Saturday, September 15, 2012

Disney Cars Land 5K Rally Sept 2012

If you missed my riveting recap about the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo, clickety here.

Originally, I planned to take my usual Disney running pictures during the 5K rather than the half marathon because I was shooting for a PR the next day and didn't want to waste time stopping and messing with pictures. I spent the entire run completely irritated, so I forgot to take pictures on the course.

This post is more of a rant rather than a've been warned...

The 5K starts later than the half marathon, so it was already daylight when we arrived at our "corrals".

Melissa, my mom and moi
I use the term corrals lightly, because the start space was narrow and lined with tall bushes so regardless of what corral you were supposed to be in, you couldn't move up. We were packed in like sardines. I tried to make my way up to the runner start (rather than starting with the walkers) but I thought it would be fun to hang out with my mom and sister while we waited.

There is much less fanfare for a Disney 5K than for their other races. I was only disappointed because I wanted my mom and sister to experience the awesomeness that is a RunDisney event.

Finally, the runner corral started.

Now, I realize that Disney 5Ks are fun runs. I really do get that. BUT. For the amount of money Disney charges to participate, I think that there should be some changes. First of all, it should be a timed event. I know a lot of people don't care about that, and I really didn't either, at first. But again, it's a really expensive race that isn't benefiting breast cancer or something, so for that amount of money (and the prices have all recently increased), I feel that there should be some more runner perks.

Second, I had been warned that the 5Ks are a mess. So I was prepared for a lot more walkers and some disorganization. Most runners follow a pretty strict runner etiquette code by only walking or running in two's, not stopping right in the middle of the rode, etc. Occasionally, you'll see 3-4 across, but not that often.

I swear, people were moseying in huge groups taking up the entire width of the road. Then stopping for group pictures right in the middle of the course. Not on the side or with a character. Smack dab in the middle of the road. And this is not a dig at walkers because the walkers that I see doing half marathons follow the same rules as the runners.

People would let their little kids run - and I'm talking little - with mobs of people, letting them get under foot. I'm not a parent, but that seems dangerous to the kid not to mention highly irritating to the runner immediately behind you when you make the decision to plop your kid down right in front of her so that she trips another runner while trying to avoid stomping your kid into smithereens.

So, we run through the Magic Kingdom, run back stage, then across the walk way to the entrance of California Adventure. The crowd had spaced out some, plus there's more breathing room in that park. The finish line was in the main "street" of the new Cars Land, which would have been really, really cool if it wasn't so jam packed that it was bordering on dangerous. It took forever to walk through the finish area, get my medal, get a snack and then water.

Oh wait. Nope, we didn't get water because they ran out of water. That's right. They ran out of water and it was really hot.

I really wish I had taken pictures of the colossal mess that was the finish area.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love, love, love Disney races. I'm sure I will end up running another  one of their 5Ks in the future, but man, that was not really an enjoyable experience. And before I get flamed for complaining about a Disney race and the expense, I know it's expensive. And I knew going in that it would be more disorganized that the half marathon.

I just wasn't at all prepared for just how messed up it was. I was not prepared for the fact that people in huge groups would just stop in the middle of the road and block every one's path. I didn't realize how many parents would let their toddlers run under foot. I've never experienced a race like that.

I guess I just thought that since it was tied into a bigger event, it would have a similar feel. But I was very wrong about that. Maybe if it had been easier for me to get to the runner corral, my experience would have been a lot different, so that's probably my fault. Next time - if there is a next time for a Disney 5K - I will push and shove to the front corral.

I didn't take a picture of the 5K medal all by itself, so I will borrow the one from the RunDisney Facebook page.
Okay, so at least the medal was really cute.

Then I instagrammed a picture of the finish while I was waiting for my mom and sister to find me.

But there was much awesomeness to be had the next day at the half marathon, so stay tuned for that!

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