Attempted Runner.

Race Recap: RunDisney’s 2014 Never Land 5k Fun Run


“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan: Fairy Tales

This past weekend, I participated in the RunDisney 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. I only did the 5k and 10k this time around and truth be told, I was a little thankful for that. The 5k was on Friday this year, as they split the 10k and Half Marathon over the entire weekend (In August, they had the 5k and 10k back to back on Saturday). As mentioned in an early blog post, I picked up by bib and Race packet Thursday, so come Friday morning all I had to do was get up, get ready and head second start to the right and straight on to the starting line.

The 5k run started at 5:45, but because we had 3 people that needed showers and to get ready, the alarm was set for 3:00am. Unfortunately, once my mother woke up she was a wreck and unable to participate in the 5k. We’re not sure if it was due to food poisoning, the stomach flu, anxiety/nerves or what but she ended up staying at the hotel. J and I got ready and headed out the door. The last RunDisney event we did, we took the car and parked in the parking garage which caused us to run a little late because of the traffic trying to get into the park, then when trying to leave we got stuck in the same traffic, so this time around we took advantage of the free 3 day ART passes. ART (Anaheim Resort Transportation) has about 24 different bus routes that each stop at 3-5 hotels and take you straight to the front entrance at Disneyland. As we were looking at the race program guide, we found out that the bus stop right outside our hotel window was ART route #12, which had three stops before going to Disneyland. The bus was running with special race weekend hours which meant the first bus would arrive at 4:00am and each bus after that would arrive every 20 minutes. By 4:15, I grabbed my breakfast and we headed out the door to get on the bus around 4:20. I must say taking the bus to the event and to the park the entire weekend is a million times easier than taking our own car. From this point forward, we’re going to be booking hotels only along the ART route to take full advantage of it. The bus driver was right on time and at 4:20 we were loaded onto the bus. ART stopped at the 2 mandatory bus stops and made 1 courtesy stop (they only stopped at that stop during the race event pick up hours between 4-6am). We arrived to the front gate within 15 minutes, walked through the security bag check point but because all we had was our hydration belts we were able to walk right through. The gates to Disneyland were already open at this point and again, we were able to walk right through there too.

We usually get to the 5k RunDisney events at least 1 hour to 1.5 hours ahead of time in order to get into the very front of corral A. We do this because although they have the 16 minute pace requirement that we can clearly beat, we get the front corral because they don’t start the timing until the very last person crosses the start line. Usually the last person crosses the starting line about 10 minutes after corral A, so with the 10 minute leeway time on top of the 16 minute pace requirements, we have roughly an hour to finish the run. This gives us PLENTY of time to run, walk, take photos of the floats and even wait in line to take photos with some of the characters that are on course. The very first year, we didn’t take many on course photos since we were worried about the whole 5k time requirements and we didn’t want to get picked up. The second year at Tink (third RunDisney 5k) we had my Aunt and Mother do the run with us, so we kept pace with them to make sure they made the time requirements. This year at Tink (my 5th RunDisney 5k) I knew what was expected, got into the front corral and wasn’t worried one bit.

I’m not sure if it was most peoples first time doing the event and they didn’t read the race guide, but by 5:30 (only 15 minutes to race start) there where only 2 corrals filled up! I’m not sure what was going on with that but I didn’t care, as I was where I was suppose to be. Carissa and Rudy, came out and did the pre race announcements and the Star spangled banner was played via trumpet.


Soon after, RunDisney had corral A come up to the starting line. Rudy and Carissa did a few more announcements and finally the count down began! It was a little after 5:45, but we were on our way! We started just to the left of the Castle and ran towards (the left) of the Matterhorn, straight to It’s a Small World. We stopped to take a picture of It’s a Small World because it was all a glow since they still had the Christmas light decorations. We looped around through the back lot behind It’s s Small World, and took a few more photos of a few Christmas parade floats and the Third Watch Construction Crew who were cheering us on.  We came out into Toon Town where I stopped to take a picture in front of Goofy’s house because I dressed up as Goofy… a Never Land run.  Goofy in Never land? It works. The first year I was the White Rabbit from Wonderland….in a Never Land Run.


Don’t ask…these things don’t click until AFTER I do it.

Anyway, running along….after we took a picture at the first mile marker we continued past Fantasy Land, Frontier land and ran along the water front at Rivers of America to New Orleans Square. Up the hill at Splash Mountain…no one said I had to train for hills!! I say that same joke EVERY time…. Followed by going down into Critter County right back into the back lot where the first water stop was at about 1.5 miles in. The water stopped had plenty of water cups, but then again I was apart of the first group so I’m not sure how stocked they were towards the end of the run.  After the water station, we followed along in the back lot area, took more photos of some floats and with Disneyland Firemen. As we made our way up to the front of the park to the outside gates, we ran along the Disneyland entrance gates where we reached mile 2. That is when we cut across over to California Adventure Park (CAP).

We entered CAP over in by Tower of Terror and ran down Hollywood land, past Award Weiner’s (which we had for dinner on Thursday. I guess I can run a 5k fueled by Hot Dogs). I still giggle every time I read that sign. After going through Hollywood Land, I took some more pictures with a few pirates and continued over to past Bugs Land area and up Radiator Springs (Cars Land). Somewhere around this area my hip started to hurt a little more but I kept going. I did run/walk the entire course and the first two miles I managed to keep a 12:45 minute mile moving pace, but because we did stop for photos and what not, each mile was an average of 15:45 mile times. Since my hip was getting slightly sore and I still had the entire rest of the day at the park and the 10k the following day, I slowed down to a 16 minute mile for the last mile (16 mins. moving time, it was 18 minutes due to photo stops). After leaving Car’s Land, we ran down Paradise Pier where I stopped for a photo with Peter Pan and Wendy. This is also when I totally fell and they got it on camera! I had no idea what happened. One minute I moved to get into position to pose with Peter, the next I’m saying, “Whooooaaa!” and falling over, all while laughing.


After that epic photo, we then made out way slowly across the finish line. I just didn’t want the fun to end. The run was considered a fun run and therefore untimed but my Garmin stats had me at an average moving time of 46:57, with an overall 5k time of 1:02:18. I think that’s funny because we spent at least 15 minutes just taking photos! The first year, I was terrified that I couldn’t maintain the 16 minute pace…this year, I wasted 15 minutes just taking photos! Oh the joys of progress!

After the run, we got our medals, water, PowerAde, bananas and goodie box (that I must point out, each item in the box this year was gluten free…RunDisney must have read my blog last year when I made the comment about needing more GF items) and made it back to the ART bus stop just as our bus was pulling up. Within 5 minutes, we were back at our hotel. I’m telling you, the bus is the way to go! While J took her shower, I iced my hip flexor and ate some (more) breakfast. My mom was still crazy sick, so we went to Target down the street to get her some soup and crackers. We ended up leaving her at the hotel room while we spent the rest of the day in Disneyland…because that’s what kids do at Disneyland….leave their parents behind to fend for themselves in hotel rooms! I felt bad for all about 10 minutes. I think we ended up staying in Disneyland from 11am and didn’t get back to the hotel until about 9:30pm. I iced my hip a LOT more meaning I fell asleep with the ice pack on my hip flexor and then was ready for it all to happen again for the 10k. That recap will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned!


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Looks like the race was fun, great pictures!

Comment by Falyn @ Slacker Runner

It was!

Comment by Attempted Runner

[…] one day after the Never Land 5k Fun Run I was at it again. Only this time, I went twice the distance. Just like the day before, J set her […]

Pingback by Race Recap: RunDisney’s 2014 Tinker Bell 10k | Attempted Runner.

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