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!

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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.

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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.
oijnnpr
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.

There’s still a chance to earn the @runDisney #StarWarsHalf Marathon medal! Link in profile.

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

Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon—Disneyland, CA

Special event Disney Half Marathon sign

You bet it’s a special event! (This was taken somewhere around mile 9, I’m guessing?)

Wow. If nervousness and caution were the hallmark of the 10K for me, elation and joy filled me during the Star Wars Half Marathon. After running more than expected during the 10K, I was overjoyed to wake up with very little fatigue or pain. I did my stretches in the morning and was pleased to note no unpleasant twinges from my problematic leg.

We woke up bright and early again and donned our costumes. For the Half Marathon, I revisted my Star Tours droid costume from last year’s 10K and made Jason a similar costume (although I based his costume on the pilot, Ace rather than on the Aly San-San spokesbot).

Star Tours Droids reporting for duty! Our running costumes were based on Aly San-San (top right) and Ace (bottom right).

Star Tours Droids reporting for duty! Our running costumes were based on Aly San-San (top right) and Ace (bottom right).

Running in a costume is a ton of fun, as long as it’s race-friendly, which these were. Shortly after we got our picture taken together, Jason and I split up as he headed for A corral.

I was certainly nervous at the beginning of my race, but despite running more of the 10K than planned, felt pretty good. Originally, I didn’t plan on stopping at all because I wanted to make sure I would finish the race, but once in the park, my plans of course changed. I just felt great!

The lights, the energy, the magic— It carries you forward!

The lights, the energy, the magic— It carries you forward!

After a month of pain, I was running pain-free in the happiest place on earth and it was glorious. I was filled with inescapable joy just to be able to be here and be running. I still played it smart and set an interval timer for 30 seconds running, 50 seconds of walking. Rather a slow interval, with much more walking, but despite the injury and subsequent lack of training, I knew that if I followed my timer, I would finish the race.

Stopped for a photo with the stars of Star Wars Rebels, Ezra and Sabine.

Stopped for a photo with the stars of Star Wars Rebels, Ezra and Sabine.

The lines for photo stops were much shorter during the half marathon than they were the previous day during the 10K, so I actually did end up stopping (although I avoided the absolutely enormous line for BB-8 this time). The longest line I stood for was the speeder bikes, but once again, my favorite pictures ended up being quick snapshots or selfies.

Dad snapped this photo as I was leaving Disneyland on my way to California Adventure.

Dad snapped this photo as I was leaving Disneyland on my way to California Adventure.

Both Dad and Taylor were in the entry plaza to cheer me on and tell me I was looking good. “Help me Star Tours, you’re my only hope,” Dad said, causing others to chuckle. I told them I felt amazing!

In fact, I was just so happy to be moving forward and still feeling good. I’ve run enough half marathons now that I have more confidence about the distance than I used to.

The way I felt, I was already sure I could finish, even though I would continue to play it safe for the rest of the race.

I usually look tired or annoyed while running, but I was grinning the entire race this time, just thankful to be at the race and on my way to finishing.

Mile 3 already? Last year I took a picture at mile 10, but the markers look way cooler in the dark.

Mile 3 already? Last year I took a picture at mile 10, but the markers look way cooler in the dark.

Daylight slowly crept over the runners as I was weaving my way through California Adventure after losing a bit of time after a few photo stops. Unlike the narrower pathways of Disneyland, running through California Adventure feels incredibly spacious.

After being closed for maintainence during last year's Star Wars Half, the World of Color Fountains were on this year. Had it still been a bit darker, they would be even more spectacular.

After being closed for maintenance during last year’s Star Wars Half, the World of Color Fountains were on this year. Had it still been a bit darker, they would be even more spectacular.

Disneyland may be my favorite park, but I think California Adventure may just provide a more satisfying running experience.

Without the daytime crowds, it has an expansive glory. I love rounding the broad corner around Grizzly Peak area in the cool morning hours, the quiet making it really feel like a wilderness escape.

Paradise pier is, of course, gorgeous, and the lighted stone archway entrance to CarsLand is breaktaking.

Jennifer and I both had similar Star Tours outfits on (a rare sight in the race), so we stopped to say hi and snap a photo.

Jennifer and I both had similar Star Tours outfits on (a rare sight in the race), so we stopped to say hi and snap a photo.

Finally, although not notable during the day, seeing the wide pathway near Pacific Wharf and Golden Vine Winery filled with runners gives me a thrill.

In fact, I ran into a fellow Star Tours droid near there, which made us both laugh.

After exiting the park, I turned on my Star Wars Rebel Challenge playlist for the first time. I was pretty excited about it, but I wanted to save it for after I left the park so I could truly enjoy the park experience.

I took a deep breath, listened to my intervals,  focused on my running plan and headed out into the streets of Anaheim to conquer the rest of the race with a smile.

On Harbor Blvd, runners were actually going in both directions. Normally I don’t like running back on the same road, but during a disney race it was fun to see the faster runners (between mile 11 and 12) while I was running out (between mile 5 and 6).

This was especially cool because Jason and I spotted each other! A quick hug, photo, and kiss goodbye and Jason sped his way to the finish.

Jason and I found each other for a meeting on the median!

Jason and I found each other for a meeting on the median!

Needless to say, I was excited to see him and it was one of the highlights of the whole race.

I always keep my music down low during runDisney races so I only hear it when I really need to. Otherwise, the cheering crowds, the bands and the other runners fill my ears. By 7:25, Jason crossed the finish line and I was over halfway.

X-Wing styled car, complete with pilot.

X-Wing styled car, complete with pilot.

Just like last year, the cosplayers and member of the 501st were a highlight of the course, but I cheered everyone on the course.

By the time I reached Garden Grove, I was completely enjoying myself. The neighborhood was beautiful and spectators full of energy. Better yet, I was confident and just happy to be running on such a beautiful day.

Okay, so it was foggy and much cooler than it was for the 10K, but for someone from Portland, where it had been raining for weeks straight, the temperature and weather was glorious.

By mile 10, I realized that the faces of runners around me were showing pain and fatigue while I was still grinning. I started chatting with runners each time I hit a walking interval, trying to pass on some of my joy, at least… just enough to distract and help people towards the finish.

I hit up the MousePlanet tent for my free candy from strangers— I seriously think that redvines are my #1 favorite thing to eat during a race. I nearly jumped for joy to see them on the course again and ran with my fistful for about half a mile.

Wearing my bling proudly!

Wearing my bling proudly!

Before too long I was back on Harbor Blvd myself and although it was much later in the race, there were still tons of crowds cheering. I was following my intervals and completely happy with my pace. I knew that before long, I would be back in the park. For the last mile, the cheering crowds thickly lined to course and helped to carry every last one of us to the finish line.

Never before have I been so grateful and happy just to be able to run. How did I celebrate successfully completing the Rebel Challenge for the second year?

I went to Disneyland for some breakfast at the Jolly Holiday!

Straight from the finish line to the park!

Straight from the finish line to the park!

Time: 3:15:49 (Not a bad time for a RunDisney race!)
Ran With: Just me and my music
Best Spectator: The Star Trek TNG guy around mile 12. He went nuts when I threw up a Vulcan salute.

Related: Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars 10K
2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Expo & Packet Pick Up
2015 Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Recap: Rebel Challenge Part 2

Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars 10K—Disneyland, CA

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I woke up Saturday both apprehensive and excited— apprehensive about how I was going to feel during the race and excited for the first part of the Rebel Challenge—the Star Wars 10K!

When Jason and I signed up back in June, we decided that both registering for the Rebel CHallenge would give us a chance to do a race together. So Jason left A corral to be with me in B corral. Even if I had to walk the entire race, he planned to finish with me.

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Details from sewing the outfits.

Jason and I wore outfits inspired by our favorite droids— R2-D2 and BB-8. Although we bought the shirts, I sewed my own skirt and even added detailing to Jason’s running shorts.

Although I planned to walk the whole race, the night before I revised it to add running at the very beginning and across the finish line. It’s nearly impossible to walk across the start line anyway, so why fight the adrenaline.

After crossing the line at a jog however, I was surprised to find that for the first time in over a month, I wasn’t experiencing any pain by jogging. Cue excitement tempered by wariness.
As we jogged into the backstage area early in the race, I struggled with what to do. Even if I felt good at that moment, I knew I had to go 13.1 miles alone the following day and I was simply afraid to run more. I forced myself to walk.
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Luckily, Jason and I loved looking at all the sights in Disneyland and sometimes I was so excited that I had to start running again. Mostly walking, interspersed with some running, we wound our way through Disneyland. Fantasyland, my favorite part of the Star Wars 10K last year, was even better this year, with all the lights of small world lit up in full glory.

Pain-free running disney joy in front of Small world

Pain-free running disney joy in front of a sparkling Small World.

Exciting Disneyland, we spotted Dad and Taylor cheering for us as we crossed the plaza to California adventure and stopped for a quick selfie.

So far we had skipped all the character stops— I was worried about time and Jason knew he could stop the following day. And then we ran into the line for BB-8 while running down Hollywood Blvd.

At this point, my race had been slower than normal, although fun, but I had to make a choice. Do I stop in the incredibly long line for BB-8, or do I skip what might be the last character stop?

We got in line and was told it would be around 30 minutes, by far the longest line I’ve ever even considered stopping in. But I was wearing an outfit inspired by BB-8, so it felt like we should stop, even if it was our only stop.

Four people behind us, they cut the line off.

We should have known we were in trouble then. We waited… and waited… and chatted with the runner in front of us. The people going past us got slower and the corral numbers on their bibs went from B to C to D… and then to E…

20 minutes into the line, we were only halfway to the front.

Not bad, considering the rushed circumstances...

Not bad, considering the rushed circumstances…

A little later on, a bicyclist came by, telling us that if we stayed in the line, we would get swept. No character is worth that! Jason grabbed a quick picture for me to make it a little less waste of time, and then we zipped away. As Jason and I started running, to my horror, we passed the balloon ladies that mark the slowest acceptable pace.

At this point, I kind of freaked out. Being a slow runner, getting swept has always been a niggling concern in longer races, even if I was in no real danger here. I told Jason he had to pace me for the last two miles as we jogged through California Adventure.

All thoughts of slowing down left me. I kind of lost my head. We started running more frequently as my adrenaline just wouldn’t let me slow down for a reasonable length of time.

As we ran past mile 6,  Jason gave me a new goal— try to get under 2 hours (yes, we seriously lost a lot of time in that line…). Cheering crowds near the Disneyland Hotel gave me an extra boost, but alas, we were just a little too slow.

But who cares! We got a super awesome X-wing medal and I finished without pain! I iced my problem hip, just in case and to prevent any future problems, but I was feeling good.

After breakfast at LaBrea Bakery, we went to Disneyland to ride Hyperspace Mountain!

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Time: 2:00:01 (and now I’ll be forever wondering what my time would have been had we not stopped for BB-8…)
Ran With: For the first time, Jason!
Best sign: “Tired? …Tell that to Kanjiklub.” (Rewatch The Force Awakens to see where the internet meme came from…)

Related:
Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon
2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Expo & Packet Pick Up
Medals Revealed for the 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!
Inaugural Star Wars 10K Recap: Rebel Challenge Part 1