I promise that I’ll get to the Expo, the Wookie Welcome party and lots of other race related things but really, the races were the best part, right? Thus, we’ll start with the 10K, which was on Saturday. Apologies in advance for blurry iPhone photos – not the best for photos in the dark!
Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that my favorite thing about the Disneyland races is how close everything is! The corrals to start were literally right outside my hotel:
The view from room in Paradise Pier, with runners walking into the corrals.
For a 5:30 race start, I was supposed to be in my corral by 5:15. Given how close I was to the corrals, I actually slept in until 4:30 (blissful compared to races at WDW!) and walked about 5 minutes from my hotel to the starting corral.There was a really cute little pre-show with race announcers Rudy and Carissa, complete with clips of Star Wars movies, Rudy being abducted by Darth Vader, and a visit from C-3PO.
Movie clips on a big screen (complete with the trailer for the new movie)
R2D2 and C-3PO caused a bit of a pile up as people tried to get selfies and photos while we passed by at the start.
They couldn’t do fireworks to start us off like they do for each corral in WDW, but they had a very StarWars appropriate light show and visuals similar to the start of the movies, which I liked. I was worried I would be disappointed without the fireworks, but I really liked these effects. I’ll see if I can load a brief clip to You Tube and share the link over on Facebook when I get better WiFi access!
Nothing like giant glowing letters telling you it is time to start to run 🙂
For the first two miles, we were on streets and back stage, so there really wasn’t much course entertainment. There was an underpass where they had speakers set up with a dark message from Darth Vader and the Vader music/sound effects, which was cool. After a week without running because things were so busy, I was really just enjoying the crowd and the sensation of running, plus all of the costumes (side note: Friday Favorites this week will be devoted to some of the awesome costumes I saw!).
I’d forgotten all about the Jawas until I saw them on the mile 1 marker.
Soon enough we were in the park (Disneyland first) and I have to say, running through the park in the dark with all of the other racers and the lights on just for you is one of my favorite things about runDisney races.
Main Street in California is shorter, but just as magical to run through (and check out how not-crowded it was!)
There were a bunch of lovely Jedi from the training academy out for photos on Main Street, so I stopped for a photo. With my goal of running my slowest 10K ever to save my legs for the half on Sunday, I’d planned to stop for photos in the 10K so long as the lines weren’t too crazy so that I didn’t get caught up and rush.
The female Jedi complimented my purple shirt, which she said matched her light saber.
There were photographers set up in front the castle, but as the line was 10+ people, I decided to skip it. We turned into Frontierland and my feet liked the brief break of running on the wooden bridge. Not long after that, I heard the Mos Eisley cantina music, which was playing with the Chewbacca photo stop. The Chewie line was nuts, with the line wrapped back on itself a couple of times, so I skipped it and headed out past Big Thunder Mountain.
Gorgeous in the dark!
We then circled through Fantasyland and I loved seeing all of the rides lit up! Dumbo was running and the lights were on all of the other rides. It was so magical to run through all of that.
This is one of the rides I remember from my very first trip to WDW as a kid.
We came around the other side of the castle and I had a much shorter line to wait in for this photo:
Sleeping Beauty’s castle may be smaller, but it’s still lovely in the dark.
We then swung back out through Tomorrowland and came across Darth Vader. I sincerely hope this picture came out well in the MarathonFoto version because the set up was very cool, complete with flashing lights and Storm Troopers pacing in the background (wondering what all of those humans were doing running by and how they were supposed to find the rebel spy in the midst of all of this).
It felt a little odd to smile with Darth Vader.
Not long after I got in that line, it also grew to spread across the whole plaza and start to wrap in on itself. Glad I took the chance when I did as I only to wait about 10 minutes!
It’s a small world was gorgeous with all of the lights on.
Then we headed through to California Adventure, where it was starting to get light.
Hollywoodland in California Adventure looks A LOT like Hollywood Studios, in case you’re curious.
I was disappointed that we didn’t go through CarsLand initially because it so amazingly well themed, but there were still plenty of gorgeous views in California Adventure.
Coming out of the BugsLife land and looking at the “mountain”
As I came around the corner to the Paradise Pier area, I came upon Boba Fett and decided he was absolutely worth a ten minute wait in line (but knew he’d be my last – I didn’t want to be over 16 minute:mile pace in case they decided to enforce times to determine if you really completed the challenge).
I wonder if Boba Fett is the reason we never saw a Hans Solo character stop on the course? Hmmmm . . .
I also paused for a Paradise Pier selfie before we headed over to that section of the park, with its blissful wooden path that my feet greatly appreciated!
That ferris wheel has swinging cars that are seriously disorienting!
Coming across the bridge to Paradise Pier, I was behind a woman who had this awesome sign pinned to her back:
I of course grabbed a Wookie!
Happily, we ended up going through a backstage area and then swinging back into the CarsLand. CarsLand is so gorgeous with such great Disney attention to detail. It was absolutely my favorite part of California Adventure!
Those rocks are fake, but gorgeous and so realistic!
We then went backstage for a bit before headed back to the hotels and the finish line. I confess that I did start to get a little worried about the 16 minute mile pace (I wasn’t tracking with my Garmin) so I picked it up a bit. There really weren’t any other entertainment distractions at that point anyway which helped. 🙂 I ended up crossing the finish line at 1:35:53, about a 15:30 pace so it’s good I booked it at the end!
We were given our medals and passed along to drinks, photos and the snack box. There wasn’t any particular check in to do for the Rebel Challenge since they’re tracking by photos and bibs at this point, so my new bling and I headed around to the stands to cheer for a few more of the finishing runners.
I love a shiny new medal.
I’m always amazed at just how many medals they have!
I LOVED my first runDisney 10K. I got all of the fun of running in the parks, lots of characters, plus only had to run 6 miles – wins all around! I’m definitely going to check out the Florida 10K’s next time I get the chance.
Up tomorrow: Half Marathon report!
I had to get a medal shot with Buzz later in the day since he was my first character stop back at Princess when I first started this runDisney craziness. 🙂