The Chaos that was Disneyland’s Dumbo Double Dare (Part 2)

Posted on October 23, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

If you are just tuning in to the story, you can check out the expo and 10K here.  Now where did I leave off…

Believe it not, I actually slept well the night before the half (which is an anomaly).  I got up, got dressed, and made my way back to the start area.  Ugh!  It’s still too hot and humid.  This time I got to meet up with 17,500 of my closest friends.  This was my first half as a Half Fanatic so I sported the HF shirt to commemorate the occasion.  While chatting with fellow runners, I got the feeling that something was “off”.  I didn’t feel balanced or whole…  I felt naked… I realized that I left my Garmin in the hotel room.  Seriously!?  What kind of runner am I?  There wasn’t enough time to go back and get it so I was stuck.  Deep breaths…  It’s not the end of the world.  I knew the distance I was going and I did have my interval timer (not having that WOULD have been the end of the world).  They herded us to the corrals and thankfully, it went much smoother than the day before.  While waiting for the race to start, I was able to visit with a fellow HF’er.  We could see the lights flashing before the ambulance reached us.  Someone had fallen while in the corrals.  There was no way to get the ambulance to them.  The bike medics and EMT’s had to get to him.  People were jammed into corrals like sardines and there was just nowhere to go to get out of the way.  Having to stand for so long in the heat and packed in so close, it’s not hard to imagine people collapsing.  This is one reason I always try to stay at the front of my corral, so at least I have air to breathe.  My corral is finally good to go and we are off.

I settle into my 20:40 ratio and just do my race.  It can be daunting when so many people pass you at the beginning, but I knew that I had to go slow if I was going to survive.  I met so many HF’s along the way.  I felt like a celebrity as I made my way along the course.  People were hollering “Hey!  Half Fanatic!”  We would then high five, chat for a few minutes, or snap a picture.  A few times the other HF was a spectator and had me stop so they could get a picture.

The first 4 miles was inside the parks.  I rarely stop of character pictures, but there were two that I really wanted to get.  One was with Lightning McQueen and the other was Star Wars.  I did manage to stop in Cars Land, but the line for Darth was crazy long.  I got a picture of Darth and his stormtroopers without any other runners with them, so I was happy.

I met Tammy on the course, and I have to say that she helped me tremendously.  She liked the ideas of the ratios and decided to tag along and pace with me.  Because she was a faster walker than I, she kept my pace up during the walking portion and she said that I helped her with the running.  Maybe there’s something about running with someone that brings out just enough competitiveness to keep the pace up.  Whatever it was, I appreciated it so much.

A large section of the course was on the streets of Anaheim.  It’s not the most exciting stretch of a race course.  I’m so thankful that the car clubs came out.  I don’t know how many cars were there, but they lined both sides of course for quite a while.  I loved looking at the different cars and high-fiving the proud owners.  I will admit, I was slightly jealous of the kiddos that were stretched out in the cars taking a nap, or sitting in the shade with a drink and a snack.

Unfortunately we had to slow down during what I like to call The Death March.  At mile 9, the course led us on the Santa Ana trail that ran along the Santa Ana River.  It was a narrow trail when you take into consideration how many people were trying to go simultaneously.  I had to make sure and stay away from the edge at the riverbank – there was nothing to stop you from falling off the cliff.  So here we are, slowed to a crawl, walking down the dirt trail with the sun relentlessly beating down, and to complete the picture – the river bed is bone dry, which made it seem that much hotter.  Our slow pace continued through mile 10, when we went through Angel Stadium.

Once again there were fabulous spectator signs everywhere!  I’m always amazed at how clever some folks are.  I’m not sure what point this one was posted (I guess I could do the math, but I’m not going to), but it’s one of my all time favorites!  At first I thought the “STOP” was part of the sign and I was so thrilled at the idea that I could stop.  But, it didn’t work out that way and I kept on going.

Mile 12 and we are headed back onto Disney property.  This is the magical mile where it is rumoured that you are now safe and will not be swept.  I don’t know if this is true or not, but you could hear the collective sigh of relief as we crossed the imaginary line.  I passed a woman that was sitting on the curb and her husband was pleading with her to get up and keep moving.  She was in tears trying to explain to her husband that she just wanted to rest a little longer.  He was telling her that if she didn’t get up, she wasn’t going to, that she’s come so far and is so close…  Tammy and I were steadily getting closer to the finish line.  We
came upon a lady that was severely leaning to the left.  Her back was hurting her so bad; she couldn’t even stand up straight.  She was determined to make it so we were determined to help.  The three of us crossed the finish together.  Like the 10K, it wasn’t a pretty race.  Out of the 17,500 starters only 15,871 runners finished. The heat and humidity made it tough for this girl who recently migrated from Canada.  My shoes were pretty much shot and I ended up with blisters on both feet and I could feel every step on the pavement. Guess it’s time for my 4th pair of Mizunos to retire.  I did get a PR – it was the slowest half I’ve ever done!  I definitely earned my medals this weekend!

I knew if I went back to the hotel and rested, I would get too stiff.  I had to keep moving even though my body didn’t want to.  I met up with Christine again and we hit the parks.  There were a couple of rides that I really wanted to do.  I did Star Tours first, that was awesome!  Then we were off to conquer the Matterhorn!

I had a fantastic time wandering around the parks visiting with my friend.  My feet started hollering at me after awhile and I was back at the hotel by 5pm.  I took it easy that evening and after three mornings in a row getting up around 3am, I was so excited to be able to set my alarm for 8am.  For some reason, my body didn’t get the 8 o’clock wake up memo.  I still woke up at 3.  As always, I’m glad I went.  I had a great time, even with the heat, humidity, and worn out shoes.  However, it was nice to get back to Texas and get some semblance of a routine for my family.

The miracle isn’t that I finished.

The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

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2 Responses to “The Chaos that was Disneyland’s Dumbo Double Dare (Part 2)”

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[…] that I was burned out on running.  I had already signed up for the Dumbo Double Dare (10K and Half) so I was committed to that – but no more!  I would drop running completely and focus on […]

[…] didn’t think much about the race in the months leading up to it.  I did Dumbo (10K and Half) and Space Coast, but majority of time was spent getting my kids (and me) settled in a new town and […]


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