Ewok ears, Leia buns, AT-ATs, BB-8s, Tauntauns and Wookiees – the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend was a wonderfully inventive romp through the eclectic awesome that makes the Star Wars community incomparable to any other.
And as thousands of runners from around the world took to the balmy streets surrounding the Disneyland Resort to put months of training to the test during the weekend’s 5k, 10k and Half Marathon (I took on the 5k while my husband tackled the Rebel Challenge), my six-year-old and eight-year-old joined an enthusiastic group of padawans for runDisney’s Kids Races.
Designed for younglings who want to experience the excitement of their parents’ grown-up races, the scaled down events offer a pretty good reproduction, complete with real race bibs, starting corrals, finisher’s medals and hi-fours.
As first-timers in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, my two ended up gaining more than R2-D2 medals and bragging rights, because they came out of it having learned something about their own starstuff and how intergalactic life lessons revolving around the light and dark sides of Yoda’s infinite wisdom have real-world applications.
Size matters not: Strength of character has nothing to do with how big you are in stature or how many candles are on your birthday cake, and no one knows this better than Master Yoda. Beautiful in its simplicity, yet remarkably weighty, this partial quote serves as a timeless reminder to value brains over brawn.
Do or do not. There is no try: Courage is mental verve with teeth. Equal parts doggedness and single-minded drive, it’s the inner tszuj that makes you do something you’re afraid of doing. These words are what define Yoda as an intergalactic juggernaut, while their distinct eight-word composition makes them the most memorable call-to-action in all of Star Wars.
Wars not make one great: Sith happens as they say, and life will always be peopled with those who seek to darken the light – even at Disneyland, where the usual race magic lost a bit of its luster to cast member rudeness we’d never encountered before. And not just at the race events. Yet each negative experience led to a positive one (we met some of the kindest cast members ever on the very last day of our stay), all of which illustrated one of Yoda’s greatest lessons ever: aggression, violence and general poodoo don’t make a Jedi truly strong.
The next runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is slated for January 14-17, 2016.