Disney and the Coast to Coast Challenge

We have a guest blogger today... it's Liz Weed, who we previously interviewed here. She is coming back from injury and recently tackled the Disneyland Half Marathon, completeing the Disney Coast-to-Coast Challenge (run Disney World and Disneyland Half Marathons). Here is her race recap:

I began 2010 with the Disney World Half Marathon. It was my first attempt running after 6 months of physical therapy (a marathon related injury). January in Florida was supposed be good running weather, but at 29 degrees and sleeting rain, I disagree. While attending that event one of my running friends suggested we do the Coast-to-Coast Challenge. If we run Disneyland and Disney World in the same year, we will get a really cool medal. I myself was thinking: "a great reason to travel to California and hit the beach!" 

September arrived early in my mind. After a whirlwind summer and a move, I was ready for this break. Disneyland proved to be a much nicer venue for a race. The weather was perfect at 65 degrees, and the days leading up to it were beach filled. Two other women joined me, one of whom met me in Florida for the first race. She too had just moved and couldn't find her race shoes! I was the only uninjured runner in my trio, so the others just wanted to finish. I wanted to run a good race at marathon pace knowing that I have one in 4 weeks (Chicago). 

We all had some glitches. First I was placed in the wrong corral. As a matter of fact, I was placed in the very last one! But it is Disney and they agreed to move me up to C. I should have been in B, but I was thankful to have been moved at all. I forgot my running socks, but isn't that what running expos are for? One of my friends forgot her ear buds for the much needed iPod. We had great fun in Downtown Disney trying to convince her to buy the animal shaped ear buds (Monkey or elephant!). She went with basic black. My other friend eventually found her running shoes, but needed me to get her bib since she was late. I am so thankful for camera phones since I have had to do this twice now for friends. 

I will say that Disney World puts on a bigger show, complete with fireworks and a live camera to see the front runners begin. Disneyland does not do any of that and the announcer was awkward at best. But Disneyland made up for it with better weather, a more scenic course and great audience participation. My favorite aspect of the race was running the bases at Angel Stadium. That was just FUN! Your name is called out as you are running and you are filmed on their live cam. The stands were filled with a multitude of groups and people cheering. I enjoyed running through the theme parks and I did stop for a picture with the characters from Toy Story, but I was focused on time. I had a rough start when my iPod fell and I had to face a swarm of runners to retrieve it (that was scary), but I managed to break from the groups and finished within my goal time of 2 hours and 5 minutes. Since my friends were run-walking and pretty far behind me I decided to help bring them into the finish. So after a snack and some coffee, I ran back to my first friend and helped her with the last mile. Then I turned around and ran back to my other friend and helped her in. So I managed to get my extra miles in and helped my friends at the same time. Of course, when you run a Disney event it is a requirement to act like a kid. And we did it with style. After the race, we put on our pink tiara's, our Coast-to-Coast medals and our Disneyland medals and we went to the theme parks. As soon as we entered Disneyland we ran into Cinderella herself. She gladly posed with us "the running princesses."

A great race. A great venue. And a much needed getaway.

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Thanks Liz. I had the opportunity to run the Disneyland half in 07 and I enjoyed it as well. I'm glad you had a great time at both events and also that you were able to help your fellow runners finish. Now it is our turn to help you out: Liz is fund raising for her upcoming race in Chicago, so let's see if we can help her out. Here is a link to make a donation to Liz: http://www.active.com/donate/RMHC2010/lizweed

Liz participated in our "A Cause to Run For" donation program and was awarded a $5 Starbucks gift card. She declined to accept it, saying it was "her pleasure to donate," so I decided to "pay it forward." Everyone dollar that you donate to Liz will count as a raffle entry to win her $5 gift card (and for fun, I'll throw in another $5.) So if you donate $5, that's 5 entries. If you donate $10, that's 10 entries, etc. All you have to do is donate to the link above, then comment below how much you donated and tell us your favorite Disney Character. Sounds like fun!


Anonymous said...

Liz you inspire me!

chris mcpeake said...

great post

FruitFly said...

Fun fun fun!! Can't wait to get my own Coast to Coast medal next year!