Saturday Morning, SK2 and I got up at 3am to get ready for the Star Wars 10K race. One of the perks of a west coast race is that the time change actually works to the advantage of east coasters! Disney races usually start at 5:30 so you need to be up early so you have time you get dressed, get to the bag check, use the facilities, and make your way to the corrals.
I love 10K courses in Disneyland because the majority of the race takes place in the parks where there is a lot of entertainment provided by Disney Cast Members. Star Wars 10K was no exception! The first mile and a half was street running, with a slight incline, as we passed over the highway, where the first mile maker was sighted
I loved that on the 10K course, each mile marker had a different backdrop. We entered the parks via a long tunnel which was “Star Wars-ized” with the sounds of Darth Vader’s iconic breathing, and crossed the courtyard between Disneyland and California Adventure where spectators were cheering us on as we entered Disneyland.
We entered the park from the right side and headed up Main Street USA and towards Sleeping Beauty’s castle for Mile Marker 2
We passed Mile Marker 2 and made our way in to Frontierland, where standing in front of the Mark Twain Riverboat was none other than the mascot of the half marathon Chewbacca!! The line to have your photo taken with Chewie looked longer than Space Mountain on a Saturday afternoon so SK2 and I did a run by photo!
We made our way through Frontierland, past Big Thunder Ranch BBQ (which we had dinner at later that night. Excellent! SK2 and I were both pleasantly surprised; make a reservation!) and in to Fantasyland.
We made our way past the teacups, the Matterhorn (which was closed for refurbishment while we were there), running past the right side of the castle and in to Tomorrowland. As we entered Tomorrowland, and headed toward the far end near Innovations, we noticed another long line forming. For what? The man / machine himself, Darth Vader! With a few Stormtroopers standing guard, Lord Vader stopped for photos with all the rebel scum running through the park.
After escaping Darth Vader’s grasp, we headed around the other side of the Matterhorn, past the Small World ride, and across the railroad tracks to the “Behind the Scenes” section of the park. We also hit Mile Marker 3!
This is the area for Cast Member’s only. This may sound lame, but it is actually a great area of the race because a lot of the staff gets up early and comes out to cheer on all the runners. This area also had a lot of Star Wars graphics projected on to the sides of buildings.
After the Behind the Scenes area, we exited across the courtyard once again to make out way in to California Adventure. Mile Marker 4 was at the entrance of California Adventure.
We went up Buena Vista Street, past the trolley, and through Hollywoodland which had a wonderful marquee lit up for the runners. With Disney, it really is the little touches that make things so special:
Passing the Hollywood Tower Hotel (aka the Tower of Terror) and making our way through a Bugs Life, we made our way towards Paradise Pier where we saw another large line forming. From the back of the line we couldn’t even see who it was for to figure if it was worth waiting on. As SK2 and I got closer, I saw who it was and understood the wait. It was none other than the most famous bounty hunter of them all, Boba Fett.
We did another run by photo shooting of Mr. Fett but opted to take on before we headed across to Paradise Pier.
After passing all the rides, shops, and midway games we headed behind the scenes again to run behind the pier, weaving our way back in to the park to run through the “town” of Radiator Spring aka Carsland, USA! This is also where the Mile 5 Marker was located.
We made our way out of Carsland and back to the behind the scenes area once again. The last mile was all backstage and run parallel to Katella Ave but the Disney fencing kept us from fratenizing with the public. We made our way out of the park, across Disneyland Way, and in to the parking lot area for Downtown Disney. As we exited the parking lot towards the Disneyland Hotel, we spotted the Mile Marker for mile 6.
Making a mad dash to the finish, the last 0.2 miles went by in a blur, but we did spot these guys at the finish!
We finished slower than our average 10K times, but considering how many photo stops we did and we still had the half to tackle, neither SK2 or I were disapointed in our performance of 1:23:45. Of course, they still gave us these bad boys.