The second race at RunDisney‘s Star Wars Rival Run was most certainly a highlight of our long weekend. All three of us were excited for the 10k — 6.2 miles of John Williams music and Star Wars fun.
While the 5k was exciting for all of us, it was the 10k that my son was most looking forward to. He wasn’t interested in 5k gear, just the 10k stuff: pins, finisher’s shirt…the whole bit. While he’d finished a 10k before, this was his first at RunDisney. The Han Solo/Boba Fett theme excited him, so it seemed pretty natural for him to run as Han Solo, and my husband, Dave ran as Boba Fett.
We got the guys’ shirts from Kawaiian Pizza on Etsy. These are great shirts: comfortable, soft, and great for running “costumes.” I ran as Ahsoka Tano, the more mature version from the Star Wars Rebels Series. Check out how I made the costumes in this video here.
So as for race day, 2:00 am came early again, but with reassurances that it would not rain. We were on the first bus out of Port Orleans French Quarter, leaving early with a full complement of runners. However, as I’m sitting a few rows back from the front, I see our driver taking the exit to Epcot. Unfortunately, she didn’t understand that the race start was near Magic Kingdom, even though there were several other buses on the road going north at the time. She did ultimately figure it out, though, having to wait in the bus lanes at Epcot to have someone remove barricades to let the bus through. While I was annoyed that this happened, it was corrected and we still made it to the start by 3:30. Unfortunately though, this meant we wouldn’t really have time for character pictures.
We “warmed up” dancing and having fun with our friends in the stage and entertainment area before we headed to the corrals. We were in Corral E, which was the 5th out of 6 corrals that morning (A-F), and although my corral assignment was B, I started with my family. This was the farthest back I had started a RunDisney race in a while. I hadn’t really thought about that and how it would affect our race. Dave didn’t want to run much so he could save his legs for the half marathon the next day, but he is a very fast walker. Our plan was the my son and I would run ahead to stand in character lines and Dave would just walk to catch up.
My son was feeling good at the start, but very quickly he developed a side stitch. In the first mile, the 501st Legion was out, but we kept on running. We stopped for the first character, Rey, then walked to the first Mile Marker, which was Boba Fett. I wanted a group shot there, but after that, I told the guys to just keep walking and I would run ahead and scout out the course.
Mile 2 Marker was Han Solo, so I waited for them there for a picture, then I stopped for the Stormtroopers after that. The great thing about having one runner go ahead is that they can save the place in line for the characters. I did this for the guys as we went along. At the Stormtrooper stop, my son’s side stitches still hadn’t gone away. There was no Powerade on the course, but I had a small bottle of Nuun Sport with me. He doesn’t really like the fizziness of the drink, but I had him drink some. Almost instantly, he felt better and was able to run comfortably from there on.
We stopped for the Rebels, which was one of our favorites and one of two “Must Stops”. From there we ran the rest of the race together. Mile 4 was just outside of Epcot (it was somewhat of an advantage that the bus drove by Epcot, because it allowed us to scout that section of the course).
Once in Epcot’s backstage, we rounded a corner and Chewbacca was right there. This was our second “Must Stop,” but this was a bad place for a character stop, especially a popular one like Chewie. It was a blind corner in a narrow section of the course, and although we wanted to stop (since my son was Solo), it became clear that we were running out of time. The line was long, and we had to “swim upstream” to get into the line. It caused a bit of stress, so we ended up getting a quick side shot before running on. Luckily, we knew we were going the Hollywood Studios to meet Chewbacca later, so we were okay with that decision.
We ran the rest of the way through Epcot all together, stopping for Mile markers but mostly just plugging along. We were all feeling good, my son was doing great. After mile 5, Dave was ahead of me, my son just behind me when I heard CLANG CRASH! I turned around and my son was clutching the side of his chest. He had been looking around at the scenery when he ran full on into a line stanchion. He was in a lot of pain, in tears and he couldn’t breathe. I pulled him off the course and sat him down. He was able to calm down, relax, and after a few minutes we got going again.
It was a rough go for him for a few minutes, but he was able to muscle through the rest of the course, stopping for another picture in front of Spaceship Earth. We gave him the go ahead to run however he wanted to the finish line, and he looked great doing it. He took off and ran hard, with some amazing finisher’s shots!
Crossing the finish line, we hit the medical tent for some ice for his side, then went on to get pictures with our medals.
My race felt really good. Running ahead at a good clip helped me feel like I was getting somewhere. I don’t walk these races often, so when my son was nursing the side stitch I wanted to feel useful. I also felt a little pressure because we started later in the race than I’m used to. I hadn’t plugged the “Balloon Ladies” into the tracking app, so I wasn’t sure how much time we would have.
I loved the compliments I got on my costume, but really it was my 11-year old that stole the show. Once again, he proved himself when things aren’t always perfect. He still finished, declared victory, and was very proud of himself to have finished 2 races on back to back days, one of those being a 10k!