Second Star Wars Half Marathon victory for Arciniaga; Fellow Olympics hopeful Annie Bersagel is female winner; Event was first of four runDisney events at Disneyland Resort this year; More than 30,000 runners started races during the four-day event weekend
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Force was with Fountain Valley, Calif., native Nick Arciniaga once again in the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort Sunday. After winning the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015, he followed up with second-straight victory in a record-setting time of 1:05:49.
Arciniaga, 32, who now lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., blasted past First Order stormtroopers to break the tape at the finish line. Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., was second (1:12:29) and Hunter Sapienza of Seattle, Wash., was third (1:12:38).
“This is a race that means a lot to me,” Arciniaga said of the victory. “I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since I can remember.” Arciniaga goes on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in the upcoming weeks.
Annie Bersagel, 32, of Colorado, also flew at lightspeed across the finish line Sunday as the female winner with a time of 1:15:09. Bersagel is also set to compete in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. Second-place female finisher was 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon female winner, Jennifer Berry, of Denver, Colo. (1:21:11) and third-place finisher was Kendal Sager of Los Altos, Calif. (1:25:05).
“I was the fastest stormtrooper out here today,’’ Bersagel joked after her win, clad in Star Wars-inspired running gear. “So that’s all you can really ask for, right?”
Arciniaga and Bersagel jumped to hyperspace to outrun more than 13,000 athletes in the 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets, where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.
The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend included several family-friendly events, including a three-day Health and Fitness Expo with the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets. It was the second runDisney race weekend of 2016 and the first this year at Disneyland Resort. The event offered athletes a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. The ultimate test for Star Wars rebels was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.