Jan 25, 2017

Star Wars Half Marathon - The Light Side 2017 - Race Recap

As I mentioned in my last post, I completed the Star Wars Half Marathon - The Light Side at the Disneyland Resort in California on Sunday, January 15, 2017. This was my sixth half marathon, and I was 26 weeks pregnant with my chicken nugget twins on that date.

DISCLAIMER: I am under the care of multiple physicians during my pregnancy. I have monthly visits with my physicians and asked during each visit if I could continue to travel and prepare for this race. I saw my physician three days before leaving for this trip to get a final okay. Check with your physician before attempting a half marathon during pregnancy!

I was originally supposed to do this race last January, but I was not able to due to medical treatment I was receiving. I am happy that I was able to do it this year because my sister and brother-in-law were there too and my race registration did not go to waste since I had already deferred once.

runDisney Health and Fitness Expo

On Saturday, we spent the majority of the day at the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo, which was located at the Disneyland Hotel. Since this was also where we were staying, it was super convenient for us!

First things first, we had to pick up our bibs. Since both the 5K and 10K had already occurred by the time we made it to packet pick up, there were very few lines.

We got to meet Jeff Galloway, former Olympian, author and all-around nice man, finally. I have seen him so many times at different Expos but there were always so many people trying to speak to him. This time, we finally go to say hello!

We also bought some merchandise. Many items were already sold out by this time since it was the third and final day of the expo. I got the runDisney sneaker Christmas tree ornament and a Star Wars Half Marathon coffee mug. 

We also got taped at the KT Tape booth. They are now charging $5 for taping. 

While at the Expo, we also picked up our race shirts. Yay for long sleeved tech shirts! 

Pre-Race Night

We needed to have an early night since we were setting our alarm clocks for 3 am. Oof! So we were off to dinner at 5 pm. We headed to Roscoe's House of Chicken N Waffles for some protein and carbs. I noticed some of our fellow runners had the same idea!

I had a waffle and thigh, a biscuit with gravy and shared some collard greens. Yum! So full.

Then it was back to the hotel to lay out our clothes for the morning! My costume was a simple Ewok costume. Gear for the day was: 

- Ewok Ladies Hooded Tank Top from ThinkGeek.com
- Brown Sparkle Skirt
- Black maternity leggings from Motherhood Maternity
- Black adidas arm compression sleeves
- Black CEP leg compression sleeves
- Black Balega Hidden Comfort socks
- Asics GT-1000 shoes (they, sadly, need to be retired now)
- I also borrowed my sister's running belt but I don't remember the brand

My sister also made me this adorable sign to wear on my back. I was worried about aggressive/inconsiderate runners in the crowd, so having this sign on my back was at least a bit of a warning for them to try to avoid me! 

Star Wars Half Marathon - The Light Side 2017

We didn't miss our alarms! We made it downstairs at around 4:15 am and then waited around until the announcers told us to head to our corrals. Thankfully, there were some things to pass the time like take silly pictures.

Here we are in the trash compactor from Episode IV. Only my sister seems to be trying to get us out of there.

Then it was time for a potty stop, stretching and then heading to the corrals. The way the corrals were set up was much nicer than my last Disneyland race. They basically just funnel you right into your corral. Easy peasy. We were all assigned corral G, which was nice. We didn't have to stand in our corrals alone for 45 minutes.

The race was set to start at 5:30 am, and according to my RunKeeper, we started in corral G at 6:02 am.

Approaching the starting line

The course was set up so that the first few miles were through the parks and then the rest of the course was B-O-R-I-N-G!! Our plan was to meet up at the mile markers or character stops in the parks and then it was everyone for themselves. My plan was to get as many pictures in the parks as possible and hope that once I left the parks, I did not get swept!

We entered California Adventure first and ran through Cars Land!

I met up with my sister at the first mile marker and then we met the BIL at the first character stop: R2D2!

Running past Paradise Pier is one of my favorite parts of the course!

Watch out for that Ewok on the speeder bike!

Around mile 3, we were in Disneyland and met up with some Stormtroopers by It's a Small World!

I knew my time was getting bad so I skipped the BB8 character stop.

I did, of course, have to stop for a castle picture though.

We all met up one last time for Chewbacca before heading out on the streets of Anaheim and Garden Grove on our own!

Having the twins on board sign on my back was nice because people mostly avoided me and so many people gave me words of congratulations and encouragement.

The course was so crowded that I never could tell when I photographer was coming up. I only noticed them right when I was in front of them. Here is what it looks like when I am oblivious to the photographers.

Here is what it looks like when I finally realize they are there!

The rest of the course was unexciting. I had stopped a lot in the parks, including taking two bathroom breaks because I wanted to take advantage of the actual bathrooms rather than the porta-potties.

My head was definitely in the game though. My goal was to make as far as I could before getting swept, but in reality, I knew that I did not want to get swept under any circumstance, so I pressed on and did not stop pretty much for anything. No pictures, no water (since I had my own) and no bathroom.

There was not much to see on the course until the 501st Legion. They are an international Star Wars cosplay group and they definitely represented at the race. These photos were all taken by my sister.

Around mile 11, I really needed the bathroom so I made my final stop until the finish line. The course was so crowded that it was impossible for me to take a posed finish line photo, so this is what I got!

Getting to the finish line was definitely dicey at times. I knew I was near the back of the pack because every now and then, staff at the mile markers would tell us how close the balloon ladies were. At one point. they were 18 minutes away, then 11 minutes and then 2 minutes! The 2 minute warning happened around miles 11 and 12 and I had a hunch that they weren't going to sweep people at that point.

It turned out there was nothing to worry about and I finished! My sister and brother-in-law waited for me at the finish area and we took more silly pictures before heading back to the hotel.

This medal was by far the hardest earn race medal I have gotten and I love it! 


Mile 1 - 16:13
Mile 2 - 26:05 *slowest mile*
Mile 3 - 15:23 *fastest mile*
Mile 4 - 20:52
Mile 5 - 19:51
Mile 6 - 16:04
Mile 7 - 16:40
Mile 8 - 16:32
Mile 9 - 17:19
Mile 10 - 17:52
Mile 11 - 21:49
Mile 12 - 17:17
Mile 13 - 18:23

Further evidence of just how slow my time was -
Finishing time: 4:05:30
Place 12400 out of 12434 finishers
Gender Place 7004 out of 7028 women

It was definitely a personal worst but I am glad I and the twinnies finished! They really should have given me three medals at the finish line!

The rest of the day, I was so unbelievably sore, my feet and calves in particular. It was quite painful, but a good night's sleep got me back to feeling pregnant normal!

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