runDisney announces Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
I've sensed this announcement coming for a long long time now and I'm feel a bit like Yoda. The Power of Darth Vader Meets the Magic of Disney.......runDisney announced  yesterday that Walt Disney World is joining Disneyland by adding Star Wars themed running weekend - The Dark Side April 14-17 in Florida. This weekend will feature a brand new Kessel Run Challenge and Dark Side Challenge! While I am not a Star Wars junkie, I will be signing up next month for this challenge to add this medal collection to my lineup! Oh and check out the finish ares: IT IS A BRAND NEW HALF MARATHON COURSE.  It will begin at Epcot, run through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex!
Registration for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend will begin on September 22nd and passholder registration typically happens 2 weeks prior.  Being this is an inaugural race weekend, it will sell out so be sure to sign up for email alerts and set a calendar reminder on registration day.

The weekend will look a bit like this.
Star Wars 5K
Friday, April 15, 2016 6:00 am
Start/Finish: Epcot®

Star Wars 10K
Saturday, April 16, 2016 5:30 a.m.
Start: Epcot®
Finish: ESPN Wide World of Sports

Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side
Sunday, April 17, 2016 5:00 a.m.
Start: Epcot® Resort
Finish: ESPN Wide World of Sports
From the official press release: 
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.
“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. “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.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge — running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.

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