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Category: RunDisney

Tuesday Topics: Themed races – Yay or nah? Favorite themed races?

This week’s Tuesday Topic: Themed races – yay or nah? Favorite themed races?  You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

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Rock ‘n’ Roll

I’ve done quite a few themed races.  The bulk were Disney and Rock ‘n’ Roll Races.    Sometime in late 2013 I purchased a TourPass.  With this pass I was able to run unlimited RnR races in the U.S.  This pass was only $399.  Awesome deal and I took advantage of it.  In 2013 I ran 14 Rock ‘n’ Roll races.  I am glad I was able to visit so many different places – some I had never been to before!  Some of my favorite cities were Washington DC and Las Vegas.  I ran my 100th race at RnR Chicago which I was happy about.  The worst one was Nashville because it was hilly and it rained throughout the whole race.  I feel like I need to go back and do it again.  When I was done with Las Vegas, I ended up with 22 medals.

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It’s been fun to read again some of these posts.  There are so many things I would do different but still I am glad I experienced these races.

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I ran 8 races in 2014.  It all started with the Goofy Challenge (half marathon on Saturday and marathon on Sunday) in Florida and ended with Wine and Dine in Florida too.  I remember some friends talking about the Goofy Challenge and how they wanted to do it again.  They asked me if I was interested.  I replied “sure” not really knowing what I was getting myself into.  They ended up doing Dopey Challenge which was a 5k on Thursday, 10k on Friday, half marathon on Saturday, and a marathon on Sunday.  DOPEY FOR SURE!

Goofy Challenge was definitely hard but I finished.  Training for it was even worse.  The race was in January and I had to train in the Winter and that was not fun at all.  

Then I went on to run Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Enchanted 10k, Princess Half Marathon (those two were The Glass Slipper Challenge), Disneyland 10k, Disneyland Half Marathon (those two were the Dumbo Dare Challenge, and Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  I had forgotten that Wine and Dine was a night race (so RnR Las Vegas is not the only night race I’ve done).  It also rained most of the course and my finish time is my worst finish time.  After this race I had 14 Disney medals.  

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Also, it’s been fun reading some of my posts again.  When I first started my blog, I used Blogger.  Then I used WordPress, back to Blogger, and back again to WordPress.  Cannot remember why I did this but with all of this back and forth, some of my photos aren’t showing up on the posts or are upside down.  I want to fix them but I don’t know how.  Or should I even bother and just leave it the way it is?

I enjoyed both the RnR and RunDisney races.  However, what I did not like about the Disney races was the price.  They’re very expensive!  I think I paid close to $400 for the Goofy Challenge.  Would I do them again?  Only Glass Slipper Challenge.  I like the theme and I’d rather go to FL than CA because it is closer and cheaper to get there.

As for RnR races, I will not do those again except maybe Chicago.  And that is a big maybe.  That race is in July and July is not a good month for a half marathon in Chicago.  I would like to run in Washington DC because I love going there.  

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Tuesday Topics

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Favorite race medals

I am linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.

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Medals, medals, and more medals.  Normally I do not run a race just for the medal but it is definitely nice to get one.  But I am OK with not getting one.

My favorite series of medals are from the RnR Marathon Series (total of 22 medals) and the Run Disney races (total 14 races). 

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How can you NOT like this one?
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One of my favorites!

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One day I will run this race just for the medal.  Why not?

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This one is as big as my face!

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Disappointed with this one.  I mean, I just ran 31 miles (50k) so a bigger medal would have been nice. Right? However, it hasn’t stopped me from running this race.  So far I’ve run it twice.
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My first half marathon medal from August 2006.

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My first Chicago Marathon medal from October 2006.

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Do you run a race just for the medal?  Or are you OK with no medal?

Race shirts: Favorites and the ones we love to hate

I am linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.

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I will confess that I rarely keep any of my race shirts.  The year I ran 14 RnR half marathons, I got 14 shirts but did not keep any of them.  They were all nice shirts (Brooks) but really what was I supposed to do with 14 shirts?  There has been one or two races in which I had the option of not receiving the race shirt in exchange for a few dollars off my registration fee.

However, I have kept a couple of them mainly because of the materials and the color/cut.

  1.  Route 66 Half Marathon

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2.  Princeton Half Marathon >>My favorite one.

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3. Des Moines Half Marathon

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I like the shirts from the Bank of America races (Nike brand) but do not keep them either.  Not sure why since I do like the cut.  But I prefer the finisher’s shirt I bought at the outlet store.  It was about $16 three weeks after the marathon. 

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The “ugliest” looking shirt is this one.  I mean, seriously?

I did keep my Run Disney long sleeve shirts but only because I wear them at night when I go to sleep.  That extra layer keeps me warm throughout the cold Chicago winters.

I know some runners have had quilts made from their race shirts and I kind of regret not saving mine.  Seeing hers made me want to have one for me so you bet I will start saving my shirts. Pretty cool right?  This one is from Kimberly who blogs at KookyRunner.

Do you keep your race shirts?  For you or to make a quilt as well?

104.10 Miles for runDisney

So this year I ran a few Disney races.  I ran a total of 8 races which equals to 104.10 miles and 14 medals.  I won’t get into how much money I spent.  I had fun traveling to Florida and California but prefer going to Florida because 1) It is closer and cheaper and 2) More parks and more things to do.

I remember when I signed up for the Goofy Challenge and I was nervous and scared.  Running a half marathon is tough but then to add a marathon the next day?  What was I thinking?  I wasn’t.  My friend, Jaime, convinced me to do it so I did.  She did Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, 13.1, and 26.2).  At the end of the marathon I was almost in tears because I had accomplished something that I did not know I was capable of.  Plus, I enjoyed the course more for the full than the half.  I was also very sore.

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But I recovered quickly because the following weekend I went to California for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  Traveling there was nerve wrecking because there were problems with my flight and I got to the hotel after 5pm.  I was too late to pick up my packet but luckily I picked it up on race day.  I was not able to get my shirt but someone was nice enough to mail it to me.  I liked the race and the course.  The weather was perfect too.  The last time I was in Disneyland was in 1991 so I stayed an extra day to hang out in Disneyland.

In February I went back to Florida for the Glass Slipper Challenge (10k on Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday).  Definitely so much “easier” than Goofy Challenge.  I ran the Enchanted 10k with Jeff Galloway and it was nice to chat with him.  It was muggy and humid that morning but I finished early enough to head back to the hotel, shower, eat breakfast and hang out at Magic Kingdom with Arasally.  We had a blast! The last time I was there was in 2004 (I did run through there in January but did not stay at the park).  The half marathon was OK.  Nothing too exciting about it.

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Pretty medals!

At the end of August was another trip to Disneyland for the Dumbo Double Dare (10k on Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday).  This time I made sure to leave early enough to avoid any problems with my flight.  I saw Jaime again and it was fun hanging out with her.  I knew Emily was also planning to run the half marathon but I did not see her at all.  I liked the 10k but not so much the half marathon.  It was cool running through Disneyland and California Adventure Park but could not wait to finish the half marathon.  I did like the medal I got for completing both races.

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Finally my last race was last month.  I was nervous and excited about that one.  The race was at night and I am not a fan of night races.  The weather was pretty decent during the day but then things turned for the worst.  It rained pretty much the whole time for the whole race.  I heard good things about the race and was looking forward to it and the post race activities.  I was cold and miserable.  I could not wait to finish.  I walked a lot, which made it worse.  I know this was out of Disney’s control but the rain ruined it for me.  However, the best part of the race was seeing all of the beautiful lights in Hollywood Studios.

Final thoughts:

  • Each race is a fun experience.  I like the Disney theme and seeing the various costumes.
  • I prefer traveling to FL than CA.  But unless you have a car or stay on property, it is much easier to get around in CA.
  • When traveling to FL make sure to stay at a resort.  Disney does a great job of providing shuttle busses from/to the airport and to/from the expo and race.
  • Why, oh why, is it so expensive for these races?  I know I spent over $300 for Goofy Challenge and while I did get 3 medals and 3 shirts, there pretty much nothing in the goody bag and in the post race box snack.
  • I told myself I would never run another Disney race but am finding myself drawn to the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in 2015 and the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2016.
  • Part of me wants to run again the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and actually enjoy the race.
  • Ugh, I will not miss the 3:00 wake up calls.  Those were brutal.  I understand the reason behind it but they’re still brutal.
  • Every runner has to run one Disney race.
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14 medals!

My favorite medals.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

On Saturday I ran my last Disney race of the year.  I read several reviews prior to the race and they all wrote about how much fun it is.  I was excited and looking forward to it.  However, I was not ready for the weather.

I got into Orlando Saturday morning on a 5:30 am flight.  Once I landed I made arrangements with Emily to head over to the expo.  We got our packets and proceeded to see what items we would buy. It was pretty much set up the same way with the same vendors as in previous Disney races.  I bought two Team Sparkle skirts.  One to match my Oiselle singlet and a pink one because well why not?  I also purchased a pair of Balega Hidden Comfort socks.  Wow, definitely did not get one blister even with all of the rain!

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Perhaps a future race for me?

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Great shirt but not much good stuff in the bag.

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After the expo Emily and I headed back to the hotel for lunch.  Her husband, Adam, also met us there. I was tired and in need of a nap.  Well, that didn’t go well because I ended up not taking a nap.  I tried. I drank a Coconut Mojito, watched TV and even graded some homework.  Nothing worked.  I finally got up at 5:30 to get ready and head over to the cafeteria for dinner.

After dinner I got in line for the shuttle bus.  I did not have to wait long and was at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex around 7:30.  I waited for Jeff and Elaine as we had plans to hang out prior to the race.  A few minutes later they arrived and off we went to wait a long time for the start.

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There wasn’t a lot of people yet so the bathroom lines were not long.  Of course I did not have to go at that moment but did have to go just before the start of the race.

There was so much excitement around us.  It was cool looking at costumes and for a minute I regretted not wearing one.  There was a DJ playing great music and some people were dancing. Finally it was time to check my gear bag and head over to our corral and to wait some more.

I was in Corral D but moved back one corral to join Jeff and Elaine.  By then it was drizzling a little so I put on my poncho.  Thanks to Jeff and Elaine for buying it for me!!

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Love the fireworks to announce the start of a new corral.  Finally it was time to run.  It was dark.  I did not like that at all.  I took it slowly to take it all in.

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The first few miles were on the road between the parks.  There was nothing exciting to see.  There might have been some characters but honestly I do not remember.  Finally we arrived at Animal Kingdom.  There were a few characters but I only took a picture of Timon from my favorite Disney movie “The Lion King”.

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Then it was back on the road.  It started to rain more and I was cold.  I could feel some chafing in my inner thighs.  Halfway through the race is when I lost it.  I had little energy and blamed it on so many things.  But I kept going.  Well, mostly walking.  My right hip was bothering me and my toes too from the neuroma and the bunion.

Then we got to Hollywood Studios which was my favorite part of the race.wineanddine10

I spent a good few minutes enjoying the view and taking pictures.  It was definitely magical for me.

Then on to the Boardwalk which left us with about 2 miles to go.  I was miserable and could not stop feeling sorry for myself.  I really, really tried to enjoy the whole race but just couldn’t.

Almost there!

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I was so happy to see this sign.  Once I saw it, I took some pictures and ran to the finish line.  I think I heard the announcer say my name but am not sure. Heck, my name is not common and so easy to mispronounce.

Each mile marker had a different travel destination picture and music to go with it.

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Before the race I had decided to enjoy the post race festivities.  Ha, big change of plans.  I walked a long time (it seemed long to me) back to the shuttle buses to take me back to the hotel.  Once in my room I cranked up the heat and called it a night.  I think by then it was almost 3am.

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This was definitely not the experience I was expecting for this race.  I did not like running through the parks at night.  There was definitely nothing pleasant about running in the rain.  I liked the crowd support and volunteers.  It was very well organized even with over 14,000 runners.  And yes there is something magical about running a Disney race.  The metals are pretty neat.  And I got two of them!

I did like staying at the Disney All-Star Sports Resort.  My room was about $113 with taxes and it included transportation from/to airport and resort.  Plus, it included transportation to the expo, parks, and race.

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Disney races can be fun but also EXPENSIVE.  Next year I would love to do the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in Disneyland.  And I am hoping to get together with some friends for the Princess Half Marathon in 2016.

Next race: Williams Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa, OK, on November 23.