2013 tinkerbell half marathon

by @according2kelly on February 8, 2013

tinkerbell-half-marathon-tweet2mr. smeei’ve often heard if said that runDisney races aren’t where you go to PR (or set a personal record).runDisney races are where you go to create magical memories, running through castles & down main streets at walt disney world & disneyland.

well i’m hear to tell you that you can “have your cake & eat it too.”

you can have magic in every mile AND run your fastest race yet – the two things don’t have to be independent of each other.


what makes me so confident on this fact? i’ve PRed at nearly every runDisney race i’ve ever run.

the 2009 disneyland half was my first race ever, which resulted in an automatic-by-default PR.

the 2010 disneyland half i raced wearing wings, & once again PRed by 13 minutes.

the 2011 disneyland half i raced wearing wings again, & once again PRed. this time by about 17 minutes.

the 2012 tinkerbell half, i PRed, despite by hook, but about 2 minutes.

the 2012 wine & dine half i unknowingly PRed by 2 minutes, even earning myself a fancy 4th place plaque.

& most recently at the 2013 tinkerbell half marathon, where i PRed once again, crossing the finish line at 1:39ish, finally coming in UNDER 1 hour & 40 minutes.

2013 tinkerbell half marathon

exactly one week after running the final step in my 39.3 mile “goofy challenge,” the disney world full marathon, i found myself getting ready to run the 2013 tinkerbell half marathon.


i’m the first to admit that my race prep wasn’t exactly ideal. i don’t think too many “training plans” would include a 39.3 mile race in the taper, working the expo, or having the flu the day before the race.

& yet that’s exactly how i prepared to run the tinkerbell half marathon.


suffice it to say, i didn’t exactly have big expectations for the race. but linda (my goofy challenge running partner) had promised to run the entire race with me – so i knew that we’d have fun (& take pictures), at the very least.

tinkerbell-half-marathon-mr.-smeeat the starting line i once again “ran into” sean astin…

kelly-sean-astinhave i told you what a truly nice guy he is? completely down-to-earth, super-friendly, & such a proud papa (you should have seen how excited he was to show angry julie & i a video of he’s daughters race the day before). i guess it’s true, celebrities really are “just like us.”


after a little pre-race dance party & a photo shoot with my partners in crime carrie & elise, it was time to run…


i have to be honest – considering that the disneyland half was my first race ever, i might be a bit biased, but i’m kind of partial to the disneyland half marathon course (running through angel stadium always overwhelms me with emotion & brings tears to my eyes).

but, the tinkerbell course is definitely special in it’s own little way – & has quickly become another favorite.

the first couple of miles through the parks are always fun. the race starts on disneyland Drive & almost immediately we enter disney’s california adventure. we ran through the hollywood backlot along hollywood boulevard, raced down route 66 into cars land, and wound around paradise bay.


entering disneyland, we ran down main street U.S.A. (which was filled with spectators & cheering squads), passing sleeping beauty’s castle, pixie hollow, before we made our way around the rivers of america. after exiting the disneyland park, we ran through downtown disney, by the disneyland hotel (& the always-fabulous red hat society cheer squad).

running-tinkerbell-half-marathonjust about mile 6, we left the disneyland resort area & headed out to explore the city of anaheim.  runDisney describes the remainder of the course saying “runners will race through the enchanting, historic neighborhoods of downtown anaheim, down the anaheim center street promenade and past anaheim ice on their way towards city hall. before returning to the disneyland resort runners make their way past the anaheim gardenwalk, and then it’s time for their “fairy”-tale finish near disney’s paradise pier hotel.”

downtown anaheim  really is enchanting & the historic neighborhoods are charming  – although there didn’t seem to be as many  spectators, or entertainment that i’ve come to know & love from a typical runDisney event (but considering how cold it was – had i not been racing, i don’t think i would have gotten out of my warm & cozy bed either).


crossing that finish line sub 1:40, i couldn’t help but jump in the air – i was filled with so much joy. hanging the tinkerbell medal, & then the coast to coast medal around my neck was an emotionally overwhelming experience – i couldn’t help but hug the volunteer.

knowing that i had just ran my personal best, one week after completing the 39.3 goofy challenge during wdw marathon weekend was literally a dream come true.


all i can say is… i really & truly loved every single minute of the race, & will definitely be racing once again next year

the truly magical 6 miles we ran inside the parks, exploring the charming streets of downtown anaheim, & the super-fabulous-totally-amazing-bright-and-shiny bling definitely makes this a race to remember.

plus, there is always something special & empowering about running a race with 12,000 other women.

2013 tinkerbell half marathon by the numbers:

* total chip time 1:39:43, with a pace of 7:36 minutes per mile (new PR)
* 8th place out of 1.925  women in my age group
* 41st place out of  10,558 women
* 5K split time 23:38
* 10K split 47:13
* 15K split 1:11:30
* runDisney “coast to coast” medal achieved in just one week

i don’t know what it is – the energy, the spectators, the entertainment, the pixie dust? somehow runDisney races always prove to be the most fun & often time my fastest races i run all year. i’d definitely say that runDisney races bring out the “best” in everyone.


i guess it’s true what they say, there is something truly magical about running through castles & down main streets at walt disney world & disneyland.

so if you haven’t run disney yet – do it. whether it’s your first race, or your tenth, you’re sure to have a magical time.

want to read more about my runDisney tinkerbell half  marathon weekend adventures? be sure to check out my #tinkhalfmeetup & neverland 5K recaps.

disclosure: i was invited by runDisney to attend the entire event weekend as media – meaning they were kind enough to cover my hotel expenses at the fabulous grand californian.

of course – all thoughts & opinions are 100% my own, because as you already know… i absolutely, totally & completely LOVE runDisney events.



Congrats on the PR! I was also excited to know the Tink Course is different than the DL Half. Perhaps I will try for another C2C in 2014!

Brittany Suell
Brittany Suell

I LOVE THIS!!! I am so excited to go to Disney this weekend and run my first every Disney Race! I am doing the Disney Princess Half with my mom & sister! (you can see our updates via insta which you follow me, or on our website) this is all of our first times to run Disney! This is so fun, and so incredible that you ran those races in one week! WOW! I have been challenged to want to achieve the Goofy Challenge one day. After following you and other great bloggers who ran it, I am so intrigued and want to achieve that one day! We will see! Thanks for sharing! **Also, where did you get the cute sleeves yall wore?


Wow, congratulations on your PR right after running the Goofy! That's awesome. I love your Mr. Smee costume too!


I love your blog!!! I am in awe of you...WOW!!! AMAZING!!!! You should feel soo proud of yourself...I just couldnt imagine!!!! I have a couple questions for you... I am running my first disney race in two weeks (the princess half) and I have read things about having fun and stopping to take photos??? Do you recommend this?? like along the race?? or should I just run it and do my best?? what is your personal recommendation????


CONGRATULATIONS Kelly!!! I also ran the Tinkerbell 1/2, it was my second ever 1/2 (Princess 2012 was the first) at the tender age of 58. I'll be running the Princess again this year to complete my Coast to Coast. I was astonished at the number of people I ran into who had run the Goofy Challenge just one week prior to the Tinkerbell. What a TREMENDOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT that is, and I am AMAZED that you completed it in under 1:40!!! You should be SO PROUD!!!

Christine @ We Run Disney
Christine @ We Run Disney

This post made me SO happy! I hear so many people say 'no one runs a Disney race to PR'...not so! I have PR'ed at every Disney race I've run - Princess 2011, Princess 2012, Wine and Dine 2012, WDW Half 2013. It really is such a happy place to race and so easy to forget about the challenge of a run and just have fun! Enjoyed your fabulous race outfit, as always! :)


Congrats on another PR!! And so soon after Goofy! Tink is such a fun race - I think running by Paradise Bay with the fountains on was my favorite part of the race. I loved your costume!


Wow! Didn't even know about this! Congratulations!

Krissy @ Shiawase Life
Krissy @ Shiawase Life

I agree that runDisney can be a great place for a PR! That's the best thing about them...you can have such different and fun experiences!!!!!! My standing 1/2 PR is from last year's Princess Half :)


  1. […] ran the past two tinker bell half marathons (both the inaugural tinker bell half marathon in 2012 & the 2013 race as well), making me a practically-perfect-pixie. with that in mind, the 2014 […]

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