For those of you who don’t know, runDisney holds races at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
I love all things Disney. The House of Mouse is my favorite place to be, and it’s my favorite place to run. Disney has always held a special place in my heart. Now it’s even more special to me. Volunteering at a Disney race gave me the “running bug,” and through a mutual love of running and Disney I found a phenomenal group of people over at Running of the Ears. I started running because of Disney, and my life has changed because of it.
After volunteering at the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World earlier this year, I decided to give running a try. It looked like the runners were having fun. runDisney was planning a race at the end of September, which would give me a little more than 6 months to train. It was only 10 miles, which didn’t seem very daunting to me compared with the terms “half marathon” or a “marathon.” It’s Disney. I love Disney. How bad could it be?
I now know that I am crazy. “Only” 10 miles???
I hadn’t run before and had no idea what I was getting myself into. 10 miles is a lot to run for a non-runner. I could barely run for 10 seconds straight. However, I got myself a training plan and started. I fit right in with the running community and, thanks to my obsessive personality, it only took a few weeks for me to sign up for all sorts of races. I love the people, I love running and racing, and I love the shiny medals (“bling”) you often get when you complete a race.
I was able to run the Expedition Everest Challenge through Disney’s Animal Kingdom on my two-month runnerversary. It was a blast, and it was fitting that a Disney medal was my very first bling. Now, it’s finally here: next week will be that 10-mile race I first signed up for, the Tower of Terror 10-miler. I spent all summer training, and I’m ready. I am also registered for four half marathons in October and November (one of which is another Disney race, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon), and two more half marathons in February (including the Disney Princess Half Marathon).
January 2013 will be a big month for me. The 20th Walt Disney World Marathon is on January 13, and I’m running it. All 26.2 miles. Even though I love running, it’s a lot of work, and I don’t think anything other than Disney bling could entice me to go that far.
The finisher’s medal for the marathon includes this quote from Walt Disney: “I only hope we don’t lose sight of one thing. It was all started by a mouse.” How appropriate for my first full marathon medal! I’m now a runner, and my entire life has changed, all because of Disney.
For me, it was all started by a mouse.