A little over a year ago I had set a goal for myself of doing the Dumbo Double Dare at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The Dumbo Double Dare(DDD) consists of a 10k on Saturday followed by a Half Marathon on Sunday. Prior to this weekend I hadn’t ran further than a 5k race. My son was doing the 5k with my wife. My wife was also going to do the 10k as a sort of mini DDD. Of course all of this is done in traditional Disney Style, with lots of characters and fun.
We planned out the weekend and took Thursday and Friday off of work. This way we could take the Trailer down to an RV park so that we would be closer to Disneyland and not have to commute back and forth since we would be down there from Friday – Sunday. On Thursday we packed up the truck got the trailer and checked in at Anaheim Resort RV Park. A nice little place that had the advantage of being close to the parks and a pool, you also got a good view of the nightly fireworks show at Disneyland. Aside from that there wasn’t a lot else at the RV Park. We got the trailer and setup and then went to the Health Expo to pick up our race packets. My wife had to stand in a couple of lines because of her two races, I only had to stand in one as being a DDD participant they pack everything up for you and hand it to you. After getting our bibs and shirts we walked around the Expo and did some more shopping. I found a really cool thing that I got to hold my medals. http://www.heavymedalz.com/shop-running-magical.php. We also picked up some additional running shirts at the various shops, my wife really likes the stuff that comes from Raw Threads. After the Expo we took my son to Farrell’s Ice Cream shop it happened to be his birthday and while we had taken him to Raging Waters the weekend before we wanted to make sure he had some celebration for his actual birthday. We went back to the trailer after that to get some sleep, only to find that at 9:30pm the fireworks were deafeningly loud.
Friday 4:30am, the alarm goes off and I get my family up and going. They have a race in about an hour and need to get going on the 5k. They loaded into their corral and I searched out coffee for the morning. Found the Starbucks that had replaced the Wet Seal location and got myself something and something for my wife. I was her St. Bernard and brought her coffee during the race so that she could keep going. I found a couple of places to cheer my wife and son on and then met them at the end of the course. After that we went back to the Health Expo as my wife wanted to get some KT Tape for her 10k. She didn’t think her ankle would hold up during the race. After that we walked around Downtown Disney and had dinner at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz kitchen. Returned to the trailer and then at 9:30pm the fireworks were deafeningly loud again.
Saturday 4:30am, the alarm goes off. I get my wife up and ready for her race, the child gets to stay in the trailer since he isn’t racing. We have a Clif Bar and then get down to our corral. Once the race starts I keep pace for my wife until her ankle starts to bother her and I need to go to make sure I maintain pace for the DDD. I took a much slower pace on this race since I still had the Half the next day. So I took it easy and costed in at 14 minutes a mile to finish. Then waited and cheered on my wife as she finished. Got her back to the trailer so that she could rest up and recoup after that. I then spent most of the day at the pool with my son while he played in the water, I read Zero Day by Mark Russinovich. This night none of us even heard the fireworks…
Sunday 4:30am, the alarm goes off. I get the family up as they are going to cheer me on during the race. I grab a Clif Bar and some Energy Chews and get in the car and start driving over. There is a huge line for parking and we end up with a Fire Drill as I get out and go to my corral and my wife parks the truck. I started in Corral H which was pretty far back from the start. Since this was my first Half Marathon, my goal was just to finish. During training I was at about 13 minute miles, but that’s training and not the race. As I stood there waiting I decided I would go for a 2:45 half. As the other Corrals leave we are moved up to the front and then bang it’s time to go. I think I have the first 5k and bottlenecks to thank for my pace as I completed. Since we were all bunched up and there were 7 corrals of people in front of me it forced me to keep my pace slow to start. Also the first 5k was through the front and back of the parks so there is a lot to see and lot to experience with music, floats, and everyone clapping for you as you go through the parks. Also you can stop for photos, but time doesn’t stop and I had a pace I wanted to keep. I averaged 12:40/mile for the first 5k. Once I was past that point it started to open up and I could start taking my pace a little faster. We also moved out to the streets at this point and had quite a few more hills and such. Once I was at the 10k point I was averaging 12:31/mile. I was thankful once I hit the halfway point and someone handed me an orange slice, a piece of licorice, and a sponge for my head. After this point we end up at the classic car show as we run through looking at all of the sweet rides. Once you pass the car show you go behind the Pond(Honda Center) and run along the Santa Ana River Trail. You hit the 15k mark right before you enter Anaheim Stadium, I was at 12:29/mile at this point. It’s also at this point that you get handed a Clif Gel Shot to eat. I grabbed a few and can say the Vanilla tastes wonderful, the raspberry not so much. As I exited the stadium I wiped my nose and realized that I had a nose bleed as my arm was completely covered in blood. I kept wiping and blood kept coming I stopped off at the bathrooms and grabbed some towels so that I could clean myself up and try to keep going. Exiting Angel Stadium they have a bunch of high school cheerleaders there to cheer you on. One of them was my High School which was cool to see. After I got my nose cleaned up, I am sure I looked like a mess at this point since before I had towels I was using my shirt. I spent the next couple of miles wondering just how bad I looked. However the home stretch was before me, the rest of the race finishes off in the streets and then you run the back area of California Adventure before you finish right in front of the Disneyland Hotel. I finished the race through with a 12:32/mile pace and at 2:44:17. Which was below my goal of 2:45 so I was pleased and happy with that. All through the race people are cheering you on and everyone is out there to give you a high 5. Now I have to start working on decreasing my time per mile and improving my time.