Tinkerbell Half Marathon Race Recap

I was so very excited to run my very first runDisney Tinkerbell half marathon in January.

tinkerbell race recap

I had heard so many great things about it, and about the course, I couldn’t wait to see for myself!


I forgot one thing however, that I would still feel exhausted from Dopey the weekend before, and I underestimated how much of an impact it would have on my race. My plan was to have fun and soak it all in, but I also didn’t want to FEEL bad during the race either. I got up quietly as to not wake my mom, and walked towards the start line by myself.

The convenience of staying onsite can’t be beat. A quick walk from my hotel room and I was in my corral, with time to spare.


Right as I was walking into my corral I heard a familiar voice. It was Crystal! We chatted in the corral and waited for the race to begin.




Soon it was go time (no fireworks, bummer) and we started running together. Crystal asked if I ran intervals, I said not usually but why not! We hadn’t planned on running together but just kind of ended up doing so, and I am so, so glad we did. We talked the ENTIRE race and it made things go by so quickly.

Once we got into the parks, I told her no hard feelings if she didn’t want to stop and take pictures with me. She said it was fine and so we stayed together.




I felt bad for all the waiting so I kept insisting that she go on ahead but she hung with me.


We didn’t stop for all the characters, but still got a lot of photos. We made it into Disneyland park, and down Main Street.


The lost boys were on the carousel!







As we ran towards the Haunted Mansion, Crystal spotted Captain Jack! He was hidden off to the side so only had 3/4 people in line. I would have run right past him had she not said anything.


We headed out of the park and through Downtown Disney, where one of the highlights of the race happened for me. HUNDREDS of red hat ladies were at the turn by the sorcerers hat! They had signs, cowbells, and were cheering SO loudly. It warmed my heart and made me want to cry that there were SO many of there out there so early in the morning. They were totally awesome.


As we made our way off property, the sun started to come up.


I was so, so glad I was running 4/1 intervals with Crystal at this point. We were not even halfway through, and my legs felt like lead. It didn’t matter how hard I pushed, I just couldn’t go any faster. Luckily our chattering away was a welcomed distraction (as were the one minute walk breaks!) I would be lying if I said I paid a ton of attention to my surroundings at this point. Lots of different streets, buildings, houses, etc.

I got excited when we made it back to Disney property. We were getting close! We hit the mile 12 sign and I texted my mom to tell her we were close. She was waiting for me at the finish line in the cold, what a trooper.

We took one last walk break then charged ahead and finished around 2:45. I had a blast running with Crystal, but my body was definitely telling me it was time for a break from long distance racing for a bit.


We collected our beautiful medals, said our goodbyes, and I was off to find my mom.



Mom sadly somehow missed me crossing the finish line, but that’s ok she was still there. We were both cold so we didn’t hang around long. Back to the hotel we went for hot breakfast and then playing in the parks.



I love my medal!


Final Race Thoughts:

Tink has never been my favorite character, but I do love the idea of a women’s-focused race on the west coast. It had a fun girly atmosphere that I really enjoyed. The medal is beautiful, and I am so glad I could WALK from my hotel to the race start! I enjoyed the course and the fact that you are in the parks for further into the race than at the Disneyland half over Labor Day. It helped make the second half go by much faster. The volunteers were friendly and plentiful, and there was plenty of water and Powerade on the course.

There aren’t really many negatives to this race, I wasn’t a fan of starting at 5:00 (30 minutes earlier than the east coast races) and I also felt like the finish line was so skinny and cramped compared to the east coast races. My mom said that was why she had a hard time spotting me because so many people were funneling through such a small area at the end and you come around a quick corner so it’s hard to see. I felt like there were not as many bands/on course entertainment as at the Disneyland half. I don’t know this for sure, it’s just the way it felt to me (maybe someone knows how many there were?)

Would I run this race again? Absolutely! I really enjoy the west coast races, the weather is always SO much better, not having to take a bus is a MAJOR plus, and getting to run through the park where Walt Disney himself walked is truly magical.

QOTD: Have you ever run a race at Disneyland? What are your thoughts on all of the women’s focused events that keep popping up?

For more information on this and other runDisney races, be sure to visit rundisney.com

*Disclosure: My race registration, hotel, park tickets, and some meals were paid for by runDisney. However, all opinions are strictly my own.

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  1. That is a beautiful medal! I wanted to sign up for the Disneyland half in August, but it is already full : ( I should have known!

  2. Looks like such a fun time running with Crystal! I need to get out to a DL race soon. But, yeah, I have NO idea how you did Tink the week after Dopey! I’m sure my legs wouldn’t move!

  3. I do eventually want to do Tink, if only for the medal. It’s gorgeous! All the pluses of running on the west coast, and it’ll be easier for me to wake up early since I live two hours ahead of California time.

  4. Yay for running with Crystal! Looks like so much fun!! I’m glad she spotted Jack, too…he’s kind of in a dark alley there! See you this weekend!! 😀

  5. Girl I am in awe that you ran this race the weekend after Dopey! It’s understandable that you were tired! Glad you found someone to run the race with! I LOVE all the pictures! I definitely want to go to the west coast for a runDisney race eventually!

  6. Congrats to you for completing another weekend of races right after Dopey! You must have been exhausted! I hope to run Tinkerbell someday. I think now that the race weekend has been moved to May next year that we will now consider it.

  7. Tink is hands down my favorite rD event. I love the atmosphere, how everything is walkable and even from off property. It was great to chat with you at the airport. hope to see you this weekend as well

    And here;s my recap 🙂 http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/her-staff/?p=7634

  8. Congrats on finishing a halft he weekend after Dopey! Tink is on my bucket list for sure. And I love your arm sleeves! The colours & the paisley are adorable.

  9. A week after dopey! But it sure looked like fun. Took a lot of pictures and ran with friends. But a week after dopey! Lol I nominate Merida to be your process because you are brave.

  10. I have NO idea how you did this race the weekend after Dopey…that is ridiculously impressive! Tinkerbell is on my bucket list, but now with them moving it to May, I don’t know if it’s a doable for me. I was a big fan of the Disneyland Half, but wish there was more park time, so it seemed like this one gives that. Congratulations on finishing all the races! 🙂

  11. I ran the Tinkerbell this year too! It was my first Half Marathon! I absolutely loved it! Also, I remember seeing fireworks all the way back in corral E, but maybe they went off after you guys got started?

    I’m headed to the Princess in a couple of days, and one thing that I’m nervous about is the number of miles that we run through the park. I remember the in park miles FLYING by at the Tinkerbell, but once I got out the difficulty really started catching up to me… I’ve heard that since it’s all park property, the off park miles are more interesting at WDW, but I’m still skeptical.

    Congrats on doing so awesome after Dopey! You’re definitely a hero!

    • The out of park miles are more interesting b/c they still have character stops along the road since it’s still disney property. You will still have fun!

  12. Love your Tink outfit! I also ran Tink last month for the first time, and I loved it! Lots of differences from WDW races, but the convenience of staying so close was incredible. The spectators were quite possibly my favorite part, along with the amount of time we spent actually running in the parks! I am with you about Tinker Bell herself – I’ve never been a huge fan. She has a cute outfit and all, and I tried to convince myself to run as her, but I decided on Merida instead!

  13. this was also my first race in disneyland, and i would definitely go back to do another one!

    the 5am start felt like sleeping in with the time change from the east coast. leaving the hotel and being right in the corrals was also great.

    red hat ladies were my favorite part! such energy!

  14. I had such a great time running with you! I’m so glad it worked out. Races are much more fun when you have someone to chat with! 🙂

    You like to come run out here when our weather is extreme! 100% humidity for DDD, SUUUUUPER dry for Tink. lol! Maybe next year will be better…you should come out with your mom again since it will be on Mother’s Day…

  15. Tink has never been my favorite character either BUT this one does look like a fun girly race! And it would especially be fun paired with Princess Half.

  16. I have a lil question … since you did Dopey and the Tink Half, shouldn’t you have gotten the Coast to Coast medal? Or can you only get one per year, and there’s the one with the pink ribbon if you do Tink and Princess? The C2C medals are a source of a bit of confusion for me!

    • You are exactly right! I could have gotten one, and would have if I wasn’t doing princess, but you only get the pink if you do princess and tink so I am waiting to get my C2C this weekend. 🙂

  17. It was super fun ‘running’ into you on the course! I am impressed you ran so well after Dopey 🙂

Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. Tinkerbell Half Marathon Race Recap

    I was so very excited to run my very first runDisney Tinkerbell half marathon in January. I had heard

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