"I only hope we never lose sight of one thing: That it was all started by a mouse."
- Walt Disney
Mickey Mouse made me run. Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to join some weird Mickey/Running cult or anything. It just so happens that I have always been a Disney fan. The movies, the parks, (the merchandise...) well, everything. Including for example, the Disney Cruise Line. Taking a Disney cruise has been a long dream of mine, not to mention my wife's. About a year and a half ago, we finally manged to get the money together to book one for the end of November, 2012. They can be pretty expensive but most people who have taken them agree it's totally worth it. Booking almost two years ahead allowed us to pay it off slowly.
Anyway, I read that when a Disney cruise stops in their private island - Castaway Cay - they hold a 5K called, oddly enough, the Castaway Cay 5K. It's not really a big deal: Whoever wants to run it gets off the ship first, then you run it, then everyone gets medals for finishing and a certificate. The course is flat as it can get so it is pretty mild. The only problem is the Caribbean heat and humidity. Already having the thought of a marathon on the back of my head, running this particular race as my "first race" sounded like a really good idea. Plus I would have plenty of time to prepare.
Looking for more information on the race and the cruise, I stumbled onto a blog called Running with Sass (runningwithsass.com). Written by this very nice young lady named Heather Montgomery, she posted pretty much every detail you would want to know about the race. She ran the race, taking pictures and noting all details so if you ever do it yourself, you'll know what to expect. In that post, she mentions the fact that the bib you are given for the race has the Run Disney logo on it, which she thought it was cool. Run Disney? What is that?
I shouldn't have asked that question.
Reading deeper into her blog, I found out she had started running after visiting Walt Disney World and watching some friends finish the WDW Marathon. Watching all those people crossing the finish line with such a sense of accomplishment really motivated her to try it herself. Sure enough, two years later she crossed the finish line in victory. What poor Heather could not know though, was the effect her experience would have on me. Heather, I have a bone to pick with you.
It turns out that Run Disney is a pretty big deal. They hold all sorts of different races from 5K's to full marathons. The biggie of course is the WDW Marathon: A race where you run through all four Disney parks in Orlando, including a triumphant pass under Cinderella's castle. If this sounds like fun you'd be right. Disney being Disney, they make sure these events are something special. There is music and performers all through the course plus you can stop and get your picture taken with the Disney characters. These races are to say the least, unique and it was pretty much all I needed to get my behind moving. I made up my mind and have set my goals. While I will definitely run the CC 5K in November I have decided to aim higher. A lot higher.
In two years, I am going to run the Walt Disney World Marathon.