The day after rousing at 3:30 for the Wonderland 10K, I decided to sleep in a little and wake at 3:45 instead. Between the race the day before, the heat, and our day trip to the La Brea Tar Pits, I was tired. It felt like a case of "deja vu all over again."
For the second morning in a row I walked in the dark down Harbor Boulevard, through the esplanade and over to the starting area behind the Disneyland Hotel.
For the second morning in a row I bumped into the Facebook group PaceBook Running Club for a group photo.
For the second morning in a row I admired costumes (most fresh for the second race).
For the second morning in a row I followed the herd to the corrals. This time they were better organized and I found my correct corral, which meant losing the group of people I thought I would pace with because they were in Corral C and I was in D. Oh well.
For the second morning in a row I saw Don at the start line and he snapped a picture of me.
This is where our story diverges. Unlike Saturday, Sunday they had us line up super early and we were entertained by Run Disney celebrities (Sean Astin, Jeff Galloway, Allie from the Biggest Loser, etc.). Each told us the same thing -- in this heat HYDRATE.
The corrals were larger, so we were more spread out. There were 8 minutes (instead of a loose 5) between each corral starting. Twenty-four minutes after the first bunch left, I was off and running. I kept to my 2 minutes run / 1 minute walk for a while. My biggest early disappointment was the lack of water until mile 2 -- about 90 minutes after the last chance I had for water before being ordered to line up.
As we were nearing mile 2, we were also nearing the parks. I know where most of the water fountains were located along the route. The perk to having a race through the parks is that there is indoor plumbing along the route. :)
The next few miles were through the parks. I was pleasantly surprised by how much the route varied from the day before. We still hit most of the same highlights, but in a different order.
All too soon we were hitting the streets of Anaheim. One pleasant change over when I did this two years ago was that around mile 8 they had classic cars stretching on both sides of the street for over a mile. I tried to thank the owners for coming out and cheering up a rather dull section of the race.
My favorite part of this race is mile 9 -- when we run through Anaheim Angels Stadium. This time I caught myself on the jumbo tron (but was not fast enough with the camera). The section is filled with scouts who came out just to cheer us on.
After mile 9 comes the knowledge that you have now passed the last of the sweeper vans. I later found out that was a myth as some people were swept at mile 12! I was enough ahead of the sweepers that I didn't worry.
Somewhere along mile 11, while on Disneyland Way, I noticed Tower of Terror and the Matterhorn and knew we were getting close. I think this is when I got a little choked up.
At mile 12 I saw Peggy Sue, Pacebook's most famous cheerleader. This trip I had a chance to meet her and she is just as lovely in person as everyone said she is. Her daughter, Jane, was running both races, too. Peggy Sue comes out to cheer on all runners, especially those in the back of the pack. We all love her.
Well now I was on Disney property, even if it was just back stage. Miles 2 and 12 share the same stretch for a bit, making it feel again as if I was having a case of "deja vu all over again." As I neared Mile 13 we were in the Disney parking lot. Lots of people cheering us to the finish line. Some read our names off of our bibs and encouraged us personally. That is always a huge lift (note to spectators -- it really does help even if it comes from a complete stranger).
Almost there now!
And the medal collection grew!
Again I was slower than hoped. I wanted a 2 as the first digit, but it was 3:06. For a hot day to be 30 seconds per minute isn't too bad. Next up the Perfect 10 Miler, Beauty and the Beach 5-miler, the Princeton Half Marathon, and the Trenton Half Marathon. Oh, and a one-month subbing gig in Princeton.