Some of you may not know and others of you may have willfully ignored it to continue liking me as a person, but I do not like Star Wars. Outside of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, I think the movies and games are all pretty lame. I even went to the trouble of re-watching the original trilogy late last year. Still lame. I don’t even have the excuse of being a Star Trek fan (though that was more the case when I was much younger). I just don’t care for the Star Wars universe at all.
Then why was I running a Star Wars themed marathon at Walt Disney World in mid-April? An event I had to pay to go to on top of having to pay for a hotel room or do an otherwise normal vacation while there?
It all started because of Donna, my unofficial sister-in-law, who does genuinely love Star Wars. She enjoys running and does an amazing job of keeping in great shape through regularly gym work. She and Diane are also big Disney fans (to the extent that they go to WDW multiple times a year and are annual pass holders). A Star Wars themed running event at Disney was tailored made for her. Diane wanted to join in too since she had fun doing a Princess themed 5k and 10k last year at Disney.
I, not wanting to feel too left out, opted to join in too.
Neither Diane nor I are especially fit. We have a lot of difficulty making it to the gym on a regular basis. We both work normal hours, but our jobs are customer service oriented, so the last thing either of wants to do once we get off is go suffer even more on a treadmill. Plus, we’re also the homebody types to begin with, so I like to come home and cook a good meal and she (usually) does not mind cleaning up afterward.
When it came to training for our first ever half marathon, the two of us tried our best, but ultimately failed. The Sunday prior to the race we even tried a mock half marathon at our own paces. We ended that day with four hurt feet. Mine were hurting so bad throughout the week, I wasn’t sure I would be able to run a real half marathon so soon.
Considering the cost though, there was no way either of us were going to back out without at least trying.
The experience was fantastic, even for a non-Star Wars fan like myself. I enjoy running, but I have never participated in any kind of organized event, so not only was this my first half marathon, it was also my first race. I remember getting winded in high school having to go a mile. A half marathon is over 13 miles and there are people all around to see you fail at it.
It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t exactly hard either. With so many people around me, I couldn’t run that fast nor could I slow down,. Instead, I maintained a steady pace with literally thousands of other runners. At water stations we all extended our arms and were given water. There were plenty of bathrooms if I needed to stop. It was great.
It took a toil on my body though. It’s Walt Disney World, so the prior two days we had already walked 10+ miles a day. Here I was doing all of that in the span of a few hours. It left me feet raw. My ankle felt twisted. The shirt even rubbed my right nipple to the point of bleeding. I couldn’t walk without pain for a few days after, but I still had the strength and reason to hold my head up high.
After the race, we all ate a really expensive brunch ($80+ but it was so delicious). After that, we went to our rooms and napped.
I doubt I ever go again, but I would recommend it. I would recommend it whether you are a Star Wars fan or a runner. If you’re just one of those things, you’ll probably enjoy it. If you are neither of those things, then it is probably time to start.