Disney runners, may the Force be with you. On Aug. 25, runDisney announced its second “Star Wars” race weekend. The “Star Wars” Half Marathon – the Dark Side will be held at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, with the inaugural races to take place April 14-17, 2016. The race weekend also features a new Kessel Run Challenge and a Dark Side Challenge.
The signature event for Walt Disney World’s “Star Wars” half-marathon race weekend is the half marathon event. The race features a unique 13.1-mile course that takes runners and walkers through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before finishing at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
As with other runDisney race weekends, “Star Wars” Half Marathon– The Dark Side will offer other events and distances: a 5K fun run, a 10K distance and kids’ races. The weekend will also offer a “Star Wars” Dark Side Challenge for participants who do the 10K and half marathon on consecutive days; those who register for the challenge and finish both race will earn a special Death Star-themed medal. In addition, the weekend will offer a variety of “Star Wars” experiences, medals, events and merchandise.
“Star Wars” Half Marathon – The Dark Side race weekend joins runDisney’s other “Star Wars” race weekend, held at Disneyland Resort in California, which will return in January. That race will be dubbed “Star Wars” Half Marathon – the Light Side. It will continue to offer its own “Star War” Rebel Challenge for the completion of its 10K and half-marathon back-to-back races.
Race participants who can’t decide if they’re more Rebel or Empire, Jedi or Sith Lord, can also try to resolve their inner struggle by taking on the Kessel Run Challenge. Those who register for and complete the “Star Wars” half marathon on both coasts will earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the “Millennium Falcon.”
“Ever since we launched the ‘Star Wars’ race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the ‘Star Wars’ franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises in a press statement. “If the inaugural ‘Star Wars’ race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’
Race registration for “Star Wars” Half Marathon – the Dark Side opens Sept. 22 at the runDisney website. As with other race weekends, it is expected to sell out in record time.
The new “Star Wars” race for Walt Disney World Resort is the second runDisney event weekend announced that will debut next year. Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend will offer its inaugural weekend Sept. 23 – 25, 2016. It is the fourth event weekend to be added in the last two years, three of which are themed to “Star Wars” or Marvel; the other two races are the aforementioned “Star Wars” Half Marathon at Disneyland (January 2015) and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend (November 2014).