I have to change my half marathon rankings, last shared in October 2015. Now that I have a 5th one under my belt, where does the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon fit in?
Dead. Freakin. Last.
5: Star Wars Dark Side Challenge: Orlando, FLI expended a ton of physical and emotional energy in trying to assure this race would be my best yet, only to end up with my worst time. And an injury that still has me sidelined 3 weeks later. I also realized that the Disney World races are just not as cool as the Disneyland races. Disney World is so big that in order to get you from the start to the finish in 13.1 miles, you get to spend very little race time in each of the parks - most of the course is on overpasses in between the parks. Disneyland is small enough that you get to spend significant race time in the parks, AND the city of Anaheim participates in a big way too (see #1 below).
And all of mile 11 was uphill. Not cool, Disney.
Like I said before, I hate the Dark Side. At least I know - no matter what happens at the Super Heroes Half at Disneyland in November - it will be better than the Dark Side Half.
And here are the rest, copied from the post I linked to above:
4: Rock and Roll Half: Philadelphia, PA
My time of 2:02 was decent enough, but I was so freaking bored. This race had no loops or clover leafs, and city roads were closed off, which made it impossible for race supporters to cheer you on. It was great to see my husband at mile 3-ish, but I really could have used a familiar face around miles 10-12. There was also a killer hill at the end. Dislike.
3: Wine and Dine Half: Orlando, FL
The Wine and Dine Half was awesome not so much for the race itself, but for the incredible after-party. The ability to take over Epcot until the wee hours of the morning (4am) made it all worthwhile, and got me thinking I might even be able to do a full marathon if it was at Disney. It's not that the run was awful, but there were a lot of boring stretches on overpasses. I didn't have my iPod with me, so the lack of music made this even more difficult. This race holds my second worst record.
2: Unite Half Marathon: Piscataway, NJ
This was my first half marathon - decently priced, close to home, and had a great course that clover-leafed around the starting line so I had lots of spectator support throughout the race (thanks to my father and stepmother). My family also were easily able to get to the finish line through some back roads. This race gets a bump too because it holds my best record.
1: Star Wars Half Marathon: Anaheim, CA
Shocking, right? The thing about races at Disneyland is that it's a much smaller resort than Disney World - so at the end of mile 6, you are out of the parks and into the streets of wonderful Anaheim, CA. Yet the entertainment gets even better once you are out of the park. Local bands and high schools line the streets along with members of the 501st. I also enjoy the fact that one week after the race, I randomly found a Star Wars Highlights Go Pro on You Tube - and found myself at min 2:24 (Yup, I'm the one in the long sleeves wearing my favorite headband):