NEW YORK, January 21, 2013—There was plenty of faith, trust and Pixie dust on hand at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. The second annual running of the women-focused even saw a new course record, celebrity runners, and nearly 12,000 participants flying across the finish line of the women-focused event.
Angela Escay from Carmichael, Calif., won the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon in a course record time of 1:24:30, besting the 1:27:52 that reigning champ Kellie Nickerson posted in 2012. It was Escay’s first race in three years after undergoing ankle surgery
“It was a good feeling to get back out there and do what I love to do,” Escay said. “The course was a lot of fun.”
Actor Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings fame and former Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent were among the runners. Astin also ran the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon in 2012.
“The word is out. The people of Anaheim are out en force supporting this race,” Astin said immediately after the race. “People were just packed four deep, cheering and playing music. It’s really fun.”
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon is a joint effort by the Disneyland Resort and the city of Anaheim. The 13.1-mile course takes runners through the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks, where Disney characters cheer and pose for photos with runners, as well as through the streets of Anaheim.
The race is the main event in a weekend filled with activities for runners and their families. More than 21,000 runners participated in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend, which included the Never Land 5K and runDisney kids races on Saturday, plus a health and fitness expo geared toward women.
The popularity of women’s running events has boomed in the last 10 years, helping draw women into the sport of running. More than 7 million women finished road races in 2011, an all-time high for the sport according to Running USA. And women account for 59 percent of half-marathon finishers.
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is one of runDisney’s two women-focused events, and both are among the nation’s largest. Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend will take place at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 22-24.
Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runner’s weekly lifestyle web show about running. She has completed six marathons, two triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.
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