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2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend motivation and training guide

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Renowned for being one of the most forgiving and enjoyable race courses in existence, the Disneyland Half Marathon requires minimal training, if any. Essentially, if you signed up for the race, you're ready to run it.

There are no hills. There are no tricky obstacles, bogs or rivers to negotiate. Based in the glorious southern California paradise of Anaheim, there won't be any weather concerns. What this race does have is thirteen miles of the most entertaining, accommodating distraction, which will have you positively forgetting how far you have to run.

The race starts at 5:30 in the morning. That's to get you through and out of the parks before the paying customers show up. It's also an exceedingly popular event, which means it's crowded, even by Disney standards. That is the complete list of negatives associated with the Disneyland Half Marathon, which helps explain why it's so well attended.

The route takes you into and around Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland and Downtown Disney. Runners have the parks to themselves, aside from a number of Disney cast members and costume characters lining the course to cheer you on. All of the property lights are on, most of the rides are running - though not open, of course - familiar music is playing, Mickey, Minnie and friends greet and invite you to pose with them for photos. Before you know it one-third of the entire race is behind you and the sun isn't even up.

A few miles on the streets of Anaheim await you at this point. But they are all flat and copiously lined with onlookers, aid stations and live entertainment. So, again, before you know it, and well before you get a chance to become fatigued or bored, you will be within shouting distance of the finish.

There's so much to experience within the race's final third, which consists of a trip through Angel's Stadium and a return to the Disneyland Resort, runners forget to hit the fabled wall. The homestretch, which spans about two miles, is packed with fans who quite literally carry you to the end. The experience at finish itself is not unlike winning a championship in front of your home crowd. Embraced by waves of heart-rending charity, flowing from a mass of complete strangers, your body is beset by the kind of adrenaline that rockets you across the finish line, and will stay with for the rest of the week.

Do not lament your training, or lack thereof, leading up to the Disneyland Half Marathon, or any of the amazing runDisney events. If you registered and paid, and if you can get yourself to the start on time, you will have handled all the difficult bits. All that's left is to passionately enjoy this incredible experience. Here's a spoiler: it's impossible not to.

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