Tinker Bell 10K 2017 Race Recap

This May, I participated in my third Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. As usual, it was FILLED with pixie dust, magical moments and happy memories with friends. After completing the Pixie Dust Challenge last year (and the Glass Slipper Challenge just a few months before,) I decided only to run the 10K this year (it’s funny to say “only” the 10K, because a 10K is just as big of a deal!) I absolutely LOVE the 10Ks in Disneyland. They’re short and sweet, lots of park time and a little less expensive than the Half Marathons.

This year, I got to help out at the Raw Threads booth during the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo. It was so much fun getting to meet so many people at the booth! I especially loved getting to meet some of our Instagram friends in person.

One HUGE improvement I saw at the Expo this year was that the official race merchandise didn’t sell out so quickly. I stopped by the race merch area a few times throughout the weekend, and they were almost always stocked with wine glasses and Tervis cups (for the past two years those wine glasses have sold out in minutes.) HOORAY for that! I also loved this super fun fairy photo op at the Pandora booth!

 

It’s no secret that we love EVERYTHING runDisney at Runs in Tutus, but I do want to touch on a couple not so great things that happened during the weekend – and then I promise I’ll get back to the five million AMAZING things that were going on.

First, let’s discuss the infamous Tinker Bell 5K character stop crisis of 2017. I did not participate in the 5K this year, but many reputable sources have confirmed that there were indeed no character stops at the 5K. There was a sighting of Captain Hook, but he was behind ropes and not available for pictures. This was a total bummer, and we still aren’t entirely sure what happened. Did someone forget to schedule the characters for that morning? Did the Evil Queen cast a dark curse, sending all the characters to Storybrooke? We may never know.

BUT the good news is that the problem seemed to be resolved in time for the 10K. I spotted lots of characters on the course including the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Chip ‘n Dale in pirate outfits, Goofy, and more. There were a few characters set up with a Photopass photographer, while others were just on the course without a photographer or designated photo stop. Personally, I really enjoyed this setup. The characters that were not at a designated photo stop were interacting with runners on the course rather than posing for pictures. This made the course really fun, and if you really wanted a photo with that particular character, you could always snap a quick selfie!

Aside from the character crisis, the other big news was that this was the first time runDisney did not use volunteers at the race. Instead, everyone distributing race bibs, giving out water or snacks during the race was paid to be there. This sounds OK in theory, but you could notice a HUGE difference. That usual enthusiasm that comes from the cheerful volunteers was missing. Some of the water stops weren’t running quite as efficiently, and there seemed to be a problem with checking IDs at bib pick-up (there was even a reported bib thief, but this may or may not have been related to the change in personnel since it had happened before.) I really missed the volunteers and how excited they were to be there. I do hope runDisney chooses to use the volunteers again in the future.

Now here’s a quick recap of race day! Melanie and Christine had just completed the Dark Side Half on the other coast so they sat this one out, but I got to dress up with my lovely friends Katie and Sam! We decided to go with a Lost Boys theme so that we could wear giant ears and tails!

There was something a little weird going on at the start line corrals. We had to walk through a really narrow entryway that got EXTREMELY backed up. I don’t remember this happening the last two years. There was a major traffic jam trying to walk to our corrals – it was so bad that I almost didn’t make it to the start line in time! I made it to my corral about 30 seconds before we started. Phew! Make sure you give yourself extra time to get to your corral at the Disneyland races in case they continue this new setup.

After the first couple miles of the 10K, we were already in the park and the magic began! I ran into a Lost Boy right away. I stopped for a quick picture, we did a quick Lost Boys crow to each other, and then I was on my way.

Gotta love running into your character on a mile marker!

I ran into lots of friends on the course! I wish I could’ve gotten a picture with everyone, but I did manage to snap a quick pic with our friends John Biel and Kirsten. John makes the BEST costumes, and we are really excited about Kirsten’s awesome new athletic clothing line Crowned Athletics. Check it out on insta: @crownedathletics!

@builtbybiel

 

@crownedathletics

The most magical moment of the weekend of course was the finish line! This was a 10K PR for me, and it was the fastest I’ve been able to run since I injured my knee a year ago. It felt SO GOOD to finish a race without knee pain. Luckily, Mickey was there to give me a victory high five! Those Mickey high fives are just the icing on top of a magical cake.

I celebrated with my friends Sam, Sarah, Katie and Pluto over brunch at Storyteller’s Cafe! It was EXTRA special because Sarah finished her VERY FIRST 10K!! Congratulations Sarah!

Next up we’ll be finishing the Virtual Running Shorts, then we’ll be participating in the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!! CAN’T WAIT for that new Pixar theme!

See you soon team Tutu and congratulations to ALL our friends who completed a race at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend!

-Amanda

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