Last Friday was the beginning of the Avengers Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland. Not only did it take place only a few days after I got back from the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in Orlando, but it was the last Disneyland race weekend for an unspecified period of time. (Smart money is on the West Coast runDisney races returning no earlier than 2020, but it could be later due to all the resort construction.) I was really glad that I’d signed up for all three distances (5K, 10K, and half marathon) so I could bid a proper farewell to the Disneyland races. However, when my alarm went off at 3 AM that Friday morning I seriously questioned that decision. Having to wake up hours before dawn has a way of dampening your enthusiasm, even for things you love! I quickly got dressed (no sunscreen required for such an early race) and drove to Disneyland. Continuing my superhero apparel theme from the weekend before, I picked my Black Widow shirt and a red skirt for the Spider-Man 5K. The shirt appropriately said “spider” on it and everything! And since it was 10 deg cooler in Anaheim that it had been in Orlando the week before I was able to wear my favorite running capris rather than needing shorts. Fall in Southern California is the best. The 5K snaked through both Disneyland and California Adventure parks and it was a lot of fun. There were multiple Spider-Man sightings in both parks. If I’d been smart I would have stopped for some pictures with characters on the course, but I didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. When I finished the race I got my medal, grabbed a banana, and headed back to my car in the parking structure. It was a weekday and I needed to go to work – after a shower, of course. The Avengers Half Marathon Weekend was off to a good start and I still had the 10K and half marathon to look forward to.
Back on April 5th I registration opened for the Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon Weekend. I initially signed up for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge which includes both the 10K and half marathon races. I generally skip the 5K races because they are held on Friday mornings, and that makes them somewhat inconvenient for those of us who work for a living. However, when Run Disney released a preview of the race medals I deeply regretted not signing up for all three of the weekend events. The 5K medals used to be made of rubbery plastic (lightweight, but not exactly fancy), but earlier this year Run Disney decided to switch things up and offer metal 5K medals instead. This instantly increased the demand for spots in the Avengers 5K, which is Captain America themed this year. I tried to quickly register at that point, but according to the official website the 5K was completely sold out. I thought I had missed my chance. But then on October 14th I was looking at the Raw Threads running apparel website and discovered that against all odds they still had Avengers 5K registrations available through their club (which I’m a member of). So I signed up, and just like that I was committed to running all of the Avengers Half Marathon Weekend races. Fast forward to this morning when I woke up at 3 AM to get to Disneyland for the Captain America 5K. It was a great race, and I finished at a faster pace than I expected. Surprisingly, my GPS watch said that the course wasn’t quite 3.1 miles, but that’s OK. Even after only 3.05 miles and just under 33 minutes (32:59, to be exact) I still had a lot of fun. I love running at Disneyland. And it’s a good thing too because I have 19.3 miles of running in Anaheim over the weekend, starting with the Doctor Strange 10K tomorrow morning. Bring it on!