Tips For Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I ran the first ever Tinker Bell Half Marathon last year at the Disneyland Resort and I’m very excited to run it again this year. The course is different than the Disneyland Half.  It is also a women centric race, which means men can’t start in coral A and men don’t win awards, as in placement.  Men CAN run though and do get finishers medals. Here are some tips I learned from last year and other runDisney races:

1.  MIND THE WINGS!  Both yours and others.  I run pretty much all the runDisney races and I love all the costumes, but this race, by far has the most amount of wings.  I saw people constantly getting whacked running past big wings.  I have 2 suggestions; 1. If you want to wear wings, maybe think about smaller size wings or 2. If you really want big wings maybe run with them attached upside down, so the round part is up top and the pointy petal part of the wings are to the bottom.  They will still look cute but might save a fellow runners eyeball.  Also if you are wearing wings I highly HIGHLY recommend safety pinning them to your shirt and not wear the arm bands.  Those around the arm pit straps for wings can cause some SERIOUS chaffing.

2.  This one is a little silly, but if you have ever done it you know what I mean.  WATCH OUT FOR ROAD REFLECTORS, speed bumps, curbs, and potholes.  If you have ever fallen while in a race you know what I mean.  Last year at Tinker Bell I was admiring how adorable a little girl was holding a sign cheering on her mom and than SPLAT!  I fell and slid along the pavement.  I had some pretty good road rash on my arm and my knee was instantly dripping blood.  I was a little shaken up and my ego was seriously bruised, but a couple runners stopped to check on me and one said she would go get medical (apparently I looked pretty bad).  Once I self assessed and decided nothing was keeping me from finishing and getting me my Coast to Coast medal I started running.  I figured I would run to the nearest medical tent to get cleaned up a little and than finish and I did.  If you fall, first self assess, if you can catch your breath and nothing hurts to run other than stinging from road rash than go for it, but never push yourself and make an injury worse.  People fall all the time, so don’t think it is just you.  It happens to the best of us!  haha

3.  RunDisney races are tons of fun and also have tons of people running.  If you do a run walk run method or are a super fast walker, keep in mind those running (or walking) faster than you. If I need to walk I try to keep right so others can pass and if you are running/walking with friends try not to run/walk 5 people across and make people try to get around you.

4.  Anaheim often has warmer temps, but mornings can be cold.  Think about what to wear to start that you can shed later like a trash bag or an old sweatshirt you don’t mind donating.  I promise you will not want to run carrying a sweatshirt or one tied around your waist.

5.  If you have read my runDisney tips before you have already heard this, but if not here it is again: THE BATHROOMS INSIDE THE PARKS ALONG THE COURSE ARE OPEN!!!!  I repeat, if you plan properly you do not have to use a port-a-pottie.  Look at the course map ahead of time and know the mileage in the parks so you are mentally prepared if you need a bathroom break.

Most importantly enjoy the race!  Take a look at my other runDisney posts for other helpful hints.


  1. Sarah McGrath | 1st Aug 13

    I am going to be completing the Tinkerbell Half in Jan 2014 (with Team in Training). I have a HUGE question. They say you need to keep a 16 min mile pace, how is this possible if there are photo ops and what not on the course. I am stressing about keeping time and just want to know that I won’t be picked up for being “slow.” This could be me over thinking it.


    • Half Crazy Mama | 1st Aug 13

      Ok, first I wouldn’t worry if you are properly trained. Second, the 16 min per mile pace starts from when the very last person crosses the start line, so assuming you aren’t the last person walking in the very back starting you should be fine. Properly train for a little faster pace and you will be fine. The pictures typically don’t take more than a couple minutes to wait in line and than start running again. If you are planning to run and haven’t submitted a proof of time I would definitely do that. Run at 10k or longer race before than and than submit that time so you start in a corral that isn’t the last one. This will buy you some extra time too. If you plan to walk the whole half marathon and want to stop for every single character picture than you would have a chance of getting forced to get swept. They give you warning before hand too to pick up the pace a little. From what I understand there is the pace person in the back that you just have to stay in from of and they typically carry a sign or balloons so you know. You should be fine! I typically run a 10:30 min half marathon pace and as an experiment I stopped for all but 2 characters (so probably a total of 20 pics) at Princess Half this last year and I still finished with a time of 2:45. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. almostathirtysomething | 30th Dec 14

    Did you stay on property or did you drive to the race? We’re doing the Princess Half next month, and since I go to Disney World all the time (one of the perks of living in FL!) I feel like I know what to expect. We’re staying on property and using Disney transportation (since WDW is so much bigger than DL).
    But in May we’re doing the Tinker Bell Half and we’re wondering whether it’d be better to stay on property or at one of the many hotels within walking distance and save some money. Your thoughts?

    • Half Crazy Mama | 30th Dec 14

      The great thing about Disneyland is that there are a ton of off property hotels that are just as close as the on property ones. Staying on property you will get the awesome pool areas and a nicer room etc, but there are plenty of decent budget friendly walking distance hotels. Some race favorites are the Alpine Inn, Tropicana Inn, Best Western Park Place, Park Vue Inn, and even the Hilton Anaheim Convention center is walkable to starting line. The off property hotels offer bus transportation if you pick a hotel beyond walking distance. Hope that helps 🙂

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