runDisney Tinker Bell 10K & Kids Races

Back on January 18th, I embarked on my 5th runDisney race which started out in an unexpected but awesome way at the inagural 2014 Tinker Bell 10K. You see, for the first time in forever (well… EVER actually) I got to run this race with my BFF! Now don’t go thinking I had suddenly become a sprinting legend of any sort, but instead it turns out that Auds was sadly gimpy due to a giant boulder jumping out in front of her on the previous week’s trail race. But do the details really matter? Nope! We were doing this together!

On the morning of the runDisney Tinker Bell 10K, It turned out to be quite warm (not as warm as the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend thank goodness, but still warm for January) so we didn’t have to layer up too much. As usual, we were dressed and ready for the occasion. I was dressed as Olaf and Auds was Eve. Sadly, she lost her directive somewhere backstage near the train depot, so you’ll have to trust me on this one!

The Tinker Bell 10K started with minimal fanfare (no fireworks sadly), and we began our run north and straight backstage! We passed by my old Entertainment building stomping grounds, which I got to point out to everyone as “that’s Toontown’s dressing room!” and other silly facts like that. When we popped back on stage at Small World, we got a lovely surprise: Christmas lights! It might be the middle of December, but it was still the holidays at Small World!


I don’t know why, but I’m constantly fascinated by empty spinning teacups… so I always snap a photo here! Oh… and BTW… if you want to have lots of people cheering for you, dress as Olaf. Seriously. Maybe it’s the fact that I was a 6’1 snowman, but people LOVE Olaf! Luckily I only got one offer for a warm hug during the race, but we were mutually sweaty and declined that idea and air-hugged instead!


When we got to Frontierland, we decided it was time for a photo op! Chip and Dale were on risers… so that they didn’t have to touch sweaty runners… and we only waited for about a minute for a photo!


By the time that we finally reached Sleeping Beauty castle, the sun had fully risen  after weaving in and out of the park…


… and here you can see just how amazing Disneyland is during that dawn light! The first time I saw it was during Grad Nite in high school, and I can still remember how amazing it was to watch the sun rise on the Rivers of America! Wow!


From there, we darted in and out of California Adventure and on to the streets of Anaheim for the final 2 miles. Not going to lie, this course wasn’t as much FUN as the Disneyland 10K was… BUT it also wasn’t hot and steamy and full of miserably sweating people… so… it was definitely more enjoyable!

When we approached the final turn for the finish line, I spotted a certain little sports photographer on the curb!


So of course we stopped for the photo op!


(btw… I made both of our skirts to be the exact same length… Auds’ perhaps a bit shorter even? And this is why I can’t wear normal people’s clothes)

So we got raced the finish line… and got the most dangerous running medals you’ll ever encounter! Pixie wings are not to be messed with people!


Auds went back to tend to her son N, who decided that 5am was the perfect time to wake up for Grandma, and I went back to the hotel to get L ready for her Kids Race!


Now, my costume for the Tinker Bell 10K was in no part my decision. That was all Miss L!

“Momma. I’ll be Elsa, and you can be Olaf. Grandma can be Anna and Papa can be Sven” Well alright then! Too bad we couldn’t find any reindeer antlers for Papa and he didn’t get to join in on the fun!

So… I cobbled together a run-appropriate costume for Miss L that resembled Elsa’s attire using a kid’s C9 running top from Target and a trip to the fabric store for lots of sparkle!

Miss L was one of the last runners in the 100m corrals… I thought it’d be more fun if she had a bit of space to actually run fast this time! And, in fact, she ran by so fast that only one of 4 photographers (thank you Nicole!!!) captured her on film!


When she approached the finish line, I heard the finish line announcers booth say, “There’s Olaf!” as I was rounding the bend to catch up to her. I yelled back, “And Elsa!” and pointed ahead to L.

They then said, “Wait Elsa, will you come back if we play your song?” So then this happened at the finish line…

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Needless to say, it was a wonderful race day/weekend for everyone!



EDITED TO ADD: A few people have since brought up the infamous sweeping that occurred during this race (the 2014 Tinker Bell 10K). After getting iced up and getting treats and meeting up with another running friend, Nicole, we exited to walk back to the hotel. It was at that time the final runners were approaching the finish line and the golf cart was behind them. We also noticed people walking backstage through the backstage of California Adventure. It took a few minutes to connect that those must have been people swept from the race before they made it out of the parks. There seemed to be a few hundred people at most. Rumors circulated wildly throughout the weekend of thousands and 600+… but when I downloaded the race results, I found just over 400 people who started but didn’t finish the race.

We did the race using a 15-minute pace guide (45 second run, 30 second walk) for the entire race. We also stopped for one staged photo op, one bathroom break, and multiple other random photo ops. And we had no issues at all in finishing in 1:41:02.

If you’re worried about “the great sweep of 2014” and you’ve got a pace above 16-minutes, don’t be. The runDisney guidelines suggest a 1:40 finish time for the 10K based on a 16-minute mile. You can peek through the results to find that people from the D corral finished at the end of clock time (2:17) with times well above 1:40. Flipping through just the results from CA runners, the highest clock time I could find was 2:17:50 … and that person (from the D corral) had a time of 1:56:42.

Sweeping happens if you exceed 16-minute paces from the start through the finish of the race. Friends have relayed stories of just how early the sweeps happened over Walt Disney World Marathon weekend in all 3 timed races… so the advice of all is always to start out strong and then slow your pace! If you start off with a 5K over 60 minutes, it’s going to be really hard to recoup that time later on.


  • Kate

    I love that she joins in with you! And I love that you didn’t have any issues with the 10k. When I was signing up for the Disneyland 10k I saw a lot of people complaining about the sweeping for the Tinkerbell 10k and it made me nervous.