The Casual Runner

Disneyland Villains 10k

Event: 2015 Disneyland Villains 10k
Event Date: September 5, 2015
Event Location: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California

The newly-rebranded Villains 10k is the first stage of the Dumbo Double Dare during the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.  You can check out all of our coverage from the 2014 event: 
– Part 1: Event Expo and Coast to Coast Overview & “Signs” Video.
– Part 2: Stitch’s 10k race reviewall along the course video.
– Part 3: Disneyland Half Marathon race review & all along the course video

Why I decided to run this race.

When my husband and I decided to make 2015 the Year of runDisney, we didn’t realize that Disneyland would be celebrating its 60th anniversary and that the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend would be celebrating its 10th anniversary.  We knew that there would be something special about the weekend when it sold out in approximately 47 seconds.  But it wasn’t until a few weeks before the race that it really became apparent to us what a big deal it would be.

Getting there/the lead-up to the race

I had a lot of trouble with my training throughout the summer, with a couple of recurring injuries that sidelined me from time to time.  (Probably because I’m impatient and got back out on the road too soon.)  As a result, I was not where I wanted my fitness level to be.  But I was excited to wear the costumes my husband and I picked for the race and had heard nothing about great things about the 10K course, so I was really looking forward to the event.

The race Expo

My husband and I flew in on Thursday and basically went straight to the expo at the Disneyland Hotel immediately after checking in to our hotel since we needed to get our tickets for the 60th Anniversary Party that night.  We hit the expo at approximately the same time as we often do, but there was still a long line to get into the official merchandise section.  In fact, we had to go to a conference room upstairs where they were staging everyone before we could even get into the line in the hallway outside of the merchandise area.

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Sean Astin on stage!

Luckily, we were at the tail end of the rush so it probably only took about 30 minutes for us to finally make it into the shopping area.  And, while we were standing there, Sean Astin started his scheduled talk in the small seating area, so I got to stare at er, um drool over er um…listen…yeah…listen to him while we waited in line.  There was still a pretty good selection of items on Thursday afternoon, but by Friday when we went back to meet a friend who had just arrived, it was extremely picked over.

Swag review

We got the typical swag bag for a Disney race: a shirt for each race plus one for the challenge, and a Clif bar.  The only difference was that we also received a green (why not blue or silver?) 60th anniversary luggage tag, which confused the volunteer who handed me my bib since she seemed to suggest I would need to use it to tag my checked bag on race morning (I didn’t).

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The swag. Not pictured: random green luggage tag

We did get some unique swag with our party ticket: a single-shoulder backpack with the 60th anniversary logo design.  It was probably the best swag of the weekend and the bags seemed to be really popular since we saw people carrying them all weekend and we were asked several times where we bought them.

The gear

My husband decided very early on that he wanted to do Robin Hood for one of the races this weekend, but it took me awhile to come around on the idea.  Once I agreed to be Maid Marian, we decided to do those costumes for the 10K since we’d be running together and we thought the concept would translate better if we were seen as a couple.

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CosRunners are happy runners.

The Costume: Purple Tonic tennis dress with sparkly pink sleeves added, hot pink Under Armour running capris, purple Sparkle Athletic/Headsweats sparkle visor with a sparkly pink veil and fox ears, and a fox tail.

The Rest of the Gear: Magenta Adidas sports bra, purple Bondi Band headband, Injinji socks, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 shoes, Garmin Forerunner 620 and Gymboss interval timer, and Nathan handheld hydration bottle.

The pre-race

We stayed in the same hotel we have for previous races, but since the race started out in a different direction than Star Wars and Tinkerbell we had to walk a lot farther to get to the corrals.  Leaving at 5 AM and stopping at the port-a-potties on the way meant that we didn’t actually get to the corral until after the race officially started.

IMG_20150903_145045349_HDRWhile we crossed the runner’s village to the potties, we heard a rock guitarist playing the National Anthem, and I don’t think we got to our corral until after both the wheelchair division and Corral A were released.

My husband moved back from Corral B to join me in Corral D.  Unfortunately it was kind of difficult to get into the corral because we were late (so it was pretty full) and because they routed us kind of inefficiently.  Eventually we did squeeze down the narrow pathway and into the corral, where we chatted with the runners around us and waited to move forward.

Along the course

The first two miles were out on the streets of Anaheim, which should have allowed the crowd to thin somewhat.  But we found it pretty crowded the whole way.  We spent most of this time making our way through the crowd and trying to avoid some awkward curbs that apparently took out some early runners due to insufficient marking, so I don’t really remember much of this part of the course.

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Prince John, Robin Hood, and Maid Marian representing classic Disney movies.

We dropped into California Adventure between Bug’s Life and Cars Land, and then navigated around the pier.  We stopped for a short bathroom stop right before the 5K mark in Grizzly Peak and then, as we ran through Hollywood Land we looked over to the character photo stop and…wait, what!?!?…is that Prince John from Robin Hood!?!?  We were not expecting to see any characters from our movie and we HAD to backtrack to get in line for a photo with him.

After some backstage areas, we crossed over into Disneyland: Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Toon Town, and then a sprint through the castle and Main Street.  And then, my favorite part of any Disneyland course, straight through Downtown Disney to the finish line.  As we crossed, we heard Carissa give a shout-out to Robin Hood and Maid Marian.  Finally, we got noticed by the announcers!

For more details on the 10k course, please check out the review of the 2014 race review & our all along the course video.

The SMOpinion

I really liked the theming of the shirt and the medal for the 10K.  I was proud to wear this medal around the park after the race.  It was kind of bronze-colored and shaped like the Evil Queen’s magic mirror.  Some people might wish for more color on it, but I really thought it was striking just with the metal color.

The post-race experience

My husband and I met up with our friend and attempted to head back to Downtown Disney to watch the end of the race.  Unfortunately, because all the pedestrians trying to leave the area had to cross the race, we were caught in a huge crowd in front of ESPN Zone and couldn’t move forward.  But at least the huge TV outside of ESPN Zone was showing the race so we could see the final finishers.

After they opened the walkway, we headed to the hotel to shower and change so we could go to Disneyland.  We spent an easy day there since we had to run the half marathon the next day, but we had enough energy to get some brunch at Carnation Café and do a couple of rides before our mid-afternoon nap.

Playlist Peak

You know the drill—I ran with my husband so I didn’t carry my iPod.

Looking back now

This is the second 10K I’ve done at Disneyland and I’ve loved both.  I think this is probably the ideal race length at Disneyland since you’re in the park for most of the time but there’s enough distance to allow the runners to space out a bit during the race.  I enjoyed the villains theme and thought it was great how they carried it through with the character photo ops and in the shirt and the medal.  If I go back for this race weekend in the future, the 10K will be the race I definitely do.

Stay tuned as we have more coverage of the 2015  runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend coming your way!

The newly-rebranded Villains 10k is the first stage of the Dumbo Double Dare during the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.  You can check out all of our coverage from the 2014 event: 
– Part 1: Event Expo and Coast to Coast Overview & “Signs” Video.
– Part 2: Stitch’s 10k race reviewall along the course video.
– Part 3: Disneyland Half Marathon race review & all along the course video

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