Never Land 5k

January 17, 2014

The alarm rings early and I immediately shut it off and want to go back to sleep. I’m still not feeling great and the bed is pretty comfortable. I would love to just stay in it for a little while longer. But, I can’t.

I was able to find a convenience store last night that was just a couple of blocks from the hotel. I got a few items so I wouldn’t have to worry about breakfast today. I wasn’t able to get everything I needed so hopefully I can find a Target or Walgreens or something similar later.

After eating and getting dressed, I head down to the bus pickup. I don’t know how long the line will be and how quickly the buses will run so I want to give myself plenty of time. I also don’t know how long the walk will be to the starting area. It is cool outside but I was prepared. I brought a few old long-sleeved t-shirts that I was planning to get rid of. I have one on and if I get hot and don’t want to keep it, I can just toss it during the race.

The starting area for the Never Land 5k is in Disneyland. Runners are directed into the park while spectators are directed elsewhere. We’ll actually be running in both parks so part of the courtyard between the entrances of the two parks is already roped off.

Never Land 5k Course Map 2014

Never Land 5k Course Map 2014

I head into the park and follow the other runners towards Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The race starts just ahead and runners are crowding around the start line. I was a little confused because I was looking for corral signs but there wasn’t a corral letter shown on my 5k bib. It more of “every runner for themselves” in this 5k!

Carissa and Rudy are entertaining everyone and the DJ is playing tunes that the crowd can dance and sing to. It’s fun to watch other people dance. It can be quite entertaining. I also like looking at people’s costumes. There are so many costumes at runDisney races and some of them are rather elaborate. I often wonder how people run in some of them!

Super cute Sulley and Mike costumes from the 5k. I would not be able to run in either of these!

Super cute Sulley and Mike costumes from the 5k. I would not be able to run in either of these!

The race finally starts. It is a much less dramatic start than I’m used to. There isn’t a really nice starting line, there weren’t many fireworks, and there are no corrals. It is very different than what I’m accustomed to from runDisney.

This is the start line for the Never Land 5k. I'm a bit disappointed in how plain it is. I'm spoiled by WDW.

This is the start line for the Never Land 5k. I’m a bit disappointed in how plain it is. I’m spoiled by WDW.

It’s dark still so it’s difficult to see everything. I’m not going to push myself at all. I already don’t feel well and I still have two more days of racing; I just need to get through this.

I try to take in a lot of the sights in the park. There are lights on around rides so you can see some things. There were a lot of character stops and photo stops as well. I didn’t stop for anything though; I just wanted to get finished.

About half the race was in Disneyland. Then we ran through the courtyard and into Disney’s California Adventure. I loved seeing the lights and some of the rides. I can’t wait to actually be able to go to these parks and experience them. I don’t know how I’ll feel later but I do have park tickets. If I feel like it, I’ll come back to the parks later and check out some of the attractions.

Once I crossed the finish line, there were volunteers handing out medals, water, and snack boxes. I grabbed a snack box, some water, and a Powerade and headed to find a place to sit. I had taken off my long sleeved shirt about 15 minutes into the race but I didn’t toss it. I tied it around my waist and now I’m really glad I did. It isn’t so much cold as it is windy and I’m thankful to have the shirt for a little warmth.

I crossed the finish line in 44:48. That is unofficial since the Never Land 5k isn’t a timed event (I started my Garmin as I crossed the start line and stopped it just after the finish line). It isn’t a great time but I’m happy to be finished. Now I’ll rest for awhile and maybe try to go to the parks later. First on my agenda though…a shower and some more cold meds.

The finisher's medallion for the Never Land 5k 2014.

The finisher’s medallion for the Never Land 5k 2014.

Tomorrow is the inaugural Tinker Bell 10k.

Until then…happy running!

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