Category: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

The Inaugural Star Wars 10K

When Kate first contacted me about covering the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend and told me that she had a cat named after a Star Wars character, I knew she was perfect for the job!  She took on the Inaugural Rebel Challenge and took on half of the challenge with her 10 year old son…how fun!  I love when parents make runDisney events a family affair.  Here is their journey to a galaxy far, far away.

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I’m a Disney race veteran – starting with the Inaugural Tower of Terror 13K, the 2010 WDW Half (Disney’s Marathon on Ice!), and 2012 Princess and Disneyland for my Coast to Coast. My older son, Russell, started running 5Ks with me a few years ago, so he was a bit disappointed with his Disneyland Kids Race. (“Mom. It’s a quarter mile. That’s only one lap around the track!”)

So when the Star Wars race weekend was announced, I gave him the option of the 5K or 10K. Child: “Which one has a real medal?” We signed up for the 10K. All about the bling, at only ten. I’ve created a monster. (Says the mom registered for the Rebel Challenge for the extra bling!)

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The costume decision was pretty easy – I ordered R2D2 and C3PO shirts off Amazon and had Lori (my Disney race companion) grab the mouse ears in WDW – although there were plenty at the Expo. Unfortunately, the Artoo shirt only came in men’s sizes, so it was a bit big on Russell, and mine came with sleeves, which I hate and therefore cut off.

I made the rainbow sparkle skirt (Sparkle Skirt DIY Info) for a previous race, and we couldn’t convince the boy to wear Lori’s blue sparkle skirt. Because he is no fun.

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The boy was a bit grouchy about getting up at 3:30 am, but he gamely made faces at the cameras.

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We watched some of the preshow, did our force push to save the hosts from Darth Vader, and headed to the corrals.

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Star Wars font makes everything seem awesome, even the fact that there’s a million people between you and the start line! We all started in D with Russell, the lowest ‘seed’ of our trio.

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See, a million people. Though they didn’t have the fireworks of a WDW race, the start line was still full of energy and bright lights.

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Russell got a somewhat shocked shout-out from Rudy as we crossed the start line – yay for being one of the youngest runners!

Knowing there was only one corral behind us, we expected a lot of walkers, but we figured we could dodge them and get moving. That never really happened – there was such a mass of people that it was impossible to weave through. But pretty much everyone was dressed as a Star Wars character, so you can’t get mad at a guy on a tauntaun.

The beginning of the race was on roads leading along the edge of the parking lots and parks, but we were back in the parks in under two miles, and either in park or backstage for the rest of the race.

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Seriously. Park your cars elsewhere.

Which is awesome – both for regular runners and young runners. Russell was thrilled by seeing parts of the Matterhorn in refurb and all the other random backstage things. I was in the College Program at WDW, so backstage isn’t really new to me, but it made me smile to see him see these things for the first time.

Disney kept things interesting by having Darth Vader’s voice echoing through the one tunnel (and the one mean little hill out of it!) and various Star Wars stuff projected on the buildings. And of course, Star Wars music everywhere.

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That’s no moon. Wait, one is. But not the other one. Man, it must still be pretty early if we think this is hilarious.

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There were several character stops, but the lines were very long, and we kept saying, “Well, if it’s a good character, we’ll wait. Maybe the next one. Surely Han will be out here. Yoda, maybe? Okay….I don’t even know who those people are!” (Because Lori doesn’t have a ten year old boy and doesn’t watch Star Wars Rebels.)

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Around mile three, we started Lori’s run/walk doohickey on a 3/3 ratio to keep the boy moving forward with minimal whining, most of which was due to the excessive Star Wars quoting. “This Artoo unit has a bad motivator!” “Do or do not, there is no try.” And of course, since Lori was dressed as Chewbacca, “let the Wookie win.” (We didn’t. Sorry, Lori!)

The finish was the same as ’12 Disneyland, around a backstage area and in between Downtown Disney and DL Hotel. Up till now, I had been impressed by the etiquette of the other runners – even though we were packed in tight, there wasn’t a lot of pushing or bumping. Up until a woman stopped a few feet from the finish line to take a picture…RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I nearly plowed into her, and ended up almost taking out Lori and Russell as I dodged her. Sigh.

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But we finished with smiles on our faces, collected our “real” medals, food and water, and headed to the Info Tent to pick up the younger child’s Kids Race bib. One down, two to go!

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Kate Starcher is a quilt designer, blogger, Half Fanatic, former Disney cast member, and so much of a Star Wars nerd that she has a cat named Tycho Celchu. See her quilt hidden Mickeys on t-shirt quilts at katiemaequilts.com.

Star Wars Rebel Challenge – Running Two Races Back to Back

I don’t know about you, but it has been SO exciting to watch John’s running journey over the past few months as he has become quite the experienced distance runner.  In January, he took on his most difficult challenge yet, the Rebel Challenge!  Let’s just say that it was an accomplishment of galactic proportions! 

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When I first signed up for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, I wasn’t thinking about the distance, duration, time, or training. I was thinking “lookie, cool medals!”.   The logistics of running a 10k followed by a half marathon hadn’t really entered my mind. After all, I had already run several 10k’s, and had completed my first half marathon (Avengers). And my time was pretty good, coming in at roughly 9:30-9:45 per mile. Needless to say, I was starting to feel a bit smug. In fact, I didn’t even get too serious about training until about 4 weeks prior. After all, I kept telling myself I was in good form from the Avengers Half Marathon. What could possibly go wrong?

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It didn’t help that I was feeling pretty good the day of the Star Wars 10k. The weather was cold and brisk, which I new could help keep my core temperature down. There were also several other Cast Members, family, and close friends running, which made the morning a welcome homecoming.

Before I new it, we were off!   I’ve seen backstage many times, but experiencing it with lights and music cheering runners on was invigorating. Cast donned Mickey Mitts cheering us on, while big screen boards flashed messages of encouragement. Transitioning to onstage areas was even more exciting: passing by the Sleeping Beauty Castle, running down Main Street, through the Esplanade, and Buena Vista Street were all accompanied with a sense of excitement and wonder, with Star Wars characters such as Stormtroopers and Jedi in strategic photo spots.

Before I knew it, I was crossing Disneyland Drive, nearing the finish line, the course lined with cheering Cast and Guests. An announcer called out participant names as they crossed. I picked up my speed, crossed the finish line, and heard the name of … Sean Astin! We ended up finishing the race at the same time. If I was going to be upstaged, it was nice to be upstaged by a Goonie. And my finish time? 54:16, for a pace of 8:44 per mile. A new personal record for any event!

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The next day came the Half Marathon. Same start location, same excitement. This time, just after starting, a runner clipped me and I did a graceful tumble into the plants along Disneyland Drive. With just a scraped knee, only my pride was wounded, I instantly jumped up to get back into the race. Even though I had just experienced the backstage and onstage course, it was no less exciting.

This time, after winding through the Parks, the course emptied onto Harbor Blvd, headed due south, took a turn on Garden Grove Blvd, wandered through Old Towne Garden Grove, and then turned back north on Harbor. Just before turning left on Katella (about mile 9), the previous day’s run finally start to take its toll, as aches began to kick in. Although slowed, I wasn’t deterred, as the course continued down Katella and right on Disneyland Drive, finishing in Downtown Disney just past ESPN Zone. I crossed the finish line at 2:07:19 (9:43 per mile). I felt slightly dismayed, since my Avengers Half Marathon time was two seconds faster at 9:41 per mile. But my dismay was short lived when I received the Rebel Challenge medal for a total of 19.3 miles run.

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There were a few lessons I learned:

1 – Rest after the 10k. Don’t go home and do gardening or chores, just because you feel invincible. It’s just the adrenaline talking.

2 – Eat plenty, but eat right. Sure, you just carb loaded, but your body just burned off all those calories. Replenish that stored energy, but also give your body protein.

3 – Rest. Yeah, you just got a spiffy medal, but you’re not done. You’ll still need to rest and decompress. You can’t party quite yet.

4 – Don’t compare. This was a big one for me. Running a half by itself it not the same as running a half after a 10k. You’re not going to perform the same way. Be okay with it.

5 – Enjoy it. Even if you’re like me, and run for time, there’s so much more to a race than getting to the finish line. Enjoy the Characters, the Cast cheering you on, the bands, the police offers, the spectators, and the countless volunteers that you’ll see along the course. They’re there because they’re supporting you. Let them.

Next Year: the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge. Who among you will be joining me?

RADically Yours,

John

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John grew up in the Orange County area of California, always living in the shadow of the Disneyland Resort.  Known as the consummate storyteller to his friends, he has had an admiration of Disney since childhood, and is most interested in the Company’s history and heritage.  His favorite memory to date is setting foot in Walt’s apartment over the Main Street Firehouse.  John lives by what he calls the three F’s: faith, fun, and fitness.   Being healthy isn’t about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.  Nothing sums that up more than making Disney races a goal in every fitness plan.

Run Your Buns Off at the Star Wars Half Marathon!

When Kelly first reached out to me about covering the Star Wars Half Marathon, I was so excited to read her experience.  Not only is she a great writer, but she also has a fondness for the word RAD…super cool!  Here’s Kelly’s experience at the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon last month with some wonderful lessons learned along the way…including the not so fun side of wearing a tutu during a half marathon. 🙂

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What do Mickey Mouse, a Storm Trooper, and missing toenails have in common? They represent my experience at Disney’s Star Wars Half Marathon!

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A little about me: I used to hate running. A recently as two years ago I said, “We are alotted a finite amount of run in our lives and I’m saving up all my run in case I’m ever chased by a dog.” But then my friend, Tracy, bewitched me and convinced me to run a 5K – she even said she’d come down and run it with me. During that first, momentus run, I experienced the thrill of completing something I didn’t think was possible, the strain of muscles that I didn’t even know I had, and the magic that exists at the finish line. I caught the running bug and haven’t looked back.

“The pace is strong with this one.”

The Star Wars Half Marathon would be my third half marathon so I had high hopes for it. I had a time goal, expectations, and I’d trained thoroughly. Also, I was helping my friend, Nathan, running his very first half marathon. Nathan hadn’t trained well and even bought his running gear at the expo where we picked up our packets! The day before the race we discussed our anxieties about the race the next day. We had different expectations, but were both competing against ourselves. I wanted not only to perform well for myself, but also to be a source of encouragment for my friend. I’ve gone from non-runner, to running-mentor in two years which never ceases to amaze me.

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“May the course be with you.”

Starting my day at 4 am in Downtown Disney and winding through both Disneyland and California Adventure was magical. The first four miles of the course were on Disney property, surrounded by characters and carousels. It’s easy to run when you’re distracted by the excitement of the parks. My absolute favorite moment was rounding the corner in Cars Land and seeing the sunrise over the red rocks. I felt like Forrest Gump seeing the desert surnise. The woman running next to me was convinced that it was a painted backdrop and not the sky’s natural beauty. I had to stop and take a picture!

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Keeping pace and excitement became a little more difficult the latter nine miles when we wound through the streets of Anaheim. Even thought it wasn’t as magical as in the parks, we still had plenty of ambiance. We ran past half a dozen local high school bands, all playing the Imperial March for encouragement as well as a plethora of Star Wars fans. There were a dozen Storm Troopers and several Chewbaccas holding signs and cheering us along. I am pretty sure these were just fans to showed up and wanted to be a part of the innagural race. Some gave out refreshments; some held up signs filled with Star Wars puns; all made me smile.

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At mile twelve I knew I had a chance to set a personal record. Even though I was spent, and chilled, I knew I couldn’t forgive myself if I slacked pace now. So I pushed, counting down the minutes and the miles until I saw the magical finish line. I’ve tried to explain the magic of the finish line to non-runners and they just don’t get it. My eyes tear up at every race when I hit that last point one miles. I am amazed at the hours and months (and money!) that went into this moment and I want to savor it. I have never purchased a race photo since I am either crying unbecomingly in them or looking down to stop my watch and see my time. Even though I’ve never gotten flattering photo evidence of my finish, I remember each one and look forward to the next magical finish line that I get to cross.

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13.1 miles. Check!

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That is the short story of my running experience, but I don’t run just for times or medals or dry fit shirts. I run to learn about my limits, my stamina, and myself. Running has been an incredibly powerful object lesson in life. Believing in myself, striving for more, pushing through when times are hard, and running with the encouragment of others — I’ve learned a lot through my running days. Those lessons are the things that make me keep running. So what did this race teach me?

Lessons Learned:

  1. It’s hard to use a porta potty whilst wearing a tutu. (I’ll spare you the details and let your imagination run with this one.)
  2. Something goes wrong in every race. Whether its running out of Gu, or toileting urgency, or untied shoelaces, or poor weather, or dead iPod batteries – I’ve experience (and gotten through) them all. I’ve learned that I’m not as dependant upon outside sources of motivation as I thought. I have to believe in my training and focus on my drive to succeed instead of the imperfection of my surroundings. I can choose to focus on the problems in life or on the progress. I want to be thankful for the mile just completed and look forward to the next one in running and in life.2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-07
  3. Stay the Course! I do math constantly while running. I calculate my pace and time each mile. I trained to run intervals because my knees can’t handle constant running. As I was doing math around the 5K mark, I realized I’d somehow lost 4 minutes and was behind my planned pace. I had moments where I was frustrated with myself and I wanted to push through, skipping my walking interval and just run. But I knew that I hadn’t trained for that. If I tried that plan, I’d run the risk that I’d exhaust myself and end up slower overall. So I kept to my plan and my training and stayed the course to run with endurance the race set out before me. And it worked! I set a personal record on this race! The same is true in life! Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and I lose four minutes in my world. Don’t panic. Recalculate. And stay the course. It will be okay!
  4. It is important to celebrate! The hardest race I ever competed in felt lonely the entire time because I didn’t have the opportunity to celebrate. The Star Wars Half was a completely different experience because it was swaddled in celebrations. Even when I crossed the finish line at this race and fist pumped for my own PR, I knew I wasn’t done. I was going to wait for Nathan and cheer him through the finish line. I tear up every time I watch people cross the finish line. I get especially choked up watching people who, if I just glanced at them, would not think they could complete a half marathon, but they prove me wrong every time – and I love it! I love to high-five and clap for these people who are only competing with themselves and disproving their, “I can’t do it” lies! I saw this same wide-eyed, emotional, “I can’t believe I just did that!” look in Nathan’s eyes. He wasn’t ready. Hadn’t trained much at all. But he kept moving forward for 13.1 miles. He learned first hand the magic that exists at finish lines. He found me, tears in his eyes, and we hugged and hobbled to celebrate our achievements at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland! Celebrating is important in life. I can’t be so focused on the next race or the next achievement that I forget to stop and be thankful for what just happened. I need to celebrate my life and share the joy with others. Running has taught me all these lessons and more and when I glance at my rack of race medals glinting in my room I am reminded of each race, each experience, and each lesson. I am thankful for the ability to run and look forward to more races and more lessons in the coming days.

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A Few Thank Yous

I loved my weekend preparing for, running, and celebrating the Star Wars Half Marathon. But I couldn’t have done this alone! I’d like to thank my friend, Tracy, for making me my celebratory “Princess Kelly” t-shirt and for getting me running in the first place. My family, friends and coworkers for cheering me on from afar and creepily tracking my progress by my bib number. And I’d like to thank the academy. It’s an honor just to be nominated. Stay RAD!

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*****

I’m Kelly and I’m a word addict. My favorite word is twitterpated, followed closely by kerfuffle. I feel healthiest when processing life on paper- it’s how I think best. Here’s some more pertinent facts: I love to MacGyver my way through life and nothing is ever broken that I can’t fix. My friend, Tracy, bewitched me into running by first 5K and I caught the running bug and haven’t been the same since. I’m a Disney enthusiast and can still feel the magic at each park. In my spare time, I work full time as an Occupational Therapist helping children and babies grow, heal, and develop after neurological impairments.  I was once introduced by a friend as, “This is Kelly. She’s way rad!” The person misheard and thought my name was Kelly Wayrad. It’s a sentiment I strive to live up to daily! Thanks for reading my real thoughts on virtual paper at  www.Ithinkonpaper.com
Follow Kelly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

The Inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge

Well if I wasn’t jealous about not being at Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend prior to the race, I’m SURELY jealous now.  At first it was due to the killer medals for the races, but after seeing all the characters, costumes and fun…the whole weekend was just too cool!  Kallen ran the Inaugural Rebel Challenge and did it in some amazing costumes.  So come along and be jealous with me of her super rad time!

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I just got back last night from an amazing runDisney event, the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend.

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After running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon last year, I knew I wanted to do another runDisney race, but it wasn’t until they announced the Star Wars event in late May that my hubby and I knew which one we had to do.

With such a great theme, I took the plunge and registered for my first challenge event.

The Rebel Challenge— never has an event inspired so much foreboding. During many training runs, I thought, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

But fear is the path to the Dark Side. Come race weekend, finishing the challenge was not a matter of trying, but doing. Or do not.

For me, the best way of overcoming pre-race nerves is to watch a runDisney event.

 

— Kallen Dewey Kentner (@KallenKentner) January 16, 2015

My hubby and I enjoyed spectating the 5K, where the short distance means the costumes are outrageously fun. 

We loved seeing the StarSpeeder 3000 from Star Tours during the race and spotted him again after the race in the Family Reunion Area

We loved seeing the StarSpeeder 3000 from Star Tours during the race and spotted him again after the race in the Family Reunion Area

The Expo is another amazing way to get excited. I love listening to the speaker series. I attended the expo two days, Thursday and Saturday. Arriving about noon on Thursday, I found packet pick-up extremely well organized with minimal wait. 

What an epic entrance to packet pick-up!

What an epic entrance to packet pick-up!

For recognition purposes, all Rebel Challenge participants had their photo taken at the expo after picking up their packet. This system replaces the wristbands they’ve used at previous challenge events. Even though I didn’t wait for the mad merchandise rush at opening, the official merchandise line was a short wait and well stocked. I managed to score a really nice Rebel Challenge Jacket, which later sold out. However, even by the last day of the expo I saw plenty of Dooney and Burke purses left, which tells me that runDisney is working hard on their supply-and-demand models.

Pictured are the three race shirts that come with Rebel Challenge registration, the Rebel Challenge jacket, pins, Star Wars Half Marathon shirt, my bib, runDisney Vinylmation and the event guide. Between us, Hubby and I had quite a lot of stuff after leaving the expo.

Pictured are the three race shirts that come with Rebel Challenge registration, the Rebel Challenge jacket, pins, Star Wars Half Marathon shirt, my bib, runDisney Vinylmation and the event guide. Between us, Hubby and I had quite a lot of stuff after leaving the expo.

I was up bright and early Saturday with the alarm going off at 3:30. I donned my Star Tours running costume and headed to the race. Running a runDisney race solo for the first time, I was a bit bored in the corrals, but soon enough they were playing clips from the original Star Wars trilogy. 

There's nothing like AT-ATs at 5 a.m.

There’s nothing like AT-ATs at 5 a.m.

After a Darth Vader cameo, a visit from C-3PO, R2-D2, and an opening crawl, the race started. All of a sudden, it was B Corral’s turn and we were off! I loved the way the course was set up. Because we ran down Disneyland Drive, up Ball Road before turning onto Harbor to head to the parks, runners had a chance to spread out on the wide roads (including the incline on Ball Rd) before turning into the parks. As expected, there were plenty of aid stations along the course. Excitement will do you in every time so I did a really stupid thing for a challenge event. I ran my heart out in the 10K. I just felt so amazing and it was so wonderful being in the parks that I just ran.

Outside the Animation Academy in California Adventure

Outside the Animation Academy in California Adventure

By the time I got to many of the character stops, a long line had formed. I skipped Chewbacca (who had the longest line by far), Darth Vader and some of the Jedi, but I had to stop for a quick photo with Boba Fett. 

I'm suspicious of this bounty hunter.

I’m suspicious of this bounty hunter.

I was surprised that only Star Wars characters were on the course. I would have liked to see a few Disney characters thrown into the mix. 

Every mile marker was different for the 10K, which was really cool.

Every mile marker was different for the 10K, which was really cool.

As we ran past the Disneyland Hotel toward the finish, I could feel an incredible grin on my face in response to the cheering crowd. Stormtroopers watched as runners crossed the finish line. First part of the challenge, done! 

Snapped right after crossing the finish line, you can see the euphoria on my face.

Snapped right after crossing the finish line, you can see the euphoria on my face.

It was over too fast and I had a brief moment of sadness before remembering I was going to do it again the next day! Wait. I was going to run again the next day? Maybe running so fast wasn’t a good idea. After breakfast at La Brea Bakery and a quick clothing change, I went to the Expo for a second time. I mostly came for the speaker series so I didn’t wander around the expo too much. I also made sure to put on my compression socks and take it easy. After all, the half marathon was the next day. Although I went to bed around 7:30 p.m, that 3:30 alarm was still an unwelcome sound… that is, until I remembered that I was going to Disneyland!

I had the privilege of running the half marathon with my mom. We did the run-walk method with about a minute of walking to a minute of running. Because of the crowds, sometimes we missed the bell, but we did our best. 

The required corral selfie.

The required corral selfie.

My hubby also ran the half, but as he was in A Corral, I didn’t see much of him. He also got a better view of the video screen. 

Every race had a slightly different opening crawl but I wasn't close enough to read the one for the half marathon.

Every race had a slightly different opening crawl but I wasn’t close enough to read the one for the half marathon.

In the middle of C corral, we couldn’t see much of the video screen, but the fireworks during the national anthem were fantastic. After a bit of waiting, C Corral was off! For the first 2 miles, I could feel the effect of the 10K, especially on the walking portion where my hip flexors were so tight I couldn’t powerwalk effectively. It was pretty crowded, especially once we entered the backstage areas, so we couldn’t do much running. Going into Disneyland, we had to stop by some Jedi, who asked “What planet are you from?” It was the first of many references to our Pigs in Space costumes. “Koozebane” I cheerily threw out before we kept running. 

Jedi were stationed in numerous places along the course for both the 10K and Half, encouraging the runners.

Jedi were stationed in numerous places along the course for both the 10K and Half, encouraging the runners.

We waited in line for Luke and Leia, who were stationed in front of an illuminated Mark Twain. While in line, I saw a text message from runner tracking: hubby had already passed the 5K point a while ago. Because he is so much faster, Jason was able to fully enjoy the lights of California Adventure. The sun was already coming up by the time we got there. 

Mickey's Fun Wheel dominates the view at Paradise Pier and looked amazing at night.

Mickey’s Fun Wheel dominates the view at Paradise Pier and looked amazing at night.

As in the 10K, running through fantasyland was one of my favorite parts. Some of the rides were going, and the cheerful sounds of the Mad Tea Party kept us going. All too soon, we were leaving Disneyland and heading to California Adventure. I was very excited to spot the very piglike Gammorean Guard on Hollywood Blvd. We had to stop for a photo.

— Kallen Dewey Kentner (@KallenKentner) January 18, 2015

We left Disney property around mile 4. I dreaded the long straightaway, but I shouldn’t have. Fans and spectators were out in force and we were never too far from the next band.

The 501st was a special treat and worth stopping for photos. We stopped for a photo with C-3PO and had a better character interaction than inside the parks.

"Oh my, could this be Pigs in Space?"

“Oh my, could this be Pigs in Space?”

We even crossed Newhope St and plenty of people were stopping for pictures.
I was still feeling good around Mile 10, although feet were a bit sore from two days of running. But after mile 10, there’s only a 5K left, which is a huge boost for me. I know I can do a 5K.

When it was still dark, the lightsabers on these mile markers were lit up.

When it was still dark, the lightsabers on these mile markers were lit up.

A shout out to Mouse Planet and other people who were handing out Redvines to runners. It made me so happy!

Nearing the finish, I caught my first glimpse of Disney characters on the course —Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and Chip & Dale Ewoks. I wish I could have stopped for a photo, but right at the finish, I would have caused a pile-up.

After crossing the finish line and receiving the beautiful Star Wars Half medal, there was a short and fast moving line to receive the Rebel Challenge medal. They very quickly looked up my bib number and then gave me my medal.

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I had completed the Rebel Challenge!

runDisney does a great job organizing such a large event. Add the amazing fans and runners and this is an event I hope I’ll do again.

*****

Kallen is the content and marketing manager for GeekyLibrary and calls herself a half-hearted runner but a full-fledged geek. She blogs about her running at KallenInMotion.wordpress.com. Follow her adventures on Twitter or check out her running boards on Pinterest.

2015 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Info

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This is an inaugural race weekend that has been HIGHLY anticipated for years and it’s so exciting that it’s finally here!!  Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend kicks off in just a few days and to say that I’m jealous of everyone participating is an understatement.  However, I will living vicariously through all of you and anxiously awaiting photos of these amazing medals to begin flooding my social media streams!

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This race weekend is jam packed with Star Wars goodness, so let’s get to the details!  (I apologize in advance for a few of the images and diagrams from runDisney that are not very clear.)

Health & Fitness Expo

Your galactic journey will begin with the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel and the hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, January 15th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, January 16th: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 17th: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

All race participants MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt(s), and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag also doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, like this AMAZING Dooney & Bourke bag.  Who wants to pick one up for me?!?  Seriously…look at this thing!

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When you arrive at the expo, your first stop will be the Lower Exhibit Hall for Packet Pick Up.  Remember that you can no longer have someone pick up your packet for you.  Everyone MUST turn in a waiver, show ID and pick up their own packet.

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You will then proceed to the Upper Exhibit Hall to pick up your race shirt(s) and gEAR bag, visit with vendors, listen to the speaker series, and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.  I’m sure this merch will be amazing so break open those piggy banks now!

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Resort Transportation

If you are staying at one of the Disneyland Resorts, you will simply be able to walk to the both the Expo and the Starting Line for each race.

If you are staying at a Good Neighbor hotel, there will be complimentary Anaheim Transportation Network (ART) shuttles for the entire weekend for runners and spectators.  This doesn’t just include during race time…it is COMPLIMENTARY ALL WEEKEND, January 15-18.  Make sure to get a pass from one of the drivers…this is a BIG bonus and will save you a lot of time and money!  The shuttles make stops around every 20 minutes, so plan your trip accordingly.  The schedule will be extended to the following times:

  • Thursday, January 15th: 8:20 am – 12:30 am 
  • Friday, January 16th: 3:30 am – 12:30 am
  • Saturday, January 17th: 3:30 am – 12:30 am
  • Sunday, January 18th: 3:30 am – 12:30 am

Here is a map of the Good Neighbor Hotel locations:

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Hotels2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Hotels-2

Driving Directions

Parking will be available in the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure located on Disneyland Drive and Ball Road for all weekend events.  Standard parking rates will apply and there are no discounts for runners. Roads will be closing beginning at 5:00 am on race days and there will be numerous detours that will be set up.  Make sure to leave enough time for traffic delays!

Costumes

I’ve seen some great Star Wars costumes during Disney races, but these are sure to be over the top and amazing!  I can’t wait to see how creative everyone will get!  Who could forget Darth Goofy from the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon?!

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Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  So who are you dressing up as??

Bag Check

Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their  bib number on the outside.  Bag check will be located in the Lilo Parking Lot/Family Reunion Area.  Bags must be checked by 5:15 am for ALL races prior to heading into the start corrals.  Bags must be picked up by 7:15 am for the 5K, 8:15 for the 10K and 11:00 am for the half marathon at the same location.

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Start Corrals

The start corrals are located on Disneyland Drive between Mickey Way and Paradise Way.  For each race, your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or the one behind you.  You can find your corral placement by printing you waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.  Corral placement for the 5K will be available at packet pick-up.

Star Wars 5K

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Star Wars 10K

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-10K-Corrals 2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-10K-Corrals

Star Wars Half Marathon & Rebel Challenge

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Starting Times

All races will begin at 5:30 am.  The wheelchair start for the half marathon will be at 5:29 am on Sunday, January 18th.  Runners are encouraged to arrive to the staging area no later than one hour prior to the race start time and be in your assigned corrals no later than 30 minutes prior.

Race Bibs

Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend or fold your bib as the Chrono Track B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly, or more importantly you won’t get any photos!

If you are competing in the Rebel Challenge, you will have one race bib for both the 10K and the Half Marathon, so make sure to take good care of it!

Pacing Requirements

Remember that you must keep a minimum pace of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line. Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.  Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.

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Rebel Challenge Participants

If you are participating in this challenge, you will receive a wristband after finishing the Star Wars 10K on Saturday.  This must be worn while running the Star Wars Half Marathon.  After completing the Star Wars Half Marathon, you will need to present this wristband at the Rebel Challenge tent to receive your medal.

Coast to Coast Challenge Participants

If you are participating in this challenge, you will receive a wristband when you pick up your bib at the Health & Fitness Expo.  A runDisney official will put this on for you and it can not be taken off until you complete the Star Wars Half Marathon.  After completing the race, you will need to present this wristband at the Coast to Coast tent to receive your medal.

Course Maps

This Disneyland race weekend is the first to start down Disneyland Drive in a different direction.  I’ll be interested to see what people think of this new course route!

Star Wars 5K

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Star Wars 10K

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Star Wars Half Marathon

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Greg over at Why I runDisney has put together some great posts that give an in-depth look at the Star Wars Half Marathon course.  So if you are interested on what your race will look like, definitely check these out:

More information on other events like the Kids Races and the Wookie Welcome Party is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend.  Also, check out some of my packing tips as you get ready to travel.

Finally, if you will be out in Disneyland, I am still looking for some contributors to cover the events of the weekend.  Here is a list of some ideas for posts and how to contact me.  Also, please tag me in your photos from the weekend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…I will cry over them share them all weekend.

MAY THE COURSE BE WITH YOU!

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