Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Course of the Force

I do some strange things, I admit it. But yesterday definitely took the cake. I participated in a relay that was going on to support Make a Wish Foundation. Sounds great, sign me up! However, this wasn't your average relay. Oh no. It was a light saber relay. Yes, I participated in Course of the Force, a light saber relay that started in Marin County at George Lucas' house (Skywalker Ranch) and ran all the way down the coast to finish here in San Diego at the Comic Con International, which is a big deal in the sci-fi, comic world. All the runners carry a light saber and hand it off to the next runner. Most of which are wearing Star Wars costumes. Hilarious!

Our leg started at the Oceanside Pier

I first heard about the relay as I was researching upcoming running events in the area for my San Diego Running Examiner online column. I was inspired by the cause and it just seemed like something different and extremely fun to participate in. The event first started last year as a way to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In fact, 100% of proceeds (runners pay to participate, just like regular races) go to the organization.

We had to run behind Jabba's Sail Barge
So yesterday morning, the girls and I, dressed as pseudo-Princess Leias, ran a section of the relay in Carlsbad. It was so so SO much fun and the girls had a lot of fun too. Once we arrived at the registration area, we were assigned our locations and received some pretty sweet swag. We received this great zippered reusable cloth bag and inside was a ton of stuff including a t-shirt, toys and other goodies. We also received a full-size light saber. My son had camp and couldn't make it, but he was super excited when he got his very own light saber.

Course of the Force bus
Once the first set of runners got underway, we boarded the bus so we could be dropped off at our locations. We were to run along 101 along the coast, which is pretty much where I run every weekend. I knew the folks that didn't normally run here were going to be very pleased with the scenery. And as we drove along, we were ahead of the runners already underway. So, we were ahead of the Sail Barge and Course of the Force buses and all the police escorts. It was pretty funny watching all the people on the beach stop and double take at all the commotion coming down the street. 

Girls, our escorts, and me running the Course of the Force!
When it was my turn to be dropped off, it was a little stressful. They had to bring my stroller out and then we had to get in it quickly so we were ready when the runner handing off the light saber to me came by. The girls were loose in the bus, so getting them out and into the stroller was a little tough since they wanted to continue running around. But thankfully I was able to get them in quickly and in time to get the light saber from the runner before me and take off. I have to say, running with all that hoopla was so fun! The folks on the Sail Barge were recording us for the video and everyone on the barge was enamored with the girls and how cute they were as mini Leias. I have to say, they were pretty cute.

The run itself was only a quarter of a mile. I wish it was longer because I don't know when in life I'm going to have that much fanfare along with me on a run again! The police were escorting us and I had policemen on bikes on both sides of me. Then there was the photographer on his bike beside me. He was pretty crazy and one of the other runners said that at one point he fell off his bike. I hope he's all right! After my leg was done, there was another bus behind me to pick up all the runners as they were done. Getting on the bus was also a little stressful, but the event organizers that were on the bus helped me with the girls. They were great. Then we settled in to pick up all the runners in our group as they finished and then we headed back to Oceanside Pier to get our cars.

Overall, I had such a blast. I can't wait to do it again next year. And hopefully my girls will be a little more manageable and I can do it without the stroller. That would be nice. And we'll have to make sure our oldest can make it.  

The company that started the event, Nerdist, has created recap videos of each day of the relay. Here's the video of our leg of the relay. You will definitely recognize 3 cute Princess Leias around 3:00 in the video :)

We were also featured in the San Diego Union Tribune. The reporter of the article was in the group of runners I was with. I'm flattered she mentioned us in her article. If you watched the above video, she was the lady dressed as the Angry Bird Princess Leia that appeared in the video right before us.

This was by far one of the most fun things I've done since moving here. Can't wait to do it next year!

1 comment:

  1. Did you PR? (Just kidding.) This looks like it was so much fun--what a great cause and hilarious concept! Congratulations, not just on participating, but for the publicity as well!