Over the past few years runDisney races have exploded in popularity with hardcore Disney fans and running enthusiasts alike. The company has offered a variety of races ranging in theme, distance and host coasts and this past weekend it introduced a new one for the Disneyland resort as they held their inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon on Sunday, November 16.
Disneyland races have long been negatively compared to their Walt Disney World counterparts mostly due to Disneyland’s disparity in property. This meant that the majority of the course does not take place in a theme park like on the east coast, but mainly the public streets of Anaheim.
Presumably looking to inject some excitement into their races in spite of that fact, runDisney first turned to the Marvel IPs and then doubled down on their “theme over course” idea just a couple months later when they announced a Star Wars Half Marathon to take place in January.
The Avengers theme clearly drew interest as it was reported that the race sold out in just 110 minutes. Additionally, the majority of participants donned costumes of varying detail for their races.
The 13.1 mile course took racers from the Disneyland Hotel, through Disney California Adventure and Disneyland, passed Christ Cathedral, and even around the field of Angels Stadium before sending them back up to Disney property. As was rumored, two new Avengers characters not seen in the parks, Hawkeye and Black Widow, made their debut greeting fans before and during the race alongside Thor and Captain America. Other surprises along the half marathon course included Snow White and all seven Dwarfs riding King Arthur Carrousel, a giant gathering of comic book cosplayers in between miles seven and eight, and more marching bands and cheerleaders than Drumline and Bring it On combined.
One negative surprise racers encountered were stronger than usual Santa Ana winds whose gusts not only blew dirt and debris at runners throughout the course but also toppled over many of the mile markers and even lead to closure of the “family reunion” area back on property. Despite these harsher than normal conditions, runners seemed to keep in good spirits as they passed the finish line and collected their medals.
Overall the half marathon and the 5k race held on the previous morning seemed to be a success. So much so that runDisney has already announced a second Avengers Half Marathon Weekend to take place over November 12-15 in 2015.