating welcoming runners of all abilities. Third, the best and most elaborate of costumes are worn since this is the shortest distance run.
Knowing all this, I was excited to run my 18th runDisney race of 2014 with my pal, Perfectly Goofy Gail. Decked out as Enchantress and Captain America we excitedly made our way from the Hilton to Disneyland Drive.
The Avengers Super Heroes 5K began at 5:30am. We were in Corral A, but our plan (as it is for all our runDisney races) was to stop at all the character stops and have a blast!
The course headed south down Disneyland Drive and turned left into Disney’s California Adventure Park at Disney Way leading the runners into Cars Land. We stopped for our 1st photo of the morning with Lightening McQueen. We then ran up Route 66 to our 2nd photo stop – Black Widow. The line for her was so long, Cast Members were taping switchbacks onto the pavement for the queue. I’m guessing we waited a good 15-20 minutes in line for a photo.
Then we ran pass the Wharf turning right through Grizzly Peak. On the left, right before Soaring over California we came to our 3rd character stop – Hawkeye. Unfortunately, the line was so long it was closed to other runners when we were half-way through to our turn. My disappointment with runDisney for runners in the back corrals grew each time another was turned away from this character opportunity.
We got our photo and made our way out from DCA and into Disneyland Park stopping for a snap in front of the train station and a #WoodIndianSelfie.
At the top of Main Street U.S.A. we found our 3rd character stop – both Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Unfortunately, this line was also long and slow. What made the line inefficient were the cast members allowing for autographs, multiple poses and cameras.
After another 10-15 minutes in line, we were again on our way into Fantasyland via the walkway to the Matterhorn and our 4th photo stop with Thor. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived to Thor the photo line was closed and we were ushered on our way.
Considering we were running a 5K, the number of other runners around us was dwindling down. We arrived at our 5th character stop to find Alice with the Mad Hatter positioned in front of King Arthur Carousel in Fantasyland. We were allowed to wait in line for our photo.
Then we made our way around the Rivers of America into Frontierland and to an empty character backdrop. We found out we had missed Captain America. Never-the-less we kept running to chEARS from the custodial staff still out clapping and waiting for high-fives!
We rounded the exit to backstage of Disneyland Park through the exit to Downtown Disney. It seemed most of the runners had finished long ago and the spectators were packing it in for the day. Perfectly Goofy Gail and I made our way to and over the finish line. It took us 1:42:46 with a 28:54/min pace to finish the Inaugural Avengers 5K. To see our entire Avengers 5K experience please click here or the top of this post.
I always enjoy the runDisney Disneyland races. The Avengers 5K course was a little different from the Tinker Bell 5K, Disneyland 5K (and Star Wars 5K) – a fact I love about the Disneyland runDisney races compared to the Walt Disney World runDisney races. However, I was disappointed in the lack of Disney characters in Marvel inspired costumes (orrunDisney costumes) and runDisney having to pull the face characters from the character photo opportunities.
Also, because of the $75 expense of a runDisney Disneyland 5K it is a shame all runners could not share in the same experience as those who were speedier or in a better seeded corral. runDisney will have to work on managing the character stops for its popular characters – as evident at both this race and at January’s Star Wars Half Marathon weekend races.
Did you run the Avengers 5K? Are you planning on registering for it again in 2015?