Cancellation of 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon and RunDisney’s Disneyland Events

We got the email on October 18, but we’ve expected the news for months: the 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon: The Light Side was officially canceled by RunDisney.

Somewhat more surprising (to me, at least), was the news that all of their Disneyland location races are on hiatus for an undefined length of time. I would have thought an arrangement could have been worked out for at least their flagship Disneyland Half Marathon, but apparently not.

After the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon, Kelly, Taylor and I all signed up for the Rebel Challenge and Jason signed up for the half again. After running at Disneyland during the same January weekend for four years in a row (2014 Tinker Bell, 2015 Star Wars, 2016 Star Wars and 2017 Star Wars), it’s a bit sad to see the race canceled. At least our registration fees were fully refunded.

This weekend was the one that started it all. After four years of running a half marathon at Disneyland over MLK weekend, it’s hard to let it go.

And although this weekend was always a significant race weekend because it always marked the anniversary of running my first long-distance race, I’m not too disappointed. For me personally, things worked out for the best.  I’m a bridesmaid that weekend and it’s a relief not to fly directly from the race to the wedding.

Hopefully RunDisney races will return to Disneyland in the future. In the meantime, maybe I need to set my sights on the Walt Disney World Marathon?

For now, the Monterey Bay Half Marathon is now the biggest race on my calendar.

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Race Recap: 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon (The Light Side) -Disneyland, CA

I finished the Rebel Challenge for the third year in a row!

I finished the Rebel Challenge for the third year in a row!

I spent months looking forward to the Star Wars Half… planning costumes, discussing the race with friends, getting caught up in the Rogue One excitement and more! On top of it, it was Kelly’s first half marathon and first RunDisney race! It’s always fun to share the experience with others.

After Taylor and I ran the Star Wars 10K on Saturday and then spent the whole day at Disneyland, I knew the 13.1 miles would feel a little longer than normal. On the other hand, our costumes were so awesome, I knew they would carry me the entire distance!

Rocking our Rebel Pilot outfits, we were ready to jump to hyperspace!

Rocking our Rebel Pilot outfits, we were ready to jump to hyperspace!

Since we ran as Imperial Officers during the 10K, Taylor and I decided to defect to the Rebellion. Nothing like running as Rebel Pilots!

This was the first time I’ve stayed at a place close to the resort, and it was so nice to be able to walk to the start line on both Saturday and Sunday. Jason was in A corral, but Taylor, Kelly and I were back in G corral. We were too far away to see the stage, but unlike at the Disneyland Half, we could at least hear the audio. Jason tried to FaceTime with us and although the connection was spotty, he showed us his vantage point in A corral of Darth Vader coming on stage to make ominous pronouncements to the runners.

Finally, we were off! The start led us straight up a hill, but this actually gave the crowd a chance to thin out before entering backstage DCA.

Loved seeing Ezra &a Sabine on course! #StarWarsHalf #RunDisney #StarWarsRebels #rebelpilot

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Lines were much better at the character stops than in the 10K, and since I finally started watching Rebels, I was ecstatic to see Sabine and Ezra on course. I had just finished season one, but I love Star Wars Rebels, which is way more amazing than I ever imagined. Next year, maybe I’ll run as Hera.

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Running past the World of Color fountains is fantastic at dawn!

The wide paths of California Adventure are perfect for running and the lights were beautiful. World of Color is a particular favorite, and since we weren’t visiting California Adventure this trip, it made the run even more special.

The RunDisney races wind in and out of backstage areas, which is really fun. In one of the backstage tunnels, they had flashing lights and the sounds of an x-wing/tie fighter dogfight. Dressed as Rebel Pilots, we really took advantage of this part, zooming down the incline together.

fter bursting out of backstage Disneyland into Toon Town, Kelly and I played around on the Jolly Trolley.

After bursting out of backstage Disneyland into Toon Town, Kelly and I played around on the Jolly Trolley.

I love backstage, but the best part was going from backstage into Toon Town. For some reason, more than other transitions, it feels like you burst out of mundane buildings of backstage into the magical world of Disneyland.

I'm so glad the Christmas lights on Small World are still up

I’m so glad the Christmas lights on Small World are still up

I loved the course through the parks. We got to run through Tomorrowland, of course, which is still decked out as a kind-of temporary Star Wars Land (when Star Wars Land actually opens, this course will be bonkers), and through the castle and down Main Street. In two different areas, they had Jedi, probably from the training academy, fighting Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, respectively.

A daring lightsaber battle rages on as the runners pass.

A daring lightsaber battle rages on as the runners pass.

Complete with audio, it added a really fun kinetic element of theatre to the race. Plus, unlike the static character stops, all the runners were able to enjoy the scenes as we ran by!

Once we left the park, the race became more difficult. I was sad to see that the change in corrals meant that Jason finished his race practically before we left the park. We weren’t going to repeat our meeting on the median from last year.

The sun came up and Taylor and I started feeling the miles from the previous day. However, the groups cheering, the bands and fans were all in full force, and they definitely kept our spirit up.

I also stayed focused on two things that I knew would be later in the race: Redvines from the Mouse Planet tent and the Rebel Pilot cosplayers. The 501st and Rebel cosplayer groups are always a highlight, but this year, I really wanted a picture because of our costumes!

I spent most of the race waiting to take a picture with these guys!

I spent most of the race waiting to take a picture with these guys!

Later in the race, Taylor started really feeling the miles and said it just felt harder, than his previous three half marathons. Maybe the novelty wore off, maybe he was undertrained, but I had a different answer. Two days of running is just hard. “That is why they call it the Rebel Challenge,” I said. “Because it’s a challenge.” You may be trained up for the half marathon distance, but the challenge is different. I’m not sure he appreciated hearing this from me at that movement, but I’ve done this before and finally felt vindicated, like someone understood that the difficulty increased as well as the fun. At some point, your feet just ask you “Whyyyyyyy…”

To be fair, my feet feel like that after mile 18 of a marathon too, but I definitely recover faster after the 19.3 two-day challenge. This is perfect for a RunDisney vacation. After each of my two marathons, I’ve been trashed for a week and spending a day at Disneyland would be hard to stomach (not saying I wouldn’t do it…).

I love seeing mile 10 in a half marathon. No matter how my race is going, I've hit double-digits and with only 5K to go, the finish suddenly feels close.

I love seeing mile 10 in a half marathon.
No matter how my race is going, I’ve hit double-digits and with only 5K to go, the finish suddenly feels close.

Taylor and Kelly must have turned on mindless runner mode, because at one point, I had to adjust my shoe. I felt like a painful blister was forming. I had my shoe partially off when I looked up and they were way in front of me. At my speed and level of tiredness, I knew catching up would be hard. I jammed my shoe back on as quickly as possible and sprinted through a couple of intervals until finally catching them.

That was really rough, but it just proves that even when I’m really tired, I always have more energy than expected.

Soon we were turning onto Disney Property for our final stretch. “S-Foils in attack formation,” I called to Kelly and Taylor. The best part of the end of the race is running past the Disneyland Hotel in Downtown Disney with the course lined with cheering spectators. They really carry us to the finish line.

Rebel Runners do it again!

Rebel Runners do it again!

We took the rest of Sunday easy– enjoyed the hot tub, ate pizza, and went to the theatre to see Moana. Sunday, we celebrated by going to Disneyland!

Time: 3:09:18
Ran With: Taylor, Kelly
Best Costume: One impressive gal ran as a cosplay-perfect Jyn Erso– vest, boots, everything… even had the Death Star plans in her hand!
Rebel Redux: For the first time, RunDisney offered us Star Wars runners a chance to sign up early for next year (with a tiny discount). In 2018, Jason will run the half for a fourth time and I will return to the Rebel Challenge, joined once more by Taylor with the addition of Kelly, who couldn’t resist the lure of the extra 10K!

Race Recap: 2017 Star Wars 10K (The Light Side)— Disneyland, CA

After completing the Star Wars Rebel Challenge for a third time, I can say that these two races are still amazing!

Taylor and I had a blast completing the Star Wars 10K, the first part of the Rebel Challenge!

Taylor and I had a blast completing the Star Wars 10K, the first part of the Rebel Challenge!

What a difference a year makes! Last year, I walked most of the 10K with my hubby, as I was just coming back from an injury and was worried if I would even be able to complete the half the following day. This year, I had none of the injury fear and all of the excitement.

Time to catch those Rebel scum! #StarWars10K @tddewey

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This year, it was my brother Taylor that I ran with. Taylor was first inspired to run half marathons after spectating these races the previous year. He had to wait a whole year until he could run the Rebel Challenge!

Unlike last year, the corrals were bigger, which means we waited a little longer until the start of Corral D. Once the race started, we ran up a short hill (as fast as possible) and very soon we were in backstage California Adventure! The highlights of running through California Adventure are seeing the World of Color fountains and running through the Grizzly Peak area.

There were a few characters out, but I had learned my lesson from trying to see BB-8 the previous year. During the 10K, it isn’t worth it. The lines are shorter during the half marathon anyway, so I saved character fun for another day.

Maybe you don't see imperial officers smile that much, but they would if they were running this race!

Maybe you don’t see imperial officers smile that much, but they would if they were running this race!

The cool thing about running the 10K is that all 6 miles are on property. Being a total Disney nerd, I had just as much fun running backstage as I did inside the park!

Now that the 60th anniversary celebration is over, the sparkly roof overlay is being removed. We spotted some of the roof backstage.

Now that the 60th anniversary celebration is over, the sparkly roof overlay is being removed. We spotted some of the roof backstage, just after a water station.

If we had seen Darth Vader, we might have stopped to take pictures with him, but we as imperial stormtrooper officers, we were pretty excited to spot a pair patrolling the balcony of Launch Bay.

Taylor looks perfectly in command of this pair of stormtroopers.

Taylor looks perfectly in command of this pair of stormtroopers.

We spotted Captain Phasma shortly before leaving the park, who was patrolling above the archway. Her costume is spectacular and we spent at least a minute just watching her strut back and forth, menacingly.
Perhaps this is why we completely missed Kelly, who was spectating the race from the entry plaza (Jason was not present, as took the rental car on an impromptu road trip to watch a SpaceX rocket launch).

We missed her, but Kelly did capture pictures of us running.

We missed her, but Kelly did capture pictures of us running.

There was tons of things to see, but all too soon, the 6 miles were nearly up. Its such a rush running past the hotel down the final stretch with so many spectators cheering us on! Once we crossed, we received our adorable BB-8 spinning medals!

This runner, dressed as Director Krennic from Rogue One, asked to take a picture with us "because I outrank you." We were amused by his mini Death Star.

This runner, dressed as Director Krennic from Rogue One, asked to take a picture with us “because I outrank you.” We were amused by his mini Death Star.

We celebrating completing the first 6.2 miles of the Rebel Challenge by spending the day at Disneyland…. after taking a shower and putting on compression socks, of course.

A runDisney 10K really goes by too fast, and I always feel a little sad when its over… but then I remember I get to do it all again the next day at the Half Marathon!

Time: 1:32:18
Ran With: Taylor
Favorite Moment: Captain Phasma!
Best thing in snack box: Jif Nut Butter Bar. Delicious.

Costume reveal for the 2017 Star Wars Rebel Challenge

Well, I’m packed and ready to fly to California, but it came as quite a surprise this week when we got 10 inches of snow here in the Willamette Valley. It certainly changed my last minute plans and hopefully we have no problems catching our flight!

The snow is quite pretty and it did mean I got some extra time off. But I must say, I am looking forward to the warmer California weather! Although all of Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is fun, I am particularly excited by our costumes this year.

2017 Star Wars 10K Costume

Since Kelly, Taylor, Jason and I signed up for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, the costume focus was solely on the longer race. However, Taylor and I are also running the 10K as part of the rebel challenge.

We spent many months thinking up and discarding ideas. Some were too complicated to make as a second costume. Others just failed to capture our excitement.

But then, on a long training run, shortly after seeing Rogue One, we finally got excited. Imperial officers!

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Since most of our time was dedicated to creating the four costumes for the Half Marathon, we already owned or bought most of the costume elements.

After a brief tussle over what color, we quickly set about getting the costume elements put together.

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I’ll be honest, we chose black almost entirely based on the fact that the officers appeared to have an imperial patch on their shoulder. Too cool!

Costume elements:

  • Black running tights
  • Black running shirt
  • Tunic extension made from running skirt pattern
  • Imperial patch (sewn on sleeve)
  • Belt made from 2-inch elastic
  • Handcrafted pin-on belt buckle
  • Handcrafted rank bar
  • Purchased imperial hat

Taylor did an amazing job crafting the belt buckles and rank bars, while I sewed the elastic belts and tunic extensions.

We’re pleased with the result, considering how last minute the costume came together. My only concern is it might be too warm. I run extremely hot even when I’m not in California. But it’s a shorter race and the costume is cool enough I’m happy to put up with it.

2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Costume

When we signed up for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, Kelly instantly knew she wanted to run as a rebel x-wing pilot, and I have to say, we all pretty much agreed with her.

Kelly models the completed costume!

Kelly models the completed costume!

It took a lot of effort and time to finally put the costume together, but it really is amazing how it all turned out.

Costume elements

  • Modified running hat with rebel patches and raised ridge
  • Amber safety glasses
  • Orange running shirt
  • Orange running shorts/skirt sewn from pattern
  • White flak vests (handmade)
  • Chest box and straps (handmade)
  • Grey ejection straps (sewn)
Rebel pilots running through the hanger on Yavin IV during Rogue One. I love how this picture shows our heroes just strutting confidently through the hanger instead.

Rebel pilots running through the hanger on Yavin IV during Rogue One. I love how this picture shows our heroes just strutting confidently through the hanger instead.

It was truly a group effort putting it all together and everyone worked on different pieces. I cant wait to wear both of my costumes this weekend!

Countdown to the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

Corrals and course maps for the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon were released during the holidays and now the official start of the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend (The Light Side) is only a week away!

Running.. very carefully... just make sure you avoid the ice!

Luckily, most of this 12-mile run was on a clear pathway, but the icy bits were still quite scary! Our next long run had no snow, but the frozen puddles were very slick.

I’ll especially enjoy the race location this year… it’s been a cold winter this year and my last two long training runs were in below freezing weather. They’re forecasting snow again this weekend! I’m looking forward to the southern California climate.

Corrals

We’re very happy about our corral placements! Unlike last year, Star Wars will have an increased number of corrals, just like the Disneyland Half. I couldn’t use my awesome 10K PR time anymore, but I still got into G corral (I was placed in E corral for the Disneyland Half). Looking at bib numbers, that puts 8,500 of the 16,000 runners in corrals behind us. The earlier corrals are smaller— Jason is in A corral with only 810 total runners.

Corral assignments are split into two categories, Star Wars Half Marathon (shown above) and Rebel Challenge runners. Kelly and Jason are running the half only, but Taylor and I are running the Rebel Challenge (both the 10K and the half).

Corral assignments are split into two categories, Star Wars Half Marathon (shown above) and Rebel Challenge runners. Kelly and Jason are running the half only, but Taylor and I are running the Rebel Challenge (both the 10K and the half).

Kelly worked her butt off to get a good 10K time before the proof-of-time deadline and despite being new to long distance running, got a great time and also was placed in G corral. Taylor worked to improved his PR 10K time all year and moved up from corral H in the Disneyland Half to corral F.

Costumes

I’ve been hard at work sewing costumes for our races. I’m pretty excited about how they are turning out.

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Sewing up the flak vest for a rebel pilot outfit!

For the half marathon, Jason, Taylor, Kelly and I are all running as Rebel pilots. The costumes have a lot of pieces, but so far they are turning out amazing! For the 10K, Taylor and I are running as imperial officers.

It’s a group effort putting the costumes together and a lot of work, but I can’t wait to try them out!

This weekend, I plan to follow all the excitement of the Walt Disney World Marathon, sew up the costumes, go on a short training run, pack my bags for my trip and binge watch Star Wars Rebels, Season 2!

Race day feels so close now!

2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed!

Since the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend isn’t until January 2017, I wasn’t expecting the medals to be revealed so early!

I also wasn’t expecting that there would be any significant changes to the half marathon medal itself. Although the 10K medals change every year, traditionally, runDisney half marathon medals stay fairly consistent for the four years, with a special anniversary medal, followed by a redesign.

Not true anymore! For the past two years, the Star Wars Half medal was a replica of the Medal of Bravery, the medals presented to Han and Luke at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope.

Now, that image has been replaced with Han and Leia. I think if I had never run the Star Wars Half and earned the Medal of Bravery before, I would be disappointed. Since I’ve already earned it twice, I’m rather excited for a change, although it’s not my favorite medal design ever. It’s big and it’s gold and that makes me happy.

place

Looking at the image closely, it looks like this may be a spinner medal. If so, there is an image on the other side we haven’t seen yet. I wonder what it could be….

I’ll also be earning the 10K BB-8 medal, which looks cute! Last year’s x-wing was the coolest, but this is way better than the stormtroopers of 2015. BB-8 is a favorite of mine, so I’m totally excited he’s on a medal.
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Conspicuously absent from the photos is the Rebel Challenge medal. Is it because it will be almost exactly the same as previous years? Or are they just saving the reveal for the pièce de résistance?

UPDATE:

Yes! It’s totally a spinner. I’m so glad they kept the Medal of Bravery design.

Related: Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon
Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars 10K
Medals Revealed For The 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

Planning for a Third Year at the Star Wars Half Marathon

That’s right! I’ve signed up, yet again, for the Star Wars Half Marathon Rebel Challenge. I’ll be running both the 10K and the Half Marathon in January, 2017.

After last year’s injury really slowed me down, I’m excited to have another shot at the race. It’s also cool to reflect that since I ran Tinker Bell in 2014, Star Wars weekend 2017 will be my fourth time in a row running a half marathon during that weekend!

Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher in 2015 and 2016! For 2017, the race has been rebranded as "The Light Side."

Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher in 2015 and 2016! For 2017, the race has been rebranded as “The Light Side.”

Better yet, I’ve got even more running buddies! Taylor, having had a great time at Tinker Bell Half in May, has also signed up for the Rebel Challenge. Kelly, having had such a great time spectating Tinker Bell, has taken the plunge as well— the Star Wars Half Marathon will be her first half marathon ever!

Jason is also running the half again (although skipping the challenge this year), so maybe I’ll see him again at the halfway point again! That was a highlight of last year’s race.

Until then, I have another runDisney race to look forward to! The Disneyland Half is coming up fast!

Related:

Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon
Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars 10K
2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Expo & Packet Pick Up