Oh I don't have to wake up at 2:30am. Oh I don't have to take a shuttle from my hotel to the Race Area.
Oh I don't have to walk a mile from the Pre-Race Party Area to the Start Area.
Folks - I am NOT in Disney World anymore! :)
Now I love all of the things I listed above as they are part of the Run Disney experience. BUT I can say it was sort of sweet to sleep in until 4am for the 5:30am 5k Start.
Once I was up, had some water, made sure I had everything for my costume and of course took a pre-race pic!
We headed out at 4:45am to walk to the Start area... which was less than 1/2 a mile from our hotel (Alpine Inn).
I was lucky enough to be in Corral A so I headed to the front. I cannot tell you how exciting and an honor it is to be up in that Corral. I know I work hard at other races to be able to thoroughly enjoy the Run Disney experience.
Marathon Foto was out in full effect and since I buy the photos I make sure to pause for every photog. ;)
Since I was in my corral by 5am I was able to work my way up to the Start platform where Carissa and Rudy would be announcing from.
While Carissa and Rudy entertained the crowd and honored the sponsors, they were joined by two adorable droids.
To entertain the corral before we went off, the race played on the scrolling text that happens at the beginning of the Star Wars movie.
It may be hard to read from my pics.
Now the Star Wars 5k is an untimed race that weaves through the parks.
I brought my Garmin with me just because I was interested in how long it would take including any character stops I did.
Oh and I forgot my goal for the weekend - like Dopey Challenge - was to stop at every character stop I saw. Time or pace mean nothing to me at Disney since I do have the pleasure of starting in the first corral. I have more time to work with.
I was so swept up in the pre-race entertainment that all of a sudden Rudy was counting us down... and we were off.
Ahhh yay! I love the start of any race, but especially Run Disney with the confetti. I want to start every training run with confetti. :P
Again this was my first time at Disneyland so the course and parks would all be new to me.
I saw the Rebels and had to stop - of course. They didn't have an official MarathonFoto photog, but there was a Disney cast member to take photos. I appreciate that Disney does have cast members at each official stop to take photos for participants with their personal phone or camera.
Since it is so early and dark my photos aren't always the greatest, but I like having something to post instead of waiting for official photos to upload.
Mile 1: 7:59
Even though the Castle is smaller than in Disney World, it is still an amazing sight.
With fewer people running the 5k, which means fewer people in each corral - I felt as if I was running through the parks alone. I mean it was truly magical.
Then I saw him... Chewie!
Yeah worth the $$.
Vader and the Storm Troopers
As we ran down Main Street in Disneyland, I couldn't help but smile.
We headed down Main Street and out of the Disneyland.
One last photo in front of Disneyland.
Once out of the park, we made our way to California Adventures via a backlot street.
Mile 2: 9:20
After Mile 2, we made our way into California Adventures via "A Bug's Land" then on to Cars Land.
Even in the dark, Cars Land is an amazing sight.
Since we were running out of miles, we made our way through the entrance of California Adventures towards Downtown Disney.
But first - more rebels.
Even though the race was wicked early, there was great crowd support through Downtown Disney.
I actually had to ask a couple of folks to scooch over so I could take a pic of the Mile 3 marker. ;)
Mile 3: 8:45
I get wicked sad at the end of any race because the fun is over, but especially Disney races. I reminded myself I did have 19.3 more miles of fun ahead of me. ;)
Since I was still pretty much alone, I pretended as if I won the 5k when I was coming down the Finish chute. Carissa even announced my name. :)
A girl can pretend right?
And just like that the Star Wars 5k was over!
I know my distances are always longer than the race advertises since I go back and forth getting character photos, etc.
Time to collect my first piece of hardware of the weekend. Now the 5k is pegged as a Family Run by Disney so you are given a plastic medallion over a real medal. I am cool with that, but some others aren't.
After collecting my medallion, water, banana and snack box, I scooted through what would be the Finish party Area!
Not so bumpin' after the 5k. :P
I headed to the Downtown Disney area (less than 1/4 a mile from the Finish) to meet Tori and grab some much-needed coffee.
Unfortunately no Dunkin Donuts in Anaheim, so I had to celebrate with Starbucks.
I know I know <<tiny violin>>
With coffee in hand, we headed back to the hotel - all the while cheering on everyone else finishing up the 5k - to prepare for the day ahead... the Parks!
Overall the 5k was a great race. A little dark in some places so I did use the flashlight app on my phone a couple of times, but it was a ton of fun as always!
Pretty flat besides some inclines due to on ramps at the beginning.
I would definitely do it again!
Next up: Star Wars 10k!