Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Dark Side Half Marathon Course Description

A Detailed Look at What the Force has in Store for You!

April 2017:

You will not be complete in your Challenge to tame the Dark Side until you have completed the Half Marathon!  This was a very exciting and demanding race for me last year, and I know it will meet your expectations this year!

Here are the details:

This year's Half Marathon will have you traveling through 3 Parks:  Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and ending at Epcot.  We went through Epcot early in the course last year, and it will be your last stop this year.

You will be starting in the Magic Kingdom Mulan parking lot.  The buses will drop you off near the staging area, or Welcome Plaza, where you can leave your check-in bag and head over to the porta potties.  From there, you will be guided into your corrals:  this will be about a 20 minute walk, so be sure and include this is your planning.   It will be early and possibly chilly, so plan for layering!

Your first 4 miles will be along the road less traveled at Disney World.  You will be on Bear Island Road for 3.5 miles, then turning on the E Savannah Drive and onto Conservation Way.  

Note:  You will have 2 Water Stops and 2 First Aid Stations on this stretch.  Florida mornings can be humid, and you will need fluids so be sure and stop at these stations!

Next up is the Animal Kingdom!  You will enter through Asia and wind along to Expedition Everest and into Dinoland.  You will follow Dinoland around and exit the Animal Kingdom by Primeval Whirl.  You will be on your way to Hollywood Studios as you take the ramp onto Osceola Parkway.

Note:  You can find restrooms in Animal Kingdom by the Anandapur Ice Cream Truck and Primeval Whirl.  You will have Water and First Aid as you Leave Animal Kingdom and on Osceola Parkway.

On your way to Hollywood Studios, you will pass Blizzard Beach on your left as you continue down Osceola Parkway.  There will be 2 shartp transisions on this section:  one, as you move from Osceola Parkway onto World Drive, then the next as you move onto Buena Vista Drive.

I know if feels like the Force is failing you at this point, but the good news is there will be food as you transition onto World Drive!  I really appreciate this part of the route each year and look forward to passing mile 8 every time!

Now it's onto the finish!

You will pass along the opposite side of the lagoon from the route of the 10K, which is good for a change of scenery, and into Epcot near the United Kingdom.  The Future Worlds await you as you head off to claim your medal!  

Note: Need last minute rest rooms?  Stay on the lookout for them as you past Canada and on either side of the Golf Ball.  And don't forget to stop for a picture as you leave Epcot!

And you are done!  I know I shed tears as I cross the finish line and it's ok if you do, too!  The Force was strong with the Course and with You!  Congratulations!

Find out more on my Beyond the Kessel Run Podcast on these great stations:  Podbean, iTunes, Tunein, and Stitcher! 

If you have any questions about getting prepared for a The Star Wars Race Series or any runDisney race, please contact me at

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