Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

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We’ve been back from Disneyland for a couple of weeks now, and we are still on a pixie dust high from the amazing Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. It’s taken us a little while to process all the magic, but we are ready to cover a few of the highlights! Today I will focus on the half marathon race itself. Amanda and Melanie will follow-up later on with some more exciting recaps of the 10k, Expo, and other weekend shenanigans.

First and foremost, let me say a big THANK YOU to all the team tutu friends we saw over the course of the weekend. We were so excited to connect with our friends that we interact with on a daily basis via Instagram. We gave out over 120 temporary Tink inspired tattoos! It was a super tutu party! We were also very excited to attend the Tink Facebook group meet-up where we connected with some truly inspiring fairies!

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As far as the half marathon goes…This was my first Tink half, and it certainly did not disappoint! Last year was a bit of a bummer year for me. I had pneumonia leading up to the Tink Half weekend, so I wasn’t medically cleared to be able to finish the race in 2015. That was really just the start of a series of really crummy events (I’ll spare you the unmagical details) that made 2015 a true test of resilience. The promise of being able to return in 2016 to the Tink half was really what kept me going through the ick of 2015. This race was like a giant reset button for me.

Race morning for the Tink Half went really smoothly. First, we had to get dazzled up in our race costumes! This year, Melanie ran as the Fairy Godmother from the live action Cinderella. Her costume was 100% DIY and included our PUFFIEST tutu to date. To make the tutu extra puffy, Melanie used a crochet waistband instead of an elastic waistband which allowed for multiple layers of tulle. You can buy the crochet waistband material by the spool at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s in the ribbon section.

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Puffy tutu shadow!

Amanda dressed as Joy from Inside Out. She wore a DIY  skirt and yellow shirt with iron on blue stars cut out from heat transfer vinyl. To make the blue stars, I hand drew the cut file then printed it out on the heat transfer vinyl using the Silhouette Cameo 2. This is a great time saver since you don’t have to individually cut each shape.IMG_0871

I ran the Tink Half dressed as Zarina (aka the Pirate Fairy.) I wore a pirate shirt from INKnBURN and a DIY tutu with a crotched waistband for extra puff. I also wore child sized wings to avoid any rubbing on my arms. For extra comfort, I pinned them to my shirt instead of wearing the arm straps.

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Christine as Pirate Fairy

This year, we stayed at the Hyatt at the convention center, and we were really impressed with the race transportation. We got on a bus as soon as we walked out of the lobby and we were dropped off at the parking lot near the entrance to the parks. We had to walk through Downtown Disney to get to our corrals, but it was definitely a shorter walk than what we experienced getting to our corrals at the Princess Half Marathon. Amanda and Melanie decided to run the race together in the same corral so that Melanie could help cheer Amanda on while she muscled through a knee injury. We agreed that I would stay in my assigned corral to give me the best chance at finally finishing this race. It was the first time I ran without one of my sisters next to me!

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Getting to my corral was a tiny bit difficult. The porta potties were all lined up against the flow of traffic right where all the runners were trying to get through to corrals. It was hard to tell who was waiting in line for a potty and who was trying to make their way to a corral. I attempted to wait for a porta potty, but quickly gave up due to the crowds of people.

Once at my corral, things were much more spacious and magical. There were photo pass photographers waiting to take pre-race pictures, and it was easy to see and hear the pre-race entertainment. The time between corrals passed pretty quickly and before I knew it, I was off and running into the park.

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The first half of the course was pretty much nonstop park scenery. We ran past the Lost Boys, through Sleeping Beauty Castle and saw plenty of pixie pals. The race course also included a great view of Cars Land and California Adventure.

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The second half of the race course was pretty much all outside of the parks through the streets of Anaheim. There were some places without much to look at, but the weather was great and there were plenty of hyped fellow runners to keep me company. As far as out of the park entertainment, there were a couple of great bands on the course, and spectators with amazing signs. There were even a few spectators with pixie dust!

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The Red Hat Society Ladies were by far the best entertainment on the entire course! There were so many of them out with signs, smiles, and high fives! It was exactly what I needed to keep going during the last few miles of the race. There were even a few Red Hat Ladies in tutus! Here are a few of their sweet signs.

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The finish line of this race was a super emotional moment for me. I started tearing up as soon as I saw the hat at the Disneyland hotel. After so many months of sad things, I was so thankful for the chance to finish this race feeling strong! I channeled a little Emma Swan from Once upon a Time, texted my sisters at mile 13, and said, “I’m about to finish this race and break the curse!”

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Once I saw the finish line, it was full water works. By time I got to the sweet volunteer who gave me my medal, I was in full on ugly cry mode! The crowds at the finish line were minimal, and I grabbed a snack box and stretched for a little while in the reunion area admiring the Tink Half and Coast to Coast bling. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we earned both the pink and blue Coast to Coast medals this year for completing Princess and Tink in the same calendar year.

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When exiting the race, we had to go through park entrance security in order to access the bus transportation back to the hotels. There wasn’t a line available for people without bags, so I waited about 15 minutes to get through security at the end of Downtown Disney. After I made it through security, I was still on such a pixie dust high from the race that I quickly forgot about the crowd and walked back to the hotel while I listened to the glorious clank of my newly earned bling!

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That’s all I’ve got for now. What did you guys think about the Tink Half? What was your favorite moment of the race? Let us know in the comments below.

-Christine

Comments

  1. Congrats on your finish! Your costumes are all SO great! I wish I’d been able to meet you all that weekend. 🙂 Great pictures of the signs – the Red Hat ladies were definitely a favorite on the course. Spectators make SUCH a difference.

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