Last year, after I finished the inaugural Disney Star Wars Half Marathon, I was walking back to the hotel room surrounded by the clanking of medals from Rebel Challenge finishers. I glanced down at my beautiful, yet lonely, half marathon medal and I vowed that in 2016, I would have all the Star Wars medals. When the time came to register for these races, I gave all my money to runDisney. I registered for the Rebel Challenge and then signed up for the 5K too. Because if there’s one race series that I’m going all in on, it’s this one. After all, Star Wars is kind of my thing.
The 5K was on Friday morning and I expected the race to be a lot less crowded than previous Disney races. I’m not sure why, maybe because it was on a weekday at 5:30 in the morning. Really, I should know by now that Disney races break all the rules. This race was packed with all kinds of runners! Especially families. I was really disappointed I hadn’t signed up my daughter. I also can’t tell you how excited I was to see so many little girls in their Rey costumes kicking ass in a race whose theme has been marketed as a mainly male franchise.
I know this is a big shocker, but I didn’t train as much as I would have liked for these races. I wasn’t too worried about the 5K, but I knew I had those other two, more lengthy races to run in the next few days with Jenn. I thought of this race as kind of the warm-up. The course stayed in the two parks and it was exactly what running around Disneyland with a bunch of kids would be like. I can’t tell you how many times I had dodge tiny Jedi. I couldn’t stop thinking how amazing this race would be for a kid: getting to dress up like a Jedi and run, literally run, around Disneyland. It was great to watch these kids finish with their parents and friends. I can’t wait to force my kids to do it with me next year.
With the 5K was out of the way, I couldn’t wait to meet up with Jenn to get ready for the first race of our Rebel Challenge. We eagerly prepared our costumes for Jenn’s first ever trip through Disneyland. That’s right, my friends, Jenn was a Disneyland virgin! That would explain the virgin alarm…
We weren’t quite sure about choosing a parody costume for this race. We are both lifelong Star Wars fans; she’s the first person I texted my theories to after watching The Force Awakens! But we’re also both fans of laughing and when Jenn suggested we dress as the Spaceballs duo of Dot Matrix and Princess Vespa, I just couldn’t get as enthusiastic about anything else. We weren’t sure if anyone would appreciate the laugh as much as we did, but, man, were we pleasantly surprised.
Jenn’s Dot Matrix was just perfect and all race long we were reminded of our favorite quotes as fellow Spaceballs fans shouted them at us as we passed. My favorites? “She doesn’t look druish!” and “How many more dunes?” Unfortunately, we didn’t get to reenact our favorite parasol scene. We didn’t want to risk it with the new costume rules. Because I will definitely use that parasol for something else someday.
The 10K was great fun. Jenn and I talked Star Wars theories while we ran and we cared not about spoiler alerts, because um, we’re running Star Wars! We were stopped many times to have our picture taken with other Spaceballs fans. The cherry on top was meeting Dark Helmet at the finish! What are the odds? Also, a DeLorean in the parking lot! Win, win!
We hit the park after freshening up. I was so excited to show Jenn around one of my favorite places. We made lightsabers after Star Tours and rode the wildest ride in the wilderness. And we shopped, oh, did we shop! Mickey ears for everyone!
When I walked to the expo and saw this, the fangirl in me GEEKED OUT.
Because a long time ago in a decade that has long since passed, I fell in love with this franchise at the age of 4. So this smile? It’s totally genuine.
And so is this smile, as I wait with the funnest chick in SoCal, Cam, at the start. Cam’s Chewbacca dress and duct tape bandoleer were a big hit! We strive for adorable, after all.
The energy was great at the start, and even though this was my first runDisney experience, I assume they always go big. It was easy to forget we were up so early.
All too soon, we were at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The weather was perfect for running, and the pace of the runners was faster than at the 10k. Cam’s costume was getting lots of love on the course, and we even got a compliment from a fashion teacher on our outfits. The seamstress in me was thrilled!
The World of Color is pretty even in the early morning. The weather was perfect for a race, and so was the company! <3 you, Cam!
Cam answered the many Wookie calls thrown her way with a throaty GRRRRR as we took our time but were mindful of the balloon ladies. After putting in fourteen miles the day before at the 10k and walking the park, both Cam and I had some tired legs and feet. No matter, though, we were having TONS of fun!
I had to dance for Mer. It’s what I do.
There were lots of cheer squads and marching bands from the local high schools out on the course cheering us on. They were so excited to be out there dancing, playing, and high-fiving us, it was great!
The course support was fantastic during the last 5 miles, too, with some astounding cosplayers cheering us from the sidelines. Seriously, folks, check out these costumes.
The balloon ladies snuck up on us. All of the sudden, there they were. There was some confusion about the pace they were keeping versus what our GPS watches were saying our pace was. We had to put a wiggle in it to get the race done. I sprinted at the end, beyond excited to get my hands on those gorgeous medals!
We made it! And we’re so happy it’s done! Because OUCH.
And look how prettttty!
And then we ordered pizza. and drank beer. And then for dinner, I ate this amazing shrimp po-boy. Because recovery, yo.
The next race with this girl can’t come soon enough. You’re the best Cam, the best Disney tour guide, the wittiest running partner, and a good friend. Thanks for everything. Until next time, Princess Vespa! <3
And maybe by then, my sister’s envy of my medals will lure her to the Dark Side. We’re taking on the Kessel Run in 2018.#jointhescootalliance.
What was your first runDisney race? What’s your favorite part of runDisney events? Are you wondering what the heck steampunk is? Tell us about it in the comments!