Posted by: Sara | August 30, 2013

Day One: Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

One of the best feelings in the world is when an event you have waited so long for finally arrives. For months, as I endured frightening loss and uncertainty this year, I found happiness in the joy of looking back on one of the happiest moments of my life– finishing the 2013 Goofy Challenge— and looking ahead with anticipation to the 2013 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. This morning when my alarm went off at 5AM to the sound of “Go the Distance” from Hercules (the song played before the Mickey Mouse Marathon, yes that happened), I knew my waiting was over.

My Goofy Challenge running buddy, Telisa, and I caught an early morning flight out of Washington, DC to Philadelphia. To keep the altitude from making me swell up, I wore capri compression pants and compression sleeves. Not the most chic attire for a flight into LAX– according to the lyrics from Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA,” I guess I missed the memo.

Telisa and I had extended our trip by a day because we didn’t want to get into the city, rush to the hotel and expo, and squeeze in some down time before the race weekend. Our itinerary first included a trip to Newport Beach to soak our sore feet in cold salt water (nature’s runners ice and epsom bath!) but our plans were quickly squashed when the concierge informed us that cab fare for the 30-miles round trip was $100 and the city bus trip was expensive, time-wise. Seriously, Orange County? I speculate this is the county’s way of regulating beaches for overcrowding and, if it is, this California beach girl objects. Beach got moved to Saturday….don’t worry, Pacific, I will see you soon.

Tonight wasn’t a loss. We decided to explore the grounds of Downtown Disney, an area that this once-native-by-family Californian always skipped in favor of fantasy park rides, rich park food, and tempting souvenir stores. We had margaritas and tacos for dinner, Haagen-Daz for dessert, and Wetzels Pretzels’s fresh lemonade in between. The park was busy but not packed, being Thursday and the start of children’s school years. I told the park personnel to enjoy the slowness while they could: we runners were coming!

I’m so excited to be here. Tomorrow, it’s expo time– can’t wait to see the medals up close, get our T-shirts, pick up some swag, and meet the members of the ATCP Cure Team. Tonight, I’m drifting to sleep to the sound of fireworks over Disneyland with dreams of expos and medals and Disney songs dancing in my head.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for updates all weekend from Anaheim!! Especially if you want to find out what my two running costumes will be. Trust me, I can’t believe I’m going to wear what I have….


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