On May 27, runDisney announced its newest race weekend its ever-expanding Disney universe of running events, and it’s themed to a galaxy far, far away. runDisney has joined forces with Lucasfilm to offer the “Star Wars” Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. The inaugural, intergalactic event is a four-day race weekend that runs Jan. 15 – Jan. 18, 2015.
“Star Wars” Half Marathon Weekend is the fourth runDisney race event scheduled for Disneyland Resort in 2015, doubling the number of Disney running events that took place in Anaheim in 2013. In keeping with recent runDisney race weekends, “Star Wars” will offer a variety of race distances. In addition to the “Star Wars” half marathon, the four-day event will include a 5K, 10K and kids races.
If the Force is strong with you, the weekend will also offer another of runDisney’s challenges. For the “Star Wars” weekend, those who register for the “Rebel Challenge” will run both the 10K and half marathon. Those successfully finish both races over the two days, completing 19.3 miles within the required time, will earn an additional commemorative “Rebel Challenge” Finisher Medal.
“Star Wars” Half Marathon Weekend will also feature a number of family-friendly events, including a Health and Fitness Expo and a “Star Wars”-themed pre-race party (for a fee; registration required). The event will include popular “Star Wars” and Disney characters and other entertainment.
The “Star Wars” race weekend joins other runDisney events at Disneyland Resort. The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is held in August. The inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will take place in November. And the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend will be held over Mother’s Day Weekend in 2015; those dates reflect a move from January, and “Star Wars” has taken its spot on runDisney’s calendar.
Registration for “Star Wars” Half Marathon Weekend events opens June 10 at noon EDT. Interested runners take careful notes of that date. As with other runDisney events, these races are expected to sell out quickly. The new Avengers race at Disneyland Resort sold out in less than two hours, with the 5K event reaching capacity just shortly before the half marathon also closed. Spots for the Avengers race are now available only through charity groups and runDisney travel providers.
In its press release for the “Star Wars” race weekend, runDisney also notes the Disneyland also represents its first (emphasis added) collaboration with Lucasfilm; The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in 2012.
“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,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises in a press statement. “We will continue to identify opportunities to collaborate with other Disney franchises and partners to develop more unique runDisney race weekends that will appeal to an increasingly wider range of runners across the country and beyond.’’
“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.”
“Star Wars” Half Marathon Weekend is presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation, the aerospace company being a fitting sponsor for the event’s theming.
“With the passion and creativity of runDisney and Lucasfilm, this race weekend is going to be out of this world, which makes it a natural fit for Sierra Nevada Corporation because we are in a race of our own to take humans into space with our Dream Chaser spacecraft program,’’ said Sierra Nevada Corporation president and chairman Eren Ozmen in a statement.
According to runDisney, last year attracted more than 163,900 runners to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Those numbers reflect a 40 percent increase over 2012, and the runDisney series is now one of the largest and most popular in the United States.