Since this weekend was so incredibly epic, I am going to write it in 2 parts so it’s not a novel. This is part one, the beginning….
I had been waiting for this day to come and it was FINALLY here! The first day of the Star Wars Dark Side expo! I had to go on that day, Thursday, because my family was running the 5K the following day so we needed to get our bibs. We headed to the expo in the afternoon and I braced myself for some Star Wars madness.
As soon as we walked in, I expected a madhouse of Star Wars fanatics, but no, there wasn’t. I am sure very early in the morning, there was the usual bum rush of people because I went over to the race merchandise to get a Dark Side Challenge magnet and the only ones left were kids race. All magnets were sold out and to my knowledge, were never restocked.
The little and I got our bibs and headed over to meet BB-8! Yes that’s right BB-8 was there for a photo-op! And the line wasn’t as bad as I imagined. It was just over 30 minutes. Regardless we were going to wait because well…it’s BB-8!?!?!
We then prepped to run the 5K, the first race to kick off the Star Wars Dark Side weekend of fun! Let me tell you, it was the most amazing race we’ve done together as a family. We have all done several 5Ks in the past but this one was awesome. Could it be that it was Star Wars and we are all HUGE fanatics and just oozing with excitement? Possibly, but just being able to run through Walt Disney World is an amazing experience in itself. So add Star Wars into the mix and it’s just mind blown!
A few days prior to the start of this epic weekend, I had a blackout on the treadmill(read previous blog post) I also threw my back out so I was barely able to move. The most comfortable position I could find was to be standing. After running the 5K, I seriously felt like I was in trouble. I wasn’t sure what would happen and how I would even complete the 10K, and the half marathon. But I knew one thing for sure…I was going to complete it no matter what! Nothing was going to stop me. I had A LOT of trouble moving around when I wasn’t racing, asking Janine and Alpha. I bet they got tired of asking me if I was O.K.
That was just the tip of the iceberg. Since the blackout, I developed an odd migraine, a weird pain that whenever I heard a loud sound, it left some lingering ringing in my ear thus giving me a headache. Nothing helped, nothing took the pain away. I was miserable and tried everything to make myself feel better. I have a feeling that had this not been a Star Wars race, this might have been a different outcome. Star Wars always lifts my spirits and makes me smile. Regardless, I keep going and move forward. Onward to epicness.
There were a few characters along the course which was fantastic. We ran through Epcot. Completely different from other runDisney 5Ks in the past. Making our way into the entrance of Epcot, que Imperial March aka Darth Vader’s theme song when he is around. It started to play the moment we stepped foot into the park, it was perfect timing, talk about goosebumps. The whole course played music from the Dark Side. We were loving every moment of it!
Once we were done, we headed over to our FAVORITE place to stay whenever we run at Disney, Hilton Bonnet Creek. It’s at a perfect distance from all parks and the expo. And you have your own running concierge. It’s someone there until the evening to answer and help you with any questions about the runDisney events. They help you with everything. And sign you up for a bus to take you yo and from the race!
Upon check in, of course it started to rain! I was running the Dark Side Challenge so I was set to run the 10K the next day. The rain hitting the window on our beautiful, comfortable suite was not comforting me! But I was not going to worry about it because there was nothing I could do. I was waiting for our friend Janine to arrive who was running the half marathon with us. Once she arrived we headed to Harvest Bistro to have some carb loaded dinner. And as usual, it was delicious! We headed back to our room and I headed to bed as I had a 3 a.m. wake up call to run my 2nd race of the weekend:
Since I was running this race without Alpha, some of my friends were concerned that I run this “alone” so Megan from irun4wine who was also staying at the same resort offered to run the 10K with me since she was also doing the Dark Side Challenge. She drove us to Epcot, where the start was for the race. And what we were in for is something I DID NOT expect…..what was it????…you’ll have to stay tuned for the next blog post to find out 😉
…part II coming soon