Star Wars is already amazing; running a Star Wars themed Half Marathon through Disneyland? EPIC!
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Now I know what you’re thinking ‘there’s no way I could run a half marathon’, well good news there’s a simple 10k or even a 5k you can do as well! Disney has several fun events throughout the year and some of them are different themed runs that take place through the park. I got the great opportunity to run the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon this year with my husband.
So yes running is hard and no I am not a huge runner. I have had ACL replacement surgery, torn my MCL, and several other injuries to my knees so no I am not a huge runner because it is hard and it gets boring. I never thought I would run a half marathon because of my injuries and because I don’t enjoy just plain running, but these events are way exciting and it’s satisfying to be able to say I have ran three now.
I have run three half marathons now and every single one of them was hard yes but the amazing memories and the accomplishment from finishing them is amazing. This last one was my absolute favorite, not only did I get another half marathon under my belt, but I got to run with characters in Disneyland and enjoy the celebration of the new Star Wars movie.
If you ever get a chance run in a Disney race, they are so fun and with all the excitement going on you won’t realize how tired you are, you will just know how much fun you are having. Now with that said it does take some training. No you don’t have to go run every day. My training consisted of elliptical, biking, running, strength training, and stretching. Like I said earlier, I have bad knees and continuous running is not recommended at all for them. I am not giving up my races so therefore when I am not racing I need to take care of my knees, so I don’t run hardly at all in training. I train on the elliptical to train my lungs and get really good cardio. I ride a stationary bike to help stretch out my legs and get a little bit of cardio and strength in. No I do not do squats or lunges, if you have bad knees these can cause damage if repetitively done. I do however do leg curls, leg raises (backward and forward), inner outer leg lift/press, and calf raises. I also do walk to help train my feet to be able to stand for that long on concrete without bruising or blistering. So I don’t run all the time; I will run about 1 to 3 times a month but just 2 to 3 miles, not very far at all.
Some tips if you’re thinking of a Disney run:
- Plan early! Look up upcoming events (where, when) and mark the registration date. You will need to sign up usually within an hour if you want something other than the half marathon, the half usually fills up within a couple days. So planning is critical otherwise it books up, so look ahead and plan.
- Train! Don’t expect it to be really easy, it’s not super hard either but how great your trip is will be determined greatly by the amount of training you do before. Of course you’ll want to go to the park after so if you don’t train you will be so sore and tired you won’t get to enjoy your trip.
- Find a buddy! Mine was my amazing husband who pushes me along and supports me the whole way. We talk through the whole thing and he makes the run so much easier knowing I have that help and support.
- Enjoy! Take in everything that’s going on! Enjoy your run, don’t just focus on it being a race focus on having a great time and doing something amazing.
Think it will still be way too boring for you? What if I said there were storm troopers, Darth Vadors, and several other characters and decorations from the show throughout the whole race you could take pictures with? We had tons of characters from the movie cheering us on the whole way, along with bands playing music to get us pumped. There were plenty of stops with bathrooms, drinks, and snacks to help us get through it as well.
No I did not get a record time with this half, but it was way exciting and memorable. After the race I also got to spend time in the park which is always an adventure. One of my favorite parts through the race was going through this kind of tunnel and through the tunnel they played Darth Vador’s voice of him breathing and saying ‘come to the dark side’, it was way cool. Another part I really liked was being able to not only run through the park but go through behind the scenes areas. And of course I loved having hundreds of people cheering me on. Like dressing up? Perfect, pick your favorite theme and dress up! Don’t go too overboard because you still have to run. Through my race I saw Darth Vadors, storm troopers, Leia’s, and all sorts of characters from star wars. If you like running or not, but want to get in shape and have a memorable vacation, sign up for one of these runs and I promise you will not regret it, even though I was sore after, the memories from this trip are amazing and are going to stay with me forever.