Rally behind the Disney Half-Marathon


Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Vivanco

Seniors Kat Canellos and Gabriel Vivanco and juniors Sun Jae Woo and Shane Park practice in the parking lot as they prepare to march into Disneyland

On Sunday, Sept. 4, Rally Band traveled to Anaheim in order to show their support for the runners in the Disney Half-Marathon.

Rally band is a group of select instrumental students who perform at smaller functions such as community and charity events that would not otherwise be able to accommodate the entire entertainment corps. Joselyn Blasdel and Brad Harris choose all performers based upon their ability and the commitment they show to band.

“They are a hardworking group of students that give up a lot of their time to be part of this elite group from the entertainment corps,” Harris said. “They want to always sound and do their best.”

Thanks to a school partnership with Disney, participating students are able to perform during four different marathons throughout the year. As an added perk, all participating performers are also given a free Disneyland ticket for their efforts.

On performance day, students met at around 4:00 a.m. to board the buses and take care of any last minute preparations.

Once there, the performers lined up along the route inside the park to await the runners. In addition, colorguard showed their support with a combination of captain created and existing dances.

“I loved cheering on the marathon runners,” junior and colorguard member Samantha Neely said. “And I love all the Disney workers that come for the day. They’re all really kind and super fun to hang out with.”

The runners themselves are participating for a variety of reasons. Some run to celebrate their victory in the fight against cancer, while others run to salute the veterans or participate on behalf of those who were unable to run themselves. Led by Mickey and Pluto, many participants don Disney themed costumes and, according to Disney run through “through Disney California Adventure® Park, along Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland® Park, and then on to the streets of Anaheim.”

“I feel very special supporting the runners,” junior and bass player Kat Canellos said. “The experience as a whole was truly amazing and fun, and I can’t wait to do it again.”

For their participation, Disney provides all students with a free ticket as a token of their appreciation. Despite the early starts, students do enjoy performing and being a part of the Disney community.

“It’s a great experience for these kids to see all kinds of people involved in a marathon.  They get to interact with the runners and it is a fun experience,” Harris said.