Rebel Challenge – Day 1 – 10K: An Inauspicious Beginning Due To A Not So Phantom Menace

At 3:45 AM on the I-5 South about 10 miles from Disneyland there was an accident.  Traffic was brought to a virtual standstill.  I say virtual because though I stopped and had been sitting waiting for the various merging of lanes and traffic to de-jam, I got rear ended.  So an accident sparked another accident, a cascading effect rippling back through the traffic jam.  Swell.

For the record, the VW Jetta behind me was rear-ended and then rear ended me.  I had left enough room between me and the car in front that I was the end of the chain… small consolation.  Austin, a 26 year old, was driving a silver 2011 Mazda and must not have stopped in time.  His impact rammed the rented VW Jetta driven by Olga (who was ferrying a child in the backseat without a seatbelt or car seat that I could see after the fact) into me.  It was jarring and that sound of crunching bumper plastic that the mere thought of causes one’s stomach to clench awaiting the impact.  Fortunately no one seemed injured and car damage was minor if at all (my car seemed ok and despite a headache and paranoia later about potential whiplash I think it’s just soreness and scares that haunt me at the moment… but I reserve the right to amend this if things get worse and I wind up needing medical care).  The exchange of drivers’ licenses and insurance information is actually much simpler in this day and age of camera phones.  Hopefully everyone remains okay but what a crappy way to start the day.

Adding insult to injury, Disneyland still charges the daily $18 fee to park for the race… something I recall from previous events at “the happiest place on earth,” but I always seem to block out and forget until I’m confronted with digging into my shoe wallet to pull out a Hamilton.

The race itself proved to be a much better route than I remember — felt like a good tour of the two parks and the photo opportunities seemed better spread out and accessible.  Of course, I was in an earlier corral which helps with queues.  Nonetheless, probably my favorite photo opp was in the parking lot during the “get here early and wait around” pre-race festivities.  The guy working the line was trying to start the twitter hashtag “ChillinOnHoth” — without the “g” he kept saying.  Some things we do to entertain ourselves.  I’m not sure if that refers to him or me in this instance.


I felt pretty good running the race, which was really more of a dash between photo spots than a race.  But when the photos include meeting bounty hunters, wookies, and BB-8, who can complain about one’s time?  My favorite comment from a photo attendant was “please do not touch BB-8’s head.”  As BB-8 glanced around and looked at the crowd lining up for a picture with him, I could see why — how would I feel if somebody came up to me and tousselled my hair or in this case jostled my mouse ears without my permission?


As the proverbial twin suns of Tatooine rose over the streets of Anaheim, I posed for a few last minute photos and waited to see about exchanging my ill-fitting jacket.

IMG_6522 IMG_6540 IMG_6543 IMG_6577 IMG_6551  IMG_6592

Sadly, no exchanges were possible and I wound up returning the thing.  Sounded like the jackets were a bit of a disaster this year — a lot of the printing got mucked up in shipping due to still-wet logos and price tags resulting in a large batch of un-sell-able merchandise.  Too bad, as it was probably the best piece of clothing they had for sale.  Given a choice, I’d rather have a batch of photos and memories than a jacket so let’s call it a win.

Oh!  And look who I ran into — Dark Helmet of Spaceballs Fame!