Race Recap: Star Wars Dark Side 5K 2018

Woo hoo, it's my favorite race weekend! This was my third year participating in the Dark Side races and my third consecutive Dark Side 5K. I signed up for the challenge on the first day of registration, but I waited on the 5K. It eventually sold out and I had huge regret for not getting in. I ended up snagging a late no-obligation bib from a travel agent just a few weeks before race day.

I picked up my bibs and t-shirts at the expo on Thursday. Since I ran the 2018 Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon, I picked up the medal and got my wristband for the Kessel Run Challenge. There were some photo ops set up at the expo, which was nice.

I ran this race as a lost USS Discovery (Star Trek) medical officer, pairing a sublimated Star Trek Discovery Uniform t-shirt with a white Sparkle Skirt and a DIY DISCO visor. The polyester costume t-shirt was a bit heavy, non-moisture-wicking style, so I wore it over a white long-sleeve tech shirt for comfort. 

The course was the typical WDW 5K run through Epcot.

Training & Goals
Training was a whole lotta nothing for this weekend. All of my runs in April have been races! And after my fall and suspected fractured/bruised rib(s) at Colt Creek on the 14th, I was going to take it really easy.

Race Day: April 20, 2018
I left home at 2:40AM. I hoped to be able to knock out all of the photo ops on the first day so I didn't have to leave home too early for the 10K and half. I had the car parked at about 3:30AM and went immediately to the photo ops, but I didn't have time for everyone. I was kind of shocked -- I got to the Dopey 5K around the same time and could get all six characters, no problem.

I headed to corral C at about 5:15AM and was able to snake my way to the front. We were sent off in mini-waves as runDisney has been doing for the last few race weekends. It was a cool 59°F with a oppressive 100% humidity when I started my race at 5:46AM.

Mile 1: 11:38
I felt okay. I hadn't run since Chimpathon on Sunday, trying to give myself a rest after my fall. My ribs hurt a bit when I was running but being in a huge Disney race environment was an excellent distraction.

Mile 2: 12:23
As the crowd thinned out I slowed down my pace a bit more. I ran by all of the photo ops: the Emperor's chair; Chewie; Stormtroopers in front of Spaceship Earth; Ezra and Sabine. There weren't any new characters or ops out for the 5K and that was a bit of a disappointment.

Mile 3: 15:52
More running through Epcot, with a bit more walking mixed in. Almost done!

The Last Bit: 31:51*
We exited Epcot via backstage just east of Spaceship Earth, per usual. And there they were, unexpectedly, a bunch of 501sties and friends. These guys didn't attend the first two Dark Side 5K races, so this was an awesome surprise. A fun half hour long surprise!

After the Race
The backdrop characters were out again afterwards, just like always, but I didn't linger. After getting my medal, runDisney box, banana and water, I headed home. Friday's still a work day, after all.

GPS time: 1:11:44 (untimed race)
Race Amenities:
Cotton unisex t-shirt, First Order Executioner medal, usual Disney goodness
Cost:
$90

*With all the bobbing and weaving of a runDisney race, my GPS usually ends up going significantly over the race distance. For this 3.1 mile race my Garmin gave me 3.49 miles.

Report written April 25, 2018

Race Recaps: 2021 Virtual Star Wars Rival Runs

The 2020 Rival Run Weekend was cancelled due to COVID-19. It would have been the 5th year for Star Wars races at Walt Disney World, and my 5th time running the half marathon. This is my favorite race weekend at Disney World and something I really look forward...

Local Race Report: Holiday Stress Buster 2017

I first ran the Lake Helen Holiday Stress Buster in 2016. In 2017 it was my only holiday-themed race. Training & Goals The Dopey Challenge of four back-to-back races would start the following Thursday. For this race I was looking to have fun and remain uninjured...

Race Report: Disney Princess 5K 2017

I registered for all three Disney Princess races at the WDW Marathon Weekend expo. That's rather late -- just about seven weeks out. The races were listed as sold out on the runDisney website for months so it was both a pleasant surprise and a...

Race Report: Naughty or Nice 5K 2016

I ran Naughty or Nice last year, so this marks the first time I've run the same race two years in a row. This is a fun costume race with free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a candy cane stilt walker. Last year there...