Disneyland 2016 Part 2: Star Wars 5k

After safely arriving in California, we immediately headed to the Expo and the Parks! Day 1 of the trip started off with a bang.

In 2015, I ran the Star Wars 5k as an Ewok

Now Run Disney changed the costume rules for the 2016 season, so I made sure to bring the Ewok costume in case any of my costumes got rejected by security. So yes friends I forgot my running shorts, but remembered my back-up costume. ;)

Thank goodness my wife is creative. I think we have all learned that by now. :P

So this year's costume was...


How freakin' awesome did it come out? I was psyched!

Since we were so close to the gates I left the hotel at 4:45am for the 5:30am start. I like being there early to get a nice spot up near the announcers' stage.

What I didn't realize was that security would be upping their game this year. Instead of being able to walk right into the corrals, we had to walk through Downtown Disney and go through security near the ESPN Zone. Let's just say this added on some mileage to get to the corrals. Since I was now running behind, I jogged to the Start Area. I am sure people thought I was odd, but it was nice to warm up the legs a little.

Once I finally made my way to Corral A, I bobbed and weaved my way up to the third row. One benefit of racing solo, I just kind of "Excuse Me"-d my way to the front. 

I love being able to see Carissa and Rudy up close. 

Now the 5k is an untimed event, but I know that the character lines get freakin' long freakin' fast at the Star Wars races. So I like to get as close to the front as possible for at least the first character. ;)

The wheelchair kicked off right at 5:30am with a kickass confetti display!

After the wheelchair participant was given a minute or so head start, it was time for Rudy to count us down. I tried to start the Garmin where I guessed the Start Line would be and we were off.

The first 3/4 of a mile or so is in the street before you take a right into the Disney backlot area. The first character stop was Chewie!

I loved that Run Disney added backdrops/scenery to the character stops this year. For those that have never run a Disney race, in addition to the MarathonFoto photog the Disney cast members will snap a photo for you with your phone or camera. The above photo was taken with my iPhone. I trust the cast members with my camera/phone. They take a bunch of photos and will turn on the Flash if they think it will helps. Basically they give you options. :)

I was ready to take a selfie at the Mile 1 marker when a Disney cast member offered to take a pic for me. :)

Mile 1: 8:55

During Mile 2, we took a fantastic tour through Disneyland. It is absolutely amazing to run through the park when it is dark and empty. :) 

While I ran towards the Castle, I was expecting to see a MarathonFoto photog, but I didn't. It was at that point I was happy I didn't bother buying the MarathonFoto packages fro this race series. It is usually a must for Run Disney races, but there was a serious lack of photogs on the course.

Luckily a cast member offered to take my pic as she saw me struggling to selfie with the Castle and my light saber. :)

I love that she caught someone running behind me.

We had a quick stop with the Rebels from Star Wars Rebels. They actually asked me to put my light saber away. "No weapons here." - Ezra said.

I kept looking for Darth Vader, who was located in Tomorrowland last year. 

(Note: It wasn't until after the weekend that I realized all of the character stops were characters from the "Light Side." So THAT is why Darth Vader was nowhere to be found. I am now guessing the "Dark Side" characters will be at the Dark Side Challenge in Disney World in April. *Fingers Crossed*)

Once we made our way back to the entrance of Disneyland, we made our way across the plaza towards California Adventures.

I love seeing spectators on either side of the chute between Disneyland and California Adventures.

We hit Mile 2 right after entering California Adventures.

Mile 2: 9:45

I love the first street you run to in California Adventures. 

It was at the end of this street that the BIGGEST character stop of the weekend would be...


His line mimicked Darth Vader's from last year's races. This pic is one of my favorites of the entire weekend. Rey and her buddy BB-8! :)

After my leg's got the rest while waiting in line, we were off to Cars Land. 

I figured there had to be one more character stop, but I couldn't figure out who it was.

And O-M-G...

it was R2-D2!!!

(Note: Apparently C3PO was there as well just not when I was there! Harumph!

Storm Trooper selfie!

As we made our way towards Paradise Pier, I geeked out. The Disney ferris wheel is one of my favorite spots.

After leaving California Adventures, we would be taking Downtown Disney straight to the Finish!

I actually saw the wife just before the Mile 3 marker, which always makes me happy!!

Mile 3: 9:59

I took the final right turn at the Disneyland Hotel hat and headed straight to the Finish Line.

FINAL TIME: 29:16 (9:26 min/mile)

The "medals" for the 5k are actually rubber since it is labeled as a Family Fun Run. So I think Disney calls them medallions. :)

Once I collected my medal, water and snack box, I headed off to meet the wife for coffee.

Overall the race was great as always. I saw less photographers than usual, but saw additional cast members on course that were willing to take photos for me when I needed the help. There were a few times I wanted to stop for a pic and wished I had a running buddy. Not everyone taking part is willing to stop and take a picture for a stranger. I get it. Everyone does a race for different reasons.

With that I completed 3.1 of the 22.4-magical miles for the weekend...

Next Up: Star Wars 10k