Disney Dumbo Double Dare – 10K
The 10k was “themed” as a White Rabbit race. The 5k was themed as Alice and the Mad Hatter. So, our goal was to follow and catch up to Alice and the Mad Hatter. Apparently, the White Rabbit is not very bright as he doubles the length of his trip using the same starting and finishing points!
We were staying at the Hilton, just south of Disneyland. We got out of the building and started to head to the start line. It was obvious that we were not the only ones staying at that hotel or the surrounding hotels. Caleb wanted us to warm up a bit before the race. We jogged just about all of the way up to the entrance of the Disneyland Hotel, which is where the start and finish were. We got a couple of strides in where there was room between everyone else walking.
We finally had to just give up on the jogging and join the crowd. We joined the cattle call and fell in line. We ended up walking through the finish area and past the bag checks. We had decided that we did not need to check a bag as it was a relatively short distance race.
We jumped into our favorite blue boxes (ok, our second favorite blue boxes). The lines were actually pretty short. We looked around for some water as the heat was already starting to pick up. We had been in the parks the previous day a bit and were slightly dehydrated. However, we missed it.
We made our way to the edge of the fence where everyone was heading to. That just led us to a larger crowd. For some reason we were being held up before the corrals. I was starting to have flashbacks to our marathon weekend where we were held up and then had a death march to the start of the race. After standing around they finally let us walk to the corrals about 10 minutes before the start of the race. I am not sure if the 5k, which started 45 minutes earlier, was that delayed in getting the runners off or what. I figured that there was no way were were going to start on time. I was late for a very important date.
The walk was pretty quick. It was only about a block. Corrals A, B, C went south, everyone else headed north. They had people checking bibs at each gate filtering runners into their correct corrals. We kept to the right and headed up to the A corral where we had been assigned.
At this point we were only about three to five minutes away from the official start time. We tried to get some stretching, lunges, and leg swings in. However, that is difficult at best when you are hanging with your 15k closest friends.
While I was standing there waiting for the start, I kept thinking there was no way we were starting on time. I am not sure what the hold up was, but my guess is that they were behind on the 5k start and wanted as many of them as possible to get off the course. Apparently we were not the only ones late.
I wore a KC Marathon shirt for the 10k. We have learned that people recognize local race shirts, so I was wondering if anyone would notice. Sure enough, a guy lined up next to us started talking to me. Turns out he lives within five miles of us. We chatted for a couple of minutes and they started the National Anthem. It was a solo trumpet performance which was pretty cool.
After that the wheelchair division took off. Since we were in corral A, we only had a couple of minutes to go. According to my watch it was 6:18 when I crossed the starting line. I was actually surprised that we started that close to the 6:15 start time. I think we were two minutes or so behind chair division.
The start was a little more muted than our experience at Walt Disney World. They had a big video board up over the start line. If I remember correctly they played some fireworks on the video board. Since Disneyland is in the middle of a city vs. Disney World, the race is not entirely in the parks. The first two miles or so are in the streets of Anaheim. The rest of the race winds quite a bit. First we were in Disney California Adventure. Then we headed over to Disneyland.
The advice that Caleb gave us was the following:
A 10k is a race that benefits from a very assertive start, almost as hard as a 5k. Run the first 1.5 miles strong, then settle through about 5, then hammer the final 1.2. Have fun, run strong! Cool down for 10 minute SLOW following the race.
I had decided that I was going to try for a PR for the 10k. I figured I was not going to have a perfect race for the half marathon as we were running the 10K the day before plus walking around the heat in the parks. We had trained for an 8:00 half marathon pace which roughly predicts a 7:30 10K pace.
We headed south to start with. We immediately went under the bridge that connected Downtown Disney with the Disneyland Hotel. Of course, what goes down must go up! Also, we had to fight the crowds at the start of the race. Between those two items, it was hard to start too aggressively.
Because of that, the first mile was my slowest mile at a pace of 8:01. We ran down to the Convention Center which was right next to our hotel. So, we were in a slightly familiar place. At mile one, they had a water station. Originally, I was not going to grab water. However, the heat was already there and I felt a little dehydrated. So, I grabbed some water and shouted thanks and moved on.
Mile two was right next to our hotel and was part of our walking path to the parks the day before. Since it had opened up a bit, we were able to speed up some. My pace for mile two was 7:39.
I had brought two pairs of Kinvara 3s and a pair of A5s. I was walking around Disneyland the day before and noticed that they had textured concrete all over. The path we were currently on was faux bricks. I remembered how much I felt the texture in my A5s during the WDW marathon, so I went with the K3s. While they are bit heavier than the A5s, they have more padding which I was grateful for during this section and later sections.
Mile three is when we entered the backside of California Adventure. I had never been in the park before. The day before we just spent some time in Disneyland. So, this was my first time seeing the park. Most of it was a blur and I really do not have much of a reference. We started right at Cars Land and headed out. We then wrapped around the lake in Paradise Pier. By the end of mile three we were in Critter Country and getting ready to leave California Adventure.
There is definitely some adrenaline flowing as you enter the parks. I started looking around since I had never seen any of this before. My pace for mile three was 7:25.
Mile four starts at the front of California Adventure and goes over to the Tower of Terror. After that we ran through the bus area and through the front of Disneyland. At this point we ran through Main Street and towards Tomorrow Land. This is vaguely similar to Disney World. However, it is a much smaller scale than WDW. This is especially true for the castle. Mile four ended right in front of Space Mountain. My mile four pace was 7:26.
Mile five started in Tomorrow Land. This mile went north through the kids’ area. Most of the area we ran in was actually behind the scenes. For some reason my pace slowed down a bit in this mile. I am not sure if it was because I was mentally gearing up for mile six or if there were so many twists and turns that I slowed down. Even though we were in Disneyland the day before, I really did not recognize much of the park. I was not familiar with the park and I was really concentrating on the run. My mile five pace was 7:41, which was my second slowest mile.
Mile six started in Fantasy Land right behind the castle. At this point, I kicked it up about as quickly as I could knowing that I had 1.1 miles left. We ran through the castle at this point. There were a couple of people I was following at this point and I was determined to pass them in the last section. I slowly started to pass people as we headed west through the New Orleans section. We then doubled back east until we came out where the trams drop off incoming tourists at the edge of Downtown Disney. We ran west through Downtown Disney. Mile six ended at the end of Downtown Disney. My pace for mile six was 6:56.
Once I saw the six mile marker, I started sprinting with what I had left in the tank. I crossed over the bridge to the Disneyland Hotel. Then I turned north towards the finish line. I tried to keep my form as much as possible, but I am sure I looked horrible. As I was getting to cross the finish line, I crossed the pad that gives the announcer your name. Mine got mispronounced of course, but I didn’t really care at the time. I had an extra .1 mile to my overall distance due to normal racing and dodging. My pace for the final .3 miles was 6:11. I ended up crossing the line with a net time of 47:00, an official PR!
At this point we collected our finisher medals. We also got to get a second wrist band for the Dumbo medal as proof that we finished the 10K. At this point my arm looked like the 80s exploded over me. We then walked over to the finishers tent and picked up some refreshments.
Here are my final splits:
Overall, we did pretty well compared to the rest of the field.
Here are the results that Strava gave me compared to my overall running career. I pretty much had a career fast day.