Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Disneyland Half Marathon race report

Submitted by Sean Astin @SeanAstin

Well, the Disneyland Half Marathon was another wonderful event. Thank goodness it started at 5:45 am because the days in Anaheim have been a little more than toasty lately! I believe that I could see stretched before me more than 15,000 runners. I was fortunate to be able to offer a few words of encouragement and share the #run3rd mission with the field prior to the race. [See video.]

As with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon [see reports], Disney puts on a first class event. The course was really fun. Running the first few miles in a pre-dawn hours through Disneyland's signature attractions and California Adventures new Cars Town Street was awesome. At least a dozen high school cheerleading teams lined the route. There was fun music of all kinds: ethnic, rock 'n roll, etc., throughout the route. For about a mile and a half there was an antique car club with vehicles every 10 yards, their proud owners blaring music, waving flags and cheering their hearts out. At one point we hit a stretch of hot pavement that opened onto a dirt path. I think this was around mile 9.

Then came the second coolest highlight of the journey. We entered Major League Baseball's Honda Stadium, home of the National League's Angels. (I'm a die hard Dodger fan!) The stadium was gorgeous with thousands of fans cheering and our pictures broadcast on their Jumbotron. It gave the runners a huge lift heading into the bottom miles.

Because I was coming off of a chronic achilles tendonitis, I hadn't trained very much before the race. In fact, I've had very few road runs in the past three months. I was confident that I could finish the race, but I thought my time would be around 2:45. To my delight, I was able to maintain an 11 minute per mile pace evenly [Finish time: 2:23:34]. In fact, I don't ever think I've run a race with as much discipline. I hope I can remember that when I'm in fighting shape again and looking to reach a PB (personal best).

Photo by @imar13
Now, because I started in the very front of the 2nd corral (B) I was passed by thousands of runners along the way. I was wearing a dark blue shirt that my wife had retrofitted with a cut out white background #run3rd symbol from another shirt. It really was a bold way to display it. Hundreds and hundreds of people gave me a 'hey Sean' and other shout-outs as they cruised comfortably past me. I know that a few people had made their own #run3rd signs and a few people had stuff on their shirts. I always beam with pride that a simple idea I had continues to resonate with people. Of course, it also means the world to me to have my wife and daughters at my races and cheering me on. So, thank you, girls!!!

Finally, I have so much fun making #run3rd quips about fun, silly, or other everyday kinds of things. But I felt that this morning presented an opportunity to get "deep" again for a second. This is what I tweeted moments before the race started, #run3rd 4 anyone & everyone who suffers-that ur pain may end & that u know u r loved & supported by countless millions around the world!!! Many tweeted and told me that this feeling was very well received. I want this to be a reminder to all of the #run3rd Team Captains and everyone tweeting dedications, that they should feel comfortable speaking from their heart about their compassion and warmth for others.

I'm setting my intention to get to the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon in Orlando, FL on November 10, 2012. Disney gives away the coolest medals and they offer a coast to coast medal for those who complete a Disney Half or longer on both coasts in a single calendar year. The added bonus: playing in the Theme Parks! :-)



  1. I agree. Disney races are the best. Thanks for continuing to inspire me to get off my butt and stay active.

    I've done the Wine and Dine race before. Its another great event. I'm hoping to make it out this year (or next) and do the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Chip n' Dale Relay.

  2. Thanks for the report. Will you be running Tink again in 2013? We were there last year as well and enjoyed the race immensely. We are up for it again in 2013. It was extra special for me as I received the Coast2Coast after Tink for the second time having just raced WDW earlier in the month. The medals are indeed something spectacular! Take care of your achilles! Happy Running.

  3. I was hoping to catch you but at my 14 minute mile pace and starting in G corral it was not possible but thank you so much for your words of encourgement at the start of the race.