Posted by Chris on February 2, 2017 at 11:33 PM CST
I say it every year and 2017 was no different. The Star Wars Half Marathon - The Light Side Weekend is my most favorite race weekend that runDisney puts on each year. The course was reversed from previous years and it's always a pleasure to run through Disneyland. The weather was phenomenal all weekend with temperatures in the high 40's and low 50's each race morning which made for some great running.

The Health & Fitness Expo began on the Thursday before the races started and was packed with run related vendors and booths. I also found a beautiful Limited Edition event exclusive art print that was signed and numbered by the artist.

There was no shortage of new merchandise to purchase at the official runDisney store with new shirts, hats, cups, ornaments, bags, pins and much more.

Signing up for all three races including the Rebel Challenge, you receive four event shirts along with your race bibs. You're also given the opportunity to pre-order a Commemorative Bundle which included an exclusive event race jacket, exclusive tumbler which was the first 40th Anniversary themed product released, and an exclusive (and highly sought after) Star Wars shoe Christmas ornament, the first of many to come at the various runDisney events throughout the year. You could also pre-order the event pins which can definitely sell out the first day of the Expo.

The Star Wars 5k (3.1 miles) was a nice relaxing warm up race to start off the weekend and featured a medal with the U-wing starfighter from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The 10k (6.2 miles) had over 13,000 participants and featured a spinning BB-8 medal. The Half Marathon (13.1 miles) had over 16,000 participants and featured the Medal of Yavin, though this version had a spinning middle section which showed Han & Leia on one side and the Yavin medal graphics on the other side. Finally, for those that signed up for the Rebel Challenge (10k & Half Marathon), a bonus fourth medal was given featuring a silhouette of C-3PO. Those that completed the Rebel Challenge and plan to join us in Orlando for the Dark Side Weekend in April at Disney World to complete the Dark Side Challenge are now half way done with the coveted Kessel Run Challenge which consists of completing both the Light & Dark Side Challenges for a giant Millennium Falcon medal (and yes it's worth it).

We always have a large Rebelscum forum member presence at these events. In the main header image for this story, from left to right: Gus Lopez (gus), Stephen Danley (Steve_Danley), Chris Logli (tk_97531), Mike De Stefano (Kmsunrise), Chris Wyman & Will Grief (dspair). The goal is to first finish, but to finish faster each time you run and I was able to break my personal record by several minutes which is always awesome.

I'll continue to encourage anyone that may be on the fence about running your first event. If you've never run, there are fantastic training programs on the runDisney website here that you can download and print out. Everyone has to start somewhere and if you're remotely into Star Wars or Disney in general, the medals and merchandise is reason enough to get involved. There's also that great feeling of accomplishment when you finish's good for you! I hope to see everyone just a few days after Star Wars Celebration Orlando wraps in April for the Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side Weekend! There are still spots to sign up for those races right here. May the course be with you.
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