Running Universal

1lilspark

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
If it wasn’t in February I’d probably check it out but as it’s a short month and I already am doing one of the challenges at Gasparilla plus possibly another local race I’ll have to pass
 
  • ShoeCello

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2017
    Anyone doing the USH runs next weekend? Very excited for my first run at Universal! (Though still sore from my first marathon yesterday! Hopefully I'll be able to move again by next weekend... :drinking:)
     

    Neon Cactus

    Old Run Disney Addict
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2016
    Anyone doing the USH runs next weekend? Very excited for my first run at Universal! (Though still sore from my first marathon yesterday! Hopefully I'll be able to move again by next weekend... :drinking:)
    I wish I could! Have fun, the Minion run was a blast. Are you doing the 5k or 10k, or the challenge? It looks like they have you running through the soundstage area and the lower backlot, which makes sense because Jurassic World is there. I wonder if you’ll get to run through the city streets section.
     

    ShoeCello

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2017
    I wish I could! Have fun, the Minion run was a blast. Are you doing the 5k or 10k, or the challenge? It looks like they have you running through the soundstage area and the lower backlot, which makes sense because Jurassic World is there. I wonder if you’ll get to run through the city streets section.
    Just the 5K! I considered the challenge but I live in Orange County so didn't want to drive up to USH for two mornings in a row. Will update after the run!
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    The logistics of traveling to Universal Hollywood this weekend didn't work out for me, but since I love Jurassic Park, I decided to sign up for the virtual challenge. The distances in question are not that big a deal when I'm training for Dopey 2020 anyways.
     
  • Neon Cactus

    Old Run Disney Addict
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2016
    The logistics of traveling to Universal Hollywood this weekend didn't work out for me, but since I love Jurassic Park, I decided to sign up for the virtual challenge. The distances in question are not that big a deal when I'm training for Dopey 2020 anyways.
    I'm glad I read this. Last time I checked with them, they didn't have a virtual option set up, so I'm in on that too.
     

    rfx

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2017
    It looks like the price for the challenge has gone down.

    I registered back in July and with the pass member pricing it was $193 before service fee for the standard challenge race.

    Now looking at it, the challenge is down to $149 for standard and $139 for pass members.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    I'm glad I read this. Last time I checked with them, they didn't have a virtual option set up, so I'm in on that too.
    I don't think I even saw the Jurassic World Virtual races even existing until this past weekend. Feels like it was set on the Minions forever.

    My brain goes back and forth on virtual runs. In the end, I suppose it comes down to how much I like the medals. I almost went for just the 5K on account of the T-Rex, but decided on the challenge because dinosaurs and the cost difference for the two extra medals wasn't bad.

    I still would like to run Universal some day, but it's going to come down to race theme and logistics. I really want a Back to the Future Race, but am not really expecting that to happen. Harry Potter would be awesome too, but that involves lots of legal stuff to happen.
     

    Neon Cactus

    Old Run Disney Addict
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2016
    I don't think I even saw the Jurassic World Virtual races even existing until this past weekend. Feels like it was set on the Minions forever.

    My brain goes back and forth on virtual runs. In the end, I suppose it comes down to how much I like the medals. I almost went for just the 5K on account of the T-Rex, but decided on the challenge because dinosaurs and the cost difference for the two extra medals wasn't bad.

    I still would like to run Universal some day, but it's going to come down to race theme and logistics. I really want a Back to the Future Race, but am not really expecting that to happen. Harry Potter would be awesome too, but that involves lots of legal stuff to happen.
    Yeah, I don't do a lot of virtual runs simply because I'm going to run those distances anyway, so why pay for it? But if I like the medals, that's different. I did a 50th anniversary of the moon landing because I liked the medal and shirt and now this. I'll have to see the medals for the Disney virtual run before I decide there. It's just not the same as actually being there and running it. The Minions run was fun, which was good since I was asking why I was traveling all the way to California for a 5k. I think going out for a challenge is easier to justify.

    I wonder how much legal stuff they'd have to do to get the Harry Potter run. I think maybe they want to build up to it with the other runs before going to Rowling, but not sure how much more. The Simpsons would probably have cool medals, but they'd have to go through Disney now to get that, wouldn't they? If so, yeah, not happening.
     
  • Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    I'll have to see the medals for the Disney virtual run before I decide there. It's just not the same as actually being there and running it.
    I will use virtual races as a way to find motivation to train before I need to start training if that makes sense. I'm not very good at starting to train, but once I get into a groove, I'm decent enough at continuing to train. The past 2 years I used the runDisney virtual 5Ks to get me going consistently before Dopey training ramped up.
    I wonder how much legal stuff they'd have to do to get the Harry Potter run. I think maybe they want to build up to it with the other runs before going to Rowling, but not sure how much more. The Simpsons would probably have cool medals, but they'd have to go through Disney now to get that, wouldn't they? If so, yeah, not happening.
    I think they face a 2 sided challenge with Harry Potter. First off, they have to get J.K. Rowling to approve it. And she is famously protective of her characters and the story she created. I understand why she is though.

    I don't think The Simpsons is happening either. Unless it involves some sort of mechanism wherein Universal gives all the Marvel characters they have theme park rights for back to Disney. As much as some believe that's only a matter of time, I'm not so sure especially since some of the Marvel characters will soon be in the MCU, which will probably raise their visibility to those not familiar with the comics.
     

    ShoeCello

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2017
    Race report from today's 5K: the race itself was fun, and it was overall well organized though there are several aspects I hope they improve on in future years. I arrived around 5 to pick up my bib; there was almost no line so I was able to pick it up quickly and had plenty of time to go back to my car and drop off the drawstring backpack they gave. We parked in the ET lot and packet pickup was in the next parking garage over. They filled different corrals based on order of arrival; I was a bit disappointed since they had asked for estimated pace, but they ended up not using this info at all. There were a little over 5000 runners and 11 corrals, so roughly 500 or so in each corral (though it felt like fewer). They released each corral five minutes apart - I was lucky to have lined up very early so was off by 6:40 AM, but it sounds like the last corral might not have left until nearly an hour later if they kept with the release of the corrals five minutes apart. They should really post this information on their website, since I was planning on meeting up with a friend after the race and if I had been in the 11th corral I would have been much later than anticipated! In addition, I wish they would have corrals by pace - why gather our estimated pace if they're not going to use it? The first couple minutes of the course consisted of weaving in and out of walkers and slower runners, and the course bottlenecked at several points (particularly when we ran through the Jurassic World ride queue) where I was stuck behind slower runners. Having self-sorted pace corrals would improve this greatly.

    The course itself was great, though I wish it took us in front of Hogwarts (we entered only briefly into Hogsmeade coming from Simpsons Land and immediately turned right, towards the Hogwarts Express). It was pretty hilly, though I felt good blasting through the hills! I actually didn't see that many photo ops, though I admittedly wasn't looking for them and was not planning on stopping. I saw two character photo ops and didn't see any dinosaurs, though I saw some on social media afterward. Bruce (the shark from Jaws) was outside the water, so it was odd seeing him on a mechanical track.

    Swag was good - a pretty decent-sized medal, drawstring backward, t-shirt, and dinosaur lapel pin - though the cost of the race ($65 for early bird, I think) is still substantially above that of non-theme park 5Ks. As mentioned above, they announced the next run will be in April 2020 themed behind DreamWorks Trolls, which I am not that excited about.

    Overall it was a good race, though I still wish runDisney would come back to DLP! I did the last run there (Avengers half in 2017) and found that to be a lot more special, though maybe that's my Disney bias showing!
     

    rfx

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2017
    The Minion run earlier this year had way more photo ops, the Minions were all over the place with Gru and the kids throughout the course and that really made this one a bit disappointing in that regard. If you werent paying attention, you’d miss the raptor photo op since its all the way on the right corner after running through the rides course while the race route is a sharp left turn. Other photo ops were fan made vehicles which most could also miss as they are just on the side of the course but the short stretch by the movie cars that leads to the spitting dinos (they removed the water) and into the indominus was a nice touch.

    And yeah, the corrals needs improvement, even in their faq it says you vant change corrals but if you arent assigned one then it makes no sense.

    I got back from the 10k a few hours ago and they just really stretched out the course to get an extra 3miles out of their property which made us run outside the park to the side street close to the freeway (yes, that steep hill when you get out of the parking lot and before entering the 101) and then a short stretch inside the parking structure and it felt like it was at least 15-20 warmer inside the parking lot.

    And by the way, the 10k moved up to the castle before you have to run back so thats another photo op.

    Overall I found it fun though those steep hills are a killer and all you could really do is make it up on the downhill runs without stumbling down lol. Theres a lot of room for improvement and I imagine the upcoming Trolls are gonna have way more characters photo ops. Hopefully they do a Universal Monsters Run, they’d have plenty of character photo ops with that theme and Harry Potter is going to be their biggest ip.

    I am not sure how they can fix the bottlenecks on the course but they definitely need to utilize the pace requirement and fixing the corrals. Maybe use the film sets like the NY building and Back to the Future clocktower location, that could be a cool place to run through.

    With the big drop of runners from 5k to 10k though (5k has supposedly 5,000 runners and todays 10k only had 1,000) I wonder if they’ll continue to offer it?

    And they also need to fix the actual length of the race, yesterdays 5k was more like 5.6k and todays 10k was 11k.

    edit2: sawg-wise, the medals are amazing and hefty but i do wish they gave out a third, challenge tee.
     
    Last edited:

    ShoeCello

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2017
    The Minion run earlier this year had way more photo ops, the Minions were all over the place with Gru and the kids throughout the course and that really made this one a bit disappointing in that regard. If you werent paying attention, you’d miss the raptor photo op since its all the way on the right corner after running through the rides course while the race route is a sharp left turn. Other photo ops were fan made vehicles which most could also miss as they are just on the side of the course but the short stretch by the movie cars that leads to the spitting dinos (they removed the water) and into the indominus was a nice touch.

    And yeah, the corrals needs improvement, even in their faq it says you vant change corrals but if you arent assigned one then it makes no sense.

    I got back from the 10k a few hours ago and they just really stretched out the course to get an extra 3miles out of their property which made us run outside the park to the side street close to the freeway (yes, that steep hill when you get out of the parking lot and before entering the 101) and then a short stretch inside the parking structure and it felt like it was at least 15-20 warmer inside the parking lot.

    And by the way, the 10k moved up to the castle before you have to run back so thats another photo op.

    Overall I found it fun though those steep hills are a killer and all you could really do is make it up on the downhill runs without stumbling down lol. Theres a lot of room for improvement and I imagine the upcoming Trolls are gonna have way more characters photo ops. Hopefully they do a Universal Monsters Run, they’d have plenty of character photo ops with that theme and Harry Potter is going to be their biggest ip.

    I am not sure how they can fix the bottlenecks on the course but they definitely need to utilize the pace requirement and fixing the corrals. Maybe use the film sets like the NY building and Back to the Future clocktower location, that could be a cool place to run through.

    With the big drop of runners from 5k to 10k though (5k has supposedly 5,000 runners and todays 10k only had 1,000) I wonder if they’ll continue to offer it?

    And they also need to fix the actual length of the race, yesterdays 5k was more like 5.6k and todays 10k was 11k.
    Yeah, I totally missed the raptor photo op (though I wasn't going to stop anyways) since, as you mentioned, there was that sharp left and it was a bottleneck point so I was focused on not tripping over anyone or tripping anyone else! The theming overall just felt disappointing.

    In regards to the 5K vs 10K numbers, that's interesting that there was such a big discrepancy, though I think part of it could be that they added the 10K late and after the 5K had already opened. I likely would have signed up for the 10K instead of the 5K had they both been open from the beginning, but given that I had already signed up for the 5K and didn't want to lose my early bird discount I decided to stick with the 5K. (I also wasn't sure how I would be feeling from my marathon the previous weekend so decided to play it safe!) I wonder if they'll get a more even spread of runners among the two for April's run now that both the 5K and 10K are announced from the start.

    The parts of the 10K course you described (inside the parking structure, and parallel to the freeway) do not sound fun!
     

    rfx

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2017
    The JW queue part of the course is a terrible idea, not only is it so narrow but that floor is also very slippery.

    And yeah they could have done more with theming, should have had the triceratops out somewhere too or have the mosasaurus implemented by the jaws location or something, probably not the most cost effective but it would have been cool. Maybe have pterodactyls everywhere. Definitely lots of missed opportunity.

    The 3 raptors on the finishlines cool but you cant even really take a pic with all 3 in one pic iirc.

    You are right, it was probably the late addition of the 10k that affected the attendance plus as i posted a few up, the price was much higher ($200 for both 5k and 10k) sp that might turned a lot off initially, its lower now but i am still waiting for my refund.
     

    KenyaSierra

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2012
    I echo people’s disappointment in the lack of entertainment/photo ops. Running through the ride queue does not count (and was a total bottleneck for the 5k). And seriously, a lap around a parking garage? The hills suck and my quads are screaming mostly from braking on the steep downhills. And I find the ridged pavement on the hills pretty brutal. As a back of the packer, I will note that they did shorten the course for us slowpokes- they coned off the out and back above the War of the Worlds set just as I got there. My watch still clocked over 6.2 miles so I am peace with it. And Rudy was announcing again! That made me happy.
     

    rfx

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2017
    I do got to give them props for including parking in their prices, Universal usually charges $27 general parking these days. When I ran the RunDisney challenge, I had to pick up the packets on Friday, run the 10k on Saturday and then the Half on Sunday and each day cost $20 (Disneyland general parking cost $25 now) so that is easily $60 in addition to the ~$400 i already paid.
     



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