One of the best Events I’ve participated in. Extremely organized for such a large scale event spanning three days (Expos, kid races, family 5k). Started right on time. Lots of fun at the start (Star Spangled Banner and fireworks) and throughout the course (characters in the parks and cheer squads in the city). Lots of water and Powerade along the way. The timing chip is cool too because it’s attached to your bib, you don’ t have to worry about losing it or attaching it to your shoe properly.
It does have a super early start but that also gets you done before the weather warms up. Don’t let the January date fool you. I’ve run this event the last two years and both years have been warm after the race.
Even though the course gets crowded through the parks, safety first with Disney. They have loudspeakers announcing narrowing of the course or sharp turns. They also have cast members cheering you on and keeping you on course throughout the parks. Nice touch! Don’t expect a PR if you plan to stop for pictures, the lines can get long. Also, the fast is relatively flat (except for a couple of under/overpasses/bridges) so it is a relatively fast course.
Having run the first two years of the course, I have to say I like the original course better because you started in Disnyeland, ran through the neighborhoods, back through California Adventure and then out to the finish behind Paradise Pier Hotel. I understand why they changed the route this year but I hope they go back to the original route next year. This year’s route made the last few miles tough…finishing through California Adventure made the last few miles go faster.
I’ve completed 5 Half Marathons (including the Princess Half in Orlando) and this is my favorite by far!