I’m excited to be taking part in the Virtual Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop hosted by DisTherapy! A bunch of Disney bloggers who run Disney are tackling many topics related to the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend, so be sure to check them out too! I got assigned to write about running in Anaheim and I’m excited to share my thoughts and experiences with you.
This past September I had the opportunity to run my very first race at Disneyland. I completed the Disneyland Half Marathon. I’d done a number of Disney World races, but they have a different feel to them for one major reason – a good portion of the Disneyland races run through the city of Anaheim itself.
Disney World owns a ton of property so the entirety of their races, even the full marathon, never have to leave property. Disneyland is much more limited in space, which means a majority of their half marathon course goes through the city. This will also be the case for the upcoming Star Wars half marathon on January 17th.
There are, of course, both pros and cons to having a race set up in this way. Here I share some of these with you:
- Lots of locals come out to cheer you on!
- There’s plenty of non-Disney entertainment – during the Disneyland half marathon I saw lots of dance groups, cheerleaders, lines of antique cars, and got to run through Angels Stadium.
- Apparently last year the 501st Legion had characters out in Anaheim during the Star Wars half so you could get non-Disney character photos (with shorter wait times!).
- The city of Anaheim is pretty flat so it will be an easier half marathon.
- Everything is close together so if you’re staying in Anaheim you can often walk to the starting line in Disneyland, rather than dealing with all of the transportation like at Disney World.
- Official Disney entertainment (like characters) can only be on Disney property, so they’re crammed into the first few miles of the race. If you’re used to Disney World running you’re more used to seeing a character stop every mile or so.
- You’re running through a city, so you’re passing by McDonald’s and Starbucks rather than “Disney Magic.”
- If you’re driving to the race a lot of the roads in Anaheim close for the race, so just make sure you know what will be closed and where you’re going.
All in all, did I enjoy running through Anaheim? Yes! It’s a different experience from Disney World to be certain, but it has lots of good things going for it. The only real downside is not being physically in Disney the whole time – but if you’re doing the Rebel Challenge the 10k spends basically the whole race in the parks! Seeing all of the people of Anaheim come out to support you was amazing and I’m sure the Star Wars half marathon will be just as good this year!
Check out the other topics in the blog hop here: