Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

So we left off yesterday with some of the fun that was had leading up to the race itself. If you missed that post, check it out here (it includes a TweetUp with AWESOME folks, Expo shenanigans, and a sneak peak at the creation of my costume).

We were going to meet up with some friends for dinner Saturday night, but plans feel through, so Ryan and I decided to head to The Pizza Press to grab some scum-didily-umptious-ness and bring it back to the room. (I found this place during Dumbo Double Dare last year and may have been dreaming of it since ;) )

Build Your Own Pizza - Light red sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, extra
mushrooms, garlic, fresh basil, and a light drizzle of house made ranch dressing!

After we stuffed out faces with #AllThePizza ate and watched some TV, it was time for bed. Not sure if you are aware, but runDisney wake-up calls come EARLY! This race started at 5:30am, so I had my alarm set for 3:30am so I could get ready and we could meet up with some friends before making our way to the corrals.

As always, I woke up before my alarm and decided to finally roll out of bed around 3:20am. My costume wasn't too intense for this race (sure I was planning on running in a jean jacket, but I mean there weren't a large number of pieces or anything like that), so I didn't have to spend too much time getting ready... That was, until I got to THE HAIR!

I am not sure I succeeded, but at least it was a little
more true to character than my normal ponytail

Like I mentioned yesterday, if I was going to go for the Aunt Beru look, I was going to go ALL THE WAY! And since she had short hair, I was going to do my darndest to try and make it look like I had a bob and bangs... I may or may not have slightly freaked out Ryan when I woke him up with my new do ;)

A little side-by-side to see what I was trying to look like!

After Ryan threw on his Darth Vader shirt, we were ready to make our way to the race. (He originally had grand ideas of costumes, but life happens and he didn't get around to it, so the tech Vader shirt would have to do.)

The Dark Side calls for a RUDE face?

We made our way over to bag check (which let me just give you a word of warning - bag check was where it has been for past races, but the corrals were different, so I would say the bag check was a good .75-1 mile away from the corrals. For me, this was fine, since I never check any gear, but if the weather was crappy or you wanted to wear some of your outerwear until closer to the race start time, it wouldn't really have worked out that great) and hung out with friends for a bit. I was pretty bad about grabbing any pictures (mostly because we had this creepy MarathonFoto guy that kept coming by and taking our photo, so I think since we had to pose for him so many times we just didn't get any of our own...).

Ivie's new toy came in handy with some group selifes ;)

Who doesn't love a picture with port-o-potties in the background?!

Of course we were TWINNING with our Pro Compression
black-on-black socks! Even if we were on different sides!

Ryan and I said our good-byes to our friends and started our trek to the corrals. We made a brief pitstop at the port-o-potties and then kept on keeping on. We got to Corral B (I was in A, but moved back to B so I could run with Ryan) probably about 20 minutes before the race. I have never had this happen to me, but by the time we got to the corral, it was already full... We ended up having to wait next to the corral until they released A and started moving B up to make more room in the back of the corral. I don't know if the issue was the corrals were smaller, there were more runners per corral, or maybe people just weren't really making space for other runners to get in.

Before the race Ryan and I chatted a bit about our game plan. Since this would be his third half marathon in three months (and he had already PR'ed in both previous races), we decided this would be a "fun run". We would stop for characters if the lines weren't outrageous, take our time, and just enjoy the course.

Runners.... SET.... GO!! (It was like deja vu ;) I had heard Rudy send me off four times in the previous ten days that way!)

The first mile and a half were on the streets around Disneyland. Nothing too exciting, and actually it seemed pretty dark, but we made our way.

It seemed like miles 1.5-4 or so were all in the parks which was GREAT! Compared to the other Disneyland races I've done (I have done TinkerBell in 2013, Disneyland Half in 2012, 2013, and 2014, Disneyland 10K in 2013 and 2014, Avengers in 2014 and now Star Wars in 2015), there was a lot of park time for the half marathon distance.

I was warned from folks who did the 10K the day before that the lines for the characters were pretty cray-cray. Although I didn't see the lines myself the previous day, the lines during the half marathon didn't disappoint... They were LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG! We actually ran by Star Tours (where Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders yelled HELLO to Ryan and I) and the line to take a picture with Darth Vader looked LONGER than for the actual RIDE! Like they literally were standing in the queue (if only they had fast passes...). And we were only in corral B... I would have hated to see how long they got as more and more runners were on the course!

Ryan and I ended up stopping for a picture with Boba Fett, as well as some Storm Troopers in California Adventure. (One of the draw backs of the early corrals is it is still dark when you are in the parks, which means my pictures always tend to turn out craptastically.)

Darth and Boba Fett got along great!

Aunt Beru was a little freaked out by the presence of the dark side!

The sun started coming out once we were back on the streets of Anaheim and MAN was it a GORGEOUS sunrise. I honestly couldn't stop mentioning how amazing it was! At one point I told Ryan it looked like we were on Tatooine because it looked like it could have been a dessert sunrise (nerdy, I know, but he loved it).

And this is just a crappy quality picture that I snapped
WHILE I WAS RUNNING, with NO FILTER ADDED!
Like I said, BREATHTAKING!

Around mile 5 we saw the AMAZING Ken, president and CEO of Superhero Events! He was dressed as Chewbacca and as always, giving out FREE HUGS! Since the line was too line for Chewie in the parks and because I am a sucker for a hug, we HAD to stop!

Who can pass up a FREE HUG?! 

And although Ryan and I didn't make the video, I can't help but watch it and be overjoyed by how much LOVE is spread by a FREE HUG on a race course!!



Seeing as this was the inaugural race, the course was new as well. Although I wasn't too thrilled when I saw the course in the race guide (I mean, what sort of excitement does Garden Grove hold when the biggest landmark is a High School), I was pleasantly surprised!

Source

This was the first time I remember there being an out and back portion on a DL half course. When we were running from Mile 4.5-5.5 or so, you could see the runners coming at you around Mile 11-12 or so. I know some people don't like being able to see the other runners (a little runner envy, seeing where they are vs. where you are), but I love being able to cheer other runners on, look at costumes, etc. And when we were running by we saw the elites all making their way towards us (YES, they were about 7 MILES ahead of us... CRAZY, huh?!).

I have to say, one of my favorite things on the course (outside of the parks of course) were all of the cosplay folks. Their costumes were AMAZING!! (It was one of my favorite parts about the Avengers Half too - I am thrilled that Disney puts the word out and gets folks to come and participate like this!) I wish I would have grabbed a picture of all of them, but Ryan decided he wanted his picture with Lando.

Darth and Lando

After the cosplay folks, we saw one of my Twitter friends. We didn't realize we were friends until AFTER the race, but still... A guy ran by us and we noticed he was a BLUE MILK DELIVERY MAN! He saw my sign and chuckled and then I tipped my milk jug to him and he just had to slam on the brakes for a picture. I mean, HOW PERFECT?!

Thanks for stopping Patrick (and for the picture)!!

We also saw a spectator (I believe they were with one of the local bands) that had a BIG (non-inflatable like we saw on the course) Tauntaun. It was pretty sweet! Other than that, I have to be honest, I was pretty disappointed with the costumes. Sure, men dressed as "Slave Leia" were funny, but there weren't too many spectacular costumes. (Maybe I missed all the awesome ones in the shorter races, but I was still expecting more than what we saw.)

Around Mile 12.5 we saw Kelly of Sparkle Athletic with her light saber of donuts and I had to stop and grab a donut hole! I mean, when else can you run the last half mile of a half marathon chomping on a donut?! (After the race we went back for a picture and also stayed there to cheer on runners for a bit)

Team Sparkle ROCKS MY SOCKS!

Shortly after I finished my donut hole we were making our way to the finish line and race #5 of 2015 was coming to an end. Rudy gave me a shout out and told me he was proud of me (I love when you get recognized by the announcers!) and then we crossed the finish!

Can you believe it?! My hair helmet stayed the WHOLE race!

Finishers!

Ryan really liked the signs in the Family Reunion area, so I made sure to take a couple pictures of them for him.

Luke and Hans

They were playing the live feed of the finish line in the reunion area

Chewie and Princess Leia 

And before we left I had to find Carrie and Elise to see how they managed the course! (And yes, Elise did run the half marathon 2 weeks before her due date - she is a ROCKSTAR!) I can't wait to ROCK the SoCal Ragnar ULTRA STYLE with these ladies in a couple months!

Team Sparkle is AMAZING!!

All-in-all it was a very successful race! We kept a decent pace (especially since I had run close to 50 miles of race the week previously), had a donut while running, took some fun character pictures, saw lots of friends (new and old), smiled a ton, took candy from strangers, and ran TOGETHER (my favorite part!)!

2:27 isn't a bad finishing time AT ALL! 

The participant shirt and finisher medal!

And on the way back to the hotel we even saw Jabba the Hutt!

He may or may not remind me of a giant piece of poo... 

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Since I did a race at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year (over 10 miles), I walked away with my Coast to Coast medal as well (and within the first 2.5 weeks of January - not too shabby!)!

Isn't it PRETTY?!

If hubby wanted to do this one again, I would TOTALLY sign up for it (but honestly, I don't think there would be a race that I would turn down if Ryan wanted to do it with me... except maybe a Tough Mudder since I am a weakling)! Don't they say something like "Happy Hubby, Happy Life"? With Star Wars being a favorite of Ryan's, I am sure we will be back again in the future!

Do you sign up for inaugural races or wait until they are established and have worked out all the kinks?

4 comments:

hellyontherun.com said...

You looked like you had a blast! I so want to do a Disney race (Dopey!)--but I must confess, I've never seen Star Wars :( Can we still be friends?

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes said...

I would love to do this race. I love that you carried a sign telling everyone who you were. Hilarious! Great job on the hair too!

YogiCrystal said...

You're so creative!! Love the costume :D This was such an amazing morning, I had a blast!! Now I'm hooked... uh oh, my wallet hurts hahaha

Jennifer Lefforge said...

Love. Cannot get over how adorable your costume was!!