Well… they’re a bit out of shape when it comes to race organization. It’s been 6+ years since their last event at Disneyland… and it shows. But who am I to judge? I’m a bit out of shape myself when it comes to running. And yet, judge I shall!
Parking lots opened later than anticipated, resulting in traffic backups of cars waiting to pay their $35 fee for the few hours they’d need it. Security akin to airports wherein everything had to be out of our pockets and placed, um, just along the side there.
Pre-race entertainment was a DJ who used to do these events and has like all of us taken the years and the mileage on the chin and waistline. No characters out before the race but maybe that’s okay. No fireworks at the start but that may be due to a possible neighborhood ordinance prohibiting ordnance.
Because some of the course is on Anaheim streets (and even more tomorrow for the half-marathon) there obviously can’t be character meet and greets for certain stretches… which is understandable.
The miles within the theme parks did provide a couple of photo ops to be sure and they really leaned into the race con-DUCK-tors of Donald and Daisy… lots of duck puns on Burma Shave style signs and a quack-quack pack of celeb ducks on parade. And yet, it all felt… I wish I could say quaint or comfortable or soothing. I always love Disneyland’s compactness and its inherent history as the one that started it all for the theme parks. But this felt oddly like an attempt to pull in the runDisney dollars from Florida and replicate that too-big-for-its-own-good lumbering machine. I wish they had scaled it and reimagined it as being a uniquely Disneyland take on the runDisney playbook. I’m not sure I’m expressing this as cleanly or coherently as I could — it felt less “most magical race on earth” and more “most facsimiled race on earth.”
That’s too harsh by a factor of about twelve. Maybe I just didn’t love getting up at 1:45 AM today to go run 6.2 miles. But at least there wasn’t a lot of traffic… at least not until I got to the parking snafus.
Man… I should look into building myself a wearable cardboard trashcan and run all in green as I’m a regular Oscar The Grouch. Note: Though Disney owns the Muppets, they do NOT own the Sesame Street characters who are part of Sesame Workshop, though to me they’ll also be known by their former moniker: the Children’s Television Workshop. Even as a young kid, I understood the importance of the chorus of voices who told me as the end of each episode that Sesame Street was a production of the Children’s Television Workshop. Or at least, that’s how I remember it. Might be one of those Mandela/Sinbad Effect things.
Blah be blah blah, right? Let’s post some more photos.