Hyperdrive, lightspeed, RUN!!!
Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend registration opens for the general public on Tuesday, June 16 at 9a.m. PST (noon ET). After completing the inaugural Rebel Challenge last year, I assure you that this is a runDisney event that stands out in the pack. There are obvious reasons that this race weekend is unique; it appeals to a new breed of Disney/Star Wars fans and is less princess and fairy wing-centric. But Star Wars Half Marathon is a “win” for another, unexpected reason. runDisney fans routinely anticipate our prized course photo opps with Disney characters within the Disney Parks. Though residents of Tatooine expectedly stood guard in Disneyland Park and Padawans were out in Force in Disney California Adventure Park, it was the citizens of Anaheim and Garden Grove that made this race a journey to a galaxy far, far away.
As the 12,000 or so Star Wars Half Marathon participants exited the parks and headed onto Anaheim’s Harbor Boulevard, our travels blasted into an unexpected terrain. Miles 5, 6, and 7 were lined with cheerleaders, a Wookiee granting free hugs, and bands playing overtures from the many Star Wars films.
Typically, Mile 8 and beyond can be a mundane test of will, but the many, many local Costume Players (commonly known as Cosplay) sent us into overdrive!
Garden Grove’s historic Main Street brought entertainment from another stratosphere…
Mile 9 presented a Star Wars “Grand Army” of enthusiastic Cosplayers. These folks were of George Lucas quality and belong on a movie set!
The local residents whooped it up, boosted our spirits, fed us, and in general, were “The Unifying Force” in the homestretch.
We were sustained and well-protected by the Light Side.
Never have has there been a runDisney half marathon where the power of the park time was equalled or surpassed by the “road” time. Runners were enveloped in a cosmic theme and were lifted up by the local Jedi Masters just when they needed it the most. (Think of a sustained version of the Walt Disney World Gospel Choir…) Us Padawans survived the Trials and attained Jedi Knight status because of them. (For me, it was PR-worthy!)
“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful Ally it is.” – Yoda
Thank you, Anaheim and Garden Grove! I’ll be registration ready this Tuesday and looking for a reunion next January. Click here for more information on registration!
Ready are you??