RunDisney has announced yet another inaugural race for Disneyland. Following close on the heels of the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend November 14 – 16, 2014 (all races sold out), Disney announced yesterday that an inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend will be held January 15 – 18, 2015 (registration begins at Noon Eastern on June 10).
First, I should mention that I am not a runner. I’m overweight and my treadmill has collected more dust than miles. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love the runDisney races, though. Amazingly enough, the races are so much fun that the miles actually fly by! Plus, while there is a 16-minute mile pacing requirement, that can be done walking as was proven at my last runDisney race.
On May 3, I decided to take the Expedition Everest Challenge. It’s a 5K with obstacles followed by a scavenger hunt. I was fortunate that I had a couple of friends who signed up, too, and I walked with them.
We started in the Animal Kingdom parking lot. We were walking briskly, but never even broke into a jog. We got to the first obstacle, hay bales, and I simply walked up and over each row. The second obstacle was a row of tires and again, I simply hopped my way through them. The final obstacle was right before the finish line. It was a net to crawl under. Since it had been raining, even though they had provided fake grass, it was muddy. I did it anyway. Getting a little dirty was all in the fun! I should mention that quite a few people skipped the obstacles and, at least by my corral later in the race, seemed to be perfectly acceptable. We had slowed some in our walking throughout the race, but still stayed on pace and were walking comfortably enough that we held conversations much of the way, easily finishing on pace even with the obstacles.
At the finish line, I was handed my first clue. It said, “Use another item you’ve been given for the race and know that we need you to flag the right color.” The race bibs had a row of flags on top and the color furthest right was green. For that answer, I was given my next clue, “Things are hidden in the text next to the color flag you selected in Clue #1. But what are they?” In big, bold print, it also said, “PRIME, WHOLE, ODD.” The numbers one and three were hidden in the text. The tricky part was that it didn’t mention you had to add them together, but once that was done, I was given my next clue, which was a fill-in-the-blank game like Hangman or Wheel of Fortune. It spelled out “things that keep you warm.” On the next clue card, I had to punch out items that “keep you warm” such as a fire, mittens, a blanket and boots. For the final clue, I had to use the last clue card to cover some of the words to find out what I was supposed to do at the finish line. It said, “Hold up number solution from Clue #2.” In my photos nearing the finish line, you’ll see me happily holding up 4 fingers before my receiving my bling, the Expedition Everest Compass Medal.
Are you ready for a runDisney challenge? If I can do them, you can, too. My first race was even the Tower of Terror 10-Miler!!! I even finished it, although it was rough. I wouldn’t advise that other newbies who haven’t done much training start there. What would I advise?
- Before starting any exercise program, you should check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy. Safety first.
- If you’re looking for some training ideas, I loved the Couch Potato to 5K program. While I didn’t use it exactly as described, the little I did helped build the confidence I needed. There are also quite a few training tips on the runDisney site.
- Sign up EARLY!!!! Really early. The Avengers races for this November are already sold out. If you’re even considering the Star Wars ones, I suggest being prepared to register right at Noon Eastern on June 10.
- Use the buddy system. I enjoyed the Expedition Everest Challenge so much more and time went by so quickly walking and chatting with my friends. For the Tower of Terror 10-miler, a buddy was a must! I wouldn’t have finished without her.
- AND… Have fun with it!