After teasing out details via social media with the hashtag #LetTheWookieWin, runDisney has announced today its newest race: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation slated for January 15-18, 2015 at Disneyland Resort in California.
The race weekend will include the title Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races, plus the two-race Star Wars Rebel Challenge following in the footsteps of the popular Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Runners who register for the challenge and complete the 10K and half marathon on back-to-back days will earn a special challenge medal. The weekend will also feature a Health and Fitness Expo, Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party, and more Star Wars and Disney-themed entertainment.
Lucasfilm and runDisney have teamed up with presenting sponsor Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace company best known for its Dream Chaser spacecraft to sponsor the event. Course maps have yet to be released, but the races will run through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif.
Disney Sports hopes the new Star Wars weekend will “appeal to an increasingly wider range of runners across the country and beyond,” said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “This melding of the iconic Star Wars franchise and the runDisney brand creates an ideal race experience that will resonate with core running groups as well as attract new runners to the sport.’’
When news broke in 2012 that Disney was buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion, including the entire Star Wars franchise, it didn’t take long for rumors to begin swirling that a Star Wars-themed runDisney race would follow closely behind.
“This is an ideal intersection of family, fitness and Star Wars fun for our global, cross-generational audience and runDisney fans’’ said Howard Roffman, executive vice president of Franchise Management at Lucasfilm. “Star Wars is all about reaching deep within to realize your true potential and runDisney embodies that message in a very real way.”
Many runners thought a potential Star Wars race would take place at Walt Disney World in Florida during Disney’s Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekends in May and June. But Disney test-drove a Star Wars race at Disneyland in September 2011 with the Star Tours 5K, which took place shortly after the Star Tours attraction debuted at the theme park.
Plus, Disney’s running branch has been in expansion mode in Disneyland. With the new Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon debuting in November 2014, runDisney doubled the number of races in the park since 2013.
Five of the eight race weekends in runDisney’s 2014 lineup take place at Walt Disney World. Only three run in California: Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. With the new Star Wars race, Disneyland will have four of the nine runDisney events.
Not to mention that Disneyland races tend to sell-out fastest, possibly due to the fact that there are fewer of them. The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon sold out in less than two hours.
How fast will the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend sell-out? Faster than the Millennium Falcon can travel 6.8323E-13 parsecs (that’s 13.1-miles).
Registration begins noon EDT on June 10 at www.runDisney.com.
UPDATE: All Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend races are now sold out. If you want to run the Disney half marathon or any of the other Star Wars races, charity and tour groups have entries available.
As a member of the running media, Disney sometimes provides me with complimentary race entry, hotel, park tickets, and some meals for runDisney events. But as always, all posts and opinions are purely my own. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.