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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Disneyland Paris - Semi Marathon 2017

Running the Disneyland Paris Semi Marathon again this year makes me legacy. A goal I don't plan to maintain, even though it was a lot of fun.

This year's race felt very different from the one I ran last year. The course was modified to include more running on Disney property, and less running in the streets of Marne la Vallee, Chessy, and surrounding towns. A move that must have pleased the locals.


Last year's map is on last year's post.

Last year seemed to have a lot more community groups participating. While we still had the cheerleaders, but they were chanting a different cheer that was not as catchy as "Allez, Allez, Go, Go, Go."


There also seemed to be a lot less character stops, perhaps because they added the 10k and characters need their sleep, too.

The biggest change was that Don actually ran the race with me. I asked him to do the first 8k (5 miles, but this race was marked in kilometers) with me through the parks, but he decided to stick with me the whole time, as long as I didn't slow down too much. We stopped for lots of photos, and finished strong.



Do these look like Year of a Million Dreams costumes to anyone else?






Thoughts to ponder along the route:
Which was my favorite land?


Is this a Mercer from Hamilton, NJ?

Half-way done!


Not long after this we saw the dreaded Balloon Ladies! They were a good two miles behind us, but just seeing them lit a little fire under my feet. That and hearing tales of them running out of 5k and 10k medals. I wanted to wear my bling for my victory lap through the Parks!


The hardest point was around the 17k mark when we ran past our hotel room!




As is typical for Disney races, the medals are lovely. I really like the Bippity-Boppity-Boo medal -- it flips. After doing the half we decided if bibs were still available for the Wine and Dine at Walt Disney World in November we would give it a try. Stay tuned...



Disneyland Paris - 10k

Less than 12 hours after participating in the Disneyland Paris 5k I was back wearing a running bib ready to run the Disneyland Paris 10k. This was also the first half of the Bibbidy-Boppity-Boo challenge (10k one day, followed by half marathon the next day).

Warning, this post is very photo heavy.

This was also divided into three corrals. A was for the elite athletes and those super fast runners. B for the Bippity-Boppity-Boo runners. C was for everyone else. It took me a while to realize this was how we were split up. When we first got our corral assignments for the half marathon I was surprised to see I was in B corral while Don was in C, even though we entered the same time. But that gets ahead of the story.



Don went with me to the start line. While he did want to cheer me on, he also wanted one of the two Mylar blankets I brought to keep me warm at the start. Priorities. 

I was at the front of B so I could see all of what was happening to keep us warm. Paula Radcliffe (a famous Run Disney ambassador) gave us words of encouragement, along with the non-running Run Disney French people who kept saying things along the lines of "better you than me," or maybe that was my imagination. Though slender, they kept saying they were not runners. 




The three groups of A runners started, then we began 8 minutes after the gun.

We started and ended the race once again in Studios. In some ways the course was very similar to the one the night before. The half marathon also used similar paths. By the time I passed the backlot area for the sixth time in less than three days the magic had worn off. At least we had daylight (though you can't see that in the waiting around pictures posted above).




I've never seen the Three Little Pigs before


Check out the light show on the Tower of Terror

Sunrise

The flowers were still cute.
By the end of the weekend I was done with them.

Having some fun
Turns out the 10k was also untimed. We went through the backstage area to end up on Main Street USA. Ahh... always the most magical time of a Disneyland race.





Only 7k more to go

Another rare character -- the sultan

Waited way too long in this line





Unfortunately I waited so long for Pinocchio and Gepetto (both of whom I have seen numerous times in California) that by the time I got to the Cheshire Cat (a character I have never before posed with) his line was closed. I was glad to get this picture.





Created a photo op




All too soon it was over. This year all three races ended in Disney's Studios theme park, making it a little more magical.





My watch swears I did this race in 1:11:58. I think it subtracted out the times I stood waiting for pictures. It also said my 10k (6.2 miles) was 6.62 miles. 

On the walk back I took more pictures (no surprise there), cleaned up, had a second breakfast, and met up with Don and Ashley in Tomorrowland. A quick thank you to the Disney hotels for allowing us to have breakfast before we ran (including disposable cups for hot drinks, which they don't usually have) and then allowing us to come back for breakfast after the run. Breakfast is normally open from 7am to 11pm. For the races they were open an additional THREE HOURS -- 5am to noon. It was huge.