|My husband and I enjoyed a day in the parks|
after completing the Never Land 5K.
I was one of over 20,000 people who participated in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort this month with my husband, Angelo, and sister, Danielle. The Never Land 5K was the second runDisney event I've participated in so far (my first was the Cars Land 5K during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend last summer, which you can read about here) and although I wouldn't consider myself a runner or an early riser by any means, some of my most unique Disney Parks memories have been made during these events.
|Sleeping Beauty Castle was decked|
out for the occasion.
The beauty of the shorter-distance, untimed runDisney races is that you don’t have to be a serious athlete to enjoy an early-morning run (or jog, or brisk walk, or even shuffle) through “the Happiest Place on Earth!” Although we'd planned to run this 5K, I was getting over being ill and my sister had an injury, so she and I left the running to my husband and chose to alternate walking with a bit of jogging throughout the 3.1-mile course that took us through Disneyland Park, some of the park’s backstage areas, and Disney California Adventure Park.
|A visit from Tinker Bell and a special|
fireworks show kicked off the race.
We arrived on Main Street shortly after 5:00 a.m. that Saturday to join a high-energy crowd of thousands—many in Peter Pan-themed costumes or t-shirts—ready for the Never Land adventure. Even though it was very early and fairly chilly, the hosts and upbeat music kept us excited, and before we knew it, Tinker Bell herself was flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle as fireworks and streamers filled the sky, signaling the beginning of our journey. Danielle and I wished Angelo well as he took off on his run, while she and I jogged past the Alice in Wonderland attraction and paused for a photo with Peter Pan and Wendy.
|Mickey and Minnie greeted runners|
near the finish line.
As we neared the end of the 5K course, a pirate-costumed Mickey and Minnie were there to greet us, in addition to volunteers bestowing Never Land 5K finisher medallions on participants after they crossed the finish line. We met up with and congratulated Angelo, who finished the race in less than 30 minutes, and posed for a photo with the shimmering Paradise Bay behind us. We had so much fun with this 5K that all three of us decided to sign up for the Inaugural 10K race (which sold out within the first day of registration!) during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in late August. It will be our first timed race and we've already started training for it with the help of runDisney’s official training consultant, Jeff Galloway. His run-walk method has helped countless beginning runners train to successfully finish endurance races of varying lengths.
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a true beginner, if you’re also a Disney fan, I encourage you to lace up those running shoes and give a runDisney race a try. Whether you run or walk (or fly!), it’s a way to experience the magic of Disney Parks in a whole new light.
Courtney is a member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel. You can also find her on Instagram and Twitter (@2courtney).