Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016 Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend - Recap!

Star Wars Race

The 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland was exciting!  We went into the weekend with a new running race costume policy from runDisney which created a lot of anxiety for some, and we were all very interested in what really would be considered "ok".  But when it was all over, we raced in our galactic best, defeated the Dark Side and are on our way to claiming the Inaugural Kessel Run Medal!

It all starts, however, at the Expo and Packet Pickup!

Disneyland Star Wars

Star Wars Disneyland

Packet Pick Up went without a hitch but I had to wait over an hour for Official Merchandise at the Expo!!

Star Wars Disneyland

The Line to get into Official Merchandise wound around the Expo floor, into the Lobby of the Disneyland Expo Hall and up the stairs to the second floor.  C R A Z Y

This Star Wars Expo should give you a good idea what to expect in April for the Dark Side Race!
runDisney Expo

I was happy to see a large selection and variety of Star Wars T shirts for everyone in the family.  I picked up several shirts and of course my Dooney and Bourke purse!

runDisney Expo

Tip:  Next time I will go to Official Merchandise FIRST, then proceed to packet pick up to avoid the crowds and to make sure that I get what I need before merchandise becomes limited or sold out. 

There are lots of photo opportunities at the Expo, too - so be sure and don't rush through!  Stop and enjoy the atmosphere!
Disneyland runDisney Expo

The 5K
Costume Reveal!
I did a live costume reveal on Periscope on Thursday night.  I broadcast regularly as TheKesselRunner every Sunday but wanted to do a live show while at Disneyland.

Star Wars Half Marathon

 I went at Vintage Leia !  It was really a lot of fun to do the unexpected and put a twist on a favorite character!

The Family 5K is not a timed event, but an event for everyone in the family to have fun.  It is a great way to get a feel for what will be happening on the 10K and Half.

runDisney 5K

Running through the parks, seeing characters, finding old and new friends and seeing everyone in costume is my favorite part of this race!

runDisney 5K

runDisney 5K
runDisney 5K

runDisney 5K

Next up was the Skywalking Through Neverland Meet and Greet Saturday Night!

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon

We celebrated Richard's Birthday and played trivia for some awesome gifts from Skywalking  Through Neverland!

runDisney Half Marathon Weekend

Half Marathon 
Sunday finally came:  the race we had all been looking for was finally here!  I had worked really hard and pushed through injuries to qualify for Corral A! And the anticipation of starting the Half Marathon was made even more special when the First Order showed up!

We did not give up any spies in our corral!  And the start of the race went off without incident and with a heartfelt "May the Force Be With You!" from runDisney!

RunDisney Disneyland

The course is a very flat, fast course with unexpected surprises and favorite characters along the way.

Tip:  Be mindful of time when stopping to take pictures:  the balloon ladies are back there... 

runDisney Disneyland

I ran as Sabine from the popular Star Wars Rebels show and quickly found Hera and Captain Rex amongst the crowd of runners!
runDisney Disneyland

And as always, the 501st Garrison was there to encourage and cheer all of us on!  These guys have been apart of my Star Wars Experience for many years, and I am so glad they came out for the race!

runDisney Half Marathon Weekend

Running in Disneyland is one of my favorite races, and the Star Wars Half Marathon was a galactic experience!  The weather was cool, overcast and my tendonitis was held at bay.  I was so excited and full of joy to complete this challenge!

Star Wars Half Marathon

As always, friends new and old make this day special:

runDisney Disneyland

Tip:  ***Be prepared to leave earlier for race start than in previous races. Everyone has to walk through security before heading to your corral. 

Of Course, None of this would be possible if it weren't for the many volunteers!
Thank you all!

runDisney Half Marathon Weekend

Until April!

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