The inaugural ‘Running Universal’ Minion-themed 5K zoomed into high-gear this past weekend of May 11-12 at Universal Studios Hollywood. The race featured our favorite little yellow gibbering Minions of DESPICABLE ME and MINIONS and took runners throughout the theme park, backstage and historic Universal backlot. Participants ranged in age from 5 to 75 and cosplayed as their favorite Universal characters, most of which were versions of one-eye, two-eye, tall, short, male and/or female Minions.
This was not our first pop culture themed race. Hardly. So how did Running Universal Race stack up? Here is our top 5 moments and where they went right:
Running through the Universal Studios Backlot and past the Bates Motel.
This is the area that the general public sees when they are taking the Universal Studios Hollywood Tram Tour. It’s hard to get a good look at iconic filming sites from a moving automobile, so now you get to take the pics and selfies you always wanted. We saw these movie locations up close such as Amity (JAWS), Bates Motel (PSYCHO), burned wreckage of a jet plane (WAR OF THE WORLDS) and Whoville (DR. SUESS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS).
There were 4 Minion photo-op stops along the course. Whether you’re a Minion fan or not, it’s hard to pass up getting a shot with these adorable pill-shaped creatures. They were even dressed to match their locations. There was a Minion all set to go fishing at Amity and a black and white striped jailbird stationed at the FAST AND FURIOUS attraction. Gru and his brother Dru also made an appearance urging runners to move along!
17 Minute Mile Requirement
Races must necessarily have a pace requirement, especially when you’re running through a theme park that opens to guests later that morning. Running Universal has a generous 17 minute mile pace limit. This actually means a 17 minute mile for the last person to cross that Start Line in the final corral. If you started before that last person, you have much more leniency to stop and take pictures between bouts of jogging. For example, we were in the third corral to start, but finished an hour and fifteen minutes later at a 24-minute mile pace simply because we took a lot of pictures and video. However, never did we see a line closure for characters or dreaded “balloon ladies” to pull you out of the race.
It’s all about the Bling and swag!
If you’re a veteran of running events then you know – it’s all about that shiny medal at the end! The medals given out were high quality and had a spinning wheel feature! Runners who stay and visit the park afterwards like to show off their bling by keeping them hung around their neck. The park then echoes with the sounds of thunderous clanking. But that’s not all, runners also receives the following in just the standard registration:
- Running Universal 5K T-shirt
- Collectible Minion Pin
- Post-race beverages and snack box
- Custom digital finisher certificate
- Complimentary General Parking
- Opportunity to purchase post-race entry to Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park at an exclusive Running Universal price
VIP and Fan Packages were also offered and include many more incentives, including free breakfast!
For more info, check out UniversalRunning.com.
Future Race Discounts
The next Universal-sanctioned race will be the Running Universal 5K featuring Jurassic World on November 16th! Join in the fun, and the inaugural kids’ Raptor Run 1k as well. Runners who participated in the Inaugural Running Universal race will have exclusive access to receive special 5K pricing starting at $65.
This was a great experience for kids and adults. There was no pressure for novices, the main objective was to have fun and maybe hug a Minion along the way. We look forward to the next Running Universal race!