Well it’s been a little over a week and I believe my Disneyland hangover might finally be cured. Ok so maybe it’s not “cured” per se, but I can say it has somewhat subsided…for the moment.
So let’s get down to business and discuss the big event. The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!!!
In one word? AMAZING!!!
I wasn’t sure at all what to expect in this event. My thoughts going in went something like this…
“Well, Disneyland is smaller, so how are we going to run 13.1 miles through it?”
“There will be a lot of backstage time.”
“Star Wars Weekends are incredible…in Florida.”
“We’re not running it all on property.”
Even with all of that, I was running 2 Star Wars themed races and excited to challenge myself in the process with 19.3 miles. I knew I’d be seeing my friends, meeting new ones (the inevitable when you are part of the Disney social media community), & traveling to the beloved “Mecca” of it all (& my personal favorite), so to say I wasn’t ecstatic would be an absolute lie.
So as with any RunDisney race, it all starts at the expo. The merchandise for this event was great…while it lasted. I heard many complaints over the weekend about how many items ran out long before the races were over. For me, I debated a Dooney & Bourke to commemorate my run, but decided against it as I am trying to be sensible (& somewhat frugal) these days. I did buy a few small items; a couple pins and a mug, but nothing too crazy. For running the Rebel Challenge, I ended up with 3 tech shirts and 3 medals, so that helps as memorabilia as well. I didn’t catch much of the guest speakers, but did catch a glimpse of Jeff Galloway. I also heard buzz of Chris Powell and Sean Astin hanging around.
I didn’t attend the Wookie Welcome Party or the 5k on Friday, but heard good things about both. I hung around with a couple of my favorite people (my friends Lisa and Perry) during this time and took advantage of some quality Disneyland time.
(Sidenote: I was blessed with the opportunity to hang out in the 1901 Lounge and Club 33 Jazz Club, but that will have to be in another post.)
My friend, Kathryn, also came into town Friday to stay with me.
Saturday morning came quickly. Up at 3:45 and out the door within the hour, Disneybound as ewoks, Wicket and Kneesa, we were on our way for our 10k. The first corral started promptly at 5:30am. I was lucky enough to be reunited with some of my favorites in Corral C (my friends James, Jessie, & Heather). Everyone’s favorite droids, C3PO and R2-D2, came out to see us all off along with the emperor of darkness, Darth Vader, and a couple of his stormtrooper pals. The course started at the Disneyland Hotel, a small amount of running through Anaheim and then into the parks, ending back at the Disneyland Hotel. There were a few hills in the beginning, but nothing too crazy (honestly, I LOVE running on hills. We don’t have them in Florida and I used to run hills all the time in Massachusetts.). By the end, I was having such a good run, I was ready to continue on and do the half marathon right then and there. The race route was great and after hearing people compare it to Avengers and the Disneyland Half, it seemed to be a common consensus.
After the race and a short meet up with my friends, Kathryn and I took a trip to Goofy’s Kitchen to refuel and carb-load with the gang!
Saturday consisted of some simple park hopping and taking it “easy.” — According to my fitbit (which is not properly calibrated to my long strides), I covered over 20 miles for the day.
Sunday morning came much quicker than Saturday and as if I wasn’t already a bear when it comes to mornings, getting ready to run 13.1 miles did not make it any easier or desirable. A prompt 5:30am start again for those in Corral A. A pre-race meet up with Corral C buddies (Jessie & James). The course was somewhat similar with start and finish being the Disneyland Hotel, but hills were cut out and the last 7 miles of the race were outside the parks. There was a ton of course entertainment.; local high school bands and cheerleaders, cosplayers, and members of the 501st. My race highlight came around mile 8 when I finally realized I had been running neck and neck with a member of my favorite boyband, *NSYNC. That’s right everyone, I ran two races with Mr. Joey Fatone. (I screwed up taking a selfie and running at the same time, so I only have a few unflattering videos for my own discression, but a witness in my running partner, Jessie)! Luckily, it wasn’t my first time meeting him, so I won’t die from it. I finally realized during this race that I can actually run with someone, not Joey, my friend Jessie. Having someone who can run right within your pace is key, who knew?! Finish line partying was brief on this day as the pain set in slightly sooner than the day before.
Exhaustion seemed to set in during the course of the day, but some park hopping still occurred.
So all in all, I have no complaints about this race and cannot wait to do some more Disneyland races! Now that I am moving to California, there will surely be plenty in my future. As for doing the Rebel Challenge again? You bet I will be there for sign up as soon as it’s announced!!!
Thanks for reading, may the force be with you!!!