When Things Went Wrong: Star Wars Half Race Recap

TOTR 2 small 300We’re talking about those times that things go wrong during a training run or a race.

Ever had a run that went south? How did you work through it? Or did you decide to pull out and fight another day?

We’d love to hear your experience this week on Tuesdays on the Run.

Link up with ErikaMarcia and me for this week’s Tuesdays on the Run.



When Things Went Wrong In a Galaxy Far Far Away


After the Star Wars 10K, we spent a little time at the Magic Kingdom for Dapper Day. It was a lot of fun and I was just in awe of all the dapper dressers that came out for the event!


We had an early dinner at my favorite place in the World- ‘Ohana.

Guys, I could eat the salad, bread, pot stickers and bread pudding every dang day if it wasn’t so sinful!

And of course, drink a little Lapu Lapu.


Unfortunately, I ended up regretting this meal.

Around 1 am I woke up and knew I was in trouble. My stomach hurt, I felt queasy, and sure enough, I made a mad dash to the bathroom where I tossed it all up.

This was not good. Not only was I missing precious pre-run sleep, I was spending way too much time emptying out before this race. I considered turning off the alarm and sleeping through the race, but I knew I should at least give it a try.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad?

I sent a quick text to my doctor who happens to be a runDisney fanatic and was running that morning as well. She agreed to meet me with some anti-nausea medication and promised to pace me to make sure I was able to safely complete the race.

Guys: get your doc involved with your passion. You never know when it will come in handy!

So that morning I got dressed and headed out. I felt like it was a food issue, not a viral issue, and planned to just take things slowly.

My plan worked out, thankfully. The first 4 or 5 miles were tough. It was just a mental battle to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Evey half mile or so I considered stopping because none of this was fun.

I mean, usually when I pass a photographer I can fake a smile and a run, but as you can see, I wasn’t having it this time!


That just doesn’t look like I was having fun, does it?

I wasn’t.

The good news is that once we got out of Hollywood Studios, I started feeling much better. I was able to drink, eat, and carry on a conversation without thinking WHY AM I DOING THIS?

This may come as a shocker, but I’m not that kind of “hard” runner who thinks the race is worth everything. Anyone shocked? Ha! Yeah, I didn’t think so. But I ran the Star Wars Half in January solely because I had this half scheduled. I’d invested a lot of money and miles in this dang Millenial Falcon medal.

I knew I had to see if it was possible.

We ended up meeting a bunch of friends including my Marathon buddies John and Yanni. This was the signal for me to turn things over to Yanni and let her be in charge. I turned off my Garmin and fell into my comfortable place beside her.

I ran when she ran. I walked when she walked.


She kept me on pace. And John, as always, kept us entertained and took pictures.

By the time we made our way through Animal Kingdom, I was feeling alright.

Not like- let’s run another half marathon! alright but I knew finishing was certainly going to happen.

I even managed to race the Marine for the cameras.


I didn’t mind the course. It felt a lot like the marathon course that the three of us covered just a few months before.

We joked about how everything looked familiar and how happy we were that we could stop in Wide World of Sports rather than keep going!

There’s not much more to report about this race. Just like the 10K, there just wasn’t a lot of characters on the course.

There were some backgrounds to take pictures with in the Animal Kingdom parking lot, but no characters to go with it. Kylo Ren was the highlight on the stage in Hollywood Studios.

We had cosplayers in two weird spots: one was at the Fantasmic theater and the other was just as you left Animal Kingdom.

Both areas did not appear to give a lot of room to line up easily for pictures and I can’t even remember what characters were there. But that may be due to my extremely out of it mental state.

I hoped for more characters as we finished, but nope, there were none.

I was never so happy to see a finish line, however. I felt like I just needed a bed again. My “runners high” or medication or whatever had worn off and I was just so very tired.

We grabbed a few pics, and I headed off to wait for my bus again.

john yanni kessel run finisher

Things I learned:

It was probably worth it to do this race. I say probably only because I had the support I needed to safely get through the race. I took it slow, the weather cooperated, I had the right friends by my side. If I needed to stop, I had that support as well. I got lucky, but I’m also not stupid. If I had any issues on the course, I would have pulled out.

That being said: I could have slept in and that would have been ok too. This race exhausted me. When I got back to the room, I basically crashed. I got something to eat thanks to my great roommate who brought breakfast, and then I fell asleep. I woke up around 8 pm, ordered pizza, ate, and went back to sleep.

A whole Disney day spent in bed.

I wept!

I got up and out on Monday though and felt much better. Whatever had bothered me had moved on through and I was able to enjoy that day and travel home without issue.

star wars medals

Have you ever finished a race you maybe shouldn’t have ever started? How did you feel afterward?

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  • We Planned to eat at O’hanna on Saturday evening before wine n dine half but now you have me reconsidering.

    Regardless of how you felt, you do always look like you’re having a great time. Kudos for pulling through!

    • patty says:

      Thank you. It wasn’t fun, and I really prefer running when it’s fun. HA! ‘Ohana was just not a good option that weekend. I heard a few others who ate there that weekend were also sick.

  • Lesley says:

    Yes, I started the 2014 WDW with a raging case of ITBS and I know I shouldn’t have started, but I can be way too stubborn. I registered, so I was starting the race, and by golly I was going to finish the race. It took quite a while for my leg to loosen up in the parks, but I wasn’t going to sit at the hotel either.

  • vicki says:

    That sounds like a tough race, at least you had the right kind of support and friends to tough it out.

  • Jessica S says:

    I could eat that bread pudding every time I visit too but now you’ve got me warned not to eat it before a run. 🙂 I hate that they didn’t make that race overall a better experience. Star Wars and the Millenium Falcon medal deserved better.

  • Well, yeah, obviously, from my kist (sorry, couldn’t resist). Thankfully so far no GI issues before (or during) a race. Although I was sick for ZOOMA Annapolis, which also just might explain my lack of enthusiasm for that race.

  • Rachel says:

    Yikes, I’m sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well. 🙁 At least you managed to have a nice run for a little while at least!

  • Tracy says:

    Glad you were able to finish the race. I think barfing/ GI Issues / stomach pain and running is one of the worst combinations. Being ill like that totally zaps all of your energy. You are a total rock star for starting and finishing a half marathon.

  • Lauren says:

    Glad you were still able to finish! Way to push through. It does sound like a disappointment the whole weekend on course entertainment, though. I wonder why?

  • oh goodness. I would have turned off the alarm and stayed in bed all day!!!! I’m glad you had the right support crew with you and pushed through!!!!! I could not have done the same even if I did have a physician running next me,lol!!!!

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Patty Holliday

If she isn’t chasing her four kids around Northern Virginia, Patty is chasing four bars on her phone to share her authentic and fun stories on social media and her blog, My No-Guilt Life. She’s also one half of the Marvel Moms, an online community for discussing the Marvel fandom. You can catch up on her runDisney fun at No-Guilt Disney.

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