Race Report - 2013 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare



This was my second consecutive Disneyland Half Marathon in what hopefully will be an annual event. This year runDisney added a 10K, and the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, Disneyland 10K on Saturday, followed by the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday.

For 2013, my challenge was to complete a Marathon, something I have not done in 25 years. The Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Marathon was in June, so I had plenty of time to recover for the Disneyland races. I was lucky enough to sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare, which sold out in just a few hours. With two races in two days, I would need two different costumes, since I enjoy running as a Disney character in Disneyland

I learned a lot from last year. Once I was confirmed for the race, I booked a Hotel just a half mile from the race start and expo (instead of 1.5 miles). From the hotel we could walk over to the Expo and start and not worry about parking. Last year I dressed as Tarzan, which is a very comfortable outfit (except maybe the wig). There are not a lot of male Disney characters that are barefoot, but Aladdin street rat is, so I choose to sew my own costume, using stretchy tech fabric. My hair is so short, it wouldn't pass for Aladdin, so I had to wear a wig. Turned out to be a good thing, because I could sew the fez to the wig, and not have to worry about a chin strap digging into my skin. Because I had been training for a Marathon the first part of the year, the 10K followed by a Half Marathon was nothing new. 6 miles one day, followed by 16 miles the next day was a routine part of the marathon training.



We left San Diego on Friday afternoon, and traffic was heavy (what would you expect on the Friday before Labor Day). The 90 mile trip took 2 hours 15 minutes. The weather forecast was for hot and humid. We arrived at the hotel around 5 p.m. and parked in a nice spot close to our room. The Expo closed at 8 p.m. so we had plenty of time to un-pack before heading over to pick up our packets. The crowd was much smaller than in the morning, and we only had to wait outside in line for a few minutes. I didn't buy anything (most of the merchandise was gone), but I was looking for a runMickey. Because it was still hot outside, and the expo provided ice cold water and A/C, we were not in a rush to leave. My wife and daughter were signed up for the 5K, so we needed to sleep early since it started at 5:30 a.m. The hotel parking lot was full by the time we got back.

Disneyland 10K

We all headed over to the start at around 4 a.m. but the temperature was already 77°F. I hung around to meet up with all the other runners, many in costume, as I awaited the start of the 5K. Once the last 5K runner crossed the start line, they allowed the 10K runners into the corrals, but all 8000 runners were there waiting, and there was some confusion as to where to get into the corrals. By the time I got in to corral B, it was pretty full and the race was about to start.


I did not get a chance to test out my harem pants, so I was just hoping nothing would go wrong. I used lots of Body Glide, and hoped for the best. I wore some white bike shorts underneath, but after a few hundred yards my legs were pretty warm. The 10K route took us around the backside of Anaheim Convention Center, which was different than the Half Marathon start. By the time we got on Disney property we covered 2 miles (the Half gets us there in just after a mile). The section into Disneyland on Disney Way is a rather rough section of the course, I had run on it last year, twice, since it was part of the finish. I can handle rough surfaces, I just don't go as fast. The good news is that the rest of the course would stay inside the Disneyland Parks. I wasn't sure which characters would be out, but I was hoping to see Jasmine, as I was Aladdin. I noticed that the character lines were much longer than I remembered from last year's Half. I passed several, thinking that the Jasmine line would be long. When I saw Sully and Mike from Monsters, Inc. (new this year) I almost stopped, but the line was really long. As I passed the theater I noticed it was headlining Aladdin, this is one place I have to get a picture. I looked around for a cast member, and found one who could take my picture (tap photo to enlarge).


Entering Disneyland, a cast member informs me that I needed to wear my shoes, but I told her I didn't have any, and kept running. She was forced to run beside me and told me that I was not allowed in. I then began to inform her of USATF rule 143 which allows me to run barefoot. She then said that that may be true on the streets, but we are in Disneyland (which has a no barefoot policy). I again told her this was a race, and race rules apply. She finally gave up, as I was not going to stop unless someone physically stopped me. Other runners later told me they could not believe I was confronted.

USATF-sanctioned event
USA Track & Field
Competition Rules
RULE 143
3. (a) A competitor may compete in bare feet or with footwear on one or both feet.
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As we entered the backlot behind ToonTown, I realized that the princesses were going to be a no show for this race. Now I wished I would have stopped for more character pictures when I had the chance. As luck would have it, I noticed Joey Fatone (of 'N Sync) on the course up ahead. He was also doing the Dumbo Double Dare. We were running about the same speed, and Joey's manager asked me if I could get a picture with Joey. The manager was taking pictures of people in interesting costumes with Joey during the walk portion of his run. As we continued to run/walk other people were continuing to ask for pictures. I figured I should use my camera to get my own picture to capture the moment. The photo was later used in a runDisney promotional video, and I found out later someone took a picture of us running together. See links at the end.

Since I had the Half the next day, no sprint finish. I was hoping to get a nice finish photo as I was approaching the photographer, but then he put his camera down. What was he checking? At least the video clip (above) of the finish was good, though lower resolution. Lots of costumes in the race, and we all hung around taking pictures of each other.

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Downtown Disney Saturday

A short walk back to the hotel, still dressed as Aladdin and greeted visitors along the way. My wife and daughter were relaxing in the A/C at the hotel after their 5K finish. After my shower, a quick breakfast at the hotel with lots of other Disney runners, and off to Downtown Disney for some shopping. I finally found my runMickey at the World of Disney Store. Still very hot and humid, and around 10:30 a.m. we headed to the Expo only to take a break from the heat, drink some ice cold water, and rest our feet. We were sitting in the Stage area, when Jeff Galloway start his talk. Later runDisney posted some pictures on their Facebook page, and I looked at them, and said "Wait that's us". I kind of stand out, since I'm wearing a thin sandal and showing lots of leg. Click on the picture to get a zoomed in view.

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A nice light lunch (I still had a Half tomorrow) at La Brea Bakery to meet up with another barefoot runner, and it was very hot. We headed back to the hotel to get some more relief from the heat, and had an early dinner at Coco's next to the hotel. The Facebook groups were getting pretty active, and it was 91°F (50% humidity), so we stayed in our rooms the rest of the evening relaxing. Looking out at the parking lot, cars were parking in non-spots, so it's a full house tonight for tomorrow's big race.

Disneyland Half Marathon

I woke up before 3 a.m. and started to get ready for the race. I posted to Facebook at 3:30 a.m. to see if anyone else is up, and a few were. I wanted to get to the front of the corral, so I headed straight to corral B, after a quick stop to check in my flip-flops. I am one of the the first 5 in the corral, and it's still dark at around 5 a.m. It's hard to wait by just standing, so I walked around the front area. People started to fill in, but like last year not too many costumes in this corral. As I was standing in the front, corral A was filling in ahead of me, and a few recognize me. I was amazed by the fireworks to start the race last year, and I wanted to capture it on video this year.


As corral A cleared, the barriers for corral B were removed, and we walked forward to the start line. I was one a few in front wearing a costume, so I did stand out. I stayed to the right side, because I'm no rabbit at the beginning, and I didn't want to get in the way. I already heard the crowd cheering, "Go, Tarzan!" even before the start. It was still dark, but I'm much better prepared than last year, since most of my training this year was in the dark. It's nice to run a course for the second time, as you know what to expect. I continued on the right outside, closer to the crowds. Most of the runners passed me. On the stretch on Katella, the runners thinned, then more runner came speeding by, must be corral C. As we headed on to the rough asphalt of Disney Way, I noticed that the gutter area was smooth concrete, so I took advantage of that as we had a long way to go before the finish.

I remembered the first time I ran into the Disney Park last year, it brought tears to my eyes. Not as emotional this time, but you always feel the magic when running in the park. Especially since this is the only time I can legally be in the park barefoot. Last year, Cars Land just opened, so it was very exciting. This time, not as excited, but the neon colors are nice before sunrise. When I got to Monsters, Inc. I made my first stop, and the line was shorter than yesterday.

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As we entered into Disneyland, the Aladdin group was right there, a different location than last year. I noticed that Genie was missing, where was he? I scanned around as I waited in line, and I saw he was headed into the back, probably taking a much needed break from the heat. Oh well, no Genie for this year's picture. I was all sweaty from the humidity, so I was reluctant to get as close to Jasmine as I did last year. The same Disney people for the characters as last year, I wonder if they remembered me?


The run down Main Street never gets old. All the sights and sounds are truly breathtaking. Next year, I'm going to take more pictures, and maybe more character stops. The main reason I didn't stop much this year was because I wanted to spend as little time in the heat and humidity. I was lining a position out of the castle to the photographer, when he lowered his camera to look at the back. Oh well, no castle picture for Tarzan today. As we headed into ToonTown, I knew we were getting close to exiting the park and on to the streets of Anaheim.

The crowds of Anaheim are all cheering. No sun in our eyes on Ball Road this year. Cloud cover kept the temperature down, but the humidity was still high. More cheers for Tarzan, and I played to the crowd with a Tarzan yell. Less people out this year than last, most likely due to the heat. The school bands and cheerleaders are out in full force. As we approached the Polynesia Dancers, I remembered last year when there was a single girl dancing, and I danced next to her. This year there were a whole line, so I joined in at the end for a minute or so, following the moves as best as I could. Gotta entertain the people!

The next section down East Cerritos Avenue was memorable in several ways. This was where the classic cars were lined up, and the asphalt gets very rough. Because I know the roughness last for about 3/4 of a mile, I slowed down and enjoyed the cars. There was no sidewalk on either side, so no relief until we get under highway 57, and back to some smoother ground. I few Mustangs are revving their engines, music to my ears, as I'm an owner of a 1967 Camaro.


Next part of the course took us on to the Santa Ana River Trail. Dirt, no problem. Then there's some fine gravel, maybe around 4 mm in diameter. This actually felt good (I have run on bigger 1/4 inch gravel), and I began to relax my arches to maximum the feeling across the whole sole. Then, OW, who buried that rock in the gravel. I hit it right in the middle of my arch. I again focus on my light landing, and get through rest of the trail. I would later find out after my shower at the hotel that there was a small bruise on that spot, but not painful.


The crowds lined the path to Angel Stadium with more cheerleaders (how many schools are there in Anaheim?). The infield dirt was slightly rough, and the course narrows. It was nice to see yourself on the Big Screen. More high fives with the cheerleaders in the stands. A much needed water stop at mile 10, as the temperature was rising. Just before mile 11, a lady was handing out ice. Yes, that was what I needed. I stuffed some ice under my wig, and although it was very cold, I felt my body temperature lowering over the next few miles. The final stretch, just a few more miles to go, with the sun on our back. Another blogger (actually an 8 year Legacy runner) gets my picture.


As we headed through the I-5 under pass, the shade was welcome. At this point my pace was slowing down to 16 to 20 min/mile. Some people were walking faster, but I still kept my running form, but with very short strides (It's a barefoot thing, easier to run slow than walk). It's over 80°F (60% humidity) by this time, and I was just trying not to over heat. Most of the ice had melted, so I was feeling the heat again. As we entered back into the park on Disney Way (third time down this road in 2 days), I knew the end was near. As we approached the finish, I have no energy to even pick up the pace. Video of finish captured announcers saying "Barefoot running coming through. Bare chested runner, too. Yeah." I high four Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto, and cross the finish with a Tarzan yell.

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A finish in 3:16, the slowest Half I've ever recorded, but I had fun. I took a few pictures with others in costumes afterwards, but most people were not hanging around in this heat. I stuffed some more ice under my wig, so that I could make back to the hotel in full character and stay cool. There was a little delay on Disneyland Drive as runners were still finishing. We had to wait to cross the street, so I cheered them on, many in costume.



I got back to the Hotel about 9:30 a.m., and could have had the hotel breakfast, but that's not how you celebrate after a long run. We headed to Downtown Disney to the Rainforest Café for brunch. Check out the size of the burger, I ordered an extra meat patty because I earned it. We had the hotel room until Monday, so the rest of the day and evening was just having fun, movie, ice cream, and more shopping (all the shops have A/C). It was nice to see everyone with their Disney Race shirts and medals, many with multiple medals. Some were limping, but everyone had smiles on their faces, because we just ran the happiest race on Earth.

Monday Morning

I woke up early, because I always wake up early. Started my run at 6:30 a.m. with daylight. The hotel parking lot was mostly empty, as most of the guests left yesterday. There were a few runners out as I headed towards Downtown Disney. Last year I tried to run Downtown Disney from the east side, but couldn't get through security. No security on the west side until later. Nice cool and clear, why could it not been this way yesterday? I turned around at the security check point, and headed back over to the race start area. I head north to Ball Road, and run part of the course we did yesterday. East on Ball Road, now the sun was in my eyes, but my hat blocks the glare. Light breakfast at the hotel before we check out. Not many Disney runners eating breakfast today.

Drive back to San Diego was fast, no traffic, only 1 hour and 15 minutes (versus 2:15 on Friday). Now the real work begins, sorting through all the pictures, writing this blog, and washing all my running costumes. We will be back next year.

Reference Links

Joey Fatone: Dumbo Double Dare (video with picture)
Joe Flowers Blog (featured)
Kinley Weaver Blog (picture)
George Gensler Blog (picture)