Event: 2015 runDisney Captain America 10K – INAUGURAL EVENT
Event Date: November 14, 2015
Event Location: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California
Why I decided to run this race.
The inaugural runDisney Avengers Half Marathon got a bad reputation due to the terrible Santa Ana winds that plagued the runners. But contrary to popular belief, Disney does not yet have the ability to control the weather and I wanted to give the race weekend a fresh chance. Plus, the Marvel universe is so deep and offers so many opportunities for great costumes that I was having a hard time choosing just one. So when runDisney added the Captain America 10K to create the inaugural Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, we knew we had to do it.
Getting there/the lead-up to the race
The Avengers weekend is the last runDisney race weekend in the calendar year. But we had to get through the Wine and Dine half marathon weekend (and the associated Food and Wine Festival) first. I usually carefully watch what I eat and drink in the week leading up to a big race, BUT Food and Wine Festival is my absolute favorite time at Disney World so you’d better believe I partook in some rich foods and yummy wine while I was there.
Training-wise I was actually in a pretty good place. I had several races in the weeks prior to Avengers, including the Army 10-miler, the Marine Corps 10k, and the Wine and Dine Half (er, at least the part of the race we were allowed to run!). And those races had gone pretty well for me. I felt prepared for Avengers and expected the trend of good runs to continue.
The race Expo & Swag review
The Avengers expo was pretty standard for a Disneyland expo. Following our success at the Wine and Dine expo where we checked out the official merchandise before getting our bibs, we chose to do the same at Avengers. We arrived within the first 30 minutes of opening and the line was much shorter than at the Disneyland half—we were there maybe 30 minutes before we got in. However, we were disappointed to find that there were no 10K pins to be found, and we were barely lucky to find the pins for the half marathon and the challenge.
Apparently runDisney doesn’t buy merchandise with the intention to sell it at the expo; rather, they only set out items that are left over after the pre-orders are filled. So when the 10K pins sold out during pre-sale, runDisney didn’t think that maybe they should order more. Fail! I hope this trend doesn’t continue at the two Star Wars race weekends since we’ve already passed the pre-order window for both.
As far as the swag goes, we got the standard shirt for each race plus the challenge. Following the superhero theme, the shirts were red, white, and blue. Of the three, the 10K design was my favorite.
Knowing that the overwhelming majority of people who planned to dress up for the Captain America 10K would be…well…Captain America, we opted for another group of heroes. My husband and I really liked the Big Hero 6 movie so we chose our inspiration from there: we settled on Honey Lemon and Fred.
The costume: The most notable part of Honey Lemon’s hero costume is her bag, so Jake spent a lot of time creating one that was lightweight enough to carry for a 10K without getting in my way, but sturdy enough that it wouldn’t fall apart before the race was over. He also created Honey Lemon’s helmet by modifying a purple Nike visor. I wore a purple and coral Nike tennis dress, a coral halter top with iron-on graphics added, and dark purple leggings.
The rest of the gear: purple Adidas sports bra, purple Bondi Band headband, Injinji socks, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 shoes, Garmin Forerunner 620 and Gymboss interval timer, and Nathan handheld bottle.
In the past, one of the great things about Disneyland races was that you could roll out of your hotel and directly into your corral just minutes before the race. That changed with the Avengers races as runDisney instituted security checks at all entrances.
Since this was the first big event using these checks we weren’t sure how fast they would go and we had the added stress of wondering if they would make me tear apart my Honey Lemon bag so they could inspect it. Plus, our friend missed the expo the day before so she needed to go to emergency bib pick-up before the race. So we left our hotel an hour and a half before the race. That’s the earliest we’ve ever left for a Disneyland race! As it turned out, very few people were out yet so we breezed right through security and bib pick-up. So we got in line for the port-a-potties and took some pictures with fellow costumers while we waited for our corrals to open.
Along the course
Jake and I usually run the Disney 10Ks together, and that was our plan for this one. He was nursing a foot injury so we decided to walk the whole race in the hopes that he’d still be able to complete the half marathon the following day. Knowing that we’d be slower than normal we positioned ourselves toward the front of our corral. We didn’t stop for any character pics, maintained a pretty fast walking pace for the whole race, and we finished toward the back of the pack. But we really enjoyed the race.
After the first two miles, the entire remaining 10K course was in the theme parks. Disney brought out several Avengers (Hawkeye, Black Widow, Thor, and Captain America) for character pictures, and I was pleased to see that they started putting out signs to alert runners to character spots that were coming up. I think this helped with some of the confusion that tends to pop up at the photo spots as runners suddenly stop and turn around to get in a line that they weren’t expecting.
I know a lot of people thought the silver and white tone-on-tone coloring of the 10K medal was bland. I, however, really liked the look of it. It was classy and had a nice heft to it. It was actually my favorite of the three medals I took home from the weekend.
The post-race experience
Since we were so close to the final finishers of the race, we met up with our friend who was waiting in the family reunion area and then headed to an area close to the finish line so we could see the final runner cross the line. I love cheering in the folks at the end and neither my husband nor my friend had ever seen the little celebration that Disney does for the last finisher, so it was a nice experience for us all.
Before heading back to our hotel to shower and change, we met up with a few folks from our running costume group for pictures. It was great to finally meet them in person and have a look at their costumes.
Since we all had to conserve energy for the half marathon the following day, we took it pretty easy. We had to go to the expo so my friend could get the rest of her packet pick-up stuff, and while we were there we saw reports that Disney was doing a soft opening for Hyperspace Mountain (Space Mountain with a Star Wars overlay). While my husband and I had ridden it the day before, this might have been the only chance my friend would have to ride it. So we hustled over to the park to ride it and Haunted Mansion (with the holiday overlay) before heading back to the hotel for naps.
Since I was doing this race with my husband, I didn’t carry my iPod. Which is a good thing since I didn’t have any place to put it on my costume.
Looking back now
I really, really like the Disneyland 10Ks, and the Captain America 10K was no different. It was a good course that was mostly through the parks and Downtown Disney. There weren’t a whole lot of characters, but what they had seemed to be enough. And I think the superheroes theme convinced a lot of people who wouldn’t normally dress in costume to wear one. If I were to be in the area during this race weekend again, I would not hesitate to run this race.
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