I was up at 2:30am. The race didn’t start until 5:00am, but we were told to be standing at our corral by 4:00am. There was a walk from the hotel I was staying to the corral location, so we wanted to allow enough time to have a quick breakfast before the race.
We were at the entertainment stage by 4:00am. It was freezing cold. Otterbox was sponsoring the coat or jacket check-in. Once we were at the stage the announcer started calling for people that were in costume to come up front as a group and get our picture taken. Shortly after that we checked in our jackets and began to endure the cold morning breeze.
It was nice seeing how creative some of the runners were. I hadn’t thought of doing a ‘mash-up”. That’s where you combine two or more costume ideas into one. For example, there was a lady dressed as Mary Poppins with a blue face and a fin on her hat. She had done a Mary Poppins and Guardians of the Galaxy combination.
We then meandered over to find our corral letter. We were in the last corral, on purpose. It was our first runDisney race and I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with everyone, so we played it safe.
I noticed that many people had mylar blankets. My swag bag did not have one. I don’t know if only the people doing the Gauntlet Challenge got them or if they had saved them from previous runDisney races. However, it’s now clear to me that I need a couple of those for our next race.
As people started to line-up in their respective corral, we looked around us and wow, we were among a sea of people. The Thor 10K had 7,900 people running and overall for the weekend a total of 39,000 people. That’s by far the largest race I’ve been in.
Corrals were released in alphabetical order. We were so far back that we could hear the announcer, but couldn’t see a thing. It probably took an hour and a half of waiting until our corral was released. Needless to say, I was eager to get going and warm-up.
It seemed like a lot of the race course was through the back lots of the parks. I didn’t mind that though. How often do you get to see “behind the curtain” and see where things are made and put together for the rides? However, some of the walkways along the back roads are very narrow. All runners were pretty much forced to slow down to a fast walk because there was just no way to get around the crowd of people.
We eventually resurfaced at the back of Disneyland at Toon Town. That’s where the in the park running began. All throughout the race, there were hologram projections of the symbols of the various Avengers. I would always smile and point them out to Jim. It was a small reminder that we were on track.
All the bathrooms at the park were open for us and there were portapotties available as well. Having enough bathrooms was not a problem for this race.
I was touched by all the employees that were out cheering us on. They didn’t seem upset that they had to get up so early, they truly were encouraging and happy to us there. Some even had signs saying what shift crew they were and thanking us for participating in the race.
I didn’t have headphones on. I wanted to take in the whole experience. However, there were plenty of runners that chose to wear theirs and that’s fine. It’s a personal choice.
I saw some of the security guards on bikes surrounding us. I panicked and thought we were going to get scooped. Nope. They were just making sure everyone was okay. They commented on Jim’s costume and told him they liked it. The security guards seemed to be enjoying the festivities too.
We ran through both parks: Disneyland and California Adventure. I got to see a part of California Adventure that I don’t normally go through when I visit the park. It’s in Cars Land. While I love Cars Land, I had never walked past this particular area. That was neat and again made me smile.
I didn’t try getting photos taken with any of the characters. I knew I wasn’t going to have the time. When I passed the Matterhorn, the line to have your photo with Thor when around half of the Moutain. I didn’t have to spend like that. In fact, I don’t know how the racers in line finished the race without getting scooped.
My goal for this race was to finish without getting scooped. I was not concerned with my time, just getting it done and I succeeded. I am very proud of myself. I had a panic attack the night before and had a lot of doubts. Talking to Jeff Galloway during the Expo helped and the support of my loved ones helped too.