Never Land Family Fun Run 5k – Part 1 (Meeting People & Waiting for the Race)

Saturday, January 28th, 2012
caricature of Aurora De Lucia running

(Got this drawn in Downtown Disney while waiting for the race.)

Overall, this race was a blast! I had a great time and I would be up for it again.

But, there may be a few things that I’m totally going to complain about (but I won’t do that ’til tomorrow’s post).

Once it started to get into the 9 o’clock hour, I went from Downtown Disney (where I was killing time) to the entrance to the park – where I would continue to kill time. I asked some other runners around me where we go to check our bags.

One woman (who’d said she’d volunteered all day, so I assumed she knew what she was talking about) told me that gear check wasn’t until we got inside. I hung out in line waiting to get in, and I met my new best friends, Wendy and Marty.

Wendy’s lost something like 140 pounds! They are so active. She hikes every single day.  (I told Wendy she should do the 52 in 52 challenge as well and she decided right then and there that she would!)

Around, I don’t know, maybe 9:40 the entrance to the park re-opened for the runners. It was pretty cool, going in there once everyone else is gone. We were up kinda far in line, so when we walked in, we could actually sort of see how relatively empty the park was before all the 5k runners filled it (which was an interesting & cool sight).

We kept walking forward toward the castle. We were all chattering among ourselves. “Are these corrals?” “What’s happening?” Nobody really knew. It turned out we were in fact getting into our corrals.

Of course soon I realize that bag check actually was outside. (I was a doofus not to realize that.) I say goodbye to my new friends, telling them I hope to get back to them, but we’ll see. They wish me luck. I make a run for it back down Main Street and out of the park. I find the bag check and drop off my stuff.

ferris wheel at Disneyland's Paradise Pier at nightI come back in the park, this time with a smaller group of stragglers since it’s getting closer to the start time. I look to my left. Lo and behold, it’s the man I met at the expo who’d forgotten his wallet! They let him in based on the ID of his Facebook page! He gave me a huge hug and thanked me for giving him the idea.

I continue to try to make my way back up toward the castle through the now large crowd (of 4,000 people). We’re all stuck far back on Main Street. I break out onto the sidewalk, making a nice little confident jog up toward my new friends (and my old corral). A couple of Disney people look like they might stop me, but nobody bothers me since I look like I know where I’m going.

Suddenly, I see those wondrous people who had been strangers to me just hours before! I’m back where I started! I can’t believe it. The Disney person watching our corral looks like he might say something, but when two people react as though they’re waiting for me, he leaves us alone.

I realized exactly how close we were to the front when the emcee asked us to do the wave and I could see it start.

Wouldn’t you know it? We were in corral A! What a change from corral 22 back in Arizona. Granted, I have no problems being in corral 22. I belong there. I don’t pretend to be a real athlete. I’d hate to be in the way of real athletes. But it certainly was a different feeling being way up front…

I didn’t necessarily like it… This is where the complaining begins – in tomorrow’s post.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?