runDisney Star Wars: The Course Awakens

Kicking off a new series in which one writer begins his (Jedi) training...for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

There has been an awakening as Star Wars fans prepare for the inaugural runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. It is four days of Star Wars fandom, Disney magic, and running events for fans of all ages. It’s the first of its kind, and the one thing in the galaxy that could inspire me to take up running.

The runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is four days of Star Wars-themed events this coming January 15-18 at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The experience kicks off with the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo, a three-day exhibition with the latest in fitness gear, guest speakers, and more. Thursday night, there is also a Wookiee Welcome Party, a private event at Disneyland Park. But these events are just the beginning.

Races begin on Friday, January 16, with the Star Wars 5K followed by Saturday’s Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. All of the races are Star Wars-themed, taking runners through Disneyland Resort parks and the surrounding city of Anaheim. The courses are filled with Star Wars and Disney characters (and maybe a few other surprises as well). On Saturday, there are even runDisney Kids Races for children eight and under.


I’ll be there all four days, running the 5K and 10K, and meeting fellow fans along the way. I’ll report back right here on; that is, if I survive.

Saying that I’m out of shape is an understatement. It’s been years since my last competitive run, so today I run with the speed of a Hutt. My running “form” can only be compared to the shuffle of a Wookiee. But thanks to some very helpful resources at and the inspiration that comes from a Star Wars-themed race, I’m excited to take on this challenge alongside many of you!

Cole Horton, pre-runDisney Star Wars

This is my “before” picture (taken today, actually). To quote Luke, “I’m ready.”

What’s the reward for such a trial? Race finishers will receive one or more Star Wars medals designed exclusively for this event. Perhaps the most elusive is the Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal, reserved for racers who sign up and complete both the 10k and the Half Marathon, running a total of 19.3 miles over two days! In all, there are five exclusive medals at the event, giving runners the chance to add some very rare items to their collection.

The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend medals

The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend medals. The Half Marathon medal is inspired by the medals given to Han and Luke after the battle of Yavin.

If you would like to be a part of the excitement, head over to The races are sold out, but there are limited registrations available through select charity groups and participating travel partners. If you act fast, you can still be part of the finish line ChEAR Squad and Wookiee Welcome Party. While you’re there, be sure to check out training programs from Jeff Galloway and nutrition tips from Tara Gidus.

Keep checking back right here on for my latest runDisney updates. You can also follow along with my running (mis)adventures at If you want to learn more about the event, you can find all the details at

Will you be attending the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend? Sound off in the comments below!

Cole Horton is an R2 builder and historian featured on and You can find him on Twitter @ColeHorton.