Latest reviews by Erin

(2015)
"Another magical race!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
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Registration: Once again, this event sells out quickly. Registration is via Active and it's wise to ensure that you set a reminder or alarm for the on sale time to avoid disappointment. I went through a Travel Agent for my bib and it was an easier and stress free experience.

Expo: This year runDisney changed the rules on packet pickup so that all competitors must pick up their own bibs. Packet pickup was located underneath the Disneyland Hotel Convention Centre alongside the commemorative item pickup and then followed back upstairs straight to the T-Shirt pickup. New to the event this year (it has been at other runDisney events since late 2014) was the need for a picture to be taken for challenge competitors.
Merchandise queues were handled efficiently, with the majority of the queue located upstairs in the Convention Centre, and then moved down to the merchandise area in rows.

Swag: Included in the race cost was a t-shirt. For the 5K it was a unisex plain cotton tee celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the 5K. For the 10K, Half and Dumbo Double Dare shirts they were gender specific Champion technical tees - true to Champion size. All shirts also commemorated Disneyland's Diamond 60th Anniversary.

Course: This course changed from 2014's version, rather entering the park right at the start rather than running down Katella Ave. The issue with this was that there was no thinning of corrals, so the park miles were definitely a lot more crowded. There was a range of characters out, as well as some iconic photo spots to take pictures with 10th Anniversary props. In Disneyland itself, the course had changed bringing a little more time in the backstage area. Once out of the park, it was the standard run down to the Santa Ana trail, through to Angels stadium and then back around Paradise Pier to the finish line.

Support: Once again, the support was a plenty for the race, outside the park there were plenty of cheerleaders, dance and cultural groups, and the famous car mile. Additionally the locals were back out and saving runners from the awful sun and heat with candy, pretzels and sponges.

Aid Stations: There's plenty of aid stations supplying both water and Powerade. Mile 9 aid station offers Clif Shot Gels. Medical stations were also scattered during the course.

Post-run: Once again, post-run is super organised, moving through from collecting medals to verification of photo ID for the challenge medal. From here you can pick up water/Powerade and then take pictures (you can also skip this part if you'd prefer), the medical tent is located in this area with both manned and self service stations.

All walkways back around the resort were well marked, and volunteers were able to advise the route to walk. Downtown Disney is really only affected after the 5K and the 10K, while it is clear for the Half (as runners are directed behind Paradise Pier hotel).

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(2015)
"Fast, flat, FANTASTIC! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
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Registration:
Easy, online registration which closed the day before the event. There was on-site registration as well. You had the option to have your bib mailed out to you (registering before a deadline) or picking up at the Expo. I paid $55 for 5K registration under the standard rate. It did go up $5 for on the day registration.

Expo:
Unfortunately I didn’t make the Expo given that I’m out of the Sydney area. On site registration was set up in the Recovery Village, and given that the weather had turned (for the worse) that morning, the team at the Sydney Harbour 10K had set up heaters between the village and the start line - for which I am incredibly grateful! Bag check was outside, I made sure to put my bag in a provided plastic bag, it was meant to rain and without any cover over the gear I didn’t want my bag to soak.

There was a row of portaloos just before you made your way to the start line. It could be possible that it was too cold for everyone to use them, there was absolutely no wait whatsoever.

Swag:
No swag for either race - bib pickup is just that. Bib and gear sticker for bag check. Post race there was a few sponsors giving away items at the recovery village - I picked up a bottle of water, a banana and the newspaper for the day.

There were race shirts and tanks available for sale. This is the second race in the cooler time of the year where there hasn’t been any race branded hoodies available. Honestly, if one race gets this right - at the point where I’m cold - they will get all my money!

If you have your bib with you pre-race travel on public transport is included, if you prefer to drive then there is a 24 hour car park about 15 mins from the start line which will cost you $25.

Course:
The one feature about the Sydney Harbour 10K & 5K is the course. It takes in some of Sydney’s most amazing scenery and is billed as flat and fast. To be honest, it doesn’t disappoint at all.

The start of the race takes place just beyond the Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks on George Street, looking up at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 5K is an out and back course, going past the piers famous for housing amazing restaurants and the Sydney Dance Company, up along Hickson Road until a turn point amongst the Bangaroo development. Once Bangaroo is completed, this will provide another level of scenery along the course. But for now, it serves as the turnaround point and place for the 5K water station.

The 10K continues past this point through Darling Harbour, down past the Star Casino in Pyrmont alongside Jones Bay and back again.

The course is on closed roads for 90% of the way. There are roundabouts and speed humps in locations which may cause obstacles if you aren’t looking where you are meant to be going. About 1km out the course then switches to the boardwalk around the Park Hyatt Sydney, Overseas Passenger Terminal and finally to the finish in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art (and with the Sydney Opera House as a backdrop).

The crowds really build up about 200m from the finish line. I didn’t expect too many supporters out there - it was windy and really cold! Overall there were plenty of volunteers along the course - all wearing yellow shirts. These guys were amazing out there cheering on all runners and giving their time in awful weather, I managed to thank them all for volunteering - I feel that it’s so important to recognise their commitment to allow us to run!

There were photographers out on course, in fact there seemed to be more photographers within the 5K run that I have seen in any run (without character stops like runDisney) - and to be honest, with Sydney Harbour as a backdrop you would want every part of the run captured.

Once finished you pass over the timing mats (each race is timed) and straight to the medals. The medals are distinguished between the 10K and the 5K, but the overall design is the same.

There is a water table set up as you exit the runners chute, offering both bottled water and an orange drink (assuming it was sports drink).

I recommend this race to anyone in Sydney during July, you’ll get an amazing run with incredible scenery and a PR*! I will definitely be back next year - hopefully the weather will be a little warmer!

*Not guaranteed but it is a flat and fast course!

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(2015)
"Apollo Bay 6k - Absolutely Amazing! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
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Registration:
Easy, online registration which closed a couple of days prior to the event. There was on-site registration for all events on the Saturday.

Expo:
A little different to normal race expos since they mailed the bibs out to Australian residences. All international runners did need to pick up at the Health and Wellness Fair. All exhibitors were outside in the park running alongside the main street in Apollo Bay, and had tents set up from the main sponsors of the weekend (Tom Tom, Mizuno etc.), as well as a huge range of food vendors. Additionally the Apollo Bay Saturday markets were running which allowed access to some amazing locally made produce/goods.

Swag:
No swag at all for anything less than the Marathon, the bib gets sent through to you in the weeks prior (if signed up by a certain date). For those competing in the Marathon, there is a “gifts” pickup which looked to be some sponsor products and a Great Ocean Road Marathon shirt.

Course:
The course starts and finishes on the main street of Apollo Bay, which is also the finish line for the Marathon and Half Marathon the following day. The 6K is a simple out and back, heading inland rather than following the ocean. It’s certainly an interesting and scenic course as we head away from the beach, and downhill (gotta remember that for the route back!) into open farm fields.

The road is well sealed, and closed to traffic both ways. That said, it is unpredictable on the side of the road which can open you up to injury, so it’s best to stay on the road.

The course has a turnaround point which utilises a cross street, funnelling runners into this street and past the only water location on course then joining back onto the main street for the remaining 3K.

There was one point near the end (with about 200m to go) where the course did get a little confusing but thankfully the traffic marshals were able to lead me on the right track. As you come down to the finishing chute, the course is un-fenced up to 50m before so you do have to be wary of any spectators at the side (or even crossing) as you run down the clock.

Once finished you pass over the timing mats (each race is timed) and straight to the medals. The medals look to be the same with the exception of the ribbon and a small inscribe at the bottom mentioning the race distance.

There is a water table set up as you exit the runners chute, no food offered for the 6k.

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(2014)
"A wonderful run through the parks! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
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Registration:
Signing up via Active, registration for the Disneyland Half Weekend events is more difficult than running the event itself! Selling out in minutes, it’s wise to organise a reminder or alarm for the on sale time to avoid disappointment.

Expo:
RunDisney certainly know how to put on an expo, with a range of exhibitors selling clothing, sparkle skirts, shoes, race food - in fact, anything you can think of. The packet pickup was located underneath the Disneyland Hotel Convention Centre and then followed back upstairs straight to the T-Shirt pickup.

New Balance shoes were certainly a drawcard at the expo this year, and runners were encouraged to sign up online for Thursday/Friday purchases and walk ins were accommodated on the Saturday.

RunDisney Ambassadors were also scheduled to give hourly talks at the main stage, which separated the expo with the RunDisney Merchandise booth.

Swag:
Included in the race cost was a t-shirt. For the 5K it was a unisex plain cotton tee with Stitch on the front and the Disneyland 5K logo. For the 10K, Half and Dumbo Double Dare shirts they were gender specific Champion technical tees - true to size and feel amazing on! The colours and images were great this year and definitely something that I would wear again.

Course:
The 10K course was again outside the Disneyland Hotel, however continued down to the Convention Centre, looped around and back behind the Tower of Terror, through Cars Land and around Paradise Bay. The course itself is rather flat until you run in the secret tunnel connecting the two parks, there is a slight incline but nothing to be too concerned about. This way avoids the main plaza, which you do run through in the 5K and the Half. As you follow the park around Tomorrowland, through backstage and back down Toontown to Fantasyland and through the castle. There were enough parade floats, and Disney employees cheering you on backstage to pass that time. You do need to ensure your footing is steady as there appeared to be sections of the path that were lifting up causing some trouble to some runners.

There were 3 water stations on the course and a medical station as you ran into Disneyland (helpful if you forget the Body Glide!)

Once out of Disneyland the course again ran through Downtown Disney, which did cause dilemmas to those who had finished and were waiting for the crowd switchbacks to flow through.

Post Run:
Once finished, the run is really organised - medals are collected immediately and then runners are filtered off to Coast to Coast collection (Half), Dumbo Double Dare wristband/medal collection (10K/Half) or straight through to the Finisher’s photos. The further you walked down the chute, the less of a line there was for pictures the whole weekend. At the end of the Half there is a couple of backgrounds for Dumbo Double Dare finishers.

Once pictures are done you walk through to collect your sealed runner’s food box and banana. Finally you walk through bag check (which was next to no line) before being spat out at the main holding area - with streaming of the finish line.

All walkways back around the resort were well marked, and volunteers were able to advise the route to walk. Downtown Disney is really only affected after the 5K and the 10K, while it is clear for the Half (as runners are directed behind Paradise Pier hotel).

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(2014)
"Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 - What a run!! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb img 0058

Registration:
Signing up via Active, registration for the Disneyland Half Weekend events is more difficult than running the event itself! Selling out in minutes, it’s wise to organise a reminder or alarm for the on sale time to avoid disappointment.

Expo:
RunDisney certainly know how to put on an expo, with a range of exhibitors selling clothing, sparkle skirts, shoes, race food - in fact, anything you can think of. The packet pickup was located underneath the Disneyland Hotel Convention Centre and then followed back upstairs straight to the T-Shirt pickup.

New Balance shoes were certainly a drawcard at the expo this year, and runners were encouraged to sign up online for Thursday/Friday purchases and walk ins were accommodated on the Saturday.

RunDisney Ambassadors were also scheduled to give hourly talks at the main stage, which separated the expo with the RunDisney Merchandise booth.

Swag:
Included in the race cost was a t-shirt. For the 5K it was a unisex plain cotton tee with Stitch on the front and the Disneyland 5K logo. For the 10K, Half and Dumbo Double Dare shirts they were gender specific Champion technical tees - true to size and feel amazing on! The colours and images were great this year and definitely something that I would wear again.

Course:
The Half course again started outside the Disneyland Hotel (as all three races did), RunDisney certainly did well to create interesting and different courses for those who ran all three races over the weekend.

There were significantly more corrals in the Half and they were letting them go two at a time before corral G. It seemed that these back corrals (G-J) were also the biggest.

The RunDisney pulled out all entertainment for this one with multiple schools lining the course, as well as classic cars and dancers. Additionally the Anaheim crowd came out in support, providing runners with tasty treats and cool sponges to combat the heat.

There were a huge array of characters out on the course from Cars to Villains to Darth Vader, with lines for all when I came through.

You do run through the plaza (with supporters each side), Main Street (with ChEAR Squad supporters) and Sleeping Beauty’s castle. If you were to do one race during the weekend it would be this one as you get the best all the other two courses.

Once outside the park it certainly felt like the start of a new race as we set out on Disneyland Drive to Ball Road. There is a freeway overpass incline, but this again shouldn’t prove too difficult to the average runner. It is pretty flat until the Santa Ana River Trail where there is another slight incline up to the Angels Stadium Car Park.

Angels Stadium is the only other bottleneck as runners try to get their pics running through the stadium. Local scout groups fill the lower stands to cheer on the runners, it certainly is an amazing atmosphere to experience!

There were plenty of water stations and portable toilets along the way, although the Disneyland restrooms are also open along the course in the parks. There is a Gu spot just before you get into Angels Stadium where 4 different flavours were available.

Medical stations were also scattered throughout the course.

Post Run:
Once finished, the run is really organised - medals are collected immediately and then runners are filtered off to Coast to Coast collection (Half), Dumbo Double Dare wristband/medal collection (10K/Half) or straight through to the Finisher’s photos. The further you walked down the chute, the less of a line there was for pictures the whole weekend. At the end of the Half there is a couple of backgrounds for Dumbo Double Dare finishers.

Once pictures are done you walk through to collect your sealed runner’s food box and banana. Finally you walk through bag check (which was next to no line) before being spat out at the main holding area - with streaming of the finish line.

All walkways back around the resort were well marked, and volunteers were able to advise the route to walk. Downtown Disney is really only affected after the 5K and the 10K, while it is clear for the Half (as runners are directed behind Paradise Pier hotel).

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