Disney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon Race Recap

The weekend of Disney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon was quite a busy one. On Friday morning, I attended a super fun meet-up with runDisney, and had a blast. After the meet-up, I worked the race expo with my friends at Team Sparkle. And then I went to work for a few hours.

On Saturday, I got my race packet and bib and went home for a few hours. My friend, Kelly was sick, and I had realized that I was also getting sick. I knew that this was not going to be good. And luckily, my husband came home to take my son to a birthday party.

After napping a few hours, and packing more stuff, I made my way towards the Disney’s Grand California where I would be spending the night before the race. Although, I only live about 15 minutes away from Disneyland, I would have had to get up at like 2am to get ready and drive to the race with traffic delays etc.

Kelly and I both were sick, and didn’t not feel like doing anything that night. We were both miserable, so we stayed in the hotel room for the night, rather than going out to dinner. Because I love to run in “costume”, I worked on some of the last minute details for my costume while hanging out in the room.

Why Run When You Can Fly? Testing out part of my running costume for tomorrow's @runDisney #tinkhalf Can you guess what I'm wearing? @runTeamSparkle #teamsparkle #rundisney #tinkerbellhalf

I picked up this cute shirt “Why Run When You Can Fly?” {not my race outfit} and green sparkle visor from Team Sparkle. I added a red feather to the interior of the visor with duct tape for my “Peter Pan” style. I was test driving the visor to see if the feather irritated me and it didn’t.

Pre-Race Carb Loading

Obviously we had a race {half marathon} the next day and we needed to eat some dinner. So we made the easiest choice, room service! We couldn’t decide exactly what we wanted so we ordered several things. My main meal was pasta, and it was delicious. Seriously, I loved it! I think Kelly had a hamburger, soup, quesadilla, and a tarte? We really didn’t eat that much because our eyes were bigger than our stomaches.

Peter Pan Running Costume

I wore a green short sleeve Under Armour shirt, Lululemon black Run Shorty Shorts {discontinued}, green tights, green Team Sparkle Skirt, slime green Saucony Kinvara 3s, and a green Team Sparkle Visor as my Peter Pan costume. I also had on a hydration belt and a brown cloth sash for a belt {not pictured}.

After organizing out stuff, and laying out our outfits, Kelly and I went to bed. We had a 3:15am wake-up, or maybe 3:30am, I’m not sure, it was EARLY!

Ready to race The Tinker Bell Half Marathon.So Kelly and I managed to get up at the crack o’ dawn, and we got ready. I was that crazy person who jumped in the shower before getting ready. I have to have my hair wet to do it, and I wanted it slick. I wore the tights under my outfit because the race started at 5am, and it was semi-cold outside. I was feeling super sick the night prior and I actually woke up feeling a ton better.

The starting line to the race was right outside our hotel, so we had a super short walk, yippee!! We walked out there around 4am, and had about an hour until the race started. We stood around took some pictures and spoke with fellow runners.

@according2kelly as Mr. Smell. Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013

Kelly chose to run as “Mr. Smee” {Captain Hook’s trusted assistant} in her costume of a blue Team Sparkle Skirt, sparkle sleeves, and race legs. I had no idea who Mr. Smee was until Kelly told me.

@AngryJulie @according2kelly and @SeanAstin at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013. Photo by @runDisneyPhoto via runDisney.

Kelly and I got to hang out with Sean Astin at the starting line. He was showing us a video of his daughter running the kid’s race the day before. It was super cute. RunDisney posted this photo on their Facebook page too.

Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon Starting Line 2013

We were right up front at the starting line, so I took this photo of the signage above us!

Ready to race: Peter Pan and @according2kelly as Mr.  Smee. @runDisney Tinker Bell Half! #tinkhalf #teamsparkle #tinkerbellhalf #rundisney

A photo of Kelly and I while we wait to start the race! It was 4:30am, so it was kinda cold outside!

Team Sparkle {Carrie, Elise, and Kelly} at the runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013

The ladies of Team Sparkle at the race starting line {Carrie, Elise, and Kelly}. Super cute costumes! One of my favorite photos ever! I printed this photo out and gave a framed copy to Carrie for her birthday a couple of weeks ago.

The start of the runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013. Photo by runDisney.Photo via runDisney.

And then we were off…..You can see me on the right side of this photo in the green behind the woman in the red shirt. I was super excited to see this photo, and even more excited to be able to find myself in the photo!

I’m not one of those “running bloggers” where I kept track of all my running stats, etc…but I do know that I started off pacing at 8:30/9:00 minute miles. I was running a lot more faster than my usual pace. It also helped that we went up some minor hills and then ran downhill.

Posing with the Pixar crew at Tinker Bell Half

As we made it into Disney’s California Adventure, I stopped to pose for this photo with the Pixar crew. When I ran the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November, I didn’t stop for any of the character photo shoots, and was totally bummed.

World of Color, California Adventure during runDisney's Tinker Bell Half Marathon

One of the best parts about starting a race at 5am {the crack of dawn} is that it was still dark outside and I could take a super awesome photo like this. I forgot to add earlier that I took my Sony Cybershot point-and-shoot camera in my hydration belt along with my iPhone for photos.

Hanging out with Phineas and Ferb at Tinker Bell 1/2

Love Phineas and Ferb. Photo a bit blurry but still cute! Oh, and I was still running between these photo stops…giggle.

After running through Disney’s California Adventure, we headed across the way to run through Disneyland.

Running through Sleeping Beauty's Castle during Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle looked so magical and it was fun to run in and around!

A little Star Wars moment during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Oh hai there, Star Wars guys. I wish that this photo came out more clear, because I would have loved to frame it. I looked at the official race photo that was also taken at this stop, and it was much better. I think I want to buy it!

And ironically, this was the last moment of the race that I enjoyed for quite some time……

As I ran towards the Finding Nemo ride, my knee started being wonky. My left knee just started to buckle on me. I hadn’t really had any knee problems for quite some time. I was having issues with my knee when I started running again last Spring, but nothing like this. I stopped and tried to stretch out my knee, to see if I could make it feel any better.

My knee did not feel better….and I was devastated. As my BFF Stacey says, “I have a race curse!” EVERY race I’ve had some kind of issue. And during this race, it was my knee. It hurt so bad and I couldn’t really put the pressure of running on it. I texted Kelly in a panic that my knee blew out. I knew that she wouldn’t get my text until she finished the race, but I wanted her to know.

And this is when I started walking….and I hadn’t even hit mile 4 yet…when meant I had over 9 miles left in the race. But I am stubborn and I wanted that medal. So I started walking/trotting along. Yes, it completely sucked, but I did it. I had to stop several times during the rest of the race to stretch out my knee, hold back the tears, and pull myself together. Luckily, because I started the race off fast, I was a little ahead of the game. Final time, 3:31:27 which was a total PW {Personal Worst} for me, but I finished.

Several of my friends had already left to go home, but I was happy to see Kelly waiting at the finish line for me. I got my medal, and hobbled through the crowd to meet up with her. I whined about just getting back to our motel room so that I could ice my knee and stretch it out.

Post-Tinker Bell Half Marathon
Post-Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013, @AngryJulie as Peter Pan
Before I stripped of my race clothes, I took some “finisher” photos in the hotel room. This would be post-race finisher couture. But hey, it works. It was sooo crowded post-race and there was no way I could stop and get a photo without getting trampled.

Injured knee after the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

After sitting in the bathtub for about 20 minutes, I beached myself on the bed with a big bag of ice. Sigh…I had post-race fail depression. Since we got up so early, Kelly and I took naps. We had already scheduled a late check-out and so we had a few hours to relax before leaving the hotel.

After relaxing a bit, we decided that we should motivate ourselves to get some food. Kelly was nice enough to attempt to mend/fix my knee with some KT Tape. I also put on my favorite Zensah compression socks with my brand new Special Edition New Balance runDisney shoes.

KT Tape Pro, Zensah Compression Socks, and New Balance runDisney Running Shoes

And then it was time for food. Obviously everyone had finished a half marathon a few hours before, so the restaurants in Downtown Disney were quite crowded. Kelly and I settled on Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen for our breakfast {brunch}.


Kelly had a burger and I was a total glutton and had bananas foster fresh toast. DELICIOUS! It was like eating candy…totally bad for me.

Bananas Foster French Toast from Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
A little close-up of the rad medal from the race. This is the reason I hobbled for another 9 miles after I hurt my knee!

Disney's Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013

I went to my regular doctor a few days after the race plus a chiropractor/physical therapist. I figured out what my knee problem was, my psoas.  And I ran again, two weeks later. The Surf City Half Marathon was my next race after Tinker Bell Half Marathon. I ran without injury, PR’ed, and eventually I might even blog about it.

Although I might have endured myself, I love doing runDisney races and can’t wait to do the next one. I would love to return to Walt Disney World later this Fall to do the Wine and Dine Half, to get my Coast to Coast medal, but we will see…


Awesome recap! Looks like a lot of fun! Sorry about your knee, though. Hope you have a speedy recovery!


Sorry about the knee, but congrats on the finish! And looking super cute all the while :) I'd love to try a Disney race at some point, they look like too much fun!


I REALLY want to do a Disney run sometime!


I'm DYING to do a run disney run. I hear they are amazing! I have a friend who does them every year!

Krissy @ Shiawase Life
Krissy @ Shiawase Life

Great recap, Julie! Bumskis about your knee, but you finished and that is something to totally be proud of :D Plus you looked awesome :)

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

Aww thanks!!! Luckily I saw a great physical therapist who told me all about my "issues". Disney races are fun because everyone wears costumes!

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

You need to do a Disney run, except, you will want to do them all after you do your first one!

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

Seriously, Disney races are super fun! You need to do one. Other races are just sooo boring!