One of my favorite things about the Disney community is how we all inspire each other. Sometimes we inspire each other to run crazy amounts of miles. Some of us inspire each other to stay up for 24 hours in the Magic Kingdom... you get the point. We even inspire each other to do "normal things" too. In fact, this post was kind of born out of that inspiration.
One of my favorite podcasts to listen to while I run is the Mickey Miles Podcast hosted by my friends Mike Scopa and Michelle Scribner-MacLean. On episode #179 of the Mickey Miles Podcast Mike and Michelle invited two more of my friends, Ashley Kennedy Turner and Sam Turner hosts of WDW Happy Place to talk about the recently announced Star Wars Race Weekend. Ashley mentions that she and Sam were inspired by the guys over at WDWToday to start their own podcast. I guess you can say, in turn, I was inspired by this episode to write this blog.
As we all know, on May 27th we woke up to a teaser from RunDisney featuring Darth Vader. Could it be??? The long awaited and long rumored Star Wars RunDisney event?
In the past, RunDisney has teased weeks or even months before officially announcing a new race. Disney shocked everyone when just an hour or so later another video was released - with Chewbacca running through a park with the hash tag #LettheWookieWin but no actual details about when or where.
Being smack dab in the middle of Star Wars Weekends in Walt Disney World and the buzz of Star Wars taking over more of Disney Hollywood Studios, A LOT of people expected this race to be an East coast race. Also We got one "fan race" in California with Avengers, so why not have one in Walt Disney World??
But then I started really looking at the video of Chewbacca running for clues. And I still didn't know how long 6.8E-13 Parasecs was. But that was quickly deciphered by others in the RunDisney community :P - yep just as we thought - 13.1 miles!
He's obviously running down Main Street...but which one? Then I realized there were details I didn't recognize. I also spied a garbage can in the background with a very specific design on it. My next step was to Google "Disney park garbage cans" (trust me its really a thing). And quickly discovered it matched the trash cans of Disneyland.
No sooner did I figure this out when we got the official announcement - Star Wars half marathon weekend coming to Disneyland in January 2015. Boo. Well, now we have our answer why RunDisney moved Tink weekend to Mother's Day.
One of the things Mike,Michelle,Ashley and Sam contemplated is why RunDisney announced this race so quickly AND why so shortly after announcing the Castaway Cay 5k "challenge?". One of their conclusions was that they did it so quickly so that people couldn't get out of the commitment they made for the races they signed up for marathon weekend and the Castaway Cay Challenge that had literally opened (and closed) for registration literally just days before.
My opinion on this is the same line of thinking I seemed to see over and over again for people I saw that tacked on to the cruise... "Oh I'll just add 4 more days onto my marathon weekend trip" before people actually look at their calendars....and checkbooks.
Now the Expedition Everest Challenge isn't my favorite race and there have always been rumors of this event going away....maybe perfect timing for a Star Wars race....right around Star Wars weekend???? I am still baffled by the people that make the trip for a 5k. Okay it is cool that you get a real medal for a 5k....that is really more like a 10k disguised as a 5k :). Regardless of what RunDisney does with Everest, I wouldn't be surprised to see them "plus" this weekend to more than a 5k.
And WDW has has begun work on what will in the semi-near future "Star Wars Land"...so we don't get a Star Wars race?
Oh I got it! Sam and Ashley talked about having some sort of special medal for doing both races - but that would take two years. But why not have the races virtually being run at the same time or at least on the same day in Disneyland AND Disney World? You couldn't do them in one year but it would be fun!
Sam did bring up the possibility of an Avatar race in the future. That would be cool from what we're hearing about what's coming for Pandora. It keeps a race in Animal Kingdom and a possibility for some awesome bling!
Also, I don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer but I am concerned about the amount of people that signed up just because they are Star Wars fanatics. If they signed up and see it is an opportunity to train and get in shape, great! But there will be that portion that are just in it to dress up and get Star Wars bling and see Star Wars characters. I hate to say it, Ive seen it waaay to many times at Princess - the girls that dream of wearing a tiara and a tutu and running through the castle and spend more time on their costume than training so that by the time they actually get to that magic moment at the castle, they're dead.
Either way, as mentioned its an opportunity for New Balance to create some cool new shoes! I always said the Mickey shoes from last year reminded me of Darth Maul!
Good job RunDisney for listening to what the fans want! Although I'm bummed its in Disneyland I still think its a great idea -and if it was in Disney World, because I'm local, I would do it at least once. (And because I'm a bling junkie).
This would make for some pretty cool bling!
Okay I feel better now that I got that out of my head. Thanks for "listening!"