The 10k course was probably my favorite of the weekend but I will most likely find myself typing that again as I write the half-marathon review! In general I do love the 10k distance. Perfect in the sense of feeling accomplished after completing but not so exhausted where one’s day is jeopardized. After finishing the 5k only hours before, I was happy to find my feet and legs felt pretty fresh as I headed over towards the expo and event hall. Both the 10k and half started steps from the events area used to pick up bibs, purchase merchandise and drop bags come start time!
Only three corrals and many mini waves restrained runners to their designated start. A, B and C corrals weaved around the announcer’s stage just outside the both theme parks. At promptly 7 a.m. the first wave was released, as Flora, Fauna and Merrywether sprinkled some of their magical dust on the chilly morning.
The course took runners on a similar route to the previous evening’s 5K. A quick entrance into the Walt Disney Studios park had runners entering Studio 1, a giant warehouse modeled after Hollywood’s finest. Bright lights, cameras, and iconic derby hats (Did you think I was going to say action?) decorate the interior of Studio 1, playing tribute to the golden age of Hollywood. As quickly as runners entered the studio, the exit led them towards Toon Studio and a quick loop brought us around the Paris themed Ratatouille section of the park. I swear I could smell steak frites cooking in Bistrot Chez Remy as I ran by! After helping Buzz with his blasters, with a quick visit to theToy Story Land, it was back on the tram route before switching parks. I ran under the Disneyland Hotel and I was soon dancing down Main Street.
I could hear massive french chants and enthusiasm from all the cast members, lining up under the Walt’s childhood themed shops and street. I flew by Thunder Mountain, into Fantasy Land and through the castle! Just on the corner of Tomorrowland stood a giant bronze dragon, puffing smoke accompanied by the fairy trio from Sleeping Beauty. This picture perfect scene of characters was beckoning runners to stop and take a photo. Since the line was long, I opted to keep going.
I blasted past Space Mountain and entered a back stage area that lasted just under one kilometer. I was transported once again to Fantasyland where I stopped for a quick photo with the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat. As two of us were all grins, the White Rabbit told me I was running late so I bid the duo farewell, bounding through Adventureland. I cheered on some pirates and left the park for another kilometer of backlot. The final bit of Disneyland park had runners going through a western town, a photo op with Woody and Jessie before a quick glimpse of Le Phantom Manor.
Exiting the park at the 8km mark, my legs felt great so I pushed onwards. At this point runners found themselves back on the tram route, heading towards Studio 1 and the finish. Similarly to the 5k, the 10k course revived the hair pin turn which led runners back onto the stage of the Motor Action Stunt show. Once again Emile and Remy were greeting runners, complete with chef hats and baguettes! I was happy I did not have to stop for this photo after taking a pause from my run the night before in order to greet the rats!
A straightaway sprint had me crossing the finish line with one of my fastest 10k times to date! After looking around for a timer and asking some of the other finishers they all confirmed what I feared. The 10k was not timed. While I was hoping to use the time for some 2018 races, what can I say? I had a blast and I finished well! There is no documented proof of red numbers on a clock but aren’t all times just moments of pride for the heart and mind?
As I headed out with some Lactel protein drink, Powerade, water and a snack box, I turned back, remembering I had forgotten to get my Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Challenge bracelet. This was announced multiple times at packet pickup that all runners who completed the 10k would need a wristband in order to receive the challenge medal once completing the half-marathon the following morning.
While some people near me had wristbands on, upon asking a member of the race staff, she stated it would take too long to tag each challenge runner. As long as we had our challenge bib upon finishing the half the next morning, that would be enough. I hoped no one would take advantage of this modification and accept unearned medals but that would be a problem for race staff, not me!
I headed back to my hotel to enjoy breakfast and rest up before the half-marathon.
Hope to see you out on the roads or trails soon!