by Zack | Feb 2, 2017 | Disneyland Half Marathon, Star Wars Light Side Challenge
Star Wars Lightside 10k and Half Marathon
Star Wars 10K
The Force Awakens! So what if the Rogue One 5k had no unique characters on the course. This one had to have some good Episode VII characters right?
Carissa gets us going for another race and it’s off we go. This race turned out to be a very typical Disneyland 10K. The course is nearly identical to others. It’s still a good course with a majority of it in the parks. The advantage of the 10k over the 5K is that you’ll almost certainly get to go around paradise peer.
You cut through the back of the park after California Adventure and then around back of Disneyland. No character pics? Well I stopped for a better picture with R2. (Missed C3P0 again.) BB-8 was out but the line was crazy long. Outside of that it was the same characters as from the 5K. For the Lightside, it sure did seem like it was more bad guys than good.
While it’s dissapointing for a character guy not to see a bunch of characters on the course, you can’t beat the scenery. You are guaranteed to run through the castle every race which is not the case on the East Coast. You’ll only get three shots at it all year there and you’ll need either a half marathon or full to get it.
Another great finish! The medal was great too. BB-8 spins!
Time to finish of the series! The plan was to meet up with Jeff and Barb for the half, but I missed the A coral by 20 people. It was going to have to be another chase down. I’ll just have to implement the run-run-run method to catch up. I typically will slow down a hair in the photo areas, but not this morning.
Last time this happened I made a dumb move and stopped for a character. Guess what? I didn’t learn from my mistake. I needed a better picture with them anyway….
I catch Jeff and Barb a little before the 2 mile marker. I was so glad to see them. We all fell in to a good groove once we were all together. I wasn’t planning on any other character stops and sure enough there weren’t any new ones besides the Rebels characters that I had stopped at earlier.
It was an odd morning temperature wise. It was cold before the race, hot in the parks and cold again once we hit the city. As always it was fun to run in the parks. It also turned in to one of my favorite pictures from all the series.
It took a little coordination and finding a great little pocket, but I love that picture. The Galloways have been so good to me this year and friends when they didn’t have to be. So thankful for them!
It wasn’t long until we hit the city. Barb and I talked pretty much the whole time so it made the course go by really quick. There were also a bunch of bands out, so we would make sure to veer in to that side of the road and cheer them back.
I had gotten word that Steven and Millie were going to be out on the course, so I had a side mission to find them and get a picture. They are truly an awesome couple and I really love their enthusiasm and excitement. (You can follow them on facebook @ Cosplay Parents) Mission accomplished!
Loved the cars!!!
The Cosplay Parents were at the start of what turned into almost a mile of coplayers and bands. They were set up at the perfect spot. Mile 8. It’s typically when runners are getting a bit tired. Barb and I stopped in for a quick selfie with a few of them. I finally found a death trooper!
Before we knew it, it was mile 11 and then mile 13. We had a great finish together and Carissa cheered us in.
It was then bling time!
#1 I’ve got to hit the massage tent after the halfs. I usually get man-handled, but this time I get the total opposite. I’m not sure what she did, but it was not a massage.
#2 Hang out with friends! I was so happy to have some friends come out for the race as well. We may live in three different states, but that is the beauty of our running team.
#3 Unexpected surprises. I love surprises. We got one on this trip that I never in my life would have expected. We got an invite to Club 33. If you don’t know what it is, look it up HERE It’s so exclusive, that it was never on my Disney bucket list, because it’s that hard to get in. Thank you to our special friend!!!!!!
by Zack | Feb 1, 2017 | Disneyland 5Ks, Star Wars Light Side Challenge
Star Wars Lightside Expo and 5K Recap
Well, this was a year in the making. My original goal to complete all the Disney races in a year got slightly messed up after getting severely sick after doing the Dopey Challenge the week before. You can read about the setback and how we can (and must) overcome life’s obstacles HERE. This was the last series I needed to complete Disney race in the US. (It took 375 days).
I’ve got to say I do love the Disneyland Expos. They are just so well organized. I hit the merch line a little over an hour early and I was probably around the 125th person in line. You sit inside with wristbands on carpeted floor in the hotel. They then will escort your line down to the area so that no one breaks in front of you. Very orderly and zero chaos and drama.
I had to get this one!
There was a lot of cool new items this time around. There were also totally new items like a race specific medal hanger and a race specific ornament. (The ornaments will start being a new one for each series at least through 2017)
I always love the transition area from bib pickup to the shirt pickup. It has a fun red carpet feel to it. I actually remembered to get a picture this time too!
Checked in with Jeff and Barb to see how they were doing. We talked about the crazy weather from marathon weekend the week before. I only got to see them at the Expo then, because I only ran the 1ok and the cancelled-turned-virtual half marathon. No risking getting sick this time! We talked through possibly linking up for the half this series. I’m fairly certain they are both half machines.
The expo seemed a bit lighter than normal, but that may have been because I was there early.
Bonus tip: If you can make it out there on Wednesday do so. The parks have been empty the Wednesday before the race every time. Add a little rain and you get this….
I rode Buzz Lightyear 8 times in a row just as fast as I could walk from the exit back to the entrance.
Star Wars 5K
I was super excited about the 5k. I know DL does not have a great track record for characters on the course, but the theme for this race and much of the signage at the expo was about Rogue One. I’m not expecting anything crazy…. give me a death trooper or something generic and I’m good to go.
Darth Vader got the race going that morning…and every morning after that. OK, he was pretty awesome in Rogue One, so that sort of counts.
Before you know it, it’s time to get going! I’m still super pumped about the characters and you’ve got to love the 5K course. The whole thing is in both parks.
The character stop is right around mile 1. R2D2! OK, he had a cameo in the movie, so that sort of counts too I guess. C3P0 made his appearance after I had been through. He’s also pretty rare now since they don’t do Star Wars Weekends anymore on the east coast.
One of my favorite stretches is through the California Adventure. I love it all lit up and empty. They usually have a character or two here, but no stops today. They had some of the people out from Jedi Academy out performing. At least they had a speeder bike out?
Onwards in to Magic Kingdom and I was sure I was going to run into someone from Rogue One. Sometimes DL will load the special characters last, I think to help with congestion. I round a corner and there is Darth Vader again. I stopped since he was just hanging by himself. He must of been having an off morning because he talked non stop and none of it made sense. It was actually really funny.
He was still chatting it up at this point.
So soon after this point, I realized that there wasn’t going to be any Rogue One specific characters. I decided to change my focus on another challenge: The Jump Picture. It seemed a competition started forming after my post about how to get great pics at races. Some friends had thrown down the gauntlet at the races the weekend before, so if I could get a good pocket, I would try to answer. Sure enough I hit a giant hole right before the castle. Here’s my reply:
Extra height, toe tap with a twist.
The twist to get the number in was the challenge. Now it’s your turn!
The best stop of the day turned out to not be any of the SW characters but the DL horses. They were great and the cast members were fun.
After that is was a short cut through downtown Disney and then to the finish. A great start to a great weekend!
Lastly, they had some great backdrops from the other Star Wars Race over on the east coast. So fun! If you ever get a photo spot like this and the line is backed up before the race. Come back after the run. There will likely be no line.
Up next: The Star Wars Lightside 10K and Half Recap!