Thursday, April 21, 2016

Star Wars Half Marathon: The Dark Side


Welcome to part 2 of the Dark Side race weekend! It felt like we had just gotten back from the Magic Kingdom (oh wait we had) when my alarm sounded off. I took my time getting ready since I knew I had plenty of time plus I already had my bib today so no need to rush. Funny story runDisney races for as long as I have been doing them (5 years) have always started at 5:30am unless it is a noted night race. Well, it seems they are experimenting because the Dark Side Half definitely started at 5am!

Luckily I boarded my bus at 4am and while there was some traffic I couldn't figure out why some people were nervous on time...until we arrived and I saw the photo op characters gone and staff telling runners to quickly make their way to the corrals. As I arrived in Corral C, the announcers said we were starting the race in 5 minutes. That was close! This is why even runDisney veterans need to double check the event guide and times. Just like that it was our time!

Pre-race sparkle selfie! This is what people do, right? Just trying to stay on trend.

The course route is the same for the first few as the 10k the day before. I liked the course and it seemed to fly by, I felt good and decided to stop and take photos, I mean that's what people really want to see so they can get a feel of the race!

One thing that was different than the 10k was Kylo Ren from the new Star Wars was out and people were freaking out around me. I was sad it was not Adam Driver but moving on!

Disney also had volunteers that were dressed in their Star Wars best so even though not official Disney Parks characters you would see in the park there were lots of photo opportunities for those not wanting to wait in the longer lines.

The course also takes you inside the Animal Kingdom so essentially you get to visit three parks during the race which I really like! The weather was absolutely beautiful, the sun was shining and it was pretty warm but it wasn't cold and rainy so I was happy!

The race moved very quickly, I have had back and knee problems for a few years now and while I love running sometimes it hurts and I can't keep up the pace I want to. It's crucial to not hurt yourself and if you feel like slowing down, do it. Want to take a picture? Take it! You are running 13.1 miles, that in and of itself is a huge accomplishment and Disney is a fun place to run. Make every mile magic as runDisney says. I also loved the earlier start time, I hope they continue this! Before I knew it the finish line was in sight.

It was bound to happen...I fully converted to the dark side. These medals the Darth Vader spinner! After more fun times on the bus (yay at least there was more than one waiting this time!) I was back at the hotel. It was our last day but we had a late flight so we went to the Studios and Epcot plus lots of snacks (the main incentive to run. Jk! Well maybe) and yes, we didn't want to wait 30 minutes for a ride but saw no problem waiting to see Kylo Ren for an awkward photo shoot.

See for yourself. I'm not even sure what was going on since we were a little scared of him and yes, he can talk to you! It was funny, scary and intimidating all at the same time. My best friend since high school is just like what and I don't know what I'm doing but this picture exists and that's all that matters. Enjoy the awkwardness!

Happy Running and Traveling! For more info on the Dark Side Challenge, runDisney and more check here!

You can also check out my10k recap here!


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