2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)

Countdowns!

Friday, January 27, 2017

2016 Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side 10K

The Star Wars Dark Side 10K course was another course that I can't say I was overly fond of.  The course started out on the road, headed in to Epcot, on to the Boardwalk, around to Hollywood Studios , on the road, through the trail area on the way in to ESPN Wide World of Sports, through the ESPN Wide World of Sports and ended in the parking lot at the entrance.  The course was full of bottlenecks and caused a lot of unplanned walking for a lot of people - even I had to modify run/walk intervals in places.  Character lines were long again and some were closed by the time I got to them.  The energy was infectious though - Star Wars fans have a lot of fun and that did make the race more enjoyable.  Ending in the ESPN Wide World of Sports parking lot was not great and don't even get me started on the lines for buses back to the resorts - they were insane.

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The Star Wars Dark Side Challenge Bib
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Participant Tech Shirt
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Star Wars Dark Side 10K Car Magnet
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Star Wars Dark Side 10K Commemorative Pint
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Star Wars Dark Side 10K Medal Replica Pin
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So weird, we're heading the wrong way - at least that's what you would say if you've done all the other WDW races
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Must be early, this is not a great photo of the start line banner
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The announcer's stand - I assume there were announcers there, but they must be hiding
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And we're off!
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The countries are pink again this morning - I can't help it, this reminds me of Valentine's Day not Star Wars
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I need to explain that my phone was in the process of breaking during these races - sorry for the blurry pictures
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Bambi and friends
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The Yacht Club across the water
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Strolling along
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This was one of the areas that was pretty crowded at Hollywood Studios
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Enjoying the views in Hollywood Studios
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Mile 3 inside Hollywood Studios
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A rather pretty morning with the Studios all lit up
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You should have seen the line for pictures in this chair - it was a bit insane!
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Still pretty crowded even out here on the road at mile 4
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Mile 5 and we're on the trail heading in to ESPN Wide World of Sports - this is a bottleneck in all races I've done that use this area
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Going by the fields at ESPN Wide World of Sports - and yes, it's still very crowded
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Cosplayers are out lining the way - there were some really great costumes
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Storm Troopers
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Mile 6, still crowded and there's the parking lot
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There's the finish line
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Look, it's the elusive announcers!
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The finish line banner
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All done
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Star Wars Dark Side 10K medal
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Star Wars Dark Side 10K lanyard


Thursday, January 19, 2017

2016 Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side 5K

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side 5K in Walt Disney World.  The expo was pretty standard, but they did have characters there to take photos with - I did not do this because the lines were extremely long, over an hour for each of them at one point while I was there.

Packet pick-up was pretty much the same as any of the other Walt Disney World race weekends.  I had to stop and pick up my 5K Bib and also my Dark Side Challenge Bib.  The lines weren't too bad and I managed to get through them pretty quickly.

The official merchandise was crazy as usual and there were lines set up to get in and then lines to check out.  It was very busy and crowded, even at the start of the expo so I took a deep breath and went with the flow.

The race went through Epcot and was pretty much the standard Walt Disney World 5K course.  There were of course some bottle necks and overall crowding on the course, but that's pretty normal as well.  The saddest part were the character lines, people were actually being turned away from the lines because they were so long they had to shut them down.  While I'm not fast enough to stop, I felt really bad for the children on the course that would have loved to have their pictures taken with characters, but didn't get a chance.  
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Star Wars Dark Side 5K Participant T-Shirt
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Star Wars Dark Side 5K Bib
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Star Wars Dark Side 5K Car Magnet
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Commemorative 5K Pin
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5K Medal Replica Pin
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5K Start Line
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Say hello to the announcers
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And we're off!
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R2D2 had one of the longest lines I'd ever seen - this was one of the lines that was closed when I went by
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Mile 1 as we head in the back of Epcot
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Large screens were set up playing Star Wars movie clips
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The countries around World Showcase were lit up. I'm sure it was supposed to be red for the dark side, but really it looked pink and kind of made me smile
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It's off to run we go
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Who's the fairest one of all?
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Enjoying a stroll around World Showcase
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American Pavilion is very pretty in the early morning light
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Yes, this is a line of people waiting for a character to come back out
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Mile 2
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Eeyore and Piglet
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Spaceship Earth ahead
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Phineas and Ferb
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Howdy Mickey!
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Pretty little flowers
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This is the first race with Photopass Photographers instead of MarathonFoto. I like the fact that they are easy to spot with their little green pop-up tents.
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Mile 3
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The finish line
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Star Wars Dark Side 5K medal
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Star Wars Dark Side 5K Lanyard
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Official Finisher Photo - I like the logo included with the PhotoPass picture, but notice the backdrop is just a generic runDisney backdrop - no more race specific backdrops. I am very bummed about that.

In summary, this race wasn't terrible.  It was a bit crowded, but it wasn't terrible.  The character lines were ridiculous and some of the worst I've seen.  The Photopass Photographers were easy to spot, but I did encounter some issues with the photos later on.  Still, if you like Star Wars and runDisney this isn't a terrible race to do.

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