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

2017 runDisney Princess 5k Race Recap

Hello, Team Tutu! It’s been a busy few weeks since our magical trip to Princess Half Marathon weekend! We’ve finally recovered from all the fun, and we are ready to share some recaps from the weekend.   Let’s kick off our recap series with a review of all the fun from the Princess 5k!

I was so excited about this 5k because it was my first ever runDisney 5k.  It’s been difficult to include a 5k in our travel plans in the past because the runDisney 5ks are usually on Fridays (work really cramps our style). Plus, the thought of adding an extra 3.2 miles to the 19.3 miles required to complete typical runDisney challenge didn’t sound like something I was ready to conquer.  I decided to run the Princess 5k because my friend Ashlea and her daughter committed to running the Princess 5k as their first ever 5k race!  Ashlea and her daughter got the runDisney bug this summer when they participated in the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts series. They had so much fun on the virtual runs that they wanted to see what a runDisney experience was like in Disney World.  As soon as I heard they were interested in the 5k, I jumped at the chance to join them for the fun!

Here is how the race experience went:

Registration:  We had a pretty easy registration experience this year because we were all able to register with Team Raw Threads. I am a Raw Threads Club member and one of the awesome club perks is early race registrations for yourself and sometimes up to 2 family members or very close friends. I was able to snag a bib for myself and 2 bibs for Ashlea and her daughter without any stress. If you are a big runDisney fan, and love the Raw Threads apparel, it is definitely worth it to purchase a club membership!

Costumes:  As soon as we heard the theme was Beauty and the Beast, Ashlea’s daughter asked if we could dress as Mrs. Potts, Chip, and Belle. Our costumes were really easy to put together.  I had just finished dressing as Mrs. Potts for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, so I had some left over fabric laying around that I was able to give to Ashlea so that they could make their Mrs. Potts and Chip costumes. Ashlea’s mom is an amazing seamstress and she made adorable Mrs. Potts and Chip costumes for Ashlea and her daughter!  Like a true seamstress, Ashlea’s mom had some gold sparkle fabric laying around that was perfect for my Belle costume.  She graciously donated it to me so that I could make an overlay for my Belle tutu. It was the perfect addition to the costume!  The rest of my costume was a breeze to make because I borrowed Amanda’s Belle inspired tank top from last year’s Princess Half. I made a new rose embellishment for the top out of some of the scrap sparkle fabric, and then used a remaining scrap as a ribbon for my hair.

Mrs. Potts and Chip. Ashlea’s mom made them!

Thank you to Ashlea’s mom for the tutu overlay fabric!

Pre-race fun:  The 5k pre-race party was hands down my favorite of the weekend! It wasn’t overly crowded, and the vibe was a lot less intense than the other races. We got to see so many of our friends during the pre-race party because it was very easy to walk around and say hello! We had the pleasure of seeing a few of our Instagram friends in real life. It was great to see Jessica (@jbullski), Kimberly (@belle898), Cindy (@copleycoture), and Lara and her sister (@lalalenz & @critterclubhouse)!

@copelycoture looked amazing!

Always great to see @jbullski! (Photo credit to her for this pic)

Finally got to meet @lalalenz and @critterclubhouse ! (repost from @lalalenz on Instagram)

As soon as we walked into the pre-race party, we ran into a group wearing some of the most amazing Beauty and the Beast costumes we saw all weekend (they actually had amazing costumes for all the weekend. Check out their full group on Instagram @la.lee11)! They had almost every Beauty and the Beast character accounted for in the group. We were in awe and stopped to talk with them for a few minutes. As it turns out, they did not have a Mrs. Potts, Chip, or Belle in gold in their group. When we all stood together talking we created quite a scene because we were literally the full cast of the movie! Several runners even asked to take pictures with us!  RunDisney announcer Carissa noticed our costumes and came over to give our group a shout out on the big screen and on her Instagram! It was fun to meet Carissa!

Our group picture with the fabuous friends we met at the pre-race party. Thank you @la.lee11 for letting us hang with your group!

Race start:  We were able to make it to our corral without any problems and had a few minutes to warm up and take a drink of water before the race started. This year runDisney started a new system with the corral starts.  Each corral is divided into waves rather than starting all at once. It seemed to keep the race start fairly uncrowded. We were in the second wave of our corral, and right before our wave started Carissa headed back towards us to do pre-race interview.  Carissa walked towards us and the next thing we knew she was interviewing Ashlea’s daughter!  When we crossed the start, Ashlea’s daughter looked at me and said, “Do they always interview you before the race starts?”  She was surprised to hear that we had never been interviewed before =).

I was a little sad that we didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of Ashela’s sweet daughter on the big screen. Shortly after the start of the race, we got the chance to meet Laura, the lovely blogger behind Joyful Miles. Laura is such a nice person. She greeted us with a smile and let us know she got some video of our pre-race interview.  We were so thankful she caught the moment on camera! She went the extra mile (pun intended) of sending us the video during the race! Now that’s some serious multitasking.

The lovely Laura from @joyful_miles

The race course:  This race course was also my favorite of the weekend (and no, it’s not because it was the shortest =) ). Nearly all of the 5k course was in Epcot! We ran around the whole World Showcase and around Spaceship Earth. We even got the chance to take a picture with some great characters. Everyone looked like they were having a great time. There were lots of families running together, and there were a lot of amazing costumes on the course!

The mile markers were adorable!

Finish and post-race fun:  Ashlea and her daughter did a great job pacing themselves during the 5k. We took it easy and enjoyed ourselves at the beginning, and then finished the race strong. The medal for this race is one of my favorite runDisney medals to date. The medal features Mrs. Potts and Chip and is a pretty equal size to the other medals from the Princess Half weekend. runDisney recently upgraded the 5k medals from a plastic medal to medals made of metal. The upgrade was very much appreciated at the finish line of this race! After the race we went to 1900 Park Fare for a celebratory brunch!

All in all, this was a great 5k experience! I would definitely consider registering for another runDisney 5k in the future.

Congrats to Ashlea and her daughter on their first 5k!

That’s all for the 5k recap… stay tuned for a recap of the rest of the weekend’s events and races!  If you ran in the Princess 5k, leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the event.

-Christine

2017 Pro Bowl 5k Race Recap

Greetings, Team Tutu!  A couple of weeks ago, Melanie and I decided to take a last minute trip to Orlando to run the Pro Bowl 5k. This race wasn’t on the official runDisney schedule, but it was advertised via a runDisney newsletter and managed by runDisney, so we thought it might be worth the trip.  The entire race experience from start to finish was so much fun and definitely exceeded our expectations! Here is how the weekend went down:

Registration, transportation, and packet pickup:  We registered for the race on active.com less than a month before the race. Registration was a breeze and we only paid $49.00 for the 5k!  Compared to the $90.00 fee for a typical runDisney 5k, this was quite a pleasant price to pay!  There was plenty of information about how to get to the race and pick up packets on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Website, so we knew exactly how to get to the race and pick up our packets.  Melanie and I decided to stay off property because there weren’t any official race transportation buses provided for this race. We booked a last minute flight, hotel, and rental car deal on Priceline (yet another way we cut costs for this last minute trip). We flew in late Friday night, and we drove to the race on Saturday morning without any issues. This race had packet pick-up the morning of the race, which was a very nice perk. We didn’t have to take off of work on Friday just to go to an expo to pick up our bibs. The race registration did not include a race shirt, but that didn’t bother us because we have waaaay to many race shirts already.

Our costumes:  We come from a big family of Steelers fans, so Melanie and I were excited to have an opportunity to represent our favorite team at a race!  Melanie and I both wore black and gold tutus, Steelers themed eye blacks, black and gold knee socks, and black and gold Sparkly Soul headbands. I made us some matching bows, and we brought along a football to carry through the race. I wore my Ben Roethlisberger jersey and Melanie wore an Antonio Brown jersey.

The race:  This was an untimed race, so there were no corral assignments.  The race was small enough that there didn’t seem to be any issues running the pace we wanted to run. We didn’t wait in any lines to pick up our bibs, and we were able to enjoy some prerace entertainment. The runDisney commentators (including Carissa) were out at the start to get the crowd hyped. We saw prerace coffee available with no lines, and there were plenty of port-a-potties to go around.

The race course was the exact same course as the Princess 5k!!! That’s right, we paid 49 bucks and got to run through the World Showcase with less than 3,000 other runners!! We started in the parking lot of Epcot, ran through the World Showcase, past Spaceship Earth, and then back out to the Epcot parking lot.  Melanie and I took our time on the course, interacted with other football fans, and took a lot of fun pictures.

Some of the course highlights for us were:

  • When I fumbled the football less than a mile into the race. Another friendly Steelers fan recovered the football and attempted to throw it back to me, but I was unable to catch the ball. I am clearly not a NFL caliber athlete, so the football hit me right in the head, and I dropped the ball for a second time. Finally, I somehow managed to recover the ball, and we kept the ball fumble free for the remainder of the race.
  • Taking pictures along the World Showcase. There were some fun photo backgrounds out in Epcot for the International Festival of the Arts, so we took advantage of those for some race photos. There weren’t any race photographers on the course, so we tried to take as many fun pictures as possible!
  • That moment Melanie decided to twerk in front of Spaceship Earth. Antonio Brown is well-known for his signature touchdown twerk dance. Melanie thought it would be great to channel her inner Antonio Brown right in front of Spaceship Earth, and IT. WAS. WORTH. IT.

Race bling and Finish: As we approached the finish line, we got to see NFL mascots and cheerleaders cheering for us.  There was so much room at the finish line that Melanie managed to capture another Antonio Brown stretch move (fellow Steelers fans might know  this move as the “Immaculate Extension”) right as we crossed the finish line. 

The medals for this race were amazing, especially considering this was a 5K. They were the same size and quality as most of the runDisney medals we have earned.  We got post-race bananas and water in a bottle that had the Pro Bowl logo on the front. We were so excited at the end of the race we did a touchdown dance in the middle of the Epcot parking lot.

We had no issues getting out of the Epcot parking lot and back to our hotel. The race crowds were low enough that we didn’t sit in a long line of traffic trying to exit the race.  After the race, we took a quick rest break (and proceeded to share our adventures on social media). We opened our Twitter account and squealed with delight because THE STEELERS TWEETED US!!  EEEEEEEE!!!  It was a huge surprise to us  because we don’t usually have  many exciting notifications on our Twitter feed! We are definitely more active on Instagram.  Here is the moment our football fangirl dreams came true live on Twitter:

Extra Magic:   Melanie and I headed straight to the parks to celebrate our race. We were so excited because we were able to enjoy the Inaugural Epcot Festival of the Arts. We booked a dining package that included breakfast at the Garden Grill and a fastpass to return to Epcot that evening for a concert featuring Disney on Broadway hits performed by Broadway singers! We heard music from Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, and Tarzan. The concert and the festival were absolutely amazing! There were tons of food booths and adorable art themed snacks.

 

The next day, Melanie and I headed to Magic Kingdom to sneak in some last minute park time before heading home. The park crowds were so low that we literally managed to ride everything in Magic Kingdom! All in all, it was a pretty magical weekend!

Next up for us is the Princess Half Marathon weekend. We are busy finishing up our costumes (and training, I guess). We definitely want to meet some of our team tutu friends at Princess Half! We are preparing some more fun race-themed tattoos to give away over the course of the Princess Half weekend. Stay tuned to our Instagram, blog, and Twitter for more updates on our Princess plans!

 

-Christine

 

 

Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon Recap

Hello, team tutu! We are so excited about our 2017 race schedule. We are registered for so many fun races and adventures this year including the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Tinker Bell 10K and more! Thanks to our Raw Threads Club membership, we’ve been able to register for all of the upcoming runDisney races with ease. We started our 2017 race fun off with a trip to Disneyland for the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon. This was our first time participating in this event and we loved the entire experience. Here is a quick review of some of our favorite moments from the weekend:

Race Expo:

The last few runDisney race expos that we’ve experienced have been pretty crowded and a lot of official race merchandise has sold out within hours of expo opening. We’ve started to arrive at runDisney expos prepared for crowds and limited race merchandise availability. Melanie and Amanda arrived at the expo on Friday evening and I came to the expo on Saturday. We were relieved to find low crowds and some of the race merchandise still available on Friday and Saturday. This was a great surprise. Melanie and Amanda were both able to snag the coveted Tervis tumbler along with some other cute merch! Packet pickup was a breeze and the long sleeved race shirts were a nice perk!

The best part of the race expos is getting a chance to catch up with some of our friends. We were excited to see so many of our friends at the expo. We got the chance to see our friends from Run all the Races, Chase this Skirt, and Raw Threads.

 

Race Day:

We drove to the race and parked at the Mickey and Friends parking garage. It was a breeze parking and getting to our corrals in time for the start of the race. The quick commute to the corrals was a relief for us because we were definitely not feeling 100% on race day. Melanie and Amanda were both fighting a cold and I was nursing some nagging foot pain. We were slow getting up that morning but thankfully traveled quickly to our corrals. Race day weather was a little chilly at the start, but quickly it warmed up to a very comfortable temperature.

We decided to dress as Ewoks for this race. We wore brown tutus and sleeveless Ewok hoodies from Her Universe. About a week before the race, I found some adorable Ewok felties on Etsy and decided to make Ewok hair bows. The Ewok bows were my favorite part of the race costume.

The race course was absolutely amazing! It was entertaining and not very crowded. This was by far our favorite runDisney course to date! That’s saying a lot considering how much we love princess things. The first 4 miles of the course ran through the parks. There were several character stops in the parks and lots of opportunities for pictures.

We ran through Fantasyland and Cars Land. The highlight of the park portion of the course had to be running past It’s a Small World. The attraction was still decorated for the holiday with beautiful lights. As I ran towards the attraction, I was giddy as I saw the pretty lights from afar. My giddiness was momentarily squelched because as soon as I ran up to the front of the attraction the lights turned off as the timer turns the lights off daily at 6:30 AM. Thankfully there were some WONDERFUL cast members working in front of the attraction. As soon as I disappointingly asked what happened to the lights, Brian and his team radioed for help and got the attraction lights turned back on for the remainder of the race!!! It. Was. Magical!!!!!

We were initially concerned about the second half of the race course as a majority of the course was outside of the park property. When we ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May we found the second half of the race course to be less than entertaining. That was definitely not the case at Star Wars Half! The second half of the course actually ended up being the best part of the race! There were so many spectators cheering on the course and there were two cosplay groups out in some of the most amazing costumes. We all took the opportunity to take as many pictures as possible with the cosplayers out on the course. The cosplayers gave us the boost of energy we needed to finish the race!

All 3 of us made it across the finish line and earned the gorgeous spinner medal! We all agreed that Star Wars Light Side Half is our new favorite race course!

After the race, we headed to the parks wearing some new accessories I made for the weekend. We had some Star Wars themed ears and vintage Disney movie poster inspired tote bags. The parks were pretty crowded due to the holiday weekend, but we still managed to take a trip back to ride It’s a Small World Holiday. That attraction was completely worth braving the crowds in the park!

This was a quick trip for us. We headed back to normal life on the Monday after the race. We were sad to leave the Star Wars fun so quickly, but we know we will be back to the magic next month at Princess Half.

That’s all the race highlights for now! Did you go to Star Wars Half? If so, let us know your favorite part of the weekend!

-Christine

2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Race Recap

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

Hello Team Tutu! A few days ago we wrote a recap of the Wine & Dine 10K and how much fun we had running with our Dad. Melanie, Christine and I completed Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge, which included both the 10K and the Half Marathon, so here’s a recap of our experience at the 2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

The Race:

First of all, the start was not delayed by inclement weather, so it was already on track to be better than last year! This year, we decided to coordinate our costumes and stick with the Beauty and the Beast theme in honor of Lumiere’s new Two Course Challenge. Melanie dressed as Cogsworth, I went as Babette the feather duster, and Christine dressed as Mrs. Potts.

fullsizerender

img_0051

unnamed

The race started at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and we had a great time dancing at the pre-race party! We really lucked out with the weather this year. It was a little chilly waiting for the race to start, but it felt great when we started running. I always pack a few mylar blankets with me so I can stay warm on chilly race day mornings. You can buy a whole pack of them on Amazon for pretty cheap.

fullsizerender-1

The first few miles of the race were on Osceola Parkway, then we entered Animal Kingdom for a couple magical miles around the Tree of Life and Expedition Everest. We were really excited to run through Animal Kingdom since that section of the course was removed last year after the rain delay. We made a quick stop to say hello to Baloo, then carried on our way until we ran into Chip and Dale.

img_0053

img_0174

img_0182

We were having a great time, but we had no idea what was in store for us as we continued on down the course. We turned a corner and found DARKWING DUCK and LAUNCHPAD. It was a flashback to our childhood and a much appreciated tribute to the cartoons of the 1990s. To top it off, the speakers were playing a continuous loop of the Darkwing Duck and Duck Tales theme songs. Here is a picture of that magical moment in all its glory.

img_0184

Miles 9 through 11 got a little rough. The sun was out, the temperature had drastically increased and we ran up several freeway ramps. The last couple miles of the course took us through Epcot, and luckily we had a big group of spectators there to cheer us on as we entered the park! We took a quick trip around Spaceship Earth (aka the Epcot ball) and then raced on to the finish line to earn our medals!

img_0194 img_0196

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Race Party

Up until this year, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon had always started around 10PM. It was a night race that ended in Epcot for a post-race party. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the change to a morning race, but I ended up loving it. Usually I finish the half marathon after midnight. I’m exhausted and I want to chug water instead of wine. This year, we got to head back to the hotel, take an extra long nap, shower, eat a bunch of food THEN head to the post-race party in the evening. I was completely ready to party and drink wine, and we stayed at the park until almost 2AM. Best of all, we rocked the party in matching leggings from Oh Sew Magical!

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-9-17-46-pm

Magical Cheers leggings from Oh Sew Magical!

 

fullsizerender

There were definitely a few kinks with the new event schedule. Runners were allowed to enter Epcot for the post-race party beginning at 8PM. Once entering the park, everyone with a post-race party ticket had to stop at one of three locations to pick up a wrist band. The lines to get a wristband were insanely long. Once we picked up our wristbands, we realized that even though runners could enter the park at 8PM, the park didn’t close to the public until later. Around 9PM, the park shut down for an hour as the general public left the park. The rides were closed and every food cart was closed. We couldn’t even find a place to buy a bottle of water. It was very awkward waiting an hour for the park to open back up.

At exactly 10:00PM, the World Showcase lit up, music started playing and all the food carts opened up. Most people had been waiting an hour to buy food, so the food lines were long and the World Showcase was packed. We found a nice quiet spot in the Italy pavilion and waited for the crowds to die down. At around 11:30PM the park started to empty out. We only waited 15 minutes to ride the brand new Frozen ride (by the way that ride is life changing), and we could finally stuff our faces with delicious dishes from the International Food & Wine Festival.

We ended up having an amazing time at the post-race party and we even met up with a few Instagram friends. If the race is organized the same next year, I highly recommended arriving to the post-race party a little late. It’s a much better experience later in the night when the big crowds start to disperse.

That’s it for our recap of the 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend! Congrats to all who participated. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below and we look forward to meeting more friends at future runDisney races. Next year you can find us at the Star Wars Light Side, Star Wars Dark Side, Tinker Bell, Princess and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.

-Amanda

img_0057

 

2016 Disneyland 10k Race Recap

2016-09-21_222618000_d9197_iosHello, team tutu! We are so excited to share a recap of our trip to the Disneyland 10k!  In a series of very magical events, all three of us were able to snag a bib for this sold out race! It was a last minute opportunity that we still can’t believe happened! Here’s how it went down…. In late July, Runs in Tutus little sister Amanda accepted a new job and relocated from DC to California. The minute Amanda arrived to Cali, she got an annual pass and decided to sign up for the Disneyland 10k. We are Raw Threads Club members so she was able get a bib from Team Raw Threads well after the race sold out.

Melanie and I initially decided not to join Amanda for the Disneyland 10k (because adulting), but as the race day drew closer, our will power diminished. We couldn’t resist the urge to see Amanda’s new home and run the 10k with her!  About two weeks before the race, Melanie and I hopped online, purchased 10k bibs from Raw Threads, and booked last minute plane tickets to Cali!

After the pixie dust settled from our last minute booking, we quickly got to work on our costumes and packed for the race!

Here is our summary of the race weekend:

Expo: Amanda headed to the Expo on Thursday by herself because she had to work on the Friday before the race. She had the opportunity to see the expo right when it opened.  Her first stop was to the Raw Threads booth to check in (she was literally the first club member to check in!). Club members who sign up for a race with Raw Threads receive a swag bag and a commemorative race patch! This was our first race with Raw Threads so we were pretty excited to receive our swag and to meet up with other club members.  We can’t wait to collect the rest of our race patches for Light Side Half, Dark Side Half, and Princess Half races!

2016-09-21_223059000_cf59c_ios

Amanda picking up her race swag at the Raw Threads booth!

Packet pickup and expo browsing was an overall pleasant experience for Amanda.  She tried to get a look at the official race merch, but as usual that area of the expo was pretty crowded and Black Friday-like. She decided to skip out on race merch and enjoy other aspects of the expo. The race signage and theme was adorable. Especially the Aladdin and Genie logo on the race shirt and bib.

2016-09-21_223053000_84e48_ios2016-09-21_224050000_dc9b5_ios

Melanie and I went to the expo on Friday afternoon. When we arrived to packet pickup, we had a short moment of panic. Melanie discovered that she was placed in the last corral despite submitting a proof of time at the time of her registration. While we have no problems being in the last corral, we prefer to be a little further up in the corrals so that we have enough time to stop and take all the pictures for our blog and Instagram (priorities). Also, Melanie has really been working hard over the past couple of years on her pace, and she wanted to be able to run at the pace she had been training.  Melanie let the volunteer at bib pickup know she was placed in the incorrect corral and he redirected her to the runner relations booth. She was told that corral changed rarely happen, and that there may be nothing that could be done about her corral placement at this point.   We headed over to the runner relations booth and anxiously waited in line. The volunteer at runner relations was very friendly and quickly looked up Melanie’s race registration to see what was going on with her corral.  Thankfully, the volunteer was able to see that Melanie did submit a proof of time, and she got moved from corral G to corral C. We literally squealed with excitement when the volunteer placed the corral C sticker on Melanie’s bib. The best part about this corral change was that it meant that all 3 of us would be able to run the race together for the first time in the same corral!

After sorting out the corral placement issue, Melanie and I headed to the expo to play. We took our time shopping around the expo and had a blast. We made this super fin GIF at the Cigna booth!

gif_2016-09-02_18-02-56

 

Race Day: We were so excited about our last minute tutus for this race. We decided to dress as our favorite park attractions. Amanda dressed as the Mad Tea Party, Melanie dressed as the Mickey Fun Wheel, and I dressed as It’s a Small World.

Here is a look at our race costumes:

2016-09-21_232002000_8d8dd_ios

2016-09-21_232131000_2f789_ios

2016-09-21_232557000_292bc_ios

Our journey to the start line was pretty rushed. We stayed at a hotel near Downtown Disney that was close enough for us to walk to the race on race morning, and dramatically underestimated how long it would take us to walk over to the start. We left a little later than we should have. We ended up having to do a quick warm up jog to get to our corral just as the wheelchair start was happening. Lesson learned. We walk slower at 3:45 in the morning.

Once we arrived to our corral and caught our breath it was all smooth sailing from there. This was our first time to run this race and we enjoyed every minute of the course.  A lot of the course is in the parks so it really made every moment of the race extra magical. We also LOVED the rare character stops along the way.  We saw Pinocchio and Geppetto, the Incredibles, and our personal favorite MAX GOOF!

Here are a few pics from the course and the moment we got to meet Max!

2016-09-21_224317000_e865f_ios

2016-09-21_225100000_f17e4_ios

We also got the opportunity to meet some of our Instagram friends in real life. We always enjoy meeting new friends and old friends at runDisney events.

The final highlight of the race for us was the moment that we got to cross the finish line together as sisters. This was the first time that all 3 of us ran together for the entire race, and it was so much fun!  We also loved the medal with Aladdin and Genie!

2016-09-03_142754000_7cca9_ios

2016-09-21_222026000_5b84f_ios

 

Post-race and park time: After the race we walked back to our hotel. We had a little bit of trouble navigating through the crowd of people post-race in Downtown Disney. We didn’t really have a way to exit the race without going through the bag check line. This happened to us at Tink Half and we were hoping runDisney had sorted the exit issues out. In the future we will avoid walking through Downtown Disney towards the parks after a Disneyland Race.  Amanda had to head to work right after the race, but Melanie and I stuck around for a little while to enjoy the last few moments of the Diamond Celebration.  Here are a few of our favorite things from our time in the park.

 

2016-09-21_225304000_0cc8e_ios

 

Overall, we had a great experience at this race and would definitely do it again!  Up next for us is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend in Disneyworld in November. We can’t wait to run the inaugural Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge. Hope to see you there! Amanda will also be making a stop at Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland so keep an eye out for some spooktacular highlights!

 

-Christine

 

 

 

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

IMG_0021

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!

IMG_0002

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.

IMG_0872

IMG_0863

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.

IMG_0870

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!

IMG_0019

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.

IMG_0005

IMG_0020

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.

FullSizeRender

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!

IMG_0010

IMG_0015

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.

IMG_0012

IMG_0014

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!”

IMG_0018

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.

IMG_0009

IMG_0016

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!

IMG_0008

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

runDisney Virtual Running Shorts Details

We just got back from a wonderful weekend in Disneyland where we ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. It. Was. Magical. We are in the process of writing up our weekend recaps and can’t wait to share them with you!!

In the meantime, it’s time to talk about another awesome runDisney opportunity that was just announced a couple of weeks ago! Thanks to virtual magic, runDisney is now offering a series of three 5K races this summer (May 15- June 30, 2016). The series is called the Virtual Running Shorts, and it allows runners to earn runDisney bling in their own backyards!IMG_1000

Here are some more details about the races:

1. Runners need to register here in advance

2. There are 4 opportunities to earn the race bling.

  • The Yellow Shoes virtual run (May 15-June 1)
  • The Red Pants virtual run (June 5-June 18)
  • The White Glove virtual run (June 19-June 30)
  • The Virtual Running Shorts Challenge: This registration option is a commitment to run all 3 virtual 5Ks within the time frames listed above. Finishers receive all the virtual 5K medals AND a special finishers medal for completing the challenge. The challenge also includes a Mickey tumbler!

3. Proof of run is not required to meet the completion requirements for the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts events. Simply go out for a 5K between the allotted dates and earn that virtual bling.

4. The Virtual Running Shorts series benefits the Leukemia Lymphoma Society charity

All three of us at Runs in Tutus are registered for the Virtual Running Shorts Challenge. Our plan is to make the virtual races as magical as possible (we are already thinking about our race outfits). We will be live tweeting our virtual runs and sharing our virtual run experiences on Instragram. We thought it might be fun if we got some of our readers and team tutu friends together (virtually) to run the virtual races at the same time. Here are the days we plan on completing each of the 5Ks.

IMG_1002

If you are registered for any of the Virtual Running Shorts and would like to join us for some team tutu virtual fun, grab your running shoes and join us on May 30, June 12, and/or June 19. You can tweet along with us or share your team tutu pics Instagram or twitter by using #runsintutus.

And finally…For some extra magic – Here is a set of free printable stickers inspired by the Virtual Running Shorts Series. Simply download the file here, print, cut, and stick to your planner or training log using glue or adhesive of your choice!

IMG_1001

Can’t wait to “see” all our virtual friends on the course!

-Christine

5 Reasons We’re Excited for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend!

FullSizeRenderThe Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend is only 9 days away! At Runs in Tutus, we are so excited that virtually all of our recent conversations revolve around Disney. It’s hard to focus at work knowing the magical weekend is almost here. I can feel the pixie dust already! Last year, we all participated in the Half Marathon and we had a great time. You can check out last year’s race recap here. This year, I’ll be doing the Pixie Dust Challenge, Melanie and Christine will be participating in the Half Marathon, and we will all three be earning that pink Coast to Coast medal!

 

Here are 5 reasons we’re excited for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon race weekend:

1. Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration and the All new Disney Paint the Night Parade: The Disneyland Resort is celebrating 60 years of magic, and this summer is the last chance to experience the Diamond Celebration. We are so excited to catch it before it leaves, and we are particularly excited for the Paint the Night Parade! Luminescent floats, character appearances, more than one million glowing lights, high-energy music and cutting-edge special effects are some of the words used to describe this parade. Count me in. Disney says it’s “a dazzling after-dark experience beyond anything you’ve ever imagined,” and I am inclined to believe them. We made a reservation with the Paint the Night dining package, so we will be dining at Blue Bayou for the first time before the parade.

2. Running Costumes: In true runDisney tradition, we will all be sporting a character costume at the Tink Half. We’ve been making some serious progress on the costume designs, and my apartment is currently covered in fabric, glitter and miscellaneous crafting supplies. We are also excited to see what everyone else has in store. There’s no costume show like a runDisney race!

FullSizeRender-1

So much glitter and pixie dust!

3. Disney Snacks: We will be eating anything and everything shaped like Mickey and all the food we would never allow ourselves to eat at home like cotton candy, churros, giant cookies, etc. etc. To make this year even better, there are also tons of limited edition snacks and desserts in honor of the Diamond Celebration. To name a few – Diamond Tiramisu at Wine Country Trattoria, Meyer Lemon Crème Brûlée Tart at Blue Bayou, White Chocolate Bavarian Diamond Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcake at Carnation Café and Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake at various locations.

diamond-celebration-food-drinks-00

Diamond celebration themed desserts. Photo courtesy of disney.com

IMG_8737

Cotton candy at last year’s Tink half weekend.

IMG_8736

4. Meeting some of our friends in real life: We created Runs in Tutus about a year ago, and we can’t believe how many friends we’ve made this year. Through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets, we’ve been able to connect with tons of amazing people who share our love for Disney and fitness. Race weekends are an opportunity to finally meet our friends in real life. If you see us on the course or around the park, don’t forget to stop and say hello! We’ll be giving out tattoos with the different race distances on them. Follow @runsintutus on Instagram or Twitter to see where we are and what we’re up to throughout the weekend.

If you see us at the Tink Half, stop and say hello for a Tink tattoo!

5. Being together: Lastly, we’re excited to be together. Race weekends are a special time for us to celebrate each other, make memories, laugh, and feel carefree. We really cherish that sister time and we’re looking forward to it in less than two weeks.

IMG_8738

Hang in there fairies! Race weekend is almost here!

-Amanda

RunDisney Registration Options: What To Do If The Race Sells Out

IMG_0605We are so excited to announce that all of the Runs in Tutus team successfully registered for the inaugural Lumiere Two Course Challenge event in Walt Disney World! RunDisney events sell out very quickly (like in minutes), so we never know how things will go on general registration day. Today’s registration was no exception. The Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and challenge events all sold out in a matter of a couple of hours. We saw several comments on social media from folks who were not able to get into the races due to the high demand for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend.

If you didn’t get into the races today, don’t despair! There are other ways to get a chance to earn that wine and bling. Travel agents and charity partners are both ways to score a race bib even after general registration sells out. Here are some details and pros and cons of each of the options.

Travel Agents

Details: RunDisney provides a select group of travel providers with bibs for all of the race weekends. The official list of approved travel providers can be found on the runDisney website under the registration tab for each race. The list can vary from race to race, so be sure to double check the official runDisney provider list before getting going with a travel agent. We ended up using a travel agent for Wine and Dine Half last year and the Glass Slipper Challenge earlier this year. It was overall a seamless process. We used Jim Stone at Acclaim travel, but we know that there are also many other great travel agents available to help you with your runDisnFullSizeRenderey race weekend.

Pros: RunDisney travel agents sell race packages that are predetermined by Disney. The travel packages offer complete coordination of your race weekend. The travel agents are able to help with park tickets, room reservations, race registration, and in some cases a meal plan. This can make for a stress free planning process for those runners who plan on spending some of the race weekend in the parks and staying on property. While there are typically travel agents with additional race bibs after registration day, the biggest perk of using a travel agent is that they typically get bibs in advance of the general registration. This means you can register in advance and not have to worry about the stress of hitting the refresh button over and over again at noon. We did early registration with a travel agent for Glass Slipper Challenge and it was real magical.

Cons: If you use a travel agent you have to buy the whole package. This typically means if you want a race bib you also have to buy a couple night’s stay in an on property hotel and a multi-day park hopper for everyone on your reservation. If you already have an annual season pass or don’t have time to stay for multiple days in the park, then it might be inconvenient to be locked into a package deal. The packages have varied thus far from race to race so for full details it’s best to talk with a travel agent directly.

Charity Partners

RunDisney also partners with a select group of charities. This allows runners to enjoy a great race weekend and raise funding and awareness for a cause. Here are some pros and cons and details about charity partners.

Details: Select charities receive race bibs for each of the runDisney events. The list of approved charities can be found on the runDisney webpage on the registration tab for each event. The list of approved charities varies from race to race so be sure to look specifically at the list of approved charities for the race that interests you.

Pros: As with the travel agent, you can choose to register early with some charities which helps avoid the stress of open registration. Some charities offer extra perks like training groups, guidance, and a community of teammates to help make the race training extra magical. The biggest perk of running with a charity is that you get the chance to make a difference and raise funds for a great cause. That’s a pretty magical option!

Cons: Not all charities receive race bibs for runDisney events, so there may not be a charity that you are passionate about. If there aren’t any charities you are super passionate about, it might be hard to get the most out of the experience. While the charities all offer help and tips for raising funds, there is typically a required fundraising amount for each race. Make sure you are well aware of the fundraising goal and are confident you can raise those funds or cover the funding goal from your personal funds before you make the commitment to run with a charity.

IMG_0603If you are still hoping to get into the race of your dreams we highly recommend taking a look at charity and travel agent options.  According to the runDisney website, as of 5:00 PM eastern on 3/29/16 there are still bibs available through travel agents and charities for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. There are also travel agents and charities with bibs remaining for other sold out runDisney events such as the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. Just yesterday, the Children’s Bureau of Southern California team all4kids reached out to us to let us know that they still have race bibs on their team! The Children’s Bureau is a great cause and there are openings for the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon events during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! For more information about team all4kids click here.

Have you ever participated in a runDisney event via a travel agent or charity partner? If so, let us know how it went for you in the comments.

Happy Running!

-Christine