Thursday, December 7, 2017

Avenger's Half Marathon

Ugh, I've been home sick for a couple days and it's beginning to grate on my nerves.  Fingers crossed that I'm better by tomorrow!  In the meantime, I figured I'd go ahead and get up my review of the Avenger's half marathon at Disneyland. 

As mentioned earlier, Disneyland has announced they won't be doing races for a while so I'm just concentrating on my own race experience.  I'm sure that if this race comes back, it will have significant differences.

I was nervous about this race because this was the first challenge experience I was doing.  I usually rest up the day before a race.  But I had just done the Thor 10k the day before as well as had a lot of walking around the parks.  I wasn't sure how things were going to go with my tired legs and feet.  But I also had no time goals and my plans for this race were solely to have a good time, and I was pretty committed to that goal.

Unlike the 10k, this wasn't all on Disney property.  It started out going through California Adventure, then through Disneyland, and then we were running through the streets of Anaheim by mile 4.  Just like the 10k, the parts through Disney property were great!  It was a lot of fun and there were a lot of photographers along the way.  I was also in Disneyland earlier then during the 10k so I got the see the lights on the castle better.

The backstage areas were also a little bit different and I loved the part where we ran by the stables and the horses were out for runners to see.  Sadly I didn't get a good picture but they were beautiful.  I did get some cool photo pass photos in the parks. I also loved the Avenger's theme they wove through this part, with cast members dressed up as Shield Agents.

But then we were out into the streets of Anaheim.  This area was a little bare.  I had heard in the past that Disney had worked with community groups to have more entertainment in this area such as cosplayers, antique cars, etc. but there wasn't any of that this year.  I heard it's because Disney used to offer a free park ticket to people for coming out but they didn't do that this year.  There were a couple DJs along the way but that seemed to be it.

But there were a couple spots with great crowd support!  There was a group dressed in pajamas and then another group dressed in costumes.  They both had fun signs and candy they were handing out.  It was definitely much appreciated.

 I did meet another runner during one of these spots.  We chatted with each other during miles 7 and 8 and that really helped out during this particular stretch of the race.  She was dressed as Ms. Marvel which was my 10k costume so we chatted about her and the importance of representation in comics, other races, cosplay, etc.

Then around mile 10, we hid Angels Stadium.  This was another fun part of the course since we got to run on the field and an announcer was calling out our names.  That part was also fun since it signified the last section of the course and heading back to the parks.

As you can see from my splits, I took it easy and had a good time during the race.  You can see that the slowest miles were 7 and 8 (where I was chatting with a new friend) and 10 (Angel Stadium).  I was happy to see that after mile 10, every mile was faster than the last! 

The lead up toward the finish was great.  There was a lot of cheering at this point.  There were various cheer leader groups from local schools, a DJ, a band, and crowds.  It was exciting and definitely pumped me up for the finish line.  I tried to jump at the finish line and got a super dorky photo :)

It was super organized afterwards.  We got our medals, the food box, water, a banana and there was a special diversion for people who were getting the challenge medal and coast to coast.  It was all very clear and well run.  There was also a separate line for people who wanted photos but the line seemed pretty long so I skipped that and went into the family area to meet up with Mike.

We hung out a bit while I ate some snacks from the box and then we went over to Downtown Disney for some breakfast.  After that, we went back to the hotel to clean up and nap.  We head back to the parks around noon or so I think.  And had a lot more fun!  I love that the two parks are close enough to each other that it's easy to go back and forth during the day.