Saturday, September 05, 2009

Me and the Mouse Go The Distance

EXACTLY 12 hours ago, I was standing with 3,999 other entrants at the starting line for the 2009 Disneyland Family 5K. We were herded together in a starting chute and while waiting for the official start were entertained by the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet, who also kicked off the race with a lovely rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Although called a "run" or "race," for me it was a walk. I don't run. I have bum knees. But I love to walk, and walk I did through Disneyland and California Adventure, including the back lots. Tons of folks walked. As the bulk of walkers crossed the finish line, the announcer told the crowd how they love their "walkers." That walkers are like runners, just without the caffeine. A lot of folks toted young children (you cannot bring a stroller on the route). Whole families were walking the happiest place on earth at 7 am this morning, and, in spite of the heat, I'd say we all had a great time. It was more of a festival than a race and the proceeds from the entrance fee went to Anaheim Community Charities.

The only hitches in the get-along were the oppressive heat and humidity. So. Cal is having a heat wave right now and Friday and Saturday were brutal. Added to that was a lack of water stations along the 3.2 mile route (Disney - what's with that? The Marines had a water station every mile during the Mud Run!) There was 1, count 'em 1, water station at the 1.5 mile mark and then again at the finish, where they gave away fruit, bagels, water and hydration drinks. (Note to Disney - move some of that stuff to along the route, please!) Next year, I'm packing my own drinks. I think I sweated enough this weekend to fill a bathtub. I keep telling myself it's great for flushing toxins and for my complexion.

My participation in this event started when I announced that anyone signing up for the event with me would receive a signed copy of Ghost à la Mode and a Ghost à la Mode tee shirt, which my publisher, Midnight Ink, donated. We had 5 people sign up for the 5K and one will do the half-marathon on Sunday. A couple other friends came along for support although they didn't do the 5K. Unfortunately, there were several folks who wanted to do the event but had already made Labor Day Weekend plans, and two tried to sign up for the 5K but it sold out.

Walking with me and celebrating the release of Granny Apples today were Shirley and Doug Pearson, Mark Baker and Carolyn Bryant. My dear friend Susan Groeneweg went with me and we both agreed that the Paradise Pier Hotel was tops. Shirley and Doug Pearson, who are Disney-philes and the nicest people in the world, and walk the Disney 5K every year, got us a fabulous discount at the hotel. After the race, we went back to our hotel rooms and showered and trekked to The Grand Californian Hotel for brunch at The Storytellers Cafe, where we were joined by Mark's friend Angelique. Brunch was fabulous and our table was visited by many a 6 ft furry creature.

It was decided that this should become an annual event.

You in?

A full photo album from the day can be seen at my profile on Facebook.


L.B. said...

Looks like you had a great time!

Marilyn Victor said...

Congratulations! Despite the heat, sounds like it was a lot of fun. Despite the heat.

sparkly_jules said...

We've got to get SG onto Facebook! I'm going to add you know.

Good walk!


Mark said...

Great fun was had by all.

Finally got my take on the day up. Man, I was wordy!