Let me take it back to January of 2016. When Thatkid ran the Legoland kid's race. That was it fr him. He was hooked. He started asking me to sign him up for races, and he specifically asked to do a Star Wars race.
Luckily for him, Disneyland just happens to have a Star Wars race...for kids! And so I signed him up. But since I figured that I might as well get something from the weekend too, I signed myself up for the half marathon. It was going to be a mother/son running weekend!
Thatkid was up first on Saturday morning.
He was so excited about his Darth Vader outfit. Darth Vader is his favorite bad guy. He even had a light saber and mask, but decided while we were waiting for the race to start that he didn't want to run with them. Good thing he brought along his own personal sherpa to lug his stuff around for him.
I think he was a little intimidated by the amount of people there, because normally he runs and I run beside him, but this time he wanted to hold my hand.
The 4-6 year old division was 200 meters. And he held my hand until he crossed the finish.
Of course, once we crossed, he was fine dropping my hand and running on his own to get his medal.
After he got his medal we went and got his snacks and met up with the rest of the family.
Thatkid loved the race and is already talking about doing it again next year. Although I'm sure the day at Disney after didn't hurt.
The next morning it was my turn. At an obscene hour, Thatmom was kind enough to drop me off at the race so the boys could stay asleep. I found my way over to my corral.
While Thatkid had donned his favorite baddie outfit, I scrapped my original plans and decided to run in tribute of our lost Disney Princess, Carrie Fisher.
Being in corral E, meant there was a lot of waiting around, although the race does a great job of keeping you entertained on the big screen above the start line. Eventually we finally made it up to the front.
And we were off! The race starts by running out of Downtown Disney and behind the parks, entering through the back of California Adventure. Our first glimpse of the park was the "sunrise in Cars Land. "Sunrise" in quotes, because the sun wasn't going to be up for a couple of miles.
I don't worry about my time for Disney races, since there are great photo opportunities that take up time. With that in mind, I hopped into the first restroom I saw inside the park. I wanted to take advantage of the actual restrooms instead of porta potties!
Soon after that I was at the iconic portion of the park. Disneyland has the castle, California Adventure has the Ferris Wheel and jumping fountains.
We ran around the back and across the front into Hollywood Studios, where there was a Jedi Training Session in Progress.
And then we were out of California Adventure, heading into Disneyland through Toon Town and into Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland has really been transformed into Star Wars Central at Disney. So we were greeted at the entrance with a row of light saber wielding park employees.
While storm troopers kept an eye on the situation.
And then we were running through the castle. My timing couldn't have been more perfect, as the sun was just rising. And so was I!
I had told myself at the beginning of the race I was only going to wait in character lines for Thatkid's favorite characters. Darth Vader was nowhere to be found in the park, but Thatkid's favorite "good guy" was! It was Wookie Time with Chewbacca!
Chewie was stationed right at the front of the park, so as I bid him adieu, I also headed out of the fun portion. Under this bridge and right out into the streets of Anaheim.
The Disney Half Marathon is my least favorite course. There are 4 miles of race within the parks. If you do the math, that means 9 miles are on the city streets. Which isn't nearly as much fun.
I will say, the people of Anaheim really do turn out and this year, due to the renovations and course route, there were more than I remember. There are cheerleaders from a million different high schools, and a couple of groups who dressed up in characters and lined up to cheer us on.
Even R2D2 made an appearance!
And since I couldn't get a picture of Darth Vader in the park, I settled for snapping this as I ran by.
I was seriously undertrained, underfueled, underhydrated, and I'd ran around Disneyland the day before. I was not expecting the race to go well. I had pretty much resigned to the fact I was going to hit a wall around mile 11, and joked about getting swept. But in actuality, I never hit a wall. And I maintained a really good pace! Not my fastest, but with a couple picture stops, and a couple restroom stops, it was still faster than my last half marathon.
I collected my medal and gave my family a call for them to come pick me up.
Now that Thatkid is getting into them, I foresee a lot more Disney races in my future!