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Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso
Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso
Runners competed in "The Course Awakens," a "Star Wars"-themed race, with a little help from the force

Storm troopers, Wookies and Jedi warriors by the dozens powered their light sabers and laced up their running shoes for “The Course Awakens,” a 5-mile “Star Wars”-themed race hosted by the Queens Distance Runners in Forest Park on Sunday morning.

The competition kicked off with the “Kids Ewok Shuffle Mile,” followed by the adult race. Competitors donned “Star Wars” gear ranging from T-shirts and hats to full costumes and masks to run the scenic course. Many runners chose Princess Leia as their inspiration, sporting different versions of her iconic white robe and bun hairstyle.

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Cardboard cut-outs of Boba Fett and BB-8, a new droid created for the upcoming film, were available for photo ops. Runners were greeted by encouraging signs and posters, including one that read “May the course be with you,” near the finish line. Spectators cheered from the sidelines and waved glowing light sabers as the racers crossed the finish line on Forest Park Drive.

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Trophies and prizes, including a pair of tickets to a 3-D showing of the eagerly anticipated film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” were given out to the top three male and female competitors. Anthony Pena from the Bronx was the men’s winner, clocking in at 27 minutes and 41 seconds. This marks the second year in a row that Pena took the top slot in the race, beating his winning time from last year. Lori Brun placed first among the female competitors.

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