Leading up to the 10k, I hadn’t been too excited to do this race. Most of the reason was because I didn’t have anyone else that was going to be there with me, so I was worried about being lonely and bored for the majority of the weekend. Luckily several of my friends were doing it so I was able to meet up with them pre-race. As it turns out, Jolene (a MudRunFun teammate) and I had the same corral placement for both days so we decided to run together. It was easier to meet up with her than it was at Princess- there were a lot less people this morning.
After we got to corral walk out, it felt like a short wait until we started our Dark Side Challenge journey. This was probably due to the fact that they played clips from most of the movies on the big screens by the start corrals, so I was too busy watching those to focus on how much time was passing. I had a decent placement for the 10k (corral C), so it didn’t take long at all between the start of the race and our wave start.
Right before mile 1 we ran into one of my favorite characters, R2D2. I love the droids and I knew I wanted to stop for a picture with him, so we did. The line felt like it moved quickly, but it was probably about a 15 minute wait. Being that neither of us were concerned with pacing, we didn’t mind staying in line for the characters. Running through the parks is always my favorite part- the first two miles took us through Epcot and into Hollywood Studios past the Tower of Terror.
In Hollywood Studios around mile 2 we met Chewie, another one of my favorite characters. Since I was dressed like him I took a picture with him as well, which set us back probably another 10 minutes or so. Chewie really liked my Wookie costume- he started petting my head and making Wookie noises (“Aaaaarrrrggghhh, uuunnggggrrrrhhhh!) when I came up. He also enjoyed my Wookie tank (made by Black Creek Custom Shirts) that said “My Patronus is a Wookie” on the front and “Let the Wookie win” on the back.
By the time we reached mile 3 and ESPN World of Sports, the balloon ladies had reached mile 2. Our pace had slowed down a whole lot because of stopping for characters in the first two miles, so I opted not to take any character photos there, which was kind of sad because there were a lot of good ones (storm troopers, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Boba Fett). As soon as Jolene got out of the bathroom I told her we had to haul ass because the balloon ladies weren’t far behind! I didn’t want to get pulled from the course. We hit the 5k split soon after that in 1:14 and change…the absolute worst 5k time I’ve ever had but we were having a blast!
Basically the next four miles were spent running as much as possible to put space between us and the balloon ladies. We didn’t see many characters through mile 4 and 5 that I remember- mile 4 was kind of boring on the highway pavement part of the parks, but mile 5 was cool with some dirt roads that were the same ones we had run for the Tower of Terror 10 miler in 2014. Before long we were entering the path to ESPN Wide World of Sports and the finish line wasn’t far. We saw several characters along the path to the finish but didn’t stop for any of them. Before long we finished, collected our medals and went to stretch and eat from the snack boxes Disney provides for us. If there’s one thing I can commend Disney for it’s their race swag- for this challenge I received 3 dri-fit shirts, 3 medals and by the time tomorrow is finished will have 2 snack boxes with an awesome assortment of food! This is hands down the coolest 10k medal I’ve received.
It was over before I knew it, but it was a great start to the Dark Side Challenge weekend! I’m super excited for tomorrow’s half- not so much for the running part, but for all the characters I hope to see on course! Especially if Kylo Ren will be there 😉