Inspiration to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon
Don’t think you’re the “running type”? Don’t think you could ever finish a 5k let alone a half marathon?
I’m here to tell you you can.
My decision to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon was mostly based on a good reason to wear a sparkly skirt and have a girls weekend in Disney with my daughter. I’m not a runner. Neither is she. But setting a goal together seemed like a great chance to bond.
To train I ran a lot. She ate brownies. In her defense, she’s dances three hours a day and is a competitive alpine ski racer. She didn’t run to prepare for the half, but if you are fourteen and in that kind of shape, you can get away with not training.
The week before the big event I ended up in the hospital, I was so sick my doctor was furious I was even thinking of flying to Florida, let alone running. The morning of the race I had planned to go to take video of Macie and to document her big day. Despite her lack of training this girl was fired up about running the half marathon, no one ever said she wasn’t competitive.
After video taping her morning and seeing her off to her corral I decided I might walk the first few miles just to get some photos. I was registered for the race, had my number and you know I’m not one to miss a chance to wear a sparkly skirt and get my picture taken.
The group lined up pre-dawn in Corral H, the last corral, was not the most athletic looking bunch. There were grandmas running with their granddaughters, women who were running to lose weight and plenty of princesses who had never run a half marathon in their lives. As I started talking to them, I thought maybe I could run this.
I met a woman who just turned 60. She started running at 56 and had lost a significant amount of weight. Look at her legs, does she look 60 to you?
The stories that brought me to tears though were the moms running cancer free, the moms running to raise money to end sex trafficking and the elite athlete daughters who ran with Corral H to convince their moms that they could, and would, finish the race.
This is no man’s marathon. Women held each other’s hands and encouraged perfect strangers who didn’t think they could keep going.
And they took pictures, lots of pictures. There were photo opportunities at every mile, there’s nothing like a little eye candy to keep a girl motivated.
The big boogey man when you are racing at the back of the pack is the Balloon Lady. I had heard tales of her. She’s the pace setter, you must maintain a 16 minute mile or you get swept. That means they pick you up in a van and you don’t get to finish the race, or get your sparkly medal. I had imagined menacing Secret Service types packing eerily cheerful balloons as they whisked you off the race course.
The balloon lady as it turns out is just a nice woman with a princess balloon.
But she strikes fear in the hearts of the slow footed. I crossed the finish line about 10 seconds ahead of her.
But my medal doesn’t know what time I finished. The whole race took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes. The winner did it in 1 hour and 17 minutes. I think I might be more proud of my medal though, I know Macie is proud of hers.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a runner, or really fast walker. If finishing a half marathon is on your bucket list the Disney Princess Half Marathon is the race for you. I hope I’ve inspired you as much as my new friends I met at the back of the pack inspired me.
Life is short. Seize the day. And wear a tiara while you do it.