Two summers ago, runDisney offered participants the opportunity to bring some of the magic of its popular races to their hometowns with its Virtual Running Shorts Series. Now, the organization is giving runners a chance to complete a virtual half marathon — and earn the Kessel Run Challenge — for special Star Wars-themed medals.
If you’ve never heard the term “virtual race,” it refers to a race that can be run in any location, even as part of another actual race. Basically, the participant chooses the pace (walking, jogging, running) and the location (inside, outside, on a treadmill or not).
There is no limit on the number of participants in the new virtual race, although there still is a deadline to register: Feb. 28. Runners and walkers can sign up and start running the Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon now. The deadline for completion is March 31. Participants are allowed to break up their 13.1 miles over multiple days or run it all at once. As with all runDisney half marathons, runners must be 14 years of age, and everyone must sign waivers online during the registration process. In this case, they must be 14 by March 31.
The registration fee for the Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon is $59 and it includes a Star Wars finisher medal and a downloadable race bib and finisher certificate.
The Kessel Run Challenge medal can be earned by running the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon or Star Wars First Order Challenge (the 10k and the half marathon during the Dark Side weekend in April at Walt Disney World) plus the runDisney Kessel Run Challenge (the virtual half marathon). Participants must be within pacing requirements at the Dark Side races to earn the Kessel medal.
The registration fee for the Kessel Run Challenge is $69. Participants will receive their Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon medal and Star Wars-themed keepsake at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo during the Star Wars Half Marathon — The Dark Side race weekend. Upon completion of the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon within the pacing requirements, participants will be awarded the Kessel Run Challenge medal in addition to their Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon medal.
Register for both the Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon and the Kessel Run Challenge here.
The official runDisney blog states: “Virtual races are becoming more and more popular in the running world with the ease of participating from anywhere. As runDisney continues to grow, we will look for more opportunities to stay connected with our runners as well as introduce a healthy and active lifestyle to new audiences.”
Do you agree — are the new runDisney virtual races good motivators to train? Or is the cost too high when you haven’t stepped foot on Disney property? Tell us in the comments why you think these races are a positive or negative addition to the runDisney portfolio.