Tinkerbell Half Race Recap and Review

I am going to do a combo post of my recap and review. I figure you all would rather get it all now then see a zillion separate posts about one event right? Riiiiggghhhhtttt.

The Recap

3:35 alarm. Have you ever had one of those moments where you wake up, are confused, feel kind of dehydrated and look like h-e-double-hockey-sticks from a serious lack of sleep? That was my morning.  And we all know I wasn’t out on a bender on Saturday. I rolled out of the rack and attempted to start drinking water and getting ready.

Somehow I managed to get my ruffles on (love,love,love), place a sparkly Bic Band in my hair and even decided that a little make up wouldn’t hurt. This was, after all, a Disney race and there would be a lot of glitz. I couldn’t show up looking like Cruella Deville…or could I?

I hopped on the 4:20 shuttle that dropped off at Downtown Disney (or close). It was about a 20 min walk to the start area where there was a bag check, plenty of potties, water, entertainment. Pretty sweet. No line for the bathroom = go twice to be safe. Walked down to my corral and got into “A” with no problems. A few celebs spoke, star-spangled belted out, fireworks galore (super cool) and we were off at 5:45 a.m on the dot.

Y’all know my hip/glute has been wacked out. I know this. We all know this. Yet for some unknown reason I figured I would just take off and hold sub 8’s for 13.1 with no pain. Yes you can smack me the next time you see me. I deserve it.

I got to Mile 1 and I had no idea where we were. I remember running by the hotel I was staying at, over a couple of bridges and  then entered Disneyland. Ahh familiar territory. Characters were out (fun!) and I felt ok.  I decided to pick it up a little waaay to early. I think I was averaging a 7:40 pace through 10k which would have been ok if I was 100%. Hindsight is 20/20.

Around mile 7 I had to go to the bathroom. Bad. What? I went twice before and I have never had to go during a half! Then I remembered that thing about not taking ibuprofen before a race. Something about kidney function? YES I DID. I admit it. I took ibuprofen because I didn’t want my hip/butt to hurt. DUMB. Finally found a bathroom at the 15k mark and took my time. That was not a good idea for 2 reasons:

1. It made my hip/glute tighten up and become sore.

2. It took me out of the zone

But at least I didn’t have to pee anymore. As soon as I started running again my hip was screaming. Boooo. It didn’t hurt so bad that I had to stop or walk but enough to slow my roll and just enjoy the rest of the race.

Around mile 10 we entered Downtown Disney and finished through California Adventure. I crossed the finish line in 1:46:34, 8:08 pace with a big fat smile on my face. Redemption from last weekend, right?

Went through the finishers shoot (tons of freebies) and easily made my way to my family. Coming off a DNF the weekend before I would call this a success.

Tinkerbell Half- DONE!

The Review

The Tinkerbell Half marathon was held at Disneyland/Disney’s California Adventure on Sunday January 29th at 5:45 a.m.. This was an inaugural race and when I signed up the entry fee was $120. I think it may have gone as high as $145. Expensive, yes, but worth it? Yes

I did not have to park a car but from what I understand parking was a breeze. I do believe standard parking fees applied. Most hotels in the area had a shuttle that arrived every 20 minutes starting at 3 a.m. The shuttles dropped runners in Downtown Disney and it was a short walk to the start area.


There were 5 corrals, clearly marked A-E. Each runner was placed in their respective corral based on a previous race time submitted at registration. If someone did not submit a time I believe they were placed in the last corral, but I could be wrong. This info came from a few ladies I was chatting with on the shuttle to the start.

The  corral assignments were printed on the race bib. The staff did check mine prior to walking up to corral A so it appeared they were sticking to their guns. I didn’t see anyone corral hopping and they seemed to place people appropriately as I did not have any congestion at the start.

Course and Aid

The course was flat (other than a few bridges) and fast. It started near Downtown Disney, went through Anaheim, into Disneyland, back into Anaheim, through Downtown Disney and California Adventure and ended back near the start. There were characters spread throughout both parks and a ton of photo ops! I even remember pirates being on a microphone around the 5k mark encouraging people to run faster! AWESOME!

There was aid every 1.5-2 miles (very organized) and Clif shots at mile 9. Disney had an amazing amount of volunteers and they did a great job. In fact, I don’t remember even stepping on a cup which is usually unavoidable in a race. Not sure if they had someone continuously cleaning up between runners, but whatever they did worked!

Spectators/Crowd Support

There were a LOT of spectators throughout the course (even at 5:45 am!). I am talking families, friends, neighbors, bands and cheerleaders lining the streets. I was so impressed with the support- people were cheering and encouraging every runner. I have never seen a race with so much support from the crowd.

The Finish

After crossing the finish lines runners entered a secure zone. You received a medal and could have your pic taken. There was also a tented area that had water, PowerAide, Clif Bars, Luna Bars, bagels and fruit. There was also an immediate baggage claim that was organized by the last name. It was easy to grab your bag, put your stuff in it and go meet up with friends family.


I was so impressed with this race. Beings that this was an inaugural event I expected to have some slight mishaps and probably would not have been too mad about it. I do not have a single bad thing to say. From the start area, to corral assignments to the course and support this race went off without a hitch. Bravo Disney, I will be back…maybe even for the inaugural 10 miler this September!