I got to run all three Dark Side races this year – which is very exciting, since next year it’s being rebranded into the Star Wars Rival Runs, where you can pick your side. (Fear not, I’ve happily given myself over to all things Sith.) Happily, these are my last races for awhile – I enjoyed doing a marathon once (well, I enjoy having done a marathon), but it really messed up my back, knees, and plantar fasciitis (I’m falling to pieces!), so I’m taking a break and focusing on weight training and yoga.
I thought it would be fun, since I ran all three races (5k, 10k, half marathon), to kind of go over them one by one to a) let you fellow Star Wars nerds know what the races are like and b) let any curious runners know what Disney races are like! You can go back in my posts to find my marathon post, but these’ll summarize the other distances. For what it’s worth – I’ve run every WDW race weekend, and I think the Star Wars races are the best by far. I’m biased, because I love Star Wars, but I think the character meet and greets (especially the 501st!), the music, etc are just on point.
So let’s cover day one at the expo, and the 5k! To start with – the expos are split up nicely so you can either get it, get your race stuff, and get out, or peruse all the merchandise, photo ops, etc. I like to do a bit of both, and they had it all spread out really nicely so it never felt super crowded.
If you haven’t done a Disney 5k before, they’re the most relaxed of the races. They’re untimed – technically the minimum pace is always a 16 minute mile, and they can choose to sweep you even at the 5k if you’re taking way too long, but there’s no balloon ladies. I stopped at almost every photo stop, finished with hardly anyone left in the stands (I definitely prioritized fun over speed over that weekend!), and I wasn’t remotely the last on the course. So be aware that they can sweep you, but know it’s the most laid back of all the distances.
On with the post!
First stop – the expo! Where I had to pose with the 5k poster. You can see that the theme for the first round was the Executioner Stormtroopers from Episode VIII!
Had to pose with the Kylo graphics. Because. Kylo.
The First Order, properly represented.
The expo seriously had the MOST RANDOM photo ops. Yes. I’m a Sith. With a probe droid. Why not.
Also can I just put this photo of my parents here because they’re freaking adorable.
After the expo, Geoff and I checked into All Star Movies! It was my first time staying at an All Star resort. I…wasn’t all that impressed haha, though Sports had a surprisingly food court. I AM psyched that they’re getting room renovations like Pop Century though – that’ll be a huge improvement!
The Movies food court was cutely themed though!
Dawn of the first day. 😉 Geoff was only (“only”) doing the half marathon, but I got to start off with my awesome friend Jen!
There also was a BB-8 unit before the corrals. It moved. Its head fell off. It was endearing.
I stopped for almost all the photos at the 5k, with the exception of the Ewoks (I missed them, I don’t know where they were!) and Chewie (since I can see him at Launch Bay). First photo stop was at Palpatine’s throne. Future Sith Empress coming through. 😉
By the USA pavilion, I got to chill with R2-D2!
Running through France (the 5k takes place in Epcot).
Running through the UK pavilion!
Encountering a Jedi in the Canada pavilion!
Making my way into Future World. Photopass photographers are really good at snapping photos of you during the race – just keep in mind that they’re only along resorts and in the parks (so if you’re running highways in the longer races, they aren’t stationed there).
Zipping through Innoventions breezeways!
Another photo stop! This time with Sabine and Ezra from Star Wars Rebels. (Also, that black thing under my bib is my Spibelt, which I highly recommend if you just need to carry a phone or something – it even fits my iPhone X!)
Love the Living Seas backdrop of this one!
Posing with my beloved Stormies! A tip: if you want photos, USUALLY there are Photopass cast members at stops, but not always. Palpatine’s throne and this Stormtrooper were cell phone only, for example. So make sure you have your phone ready! The 501st stops are also cell phone only.
For the 5k, the 501st were near the finish line. I got SO MANY PHOTOS! Seeing Poe and a TIE pilot together was epic.
I’m sorry. But CAN I GUSH. Because 1. I love getting Kylo and Phasma in a photo together (and an executioner! If only there was Hux!). But also 2) I have NEVER seen such a shiny Phasma! Disney, take note. Chrome Phasma UP. Swooning.
Imperials just wanna have fun. (And put bunny ears on me. :D)
My favorite on-course costumes. There was Ackbar Snackbar, Bantha Burger, and Cosmic Cafe. The Stormtroopers appreciated the snacks.
Star Wars selfies.
FINALLY FOUND AN EWOK.
Once I was done the 501st photos, I finally scuttled over to the finish line to, you know, actually finish the dang race.
You can see that there was practically NO ONE AROUND haha!! I took forever getting photos but it was so worth it.
Finished race 1/3!
Then it was off to Magic Kingdom (after showering) to celebrate Jen’s birthday! We got buttons to celebrate both her birthday AND joining the Dark Side.
Obligatory castle shot.
Obligatory medal selfie.
And obligatory post-race breakfast…this time at Be Our Guest! Which was amazing. And they gave us more pastries when we asked, because…pastries. Even though the bran muffin disguised itself as chocolate and we were traumatized.
Last but not least – a short video of some clips I took before/during the race! This one is pretty short but…so is a 5k, ha!
I had a great time chilling with Jen at Magic Kingdom, then parted ways. I went back to All Star Movies and happily napped! I had two more days of races ahead of me, which I’ll cover in another post. If you have any questions about runDisney races, Star Wars races, 5ks, etc, feel free to ask!