Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Running a Half Marathon

As I mentioned yesterday, I did it.  I ran the Disneyland half marathon on Sunday.  This has been in my sights for 8 or 9 months, so I am quite happy to have accomplished it.

The race started at 5:45.  Yes, that is in the morning.  And yes, I signed up for that knowing when it would start.  Even as I type that, it's a little hard to believe.  But I got up and I was there in plenty of time.  I would have liked to have gotten there a bit earlier, but the parking was a problem.  Then I had to fight to get to my corral.  But I made it.

You'd think there were 15,000 or so people running it.  I mean, it was a zoo at the starting line.  I was in the fourth group to start, and I was surrounded by people the entire time.  Yes, we spread out enough eventually that I had some room to maneuver, but I was never lonely.

We started out running around the outside of the parks before heading into CA Adventure and Disneyland.  The course took us through just about every way we could go through the parks without hitting a dead end, including back stage a couple of times.  We did get to run through Cars Land, which made me really happy.

After that, we hits the streets of Anaheim.  And we were only about 3 miles into the race by that point.  The next stretch was fairly unexciting.  But then again, my training runs are on city streets around here, so they aren't exactly exciting either.  I did like one store we passed along the way.  They had changed their marquee out front to read "Finish lines are just dreams with deadlines."

Around mile 9, he reached the Honda Center, where the Ducks play ice hockey.  And we got to run through the parking lot.  Thrilling again, right?  Then we hit a bike trail by a creek/drainage ditch before we reach Angel Stadium.

Now that was actually fun because we got to run around the outside of the field itself.  They even filmed us and put us on the big screen, but I missed seeing myself up there because I realized it too late.

From there, it was a run back to the finish line outside the Disneyland hotel.  And by this point, I was so ready to be done.  I knew I could finish, but it took all my willpower to get me through the last 3 miles.

But I finished.  My official time was 2:35:27.  I finished in the upper half overall, but in the lower half of the men.  What's funny is that almost twice as many women as men run this race.

Unfortunately, my family, who had driven down especially to see me finish, got some bad information and then were stuck in traffic and got there after I had finished.  However, I did meet up with them and talk to them afterward.  Since they couldn't have seen the finish line anyway, I'm more upset for them that they didn't make it than I am for them not actually being there.  The fact that they made the effort means the world to me.

I had two friends who ran it as well.  Marsha, from my Trixie boards, and Chris, who I've run several races with this year.  Chris was finished long before I was (started in first coral and finished 45 minutes faster than I did), and I never did connect with him.  But Marsha finished in about the same time I did, and we chatted some at the finish area before hashing and rehashing parts of the race over the rest of the day in Disneyland.


Jenn said...

Congrats on finishing, Mark, well done! I am so proud of you.


Brian said...

Let me guess, it was the lumber company that had that on their marquee? Looks like something they would put up, because they always have some great quotes posted.

Mark Baker said...

Thanks, Jenn.

Brian, yes, it was the lumber company. I actually stopped a took a picture of the sign as I was leaving on Tuesday I liked it so much.

That Loud Redhead said...

That is SO awesome, Mark!! Not just that you did a half, but that you did it at Disneyland!! So happy for you!!

Mark Baker said...

Thanks. It was a pretty awesome place to do my first half.

Vicky said...

Congrats on your first half! Sorry to hear that your family got stuck in traffic.

Mark Baker said...