2012 Disneyland Half Marathon & Coast to Coast Challenge
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a little bit of a runDisney and all things Disney nut. Too me, Disneyland is sacred ground. It’s where the magic began, the first Disneyland theme park, and it is also one of my favorite races to run!
The Disneyland Half Marathon is usually held on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. 2012 marked my 2nd Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend were I earned my 2nd Coast to Coast Challenge Medal. The Coast to Coast Medal is awarded when you complete a runDisney half marathon or marathon at the Walt Disney World® Resort and the Disneyland® Resort in the same calendar year.
TIP: Plan to register for the Disneyland Half Marathon when the race opens. It is quick to sell out especially with the new Dumbo Double Dare Challenge added in 2013. I registered myself for Dumbo and my family for the Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K at the Walt Disney World Marathon expo in January.
I was running this Half Marathon with my running buddy and fellow runDisney addict, Alison, and her daughter, Dani, who was celebrating her birthday! Both Alison and I were coming off of injuries inflicted during the summer training months and Dani was super tired from long days spent at the office. We decided to have fun and take it “slow.”
We define “slow” as running like a lunatic through the parks to every character stop to pose with as many characters as possible.
We were all assigned to Corral B and made our way from the Fairfield Inn over to the start of the race on South Disneyland Drive. It was a quick and easy walk and probably took less than 15 minutes. We stopped in Downtown Disney to use a flushable potty before actually getting into our corral. The above video shows you highlights of our race. Below details the course. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the race, course or my runDisney Disneyland experience.
The Disneyland Half Marathon course runs down South Disneyland Drive by Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Then it turns left and runs along the south boarder of Disney California Adventure on West Katella Ave until turning onto South Harbor Blvd and into the back of Disney California Adventure.
Then it winds through Cars Land, Paradise Pier, Hollywood Land upon exiting into the esplanade. From there the course goes into Disneyland. It takes you behind Walt’s firehouse apartment and then into Town Square and up Main Street U.S.A. There the course turns into Frontierland and wraps around into Fantasyland and through Sleeping Beauty Castle before turning into Tomorrowland. From there the course then leads into Toontown, behind scenes and onto West Ball Road.
The course then continues along the streets of Anaheim. The crowd of supporters are car enthusiasts, cultural dance groups and area school bands. The miles go by quickly as we pass the Honda Center and make our way to Angel Stadium. This is highlight of the race! Area Boy and Girl Scouts come out to cheer on the racers outside and inside the stadium.
There is no bigger thrill then running through that stadium and seeing your face on one of the jumbo-screens.
Once you are out of the stadium, you are at Mile 10 and then there’s just 3.1 miles along E Gene Autry Way and S. Anaheim Way. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that these few miles are full with excitement and entertainment, because they are not. Be prepared to either run with a buddy or listen to some music. It will be needed. Then we turn left onto Disney Way and then once again into Disney’s California Adventure, onto Downtown Drive and past Disneyland Hotel to the Finish!