PHEW! It took me far too long to get to this recap, but at least I have the excuse that I hit a race streak (two double-up weekends) and then promptly got the plague for about two weeks prior to a fifth race. The good news is I’m back in action, feeling right healthy and am ready to talk about how I celebrated being in a new, stupid fast age-group: I was one of the lucky ~5,300 to participate in the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland.
A ‘mini’ version – if there is such a thing – of the already infamous Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World, the Dumbo Double was a far cry from going Dopey, but for many of us it felt as daunting! Let’s start with a HUGE shout out to this sparkly blue Alice who you may have seen in the runDisney video that came out after the race. Observe: a very pink Cheshire Cat’d me, just after the finish where I found my lost (to be explained!) girl Kari. Friends since freshman year in college brought us together, she had run the Neverland 5k when I ran my first half marathon. She laid her eyes on my new bling, said “I WANT ONE,” and signed up at the expo for Dumbo with only half a lash batted. 19.3 miles? NO PROBLEM!
The first half of the Dumbo Double Dare was the Disneyland 10k on Saturday. It was a bazillion degrees out, she was wearing new shorts and new socks (race day don’ts for many) and she had never run a 10k before.
And wouldn’t you know it? Girl ROCKED IT. We ran together for the first half of the 10k at her pace. She was really nervous about the half, so I coached her to run-walk at a pace she wanted to try for on Sunday, just to get a feel for it. There was a lot of reminding on my part that we’re supposed to have fun, as well as a lot of reassuring (for her or me, I’m not sure,) that this was just the first part of the weekend and we didn’t have to go too hard.
There were MANY Cheshire Cats and Alices about… and if you know anything about runDisney events, you know participants LOVE their race photos! Hence, there’s a funny series in my race photos where I’m busy dodging an enthusiastic Alice…
After the 5k mark, I saw ‘my bathroom,’ aka the bathroom at California Adventure where I had to bail out and pee at Tinker Bell for fear of not being able to finish otherwise. (Spoiler alert: pit stop has never been a bad idea in the end.) The thought was with us being so sparkly and my pace being faster than hers, I could surely pee, pop back out, catch up to her in the crowd and finish with Kari, crossing the line with her at her first 10k, right?
WRONG. SO WRONG!
I darted out of the loo at record speed and dashed ahead, looking for bright sparkly blue in the crowd. However, with that many Alices out, and with Team Sparkle being so popular, I lost her! I felt like the White Rabbit, scrambling in a panic: I was late for my date with her at the finish line! I started to freak out a little bit. It’s not like she didn’t know how to run without me. She was surely plugging along just fine, but I felt terrible for having lost her. Many people probably saw me with concerned eyebrows, darting ahead a mile, waiting waiting waiting off on the side, then doing it again. Watching my Garmin tick away minutes, I knew there was no way she could be ahead of me but that she should be finishing on pace. Finally I got down to the last two miles and thought, “Well, I better just finish strong if I can’t finish with her.” I started to book it, and wouldn’t you know, looked up *JUST* in time to get caught by the Team Sparkle (aka Sparkle Athletic) crew.
I heard them yell just in time to look up. I guess posting my Team Sparkle Cheshire Cat hacked visor all over social media made it easier to find me. I promise I smiled as I passed! They managed to snap a picture of Kari too! Look at that grin. It’s like she knew she was almost there.
Just after I coasted over the finish line, gathered my medal, soaked in other folks’ smiles, I turned back to the finish and saw her. KARI! My lost Alice had finished her first 10k like A CHAMP, was beaming and happily chattered away as we walked back to the hotel about how she did once we separated. Even as I write this two months ex post facto, my heart swells with pride.
I made our visor toppers, and her apron out of a single cloth napkin. Our skirts and visors are both Team Sparkle!
Coming soon: a part 2 recap of the Disneyland Half Marathon! I’m already dreaming of running both events again.
Were you at the Dumbo Double Dare? Do you plan on being a legacy runner?
Originally published on Scrinina.org