Disneyland Part 4: Star Wars Half

After an amazing Saturday with Sarah from Mom Running On Empty, Colin, the wife and I, we crashed rather early that night. We ordered some pizza to the hotel, enjoyed some wine and passed out. 

On Sunday I sprang out of bed at 3:45am ready to tackle the Star Wars Half, the third and final race of the weekend. 

In 2015 I rocked the Vader look for the inaugural race and followed it up with Chewie as a Wilderness Explorer in 2016. So what would the costume be in 2017?

AN EWOK!!!! The wife did a freakin' amazing job making my costume. She made this headpiece from scratch. 

With a little chill in the air, I was glad I grabbed the heat wrap after the 10k. Since Sarah and I were in close corrals, we left the hotel together.

Tried to take the opportunity to go over what the course would be like. You spend the first 4+ miles in the parks then you weave your way through the streets of Anaheim. Some people don't enjoy that part, but I love seeing the local high school bands and cheerleaders out along the course. Plus there are a bunch of international cosplayers out during miles 8-9. It is great so folks that can't take pics in the park due to being worried about being swept can still get character photos!

We made it to the Start area where we found our crew so Sarah could return a Garmin charger she borrowed. Thank goodness for local friends with the same Garmins, right? :0)

Since I like to be as close to the beginning of Corral A as possible we scooted right out to the corral area. Sarah was in Corral B so we parted ways as I slinked my way up to the stage area. 

It's crazy that once again Darth Vader showed up... didn't expect that at all. ;)

I love watching the corral countdown. Since I am in Corral A, I get to watch the wheelchair participants kick off. It was awesome seeing the woman who had completed they Dopey Challenge the weekend before make it out to Anaheim for all 3 races as well.

Next up... A. Before we started, I got to see the lovely ladies behind Sparkle Athletic. They had some sweet blankets they were using rather than the cheap heat sheet I had. Great seeing familiar faces at races when there are sooo many participants. 

The race started out the same ways as the other mornings. We made our way into California Adventures and started in Cars Land.

Sorry but that view never gets old! I really needed to go to the bathroom so I was trying to time it so that Sarah could catch up to me and we could run the half together. She was in Corral B so I knew she wouldn't be too far behind me. 

I'm not sure why they change to generic mile markers for the half, but they are the same ones each year. I wish they used the character ones for the half as well. I know they already have 6 of them done. :)

Mile 1: 8:48

Once again I hopped in line to wait for R2-D2 who had been joined on that day by C-P3O. I love using the time in line to cheer on the other participants. This time I was also keeping an eye out for Sarah.

Can you tell I had a nice little chat with them? ;) 

It was time to run through Paradise Pier again, but first I had to grab my favorite shot.

I even got to stop and meet a couple of Rebels before deciding it was finally take to take advantage of having a real bathroom. The Rebels said I was a little tall to be an Ewok. :(

And grab my bathroom selfie ala BamaGirlRuns!

As I was about to leave the bathroom, there was Sarah! YAY!!! Now we could enjoy the rest of the race together! It's more fun sometimes having a partner to take pics with. 

Especially when they like to be as weird as you. :) 

Oh and sometimes you are so caught up in conversation you forget to take pictures, but are still aware enough to capture mile markers. Haha.

Mile 2: 15:15
Mile 3: 10:17

We entered the backside of Disneyland Park and emerged near Small World. 

5K SPLIT: 36:14

As soon as we passed Small World, there was a character stop! Woo! Oh hey Stormtroopers. It was nice speaking with a couple of first-time Run Disney racers behind us. Always fun to help answer people's questions and make sure they have fun on the course.

And the one and only BB-8 followed.

Just after leaving the character stop we caught a quick light saber battle ... even Kylo Ren showed up.

Before we ran through the Castle, we had to stop and take it in.

Running through the Castle never gets old. I could do that on loop for 13.1 miles. Anyone else? ;) 

Oh and before turning down Main Street, we had to snap a selfie with one of the cutest spectators in the park - this adorable horse!  

I love impromptu character stops.

Mile 4: 16:11

It was time for Sarah and I to take advantage of the final "official" character stop before we headed out into the streets of Anaheim.

Of course it was the one and only Chewie.

It is always sad to leave the parks, but Captain Phasma basically chased us out so we had to obey.

Once we left the park, we bumped into friends cheering on the runners. It was nice to see Christina (@PlaidTink) & Debbie (owner of Kingdom Ears). It was great to meet Debbie in person after receiving a pair of her ears as a gift from Christina earlier in the weekend. I love stopping to catch up with folks... even during a race. :) 

We bid the ladies adieu and continued on our way. It was time to hit the streets of Anaheim.

During this time I had been texting with Ivie and AJ, but I think they were too far behind us to accomplish our yearly mid-race selfie. :( I was bummed, but I wished them a good race since I knew I would see them later in the day for our yearly double date. :) 

I quickly had a smile return to my face when I started spotting spectator signs. The folks of Anaheim really bring their A game during this race. The signs, the snacks, the cheers, the costumes and the energy! All amazing!

Mile 5: 15:55
Mile 6: 9:38

Just after Mile 6, it was time for a snack, potty and med tent break. :) Potty for me, med tent for Sarah. Just a precautionary measure for Sarah. She hadn't been able to get in a long run for the half so we wanted to make sure she would be comfortable to complete all 13.1!

This little kid BROUGHT IT! Am I right? I made sure to ask his parents permission before snapping the pic.

10K SPLIT: 1:23:49

Of course my response was NO YOU'RE BB-Great and promptly grabbed a few pretzels because it is the nice thing to do. :)

And what goes better with pretzels than candy from strangers. 

As I was enjoying my red vine, Sarah spotted another photo op. While we took turns with the sweet frame, Sarah spotted her husband's cousins running towards us. Woo! They took a moment to catch up before I snapped a photo for them.

I'm sorry but the sign game was on POINT that day.

After a quick break for pics, it was time to get back o to the running game. I love being able to see the Team RWB (Red, White, Blue) in races all over the country. Amazing to see folks tackling something like a half carrying the American flag.

Mile 7: 13:12

While running through a neighborhood, it was nice to see the city had reminded residents that the race was happening by putting cones in front of the driveways. 

Mile 8: 10:40

Woo! It was finally time for the cosplayers. I can't thank this group enough for coming out and supporting the race and putting a ton of smiles on everyone's faces!!

Peace out Mile 9 - you never disappoint!

Mile 9: 14:53

15K SPLIT: 2:04:05

It was time to take another walk/snack break and the Long Beach Galloway group was there with some snacks. Perfect timing.

As we approached Mile 10, Sarah said she would finish, but she might need to walk the final 3 miles. I brought out the tough love and said I would not walk the final 3 miles, but would be happy to do some run-walking. I am sure people around us might've thought I sounded a little mean, but Sarah and I have been in this position before (think Mile 21 of RnR San Diego marathon 2015) and I knew what she really needed to hear. And you know what she kicked butt the final 3 miles. Especially after not being able to train the way she wanted and kicking 6.2 miles' butt the day before.

Mile 10: 13:56
Mile 11: 11:03

For Mile 12, we were back on the main street where we had run Mile 5/6. It was awesome cheering on the folks that were enjoying THEIR Mile 5/6. I loved offering them words of encouragement and kudos on some pretty amazing costumes.

Then we saw her. The final participant of the race passed by. She looked great and you could see her giant smile from across the road.

We couldn't pass up a chance to take a picture with THE Death Star.

He had worn this during the inaugural Star Wars Half before they changed the costume policy. He was out on that day cheering on his wife.

After we bid farewell to the Death Star, I had the pleasure of meeting a blog reader Liz, who was recovering form injury, but still out DOMINATING the race. Thank you Liz for saying HI!

Sarah let me know that this little lady below was excited for an Ewok to come take a picture of her sign. 

How adorable is she?Of course I had to snap a pic of this homemade witty sign.

We waved to the wife and Colin who were still inside our hotel either still sleeping or enjoying a nice breakfast. :P

Mile 12: 11:20

Oh man! Only one more mile left of the fun. :( 

How awesome is this costume? A wicked creative Ariel-Boba Fett combo. I gave her such props for being in long sleeves and long pants.

We took the final turn behind Disney hotels and were hit with realization that we really almost done. Noooo I want these races to go on forever. Anyone else have races like that?

Mile 13: 11:20

While I don't personally like Dole Whips (don't kill me) I always love grabbing a shot of Dole Whip signs for the wife. I can use this later when I need to motivate her for sure. :)

FINISH TIME: 2:47:10 (12:46 min/mile pace)

And just like that half #49 and my 3rd Star Wars Half were in the books. 

I quickly went to grab my Half medal before getting my #RebelChallenge bling.

I have had a BLAST at Star Wars weekend the past three years.

I mean this bling is sweet.

I will miss doing this race in 2018, but I am psyched to check out a new race weekend in Disneyland that year. Planning to run the Run Disney Tinkerbell weekend to celebrate Sarah's 40th birthday.

Did you run Star Wars Half? What was your favorite part?