On Saturday, April 21, 2018, I began my quest to complete the third of three years of the RunDisney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge Weekend. Saturday began with the Star Wars Dark Side 10K.
We stayed at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, our Disney Vacation Club Home Resort for this trip. I woke up about 2:45 AM, so that I could be on the shuttle to the start by 3:30 AM. Disney races always start at 5:30 AM, which always means an early wake up call.
The start for the the 10K race was in the Magic Kingdom parking lot. The resort shuttle has always been so convenient and easy. Upon arriving at the start, I met up with friends Matt & Kira and Becky & Matt.
After hanging out for a little while, we headed for our corrals. Because I ran a 1:48 in the Monster Mash Half Marathon in Delaware back in October, I was able to once again get Corral A for both the 10K and Half Marathon for the weekend.
Because Becky is a super runner, she worked us through the corral and got us to the front of Corral A.
For the 10K, I try to run it as close to race pace as possible. Doing this, I try to avoid walk breaks and I do not do character stops for this race. My training for the first part of 2018 has not been that great because of the week of snow and the flu. Knowing this I had no idea how this race was going to go, so I was just going to set out to do the best I could.
At 5:30 AM the race was off. There is no more exciting start to a race than a RunDisney race which includes fireworks! Most of the race is for Corral A is in the dark. The first three miles are not really exciting because you just run down World Drive in the dark, no characters or entertainment. Then we loop around, and head into the back of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This started the real presence of people and Star Wars characters, which offered up a little more excitement and motivation. Once we are out of the Studios, we run down a narrow trail over to the Boardwalk Resort area.
Running through Disney Hollywood Studios.
Running through the Studios.
Then we arrive at the Boardwalk Resort and run along the Boardwalk.
Running past the Boardwalk Bakery gets me a little excited.
After the Boardwalk area, we enter into the World Showcase side of EPCOT. We loop around to the left and over into Future World and to the finish line.
This race had one one the heaviest race medals ever. It was a hunk of steel representing the Praetorian Guard.
I finished the race in 55:56 (9:00 minute pace). This was about 4 minutes slower than last year; however, I felt better than I thought I would for pushing as hard as I could. The weather was quite humid as well. So overall I was satisfied with my efforts for this race.
In the end, the second half of this race was far better than the first half. This was good as it gave us the needed pick me up to get us to the finish. After hanging out with friends for a little while, I hit the resort shuttle and headed back to get cleaned up to head to the park.
We spent most of the day post 10K race at Magic Kingdom. At lunch time we did a DVC tour of Cooper Creek. Afterward, we headed back to resort, since Friday night I really only got about 4.5 hours of sleep. I needed more for Sunday.
So, it was early to bed to get ready for the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon on Sunday. The Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon recap should be available soon.
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