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  1. #1

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    Question Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Has anyone participated in these races before? I know that they both can be pretty expensive, but would you say they are worth it? Have you also spent a day at the parks (before/after?)

    I'm considering the Disneyland Half-Marathon in 2014 and since it's $175 (and increases closer to the date), I'm trying to decide if the cost is worth it.

    I would love stories from those who have participated!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    I will be running my 4th Disneyland Half Marathon this year. I would say it is definitely worth it. It was really well organized and a lot of fun. The highlights are running through the Parks and Angel Stadium. And of course, the bling is pretty nice.

    Every year, after running the race I spend the day in the Parks. It's really cool wearing your medal and receiving congratulations from the Cast Members.

    Just a tip: This year the Disneyland Half sold out in 26 hours. Sign up to get email notices about registration so you don't miss out.






  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfn View Post
    I will be running my 4th Disneyland Half Marathon this year. I would say it is definitely worth it. It was really well organized and a lot of fun. The highlights are running through the Parks and Angel Stadium. And of course, the bling is pretty nice.

    Every year, after running the race I spend the day in the Parks. It's really cool wearing your medal and receiving congratulations from the Cast Members.

    Just a tip: This year the Disneyland Half sold out in 26 hours. Sign up to get email notices about registration so you don't miss out.
    26 hours!?! Oh my goodness! When do they usually begin registration? I knew that the Dumbo Double Dare sold out super fast, but didn't realize this one did as well.

    How much time did you get to spend in the parks? Is allocating funds for one day enough (if I am just using this as a weekend getaway from Northern Ca?)

    I've never done a half-marathon before, but I figure if my goal is to get into shape, I might as well have a good motivator to inspire me! Spending time at Disneyland seems like just the right thing to do it!

    Thanks for your reply!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

  4. #4

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    I am a walker, and I did the inaugural Tinker Bell race in 2012. I did the 5K, and I had a great time. For the first year, the race started at 10:30 at night. I went to the packet pickup and then went to the park for a few hours before the race. I'm signed up for the Disneyland 5K in August. A few basic thoughts:

    a. Running through the parks after they are closed is FUN. For the Tinker Bell race they gave us a great sendoff at the Hub with a flying Tink, fireworks, etc. They have characters and various scenery set up at various points along the course, and you can stop for photo ops. At my race they had the Soundsational floats, a pirate ship etc.

    b. If you have ever wanted to go backstage this is the best op you will probably have unless you get a job at the parks. We got to run through a lot of backstage at DLR, which was super interesting.

    c. The cast members cheer you on along the way.

    d. They do take care of you: nice shirt, nice medal or medallion (the 5Ks get vinyl medals and some people don't like that. I thought the medallion was great), really nicely designed bib with your name, so people can cheer you on; food at the end of the course; gear check.

    Things I didn't like:

    a. There's no day-of packet pickup.

    b. The races ARE expensive. The inaugural Never Land 5K was $100, and that included a Twilight Ticket to the park. They've stopped that. The Disneyland 5K is $65, and that is still more than most other 5Ks, but it's the Disney experience, and you're paying for that.

    Things that didn't bother me, but might be good to know:

    a. This might be very different in the 10K and Half, where they are much stricter about the pace requirement, but the 5K was pretty slow going. This is great for runners who are slower, or walkers. I wouldn't try the other races since I walk, but the 5K worked for me. If you're trying to get a PR, however, it's not necessarily the place.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    I am a walker, and I did the inaugural Tinker Bell race in 2012. I did the 5K, and I had a great time. For the first year, the race started at 10:30 at night. I went to the packet pickup and then went to the park for a few hours before the race. I'm signed up for the Disneyland 5K in August. A few basic thoughts:

    a. Running through the parks after they are closed is FUN. For the Tinker Bell race they gave us a great sendoff at the Hub with a flying Tink, fireworks, etc. They have characters and various scenery set up at various points along the course, and you can stop for photo ops. At my race they had the Soundsational floats, a pirate ship etc.

    b. If you have ever wanted to go backstage this is the best op you will probably have unless you get a job at the parks. We got to run through a lot of backstage at DLR, which was super interesting.

    c. The cast members cheer you on along the way.

    d. They do take care of you: nice shirt, nice medal or medallion (the 5Ks get vinyl medals and some people don't like that. I thought the medallion was great), really nicely designed bib with your name, so people can cheer you on; food at the end of the course; gear check.

    Things I didn't like:

    a. There's no day-of packet pickup.

    b. The races ARE expensive. The inaugural Never Land 5K was $100, and that included a Twilight Ticket to the park. They've stopped that. The Disneyland 5K is $65, and that is still more than most other 5Ks, but it's the Disney experience, and you're paying for that.

    Things that didn't bother me, but might be good to know:

    a. This might be very different in the 10K and Half, where they are much stricter about the pace requirement, but the 5K was pretty slow going. This is great for runners who are slower, or walkers. I wouldn't try the other races since I walk, but the 5K worked for me. If you're trying to get a PR, however, it's not necessarily the place.
    Haha! Definitely not going for PR. Just a personal goal. It's not like I have much weight to lose (15lbs?) but it's more about getting into shape and having an awesome motivator like signing up for a half-marathon and using the training to get that goal accomplished!!

    Does the Disney Half also go backstage? I had wanted to do the Tink one in Jan, but not sure I could feasibly handle it financially. I'm potentially heading back down in October for a girl's trip, and if I do that, it will definitely cut into my budget (esp after having just been there a week ago!)

    I have also heard that hotel prices are higher during that time. Does it help to book way in advance to beat price increases?
    "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

  6. #6

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    The Disneyland half goes through Angles Stadium and then through the parks at the end. Tink goes through the parks at the beginning and then the streets of Anaheim. I like that the D-land half has the parks at the end because it gives you something to look forward to.

    The characters along the way are great photo ops if you are a fast runner. I never stopped because I was worried about being picked up for not making mile times.

    Unfortunately Disneyland knows the dates way ahead of time, so the hotels know too :-)

  7. #7

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Quote Originally Posted by BwaySaint View Post
    Haha! Definitely not going for PR. Just a personal goal. It's not like I have much weight to lose (15lbs?) but it's more about getting into shape and having an awesome motivator like signing up for a half-marathon and using the training to get that goal accomplished!!

    Does the Disney Half also go backstage? I had wanted to do the Tink one in Jan, but not sure I could feasibly handle it financially. I'm potentially heading back down in October for a girl's trip, and if I do that, it will definitely cut into my budget (esp after having just been there a week ago!)

    I have also heard that hotel prices are higher during that time. Does it help to book way in advance to beat price increases?
    It sounds like a great goal! Maybe you could also try doing a half or a 10K in your area before the Disneyland race, as part of your training.

    In terms of hotels, I would book as soon as you're committed to going to the race, even if that is before the race registration opens. The prices do go up and the hotels do get full.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dinglehopper View Post

    The characters along the way are great photo ops if you are a fast runner. I never stopped because I was worried about being picked up for not making mile times.

    Unfortunately Disneyland knows the dates way ahead of time, so the hotels know too :-)
    In terms of the pacing - this is completely anecdotal - I've heard that the pacers start from the time the last person crosses the start line. Since they release runners in waves 5 - 10 minutes apart, if you're in an earlier wave, that could theoretically mean you have a cushion of extra time. I guess that means that if you want to take photos, you should make sure you are not in the last or next to last wave!

    I've also heard that the pacers will try to give you every opportunity to catch up - again, anecdotal but good to know.
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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    In terms of the pacing - this is completely anecdotal - I've heard that the pacers start from the time the last person crosses the start line. Since they release runners in waves 5 - 10 minutes apart, if you're in an earlier wave, that could theoretically mean you have a cushion of extra time. I guess that means that if you want to take photos, you should make sure you are not in the last or next to last wave!

    I've also heard that the pacers will try to give you every opportunity to catch up - again, anecdotal but good to know.
    You can't start in an earlier wave unless you show proof of a certain time from a previous half marathon. I got there early to make sure that I was in the front of the wave (the last one which is everyone who can't show proof of a good enough time) and that helped A LOT! However, many people did get picked up. They will give you a chance but they do not wait for you. To me it was more important to finish than to take pics with the characters.

  9. #9

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    This has been on my mind for quite some time now, my question is, will people still participate in the marathon if there's no medal for the runner after 4th place?

    For me, I think there will be less participants if no medal are given out to runners after the race because what's the point of running if there no proof that I ran it. I do know that many runners run for a good cause.
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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Quote Originally Posted by Dinglehopper View Post
    You can't start in an earlier wave unless you show proof of a certain time from a previous half marathon. I got there early to make sure that I was in the front of the wave (the last one which is everyone who can't show proof of a good enough time) and that helped A LOT! However, many people did get picked up. They will give you a chance but they do not wait for you. To me it was more important to finish than to take pics with the characters.
    Ah, that is definitely different in the 5K. In the 5K the waves were basically whoever got there early enough to line up...
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  11. #11

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalbma View Post
    This has been on my mind for quite some time now, my question is, will people still participate in the marathon if there's no medal for the runner after 4th place?

    For me, I think there will be less participants if no medal are given out to runners after the race because what's the point of running if there no proof that I ran it. I do know that many runners run for a good cause.
    Everyone gets a finisher medal in all the races, regardless of where they place.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    Quote Originally Posted by BwaySaint View Post
    26 hours!?! Oh my goodness! When do they usually begin registration? I knew that the Dumbo Double Dare sold out super fast, but didn't realize this one did as well.

    How much time did you get to spend in the parks? Is allocating funds for one day enough (if I am just using this as a weekend getaway from Northern Ca?)

    I've never done a half-marathon before, but I figure if my goal is to get into shape, I might as well have a good motivator to inspire me! Spending time at Disneyland seems like just the right thing to do it!

    Thanks for your reply!
    It usually goes on sale in January. Registering for the reminders is the best way to know when they go on sale.

    We were in the parks from around 10am to 9pm. Then drove home approximately an hour. I typically arrive Saturday and stay at the Disneyland Hotel since it is really close to the start line. We spend the afternoon Saturday playing in the pool.

    The DL Half was my first as well. I did it for the same reasons as you. It got me hooked on doing halfs. Of course after doing 2 DL Halfs, I decided to do the WDW full. Figured if I was going to run that far it would be at Disney. Now I am hooked on fulls too. Oy!!!






  13. #13

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    The price is pretty irrelevant if you have ever wanted to run through the parks as part of an athletic event instead of just trying to be the first person on Space Mountain. I think a lot of people have this race on some sort of bucket list, which helps them deal with the entry fee(s). I have done the race a few times: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. I opted out this year as I am in the middle of training for Ironman Miami. Each race has provided wonderful memories, each specific to the particular year. I would get pretty wordy, so here is a quick PRO/CON list:

    PRO: You run through the parks with well-marked routes
    CON: The black rubber mats they put over the trolley tracks on Main Street are not very robust, watch you footing
    PRO: The first few years offered TONS of characters, some rare, as spectators
    CON: As of late, the number of characters on the park sections of the route have dwindled
    PRO: The swag bags come complete with basically nothing (good for environment)
    CON: The swab bags come complete with basically nothing - some people like a lot of freebies
    PRO: The packet pick-up was a little confusing and jumbled the first few years, but they have really streamlined the operation
    CON: The Expo is jam packed
    PRO: No big deal on the jam packed expo, most of the official merchandise is the same as the past few years with the date adjusted.
    CON: Confusion at the start - a lot of people trying to sneak into earlier start waves
    PRO: It is fun to look at all the different shoes people run in
    CON: You are asked to be there at least an hour earlier which leads to unnecessary stretching and that can cause more harm than good.
    PRO: Lot's of those portable toilets
    CON: The portable toilets smell bad
    PRO: Tons of local support on the route outside of the parks: MS and HS cheerleaders, bands, car clubs, etc.
    CON: It might be warm
    PRO: The last five races have steadily been cooler and cooler race morning
    CON: People try and draft, especially people that don't know how
    PRO: Since they don't know how, they usually drop off in a minute or so

    It's a fun race - sign up for 2014 and you won't likely be disappointed.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Disneyland Half-Marathon /Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

    I am running this year for he first time and I am really looking forward to it.

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