Tuesday 3 February 2015

Inaugural runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon weekend

Serendipity and social media go hand in hand.

Last week video games retailer GAME was retweeting followers earliest memories of playing games. Mine was Space Invaders on the Atari VCS and Tim Rees' was Horace Goes Skiing on the ZX Spectrum. As a former ZX Spectrum owner I replied to Tim, started sharing anecdotes, and had no idea he was a fellow Star Wars fan until I checked his Twitter bio: BOOM!

Guest blog post by Tim Rees

I am not that hard to please, but a few things are likely to guarantee my interest - Rum, Playstation, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Star Wars.

My wife and I run a bit, in our spare time, and have started to travel the U.K. in order to take part in running events, but her idea of travelling to Los Angeles, for a series of runs, made me a bit apprehensive... until she mentioned it was a Star Wars event. I was in.

With Disney buying Lucasfilm, you would expect them to put their full weight behind the Star Wars franchise and so runDisney launching a series of three themed runs under the Star Wars 'Rebel Challenge' banner (running a 5K, 10K and an half marathon over 16th - 18th January) should have been expected.

A lot of planning and thought had clearly gone into the details of the event: from promotional items through to the running medals (Battle of Yavin medal? Check!) - all very professional.

runDisney produced a slick operation with a winding route around the Anaheim Disneyland park taking in the majority of the park's attractions and sprinkled with photo opportunities with a variety of characters from the movies.

The highlight, for me, was the final day on the half marathon when, running the Anaheim streets (and outside of Disney control), it seemed every Californian Star Wars cosplayer had come out to cheer the runners on with some great outfits producing a great community feel.

So, three early starts, 23.4 miles and four medals later it was all done, but what an event!

One of the oddest runs I have ever done, for the pure geek factor alone, but if you love your running and you love your Star Wars - this is where it all comes together.

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Special thanks to Tim Rees for the photographs.

Have your own Star Wars story to share? Please get in contact.

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