The Dumbo Double Dare

No 130: Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Dumbo Double Dare

DumboOn Friday, August 30th, we drove to Disneyland and went to the Run Disney Expo. Disney does it all right.  We received our numbers and commemorative pins then went up to the Expo for t-shirts. The Expo had hundreds of vendors from apparel to weight loss, from watches to supplements.  

From there we caught a movie and then early rest.  Saturday the 31st was a 3:45 AM rise to dress, put on our numbers, then walk over a mile to line up in the seven corrals of the thousands of runners. Over eight thousand started the 10K (6.2 m.) run. The temperatures had been in the high 90’s the day before and even at 5 AM, it was still hot.  Each corral had its own start. We were in F corral and we waited a long time to march up then hear the announcer say “Start!” and off we went.  The sun was just coming up and we took off through the streets of Anaheim. By Mile 2 we entered Disney California Adventure.  The 10K seemed to fly by because the course was almost completely inside the two parks, and before we knew it, we crossed the finish line.

Sunday the 1st, we once again arrived to now line up with 17,000 other runners for the 13.1 mile Half Marathon. The sky was clear and we knew it was going to be another sweltering day of heat. After the start, we ran behind the scenes where “guests” never enter. Once in the park we ran around the rides that were running for our entertainment and the fountains and music for World of Color that were in full display.  Then up Route 66 of Car’s Land and out California Adventure, through the plaza to Disneyland. We ran down Main Street and into Tomorrow Land, then Adventure Land, back through the Castle and on to Toon Town and then the sun came up and the work began.

We exited the park onto Ball road… with the newly risen sun directly in our eyes and the full heat of the morning rays on our bodies.  We continued to run on the hot streets, but with Disney style, there were many high school bands and Hawaiian Dancers, Polynesian Dancers, a Mexican Folkloric performing company, two miles of vintage cars lining the course, and many, many groups of cheerleaders shouting encouragement to us all.  We approached mile 9 and ran into Angel Stadium and as we entered, there were hundreds of cheering fans in the stands. We ran around the bases with our images projected on the huge Jumbotron screen.


dumbo 2We then ran the last 3 miles by re-entering the park and crossing the finish line at the Disneyland Hotel as they announced our names with hundreds cheered us on. Wow, what a finish! We came in around mid-pack and after we crossed the finish line we stood for a minute to see the hundreds that were still finishing behind us.  Yes, we had made it and had finished both races strong and without injury.

Then in Disney style, we had our photos taken, then some H20 and cooling towels and snacks. It was odd, but I felt a sadness, 7 months of training done, 4 three hour runs that were followed the next day with 6 mile runs…it was all done! Sunday was fun because Joel made me a T-shirt that said my name and that it was my birthday and I could never be down for hundreds of runners kept saying, “Happy Birthday David” during the entire race (I’m 57).  The crowd spontaneously sang Happy Birthday 3 times and one time was as we ran through Sleeping Beauty Castle.  I’ll never forget that day and how much fun it was.

This all began with a dream, a thought, an opportunity to enter this inaugural combination of races, and lots and lots of planning and training. I used the preparation runs to pull me through some rough, stressful times and actually used the races to release a great deal of pent-up tension. We set a goal, paid the fees, made our reservations, and planned the training runs.  I ran through some illness and some rough times, but ended up strong and proud that I had finished.

Live your dream.  Set a goal and make some magic in your life.  Reach out and grab something you want in your life and DO IT!  The costs will be high, the way will be rough, the going will be tough, but you’ll finish and you’ll look back and say “I did it!”  Yes, you will.  And you’ll be strong and you will be great. 

Thank You!

David Earl Woodbury 


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