neverland 5K {my “run in” with sean astin}

by @according2kelly on February 7, 2013

one week after running the walt disney world half marathon, i found myself “toeing” the start line of the runDisney neverland 5K inside disneyland.

running-neverland-5k

now typically i’m not a huge fan of 5K’s – the thought of an all-out-sprint for 3.1 miles just isn’t my idea of a good time. trust me when i say, given the choice i’d run a half marathon over a 5K any day of the week. but the neverland 5K is one of the few exceptions to that rule.

first of all it’s un-timed. yes! you read that correctly… all runDisney 5K’s are un-timed “fun runs.”  don’t get me wrong – there is a clock at the finish line, but there aren’t any official “timing chips” or results.

it’s a “family” race  – meaning the entire family can “run,” or at least pushed in a stroller, no matter their age.

while some might “scoff” at the idea of an un-time “race,” i for one LOVED it!  knowing that it was un-timed, the stress of having to sprint  or race the entire run is lifted off my shoulders, & i can just enjoy the race – not something i do very often.

& enjoy it i did. the neverland 5K was the perfect excuse to break out my red & white polka dot sparkle athletic/ team sparkle skirt, my sparkle minnie ears, & my brand-spanking-new-limited-edition-runDisney-minnie-mouse-inspired-new-balance-shoes.

run-disney-new-balance-shoes

anyways, i digressed… so let’s talk about the second reason why the neverland 5K is one of the few exceptions to my “5K rule” – pure race enjoyment.

the entire race, all 3.1 miles are ran entirely inside disneyland & disney’s california adventure parks.

neverland-5K-course

the race appropriately started just outside of pixie hollow, after a tink fly-by & a sprinkling of pixie dust on the racers.

we ran past the matterhorn & it’s a small world, through the disneyland back lots, toon town, right past fantasy land, big thunder mountain, on thru new orleans square & even more disneyland back lots, before heading into disney’s california adventure.

there we ran past the hollywood tower or terror, the carthay circle restaurant & lounge, through bug’s land, cars land,  around the “lagoon” and past california screamin’ before crossing the finish line.

run-disney-neverland-5k

while i always love running through any part of the disney parks, i have to admit that entering cars land always makes me tear up – the neon is just so incredibly beautiful.

but, most of all – i enjoy the back lots. maybe it’s the disney nerd in me, but i get a kick of seeing what happens “behind the scenes.”

neverland-5k-medal-bling

have i mentioned yet that i may have “run” into sean astin along the way?

he was insistent on taking lots of pictures with me, so i agreed to run the entire 5K with him. thanks to the on-course photographers he now has lots of photographic memories of our “time” together.

neverland-5k

neverland-5k-tara-gidus-sean-astin

did you notice? sean astin is rocking a sparkle athletic/ team sparkle skirt & racing wings. i have to admit i’m pretty dang excited that he “joined” the team.

speaking of  sean astin… if you’re wondering why he joined nearly 12,000 mostly women runners for the tinkerbell half marathon weekend, why don’t you let him tell you in his own words in this runDisney video. (& considering he’s happily married with 3 daughters of his own, i’m guessing it sin’t to “pick up on chicks.”) i’m guessing he’s realized the truth to the statement “why run when you can fly.”

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.

3 comments
Kellie
Kellie

First of all, awesome description! It makes me more and more excited for my first run in Disneyland! I can't wait to see the difference between the WDW races and the Disneyland. I also just wanted to say how jealous I am you got to meet Sean Astin! I literally just wrote a post yesterday about how he's awesome for getting his Coast to Coast by doing the Tinkerbell and the Princess!

Abby
Abby

Looks like it was awesome! I love that it's all in the park. Hopefully, one day I'll get to run that one. I wish they'd do that more for the ones in Epcot.

kelleyn
kelleyn

How fun! Half marathons you are crazy girl! At least you are still pretty young so enjoy them while you can. I miss your old post on family vacations and recipes. Do you have any plan to bring some of those back?

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