It was time for the 2nd Annual Star Wars
Half Marathon Weekend in Disneyland and I, a non-runner, but avid Star Wars
fan, signed up for the 5K. On the other hand, my husband, Chris Wyman, signed up for 5K and the Rebel Challenge (which consisted of both the 10K and the Half Marathon).
We arrived on Wednesday prior to the runDisney Expo and decided to visit Disneyland to celebrate their 60th Anniversary picking up two of the Star Wars
specific 60th Anniversary pins.
We stopped in at the Disneyland Star Wars
Launch Bay to see how it compared to the one at Disney's Hollywood Studios and it did not disappoint! We waited at the interactive Darth Vader & Boba Fett meet & greet and the guest attendants provided us with character cards. It did seem to be the same concept as the one in Orlando overall.
On Thursday, the first day of the Expo came and a group of us arrived a little after 11:00am and decided to head to the event merchandise store. As with all Star Wars
stores, there was a line and this one started upstairs and lead downstairs into the Expo, but they had Return of the Jedi
playing in the background, so the time went by quickly.
Once we got downstairs, we went into the ballroom and saw Matt Martin from StarWars.com giving a presentation on stage while we waited in the final queue to get into the store.
When we finally got our first glimpse of the store merchandise, I was disappointed to see the orange running shirts for women. Many of the girls in the queue were not a big fan of the these as they are not a very flattering color for women!
As I walked through the store I noticed that most of the clothing was for the Rebel Challenge or the Half Marathon and there was little to no merchandise for people who were only doing the 5K or the 10K. At the end of the store I did find a magnet and pin for the 5K. There was also a shirt for the 5K finishers that noted ?I DID IT!?, but yet again, it was orange.
After finishing up in the store, we headed down to get our race bibs at packet pickup.
With race bib in hand, I stopped by the Dooney and Bourke table where they had exclusive new purses that appeared to be made out of a nylon water resistant fabric unlike the leather version we saw last year. I decided to pass on the purse this time, as the new The Force Awakens
Dooney and Bourke looks a little bit nicer in my opinion.
Finally, we picked up our race shirts and I was happy to see that the 5K version was blue featuring Darth Vader & Obi-Wan Kenobi this year. It was a huge step up from last year's yellow shirt, and the orange shirts being offered in the official store.
Several in our group decided it was a great time to go see The Force Awakens
and headed to Hollywood for the El Capitan Theatre. This was the most amazing theatre experience I've ever had! There was a laser light show prior to the film and the screen was of the most incredible quality. After the movie, it was Ghiradelli ice cream for all in order to get the limited edition BB-8 pin they were offering exclusively at the shop. It's also where we picked up our exclusive Star Wars: Vader Down #1
variant comics that were part of the VIP movie ticket package.
We walked across the street to TCL Chinese Theatre where they let us go inside to purchase the exclusive Star Wars
postcard set to take a few pictures.
On the way back to Anaheim, we made a quick stop to try In-N-Out Burger because nothing says pre-5K race food like a fresh hamburger and fries!
The morning of the 5K came quick with a 5:30am start time. It was still dark and quite cold for this Florida girl after walking from the Disneyland Hotel and through race security. 20 minutes later, I reached my corral.
As mentioned before, I LOVE Star Wars
, but I am not a runner and if you have ever thought "Hey, maybe I want to try a Disney Run", then the 5K is for you! I had a blast, people were friendly and truly happy to be there. We got to be in the park as the sun was coming up which was amazing. The rides were lit up and going with no one on them. We got to go behind the scenes, there were Star Wars
character meet & greets, runners in costumes and of course, it consisted of people from all over the world of all ages. The most awesome thing I saw was a women walking in the 5K that had a sign on her back that read "Death Star due to explode in 5 days. Use caution!" She was actually 5 days from her due date and doing a 5K. I was beyond impressed. What a great way to start the morning!
After the race, a group of us headed to Disneyland to ride HyperSpace Mountain and it was incredible!
The next morning was the 10K and I decided to sleep in for the start of that one, but I had a great view from the room of our hotel!
Sunday was the Half Marathon and I was able to snag a spot close to the finish line. As I walked to that area, the crowd of runners just started to come in and it was really amazing to me how many people run in this race. There were 15,000 participants and the runDisney team kept everything going smoothly.
Once again, several Rebelscum.com members participated in the weekend festivities. From left to right: Marcy Luciani (Lettersfromhoth), Bret Calltharp (Sarasotarockstar), Chris Wyman, Will Grief (dspair), Elling Haug (Dark_Elling), Michael McLain (TheSithCalls) & Gus Lopez (gus).
Overall, a great time was had with friends and Star Wars
fans alike. Hope to see everyone in Orlando this April for the Inaugural Star Wars
Half Marathon - The Dark Side Weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort!