It was finally time for the third and final installment of the Run Disney Star Wars race weekend - the Star Wars Half Marathon. If you are looking to catch up, here are the first three recaps: LA Sun & Expo Fun, 5k and 10k.
All caught up?
Are you sure?
I can wait.
Nevermind. I can't! :P
Once again the race was set to start at 5:30am so the alarm trilled off at 4am for a third-straight morning. Thank goodness that 4am felt like 7am to these East Coasters. :P
I went through the normal routine: scroll through social media, drink some water, eat part of my KIND bar, put costume on and take pre-race photo.
The black eye worked the best with the Vader costume in my opinion. So I was freaking out about this costume because guess who left their black tank top at home? Oh yes this girl. So the black tank top I have on in this photo was bought for $10 at the ABC mart around the corner from our hotel the previous afternoon. It is actually inside out as the other side said "California" in block letters.
I know I know. No new gear on race day, but this was life or death. Well not really life or death, but a necessity. I was just hoping it would work. *Fingers Crossed*
We left the hotel at 4:45am, I dropped the nervous wife off at Corral E and made my way up to Corral A. I actually ran into a friend who was ALSO dressed as Vader. Why hello photo op! ;)
She went off to Corral B and I continued the trek to Corral A. So much space in between each corral. :P
I shimmied my way up to the Start Announcer area again and hung out waiting for the fun to start.
Carissa and Rudy apparently had enough of the costumes by the time the Half rolled around. ;)
It took some energy to drown out the people around me trying to one up each other with their finishing times. I'm not a fan of braggy people. Can't we all just celebrate being healthy enough to be participating?
I was trying to stay in a fully positive, I am lucky to be here frame of mind. I know everyone races for different reasons so I wanted to wish them well, but they were being a little pushy with trying to get up to the very front of the Start Line. So I focused on taking pictures. :)
And before I knew it... it was time to tackle the final adventure!
Here's the course for the Star Wars Half.
The plan for the race? Stop for all the character pics. I figured they would mostly be inside the parks (and that is what others alluded to) then I would be able to just kind of run once out in the streets.
The race opened the same way as the other two: with a nice incline up a ramp.
Mile 1: 8:45
It was dark out, but I was still super impressed by some of the costumes folks put together for the race. I also realized a lot of folks in the first corral were looking to really race the Half and possibly PR. Now I hoped that would lead to shorter character pic lines.
I would be proven very very wrong. :P
Since running in the road in the dark isn't all that exciting I am lacking pics from the first couple of miles.
Mile 2: 8:53
I try to take pics of every mile marker to remind me which characters/parks I was at when.
Here was my first instance of running past a photo op and having to back track to it. I didn't notice you could take a Castle pic so I snapped my Mile 2 photo than ran back to the Castle.
Good thing I don't mind extra running. ;)
Not sure where the official photo is (didn't see it online), but here is the iPhone version. I was starting to test out ways to hold the Cape to show off it's awesomeness.
As we came up to the first character stop - Luke and Leia - the line looked short. Until I went to turn into it and realized it was already twisting and turning - like a ride. Ooohhh k. This is how the morning would go. I'm ready for it.
Yes this was worth the wait. Also do you like my "I'm trying to look serious" face?
As we passed my the carousel in Fantasyland, I spotted a few Storm Troopers. You weren't supposed to stop and take photos, but I couldn't pass up a selfie moment with my guys.
Then I spotted a guy running in a FULL Chewie costume. I tried to take a mid-run selfie with him, but then I liked the blurriness of this action photo too much to shoot another.
And just after taking this photo, the next character op - Chewie! :)
While heading from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, we had another opportunity to take a Castle pic. Which do you like better?
Yeah I'm going with #1 as well. :P Haha.
Just after we entered Tomorrowland, there he was and there the line was. Vader and his crew was set up in front of Star Tours and I entered the longest character line I have ever seen during a Run Disney race. This would be awhile. I started chatting with the folks near me, cheering on my fellow runners and texting with friends while we waited. I would wait as long as I needed.
It was worth it! Vader met Vader. :)
As we headed out of Disneyland, I stopped to take one last iconic photo. I do wish Marathon Foto was there since my phone didn't offer enough light to capture the awesomeness.
We said adios to Disneyland and made our way to California Adventure.
Mile 3: 36:22 (oh yeah baby - you are reading that correctly)
5k Split: 1:00:43
Made sure to say hi to the Jedis before snapping a selfie with my two favorite Storm Trooper Tinks!
While waiting in line for the Gamorean Guard photo, I was chatting with one of the cast members who actually remembered me from the previous day. He had taken my photo at another stop during the 10k. I'm guessing the black eye made me memorable.
The sun was starting to come up now and I was able to snap a pic while waiting in line for a pic with the Storm Troopers. Doesn't this look like it could be a backdrop on a set? Like Disneyland painted it?
I also thought it was time to grab a selfie with the folks kicking some booty!
Mess with me... mess with my troopers.
Thankfully all the stopping and standing around hadn't gotten to my legs yet. I made sure to continue to move and stretch while in all of the photo lines. Especially since I had a lot of miles left.
I mean how can I get angry at getting up at 4am to run when this view is part of the course?
Hello from Paradise Pier!
Photo swiped from Kara who may have swiped from Ivie.
My name is Dani and I am unable to look normal in a photo!
After chatting with them, we remembered we were in the middle of a race and should probably keep moving. Love seeing friends. I get sidetracked. So off we went. :)
Another stop for Jedis before...
Mile 4: 23:29
Now I knew our park time would be coming to a close soon so I tried to soak up as much Disneyland magic before heading to the streets of Anaheim.
Thankfully we had Cars Land up next.
Just before we exited the park, I saw one of the best signs so far.
It made me think of my wife and wonder how she was doing. Her legs were tired pre-race, but I hoped she would be able to dig deep and finish the Rebel Challenge.
It was finally time to hit the streets of Anaheim. I had no idea what to expect from this point on. I knew the course would be flat the rest of the way so I was appreciative of that.
While running down Harbor Boulevard, you could see the leaders making their way back towards Disneyland and the Finish. I love out and back courses like that. I was cheering loudly for them as they effortlessly (at least it looked that way) ran towards their medals. :)
Mile 5: 10:26
The first band looked awesome.
They were lively, energetic and playing some great tunes.
They also happened to have a bathroom. So I took the opportunity to stop, drop and port-o-potty!
<<Patting self on back>> perfect decision
Mile 6: 11:58
With a little spring in my step, I soldiered on.
10k Split: 1:46:02
The road was nice and wide so I spent some time bobbing and weaving through the crowd to find a nice hole where I could get into a nice running rhythm. I had spent so much time in line I was now way back in the crowds, which was fun to see everyone costumes. :)
The energy along the street was contagious.
I just wanted to jump in and attempt my own flag flying... but opted not to since these girls were rocking it!
Mile 7: 9:01
Ahhh how could the race be over halfway over. But I was having too much fun out there for it to end.
Apparently I was having so much fun that I forgot to take a pic of the Mile 8 marker. Whhaa?? How do you all know I saw it and passed it if I didn't take a pic. <>
The Mile 8 area also doubled as a water stop/Clif Gu stop. Don't worry I have pics of that.
Remember to hydrate folks!
Mile 8: 8:38
Now I had heard a rumor from past Avengers half participants that there may be some Cosplayers would be out during Mile 9. I was ready and freakin' impressed. Their costumes were ah-may-zing. They were happily taking photos with everyone.
It was a great photo opp especially for those folks that didn't have the luxury or didn't want to wait for pics inside the parks.
Additionally during Mile 9, I got to meet Elvis,
Trying to make an Uh Huh face
take candy from strangers,
and take a selfie with my friend Chris!
Also! How awesome are these signs?
Mile 9: 11:49
15k Split: 2:22:46
How could there only be 4 miles left in the fun?
We made our way through the residential neighborhoods and had some great spectators out on Chapman Avenue.
Mile 10: 14:23
**Note since I had gone back and forth in previous miles, my Garmin was ahead of the mile markers. Hi tangents! Therefore my Garmin had the character stops also on my Mile 10. Does that make sense? It will make more sense when I show my actual mileage at the end. :)
It was inspiring seeing how many folks out on the course were completing their Coast 2 Coast already! There were a number of folks that had their Dopey Challenge bibs from the previous week on their backs. Absolutely amazing and motivating.
I had to kick it up a notch.
My legs were feeling great. I was pleased I wore my Zensah compression sleeves for the race. They really kept my legs feeling fresh.
The high school and college cheerleaders and bands were doing an amazing job. Big ups to them for staying so positive and energetic for as long as they were out there!
Sometimes I think spectating can be harder than running.
Mile 11: 8:32
Oh a third Chewie to take a picture with during the same race? Yes please.
Mile 12: 9:04
And here we were. The final mile of the weekend.
I wasn't ready for the fun to be over.
Just before turning from Katelaa to Disneyland Drive and the Finish Area, I spotted a few folks and donuts I needed to take pics with.
I regret not eating a donut at the time. Thanks Sparkle Athletic for fueling the participants!!
Mile 13: 8:04
With being that close to the Finish, I was focusing on making a cool Finish Line photo and not snapping the Mile 13 marker. I had my cape flowing behind me ready to get that awesome photo when...
... I spotted Darth Goofy and lost my shit! :P I had to scramble to get my phone out and the photog caught this lovely pic. Oof!
... I had to snap a selfie with him right before the Finish Line.
And his hand is on my shoulder since that is apparently not allowed and he was guiding me towards the Finish. ;) It was worth it.
Even if this is the Finish photo I ended up with.
Finish Time: 2:55:11 Clock Time: 2:55:17
So again I started 6 seconds after the clock started. Cool!
Now you can see why my Garmin numbers were off of official Mile Markers as I added in about 0.6 miles of fun! :)
Yay the bling!
Oh and the Rebel Challenge medal. Just gorgeous.
I grabbed my water, snack box, banana and headed to the Party Area. But it wasn't my final destination.
Our plan was I would finish the race, head to Disneyland, grab us Fantasmic Fast Passes for later that night and then come back to see Tori finish her race.
Well I got to Disneyland 10 minutes before it opened so I spent the time explaining to folks coming up to me why I was dressed as Darth Vader, why I was wearing a bib and why I had medals. :)
Then found out the Fast Passes we wanted weren't available yet.
Sooo I grabbed a Castle selfie, got coffee and made my way back to the Finish Line.
Tori was texting me that she was hurting and getting close to the Finish Line. So I hustled myself back just in time to see her cross! Ahhh I was so proud. I was crying for her.
We went right to First Aid to get her some ice before heading back to our hotel to clean up before Park time.
Overall the race for me was amazing. It was worth the wait in lines even though it was pretty much the same characters all three days. I DO wish they had Disney characters dressed up as Star Wars characters along the course.
The Cosplayers during Mile 9 more than made up for a lack of characters at the beginning of the race. This was also a great opportunity for people to snap photos that didn't have the luxury of waiting earlier in the race due to time restraints for Finishing.
The water stops were plentiful and full of energy. The streets of Anaheim were alive and not boring as I had anticipated.
The bling was out of this world.
Do I wish there was more time spent in the parks? Of course. But Disneyland doesn't have as much park space to work with as Disney World.
I loved that you could easily walk to the corrals without having to take shuttles.
I was disappointed with lack of useable action shots from the Marathon Foto folks. Hence most of my pics in the recap were selfies outside of character stops.
I wish the Finishers' snack box had more edible treats. Of everything in there I only found the tortilla chips appealing.
The course was mainly flat outside of some inclines at the beginning.
Next up? #RebelTweetup.