Posts Tagged by Rebel Challenge

A Look at the Kessel Run Challenge

When I first heard about the Kessel Run Challenge, I immediately added it to my bucket list of races to complete.  Not only because I love Star Wars, but because the medal is AMAZING!  Zach just completed the Inaugural Kessel Run Challenge and is here to share some of the high and lows of both races.  Let’s go for a run!

***

Kessel Run Challenge

Star Wars was my first love.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know the movies – I immediately fell for the feel, look and spirit of the films.  They stuck with me through countless novels, comic books, video games, prequel movies, an animated series, and the exciting announcement – in October, 2012 – that Lucasfilm had been acquired by the Walt Disney Company.

That month I was training for my first marathon and first runDisney event: the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon.  I daydream when I run, and it was hard not to get lost in a galaxy of imagination: What would the new movies be like?  Was Disney planning an expanded Star Wars presence in the parks?  How would it feel to run a Star Wars themed race?

That last question was answered in just a little over two years!

I completed the first two Star Wars Half-Marathons in Disneyland, but I didn’t plan to participate in the inaugural Star Wars Dark Side races at Walt Disney World – I’ll tell you why before I wrap up.  However, when runDisney unexpectedly reopened registration in mid-February 2016, I couldn’t help but sign up for the Half Marathon and see if I could earn the incredibly cool Kessel Run Challenge medal.

Kessel-Run-7

 

What runDisney has given us are two fun, wonderfully-themed races on fast courses with great entertainment along the way.  Each has high points and low points, and I thought it would be helpful to discuss those for the uninitiated in three areas: Course, Entertainment, and Medals.

COURSES

I dare anyone to not love the first five miles of the Star Wars Half Marathon in Anaheim.  That portion of the course is almost exclusively through Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, or through backstage areas.  No one has ever written a review of a west coast runDisney course without using the words “once you leave the parks, however…”  This course is no different.  Around mile 7 it turns through a residential neighborhood as bathrobe’d (NOT Jedi robe’d) residents stumble out to the curb for their morning papers.  From there, it gets weirder.

At one point during the race I noticed a man in a wheelchair struggling to get up a ramp to the door of an adult bookstore.  I instinctively veered onto the sidewalk to help him, but thought again when I realized that – considering I was dressed as Luke Skywalker – it would have been one of the strangest things happening on the planet at that moment.  The entertainment makes up for the oddness of the course, and I’ll get into that in the next section.

Kessel-Run-4

When I signed up for the Dark Side half on the East Coast, the course was not yet public.  A little detective work on the runDisney site revealed a start at Epcot and a finish at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.  My quick conclusion was that we were getting a reverse Wine & Dine course, and the eventual map release essentially confirmed that, with a few notable exceptions!  Most importantly – and maybe the highlight of the race – is mile 2 through World Showcase in Epcot.  It’s dark.  The torches are lit.  Other than the music and sound effects it is eerily quiet other than the sound of shoes.

After Epcot was the part of the race that had my crowd concern antenna up – the narrow path between the Boardwalk and the ‘Studios.  I had heard this was wingtip to wingtip during the 10K, but I thankfully had no problem keeping my pace up into what’s currently left of Hollywood Studios.  Animal Kingdom is always a joy to run through in the dark, and then the final surprise of the course was a dirt path into ESPN WWOS off Osceola Parkway that I didn’t know existed!

Both courses are flat, fast and offer solid opportunities to run through Disney Parks.  What excites me is that they’ll only get better when runDisney can route us through finished, immersive Star Wars lands at each resort in just a few years!

ENTERTAINMENT

Again, the early portion of the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon really shines.  Star Wars music comes from everywhere, and characters are projected stories tall on buildings.  The course runs through a tunnel underneath the Disneyland Railroad that has been lit lightsaber red and filled with the ominous sound of Darth Vader’s mechanical breathing.

In California Adventure, World of Color lights up Paradise Pier.  Several character stops mark the way, the most popular of which this past year was easily BB-8 in DCA.  I stopped during the 5K, 10K and the half, and never faced longer then a 5-10 minute wait.

Kessel-Run-3

Other stops include giant set pieces that allow runners to become part of iconic Star Wars scenes, like the Death Start trash compactor in Episode IV and the Wampa’s ice cave in Episode V.

Kessel-Run-1

Kessel-Run-2

As I said earlier, the course gets a little weird once it leaves the confines of the parks, but the on-course entertainment keeps the energy going.  Several high school marching bands provide music and enthusiasm along the way, especially if you wave a lightsaber at them – I honestly don’t know where these kids get their energy that early in the morning!  Huge contingents from the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, and the Mandalorian Mercs (fan costuming organizations, for those not in-the-know) hold down the course around mile 9, as well as several motorists with vehicles tricked out in a Star Wars theme.  I wish there had been more on-course entertainment thereafter on the trip back to the resort, but the promise of a celebratory drink at Trader Sam’s is really all the motivation I need to reach the finish line.

I experienced my favorite mile ever in a runDisney event during the Star Wars Dark Side Half, and it was mile two through World Showcase at Epcot.  There were no character stops, but Disney used light, music and sound to create an unforgettably atmospheric environment.  By the time I reached the China pavilion, I had turned off the music playing through my phone, and was scrambling to make a recording of the ambiance so I’d remember what it felt like: perfect (click here for the recording).

Thereafter, I was really surprised by the low number of character stations.  I may not be counting accurately, but I remember Chewbacca outside the International Gate at Epcot, Ezra and Sabine from “Rebels” on the way into Animal Kingdom, a second Wookie on the way out of Animal Kingdom, and a few stormtroopers sprinkled around.  Instead, many of the most sought-after photo ops were at the start or finish line, including Darth Vader, Captain Phasma and Jabba.  That’s very cool for spectators and runners who like to soak up the post-race finish line atmosphere, but there were certainly a few places along the course where a photo op could have broken up a long stretch without a distraction – I’m looking at you, Mile 8 Through The Animal Kingdom Parking Lot.  On the less Dark Side, I loved the big screens along Osceola showing various lightsaber duels from the films – very cool!

Kessel-Run-6

MEDALS

The west coast finisher’s medal is based on the Rebel Alliance’s Medal of Bravery, which is awarded the Luke Skywalker and Han Solo at the end of the original Star Wars movie – that earns it a ton of fan credibility.  The east coast finisher’s medal features a very cool spinner with Darth Vader on one side and the Emperor (with a semi-hidden Star Destroyer) on the other.  Extra points for making the spindle the blade of Vader’s red lightsaber!

Kessel-Run-8

Kessel-Run-9

Kessel-Run-10

The Millennium Falcon-shaped Kessel Run medal is unbelievable.  It is as big as my hand, but thin enough that it isn’t too heavy.  In a close race with the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon medal, it may be the favorite in my runDisney collection!

Kessel-Run-11

BOTTOM LINE

You can’t go wrong running either of these races, and you certainly can’t go wrong running both of them!  If you’re at all into Star Wars (and who isn’t these days?) there’s a lot of see and get excited about, and as runDisney races they maximize time in the parks and send you back to the showers with a lot of wonderful memories.

And I mentioned earlier that I didn’t originally plan to run the Dark Side Half.  That’s because my wife and I expected a new baby daughter to arrive exactly a month before the day of the race.  I didn’t think I’d be up for too many Father-of-the-Year awards if I skipped the state that soon, but my wife was enthusiastically supportive, and I managed the whole trip from Philadelphia to Orlando and back in just about 38 hours.  I want to give an embarrassingly public thanks to Leslie (and Charlie and very new Hadley) for her constant support of my crazy running nonsense!

Kessel-Run-12

Congrats Zach & Leslie!!

Preview of the 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Merchandise

It’s hard to believe that Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend starts TODAY after all of the craziness surrounding Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend only a few days ago.  But it is here and runDisney has released a preview of some of the gear you will find at the Expo to prove it!  Right off the bat, I’m in love with the retro design on everything…super cool!  Let’s take a look:

Star Wars Half Marathon Gear

2016-Star-Wars-Half-Merch-1

Star Wars 5K, 10K & Rebel Challenge Gear

2016-Star-Wars-Half-Merch-2

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Gear

2016-Star-Wars-Half-Merch-3

I would like ALL of the drinkware please.  They really did a knock out job with these designs!

2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Dooney & Bourke Bags

2016-Star-Wars-Half-Merch-Dooney

I have to say I’m not in love with the white background for these bags.  I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t get one of the 2015 bags, but you live and learn.  My only hope is that they will come out with a darker design for the Dark Side Weekend in May.  Fingers crossed.

Remember, if you are headed to the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo, make sure to arrive early if you have your heart set on a particular item.  Interested in snagging a pair of the new 2016 New Balance runDisney shoes, including the Ariel Vazee Pace?  Don’t forget to sign up for the Virtual Queue in order to get your pair.

Well I’m certainly jealous of everyone running this weekend and getting this gear!  The Expo opens today at the Disneyland Hotel at 10:00 am PST and will be open through Saturday to pick up this merch, visit with numerous other vendors and hear the great runDisney Speaker Series.

What are you looking forward to getting?

RAD Signature 100x75

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! 

***

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?

IMAGE01

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!

IMAGE02

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.

IMAGE03

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

*****

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.

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!

***

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

Photo 1-Star Wars 10K-Kallen

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.

Photo 16-StarWarsHalf-Kallen

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

Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Logo

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!

Inaugural-Star-Wars-Medals

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!

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Dooney-Satchel

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.

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Packet-Pick-Up

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!

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Expo

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?!

045 DLHalf-Darth-Goofy

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.

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Family-Reunion

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

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-5K-Corrals

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

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Corrals 2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Rebel-Challenge-Corrals 2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Half-Corrals

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.

darth-2014-Disneyland-Half-Marathon

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

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-5K-Map

Star Wars 10K

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

Star Wars Half Marathon

2015-Star-Wars-Half-Marathon-Weekend-Half-Map

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!

RAD Signature 100x75

 

Next Page »