Sunday, January 18, 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

Sunday morning was the day of Disneyland's Star Wars Half Marathon.

Because yesterday morning worked out so well, I left the house at 3:45am again and arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking structure around 4:20am. There was no line to get into the parking garage and I was parked a short time afterwards. The morning was a chilly 50 degrees, so I threw on a sweatshirt with the intention of ditching it at the starting line. Leaving the parking garage, there was quite a line for the restrooms.

I headed to the pre-race festivities listening to the DJ and getting pumped for the race.

Still all the way back in Corral D, I could only hear what was going on at the starting line. I hope all those people in the Paradise Pier Hotel knew what they were getting into when they booked those rooms. It's 5am and it's pretty loud out here.

Today I was joined by my friend Judy in the corral. We listened to the National Anthem complete with fireworks and right at 5:30am, the first runners were off.

At 6am we had shuffled our way up to the starting line.

The course today leads right into backstage Disneyland. By 4.5 miles, we're out of the park and running the streets of Anaheim.

I like seeing all the stuff backstage. It's almost like a behind-the-scenes tour.

Here's the mile markers for the Half Marathon. Not as fun as the 10K markers.

Backstage they also had all the Main Street vehicles out while their drivers waved and cheered.

Inside Disneyland and running down Main Street.

Yesterday where there was Chewbacca, today there is Leia and Luke. Again the line was really long so I didn't stop.

Nice to see some Stormtroopers hanging out at the carrousel.

Chewy was hanging out in front of the Matterhorn.

And maybe the organizers learned something from yesterday. Instead of a long in front of Innoventions, they utilized the queue from Star Tours. A few seconds before I took the picture, Darth Vader and a couple Stormtroopers headed backstage. A much more appropriate venue for them today, don't you think?

Yep, they've got some fans.

We ran between these two buildings backstage, behind Space Mountain back towards the front of the park.

Another photo with the floral Mickey.

Next up was California Adventure. Near the Animation Academy a Gamorrean Guard (from Jabba's palace) was taking photos with runners.

And there were a few more Stormtroopers scattered throughout DCA.


The view running into Radiator Springs was amazing. This picture doesn't nearly do it justice but the sunrise lighting up Cadillac Range was beautiful.

Before I knew it, the time in the parks was over and it was time to pound the pavement through Anaheim.

The high school bands were out to cheer us on.

Right around mile 8 Clif Bar was giving out free Gu, and it was very appreciated.

A short time later we ran into a large group of cos-players.

A Tusken Raider female

Princess Leia

Anakin Skywalker


Lando taking a photo with an Admiral Ackbar runner.

Han Solo cheering us on.



As I ran by the last guy, I could have sworn I recognized him from somewhere. Digging through a few old pictures, I see he was running one of the stations the very first time I did Minnie's Moonlit Madness with Ruston, Jacob and Theresa.

A cool Star Wars car.

A couple Shadow Stormtroopers.

Mouseplanet was encouraging people to join the Dark Side and take candy from strangers.

More great costumes. Here's a rider on a Taunton.

Right around Mile 9 was my favorite part of the race. I'm assuming these guys are all from the 501st Legion, but I never did see anything to confirm it. Here was a long line of great characters in costume starting with some Stormtroopers.

A Death Star officer with a Stormtrooper.




A Tusken Raider (aka Sandpeople)


Darth Vader with two of the Emperor's Royal Guard, a Stormtrooper and Boba Fett.

Princess Leia.





A Twi'lek

Chewbacca

So many great characters here. I must have spent 10 minutes taking pictures with them all.

This C3-P0 was awesome. He even talked with a robotic voice that was very realistic.

Scout Troopers

More costumes

Even more costumes



Wow. That was awesome! I'm pumped to finish this race now. Seriously my favorite part of the course.

A mini-wookiee offering free hugs to racers.

Before I knew it, mile 13 was here.

Happy to be almost finished.

Hooray! The Disney characters in their Star Wars outfits are here! Princess Minnie and Darth Goofy

And Chip and Dale Ewoks.

I gave Jedi Mickey a high five as I crossed the finish line.

Collecting my half marathon finishers medal.

For those of us who did the Rebel Challenge, we were directed to this tent. Here they matched up your bib number to the photo they took of you at packet pickup. Once you were verified, you were allowed to continue and collect your Rebel Challenge medal.

Success!

Judy finished a short time later. We grabbed lunch at the Earl of Sandwich while the parking garage cleared out, then I headed home. I can't wait to show my medals to my family!

Oh brother. Just finished a Star Wars race and I've got a mini Captain Picard waiting for me at home.

Well even though they're Star Wars I think he likes them.

I had a great race weekend and I had a blast running in the Inaugural Star Wars races! The next post will be a closer look at the shirts and medals from the race.

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