This is the first time I've signed up for the kids races so I didn't know what to expect going into it.
When registration opened for Annual Passholders on January 26th, I was right on top of getting the kids registered. I knew from past experience, that the kids races sell out quick!
Registration opened at 9am, and within that first minute, I had Ian registered for the 1-3 year olds 100m race. Three minutes later, Alli was signed up for the Diaper Dash. Later I overheard that there was 400 entries for each of the bigger kids races (100m, 200m, and 400m), and only 40 entries to the Diaper Dash! Glad I got in quick!
I know I'm totally jinxing it for next year, but the kids races are a really good value. For just $20 each, they get a race t-shirt, personalized bib, rubber medal, snacks after the race, plus the experience of running! Just watch. Next year it's going to be $60 just because I mentioned that.
Even though all the other races start super early in the morning, thankfully the kids races do not. Ian's race was the first Kids Race of the day and it was scheduled to start at 9am, with an 8:40am meet up. Not knowing what traffic was going to be due to the 10k finishing about that time, we gave ourselves plenty of extra time in the beginning. After leaving the house at 7am, I had the car parked and the kids in the stroller by 7:45am.
As we were walking into Downtown Disney, the very last of the 10k racers were passing by.
Hey! Those guys look familiar! That looks a lot like my friends Armand and Robbin, who I collaborated with to create a Disneyland Candlelight Processional book. We'll see them again shortly.
It's Ian! The hosts for the Kids Races are Timon and Pumba, so what better hat to pull out than my Lion King young Simba hat for Ian.
Each participant gets 1 adult that can run with them (and they do make sure it's just one at the entrance to the warm-up and meeting location). And since T is running with Ian, she gets to wear the adult Simba hat. T and Ian practicing how they're going to run.
The kids race starts at 9am, but I knew the finish line was going to get crowded. I arrived at 8:35am, and it's a good thing I did. The spots along the rail were quickly filling up, and I was lucky to get a spot right by the finish line.
It is Robbin and Armand. Really good seeing you two! I still think of them both whenever I think of the Candlelight Processional. We always seem to run into each other in December. One of these times we'll go around the park together. Congratulations on finishing the 10k!
And Duchess, nice work too. 6.2 miles is no small feat for a dog either.
Inside the staging area, Theresa and Ian had a lot of fun making faces at her camera.
And making friends with the other races.
There was an emcee pumping up the corrals while they waited.
That hat seems to be a little big for him. At least he's making sure it doesn't fall off.
Both sets of grandparents and Alli cheering him on!
Finished! Whoo hoo!
If you want to see the whole lead-up to the kid's race, I recorded it. You'll see Ian come by around minute 8.
After crossing the finish line, he received his medal.
Give one to mommy too! Aww. Sweet boy.
Posing for an official photo.
Someone sure was proud of his medal when T brought him back to the rest of the group. We cheered for him really big when we saw him coming.
Show me your medal buddy! Nice!
Ooh. After race snacks? He probably would have run even faster if he knew he'd get these.
Wanting to share his medal with Pop Pop.
And posing in front of the entrance to his corral.
Well that's Ian's race for 1-3 year olds, but we're not through yet! Alli is also signed up to do the Diaper Dash! After being awake all morning, Alli just wasn't going to last much longer. She quickly fell asleep against me after Ian's race. Good thing her race isn't supposed to start until 9:40am, after the 200m race and 400m race for bigger kids.
While I went to the Diaper Dash meeting location with Alli, the rest of the group went to the finish line. Again, good to get there early to get a spot right on the rail.
Alli woke up just in time! Now she's super rested and ready to race!
Sizing up the competition at the Diaper Dash staging area in front of the ESPN Zone.
Just after 10am, all the participants came up to the start line. There's only around 40 participants allowed in this race. You've got to be really quick during registration!
Look at your cheering section Alli!
Alli chewing on her ShellieMay bear (Duffy's best friend) before we get to the start line.
Only 5 babies race at a time, and even then it's pretty hectic. These kids were going all over the place. Everywhere but the finish line. Parents have tried lots of different ways to entice their kids across the line, including keys, cell phones, and even the remote control. I'm hoping I picked a winner with the teddy bear.
On your marks, get set, Go Go (rolling my eyes a little due to the sponsorship of the Go Go Squeeze Applesauce getting worked into the race start).
Upon hearing Go, I tossed her bear a few feet in front of her, and she took off to grab it. But what's this? A challenger appears.
I suppose ShellieMay is popular for all kids. Her daddy soon had her back in her own lane though.
Happy to grab get to her bear. She'd crawl fast to it, grab it, then sit down to chew on her. I'd then have to toss it a few more feet ahead before she went after it again.
And we've got a winner! The bear technique worked!
You can see a short pieced together video here.
Timon was at the finish line waiting for all the babies. Happy she wasn't afraid of him.
Giving Timon a five.
Time for your medal Alli!
Look brother! I got a medal!
See my medal Gram?
Photographer, look at my medal!
Okay, I'll put it down for a picture.
A closer look at the kids medal. They're able to get quite a bit of detail into those rubber medals. Pumbaa and Timon look great!
Cheez-its are a good post-race snack, right?
How about some real food. Let's ride over to the Earl of Sandwich and get a delicious holiday turkey sandwich.
I planned another event for the group in this area around 2:15pm, so we've got a little time to kill. We headed back over to the expo, but stopped on the way to go up and down the escalators a few times.
And drive the car near Goofy's kitchen.
At the expo we got lots more samples of Go Go Squeeze applesauce.
And sampled all the offerings from the Clif tent again. One of the workers even handed Ian an entire Clif for Kids bar while we were waiting in line.
We still had over an hour to kill, so we headed to the lobby of the Grand Californian to relax and listen to the piano player.
While we were there, I also took our refillable popcorn bucket and drink mug into the park to grab a few frozen drinks and popcorn to enjoy while we waited.
Time to walk back to the car and head to the next adventure!