Sunday, September 17, 2006

Disneyland Half Marathon

Short version: For a first-time race, they got a lot of things right. As a race owner/operator I'm aware of how hard it is to get every right and how easy it is for things to go wrong. The producers of the event should feel very good about how it went.

I planned to run between 3 hours and 3:15. I finished in EXACTLY 3 hours. YES, I even sprinted at the end to get in UNDER 3:01. I was able to do a negative split [running the 2nd half faster than the first half] and felt good at the end.


LONG VERSION: This was our first "public" appearance since Jenny's dad passed away AND we had our dog put down. We were both a little nervous about having to be "on" again. Jenny did great at her clinics and I was - frankly - glad to be back out there doing my show.

My training has not been ideal of late, although I've got a great base. I've run 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 16 mile long runs. But the past few weeks have been a disaster. I knew that the only hope I had was to go out VERY slowly and be patient until I had at least 8 miles in.

Race morning was nearly perfect. I wore a long-sleeved technical shirt [from the Walt Disney World Marathon] but could easily have worn a short-sleeved shirt. The start was pretty crowded - I was in the first corral - but there were no major problems.

The course wandered through the Disneyland theme parks, around Anaheim, through the Angel's ball park, and back into Downtown Disney. There was plenty of music and entertainment on the course, the Disney characters were out, and the other "cast members" were there in full force.

It got hot as the morning wore on. Not brutal, but for some who have run Disneyworld - where it's often so cold you can barely move - the heat caught them by surprise.

There were plenty of water and powered stations, and they were - for the most part - well supplied and well staffed.

And the medal is FANTASTIC!

So, all in all, a great race. I'm sure that they won't have any problems selling this out year after year.

ORN: 13.1 miles, 3:00:58 [rounded down to 3 hours!] R4/W2

John

3 comments:

Teresa said...

Wow. Fantastic job. I just found your blog after reading your book. You are a true inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I've read each of your books and absolutely love them!

As it turns out, I was also at Disneyland a couple weeks ago and it looks like we crossed the finish line with in minutes of each other! That just totally made my day!

Anonymous said...

For Jenny's Dad, words can not express.....for your pet, I can offer this.

Where To Bury A Dog
There are various places within which a dog may be buried. We are thinking now of a setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine, and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought. This setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green lawn of his grave. Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to bury a good dog. Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at a flavorous bone, or lifted head to challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in life or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and it touches sentiment more than anything else.
For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long and at last. On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost -- if memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog. One place that is best of all.
If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have, he will come to you when you call -- come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they should not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he belongs there.
People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.
The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.
by Ben Hur Lampman