Monday, September 9, 2013

Wonderland 10K

Last November I signed up for the Princess Half Marathon and mentally made the commitment to run the Disneyland Half Marathon and earn my Coast to Coast medal for running a half or full marathon on each coast in the same calendar year. In the meantime, Disney decided to add a 10K Alice in Wonderland themed race and call the combination of a 10K and half marathon the Dumbo Double Dare. Back in January when registrations filled up in less than an hour, I was swept up by the excitement and signed up for D3, as it quickly became known.

This was my first racing experience where I was handed three medals at the end of one race. Not bad bling for a morning run!

The 10K was held at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday, August 31. I woke at 3:30 a.m., trying to leave the room without rousing Don or Ashley. Don met me at the hotel room while Ashley slept through the race. I dressed as the Mad Hattress. There were a lot of truly amazing and creative costumes. 

I was fortunate to find a group of friends from the PaceBook Running Club (an Facebook running club that offers each other lots of encouragement) and be in their group shot. I also walked around a lot just admiring costumes -- individual and team ones. Naturally many were Wonderland themed.

Southern California was suffering from a massive heatwave complete with humidity. Our entire trip had temps in the upper 90s and 100s with over 50% humidity (yes, not overly humid by East Coast standards, but humid by Southern California ones). I think it was 80 and humid at the start.

Speaking of the start, that was the most chaotic part of the race. The 5K began at 5:30. We could not start lining up for the 10K until after the started. There was a lot of misdirection. By the time I found my corral, it was time to start. Made out fine, and found Don at the start, but it was not the relaxing pace I expected.

The 10K course (6.2 miles) mostly went through Disney property. Much of it was back stage. It also wound through the new Cars Land, Paradise Pier, and Grizzly Peaks sections of California Adventure before winding through the Disneyland side of the esplanade. Frankly, the route is a jumble since we did a similar route the next day during the half-marathon, and a third route two years ago when I completed my first half-marathon.

The route featured many characters -- especially ones from Alice in Wonderland. The Mile 1 marker was from the 5K and featured the Mad Hatter from the Mad Tea Party -- a dance party held evenings in California Adventure.

I also stopped for a picture with the more traditional Alice and the Mad Hatter, ones we know from playing musical chairs at 2:30, and the one I was trying to copy with my style.

It was hot, so I kept my stops to a minimum in the hopes of finishing before it became truly miserable. Don caught me at mile 6 and took this picture of me stopping for a tea party. Not coincidentally, my pace for mile 6 was the worst because by then I was having more fun posing than running. There were plenty of runners behind me (fortunately!).

At the end of this race I collected a medal and another plastic bracelet. The red bracelet would be traded in the next day for the Coast to Coast medal, and the green bracelet would be traded in for the Dumbo Double Dare medal.

In the end my time was pretty slow (1:33), and I "only" took 84 pictures. More importantly, though, I had reserves stored for the half marathon to take place the next day.

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