Saturday, November 22, 2014

Disney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend (also, K runs!)

Last weekend I took a little break from studying and headed out to the West Coast to cheer on K for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at DisneyLand!! Woohoo!

Since K doesn't have a dumb class on Friday afternoons, or any other day, he flew out to spend time with his family on Monday, and I joined him Friday night. On Saturday, we had lunch with his mom, then she drove us up to Anaheim for packet pickup. Our original plan was to take the train to Anaheim, but there was track work on THAT SATURDAY ONLY, so that wasn't an easy option.
Unless you're staying at a local hotel, luggage storage is definitely an issue at Disney. We ended up driving to my friend's place in HB and dropping our luggage there, and then returning to meet up with other family we would be staying overnight with.

The packet pickup and Expo are at the convention center at DisneyLand hotel. Parking is a little tight, and expensive, as you might expect, but there is 20 minute parking if someone is just dropping you off. From there, it's a short walk to the packet pickup area. They have printers in the middle to print off your waiver, and then lots of booths for pickup. K picked up his race bib and I picked up my ChEAR Squad package. We arrived about a half hour before the end of the expo, so there was no wait time and the place wasn't very crowded.
I paid for the Silver package, since it's the lowest level that gives you a wristband to get into the park to watch the race on Main Street. This is always one of my favorite parts of Disney races, so I was excited to be one of the spectators! The package also included a pair of clappers, a short sleeve t shirt, and a roll-up blanket. I would have preferred to have an event-specific t shirt.

After pickup, we browsed the expo, and drooled a little bit over the recently released Rebel Challenge/Star Wars Half medals. K also picked up some gels for the race, but the expo was closing soon so we were a bit rushed.
After, we spent some time out in Downtown Disney, watching people and picking up a few souvenirs. I finally invested in some awesome sparkly Minnie ears, which are my new favorite accessory.
After a questionable dinner of cajun shrimp and crawfish boil, we got to bed a little late and woke up at 4 to drive from Pomona to Anaheim. We parked in the Mickey and Friends parking garage near the Disneyland hotel, which was also a little pricey. I wish they had free parking like DisneyWorld does for races. After seeing K into the start corrals, I started walking through Downtown Disney towards the park to claim my spot on Main Street.

When I first arrived at Main Street, it wasn't crowded at all. Initially cast members were trying to corral everyone into one tiny corner of the street, which seemed to be a surprise to everyone. After a few ladies started yelling about how they didn't pay to stand behind someone, the whole right side of the street was opened up. I managed to snag a spot about halfway down the street right on the curb, and waited about twenty minutes before the first runners came through. K was in B corral, so he came through about a half hour after that, and claimed his good luck kiss. I stayed about another half hour or so watching all the runners and enjoying the costumes, then headed back to Downtown Disney for some coffee.

I'm really not sure why DisneyLand requires the wristband to enter the park for this race. It really limited the spectators, and, I think, made it less exciting. It does seem a bit greedy. Maybe a designated cheer zone, like they have at DW or at the finish line, would be sufficient.

After getting some coffee, I wandered back towards the finish line. Most of the finishing area was completely blocked off by the Platinum and Gold ChEAR Squad tent and viewing stand, so only a small portion past the actual finish line was actually visible. I waited there for a bit until I saw K, then headed towards the parking lot where the stage was. I was actually surprised that area was also closed off, since it was pretty much empty as everyone walked out to find their family. I never found the family meetup area, since I found K at the exit to this area, and we headed back to the car. He was quite proud of his new medal
As usual, the finisher's medal was gorgeous and envy-inspiring in anyone who didn't get to run. The center A spins around, which seems to be a theme for this year's Disney medals. The shirts for the race were just long-sleeve version of their normal NB shirts, which I think are a little sticky.
As usual, this race was full of Disney magic, and definitely fired me up for the Rebel Challenge in January! 

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