The Neverland 5k is the 5k race during Disneyland's Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. The race weekend took place in January this year, but it's moving to Mother's Day weekend in 2015. My initial plan was to run the half marathon and earn my Tink wings, but I also decided to do the 5k with a friend. Then the Tinker Bell 10k was announced, I got a little excited (granted, it's Disney, how can you not?), and I registered for the 10k as well. The weekend for me was all about having fun. The race weekend is a women's focused event and I also spent it as a girls' weekend with my friends. I'll have recaps of the three races (5k, 10k and half) as well as a trip recap about my weekend at Disneyland.
Neverland 5k Recap
The Neverland 5k started at 5:45am on Friday morning. I've done a few runDisney races before, so I'm pretty used to the early wake up call.
Race shirt was blue cotton with a cute screen printed logo.
The race started in front of the Castle inside Disneyland. In order to get into the park, we needed to show our race bibs. Main Street was lit up and set a fun mood for the early morning.
In usual fashion, the National Anthem was played. I've heard the National Anthem many times either at races, sporting events, graduations, etc, but this was by far the most moving time I'd ever heard it. It was played beautifully by a single trumpet with no vocals, but as the song played on, people started singing. It was soft at first, almost like a whisper from the front of the crowd, but by the end practically everyone was singing. I get chills just thinking about it. If you were at the 5k, what did you think?
My friend and I dressed as hipster Disney Princesses!
We planned to walk the 5k, so we dressed for the early morning weather.
Getting closer to the start line. The corrals aren't by time for the 5k, but they do send people off in waves with separation between the groups.
I admit I was a bit surprised by the start line balloon arch. I guess I expected something massive like the 10k and half start lines. The balloons are supposed to be like clouds as we fly to Neverland?
We made our past the Castle and in front of It's a Small World. The holiday lights are SO beautiful!
After Small World, we headed back stage. There were parade floats out for photo ops.
Giant Christmas trees!
We headed through a tunnel in the backstage areas and came out near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
The Lost Boys were hanging out on the Rivers of America.
Some of my favorite parts of runDisney races are getting to see the parks at sunrise. This picture really doesn't do it justice.
On the side of a building in a backstage area of Disneyland.
The course went backstage again and we entered California Adventure through Hollywood Studios.
We snaked around ran down Route 66 away from the mountain range. If you haven't seen Cars Land in person yet, you really need to check it out! The detail is spot on and it's beautiful when all the neon lights are on.
After Cars Land, it was onto Paradise Bay! The World of Color lights were turned on, a rare sight during the day.
There weren't a ton of character photo ops, but they did have Peter and Wendy out. The line for them was looooonnnnggg, mostly because we were towards the end of the runners.
Yay! Finish line!
Standard snack box you receive after the race along with water and Powerade.
I'm not sure of my actual finish time, but I believe it was around 48 minutes. I realized after that I had never done an official 5k race before, so technically this is still a PR? ;) I really enjoyed the Neverland 5k. I would do it again, especially if I had friends who only wanted to do a 5k. Hopefully when I have kids, they'll want to run this as well.