Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Disney Marathon Weekend - The People

I guess I should begin this post by apologizing. I met some very cool people during Marathon Weekend and in a lot of cases, I hardly got to know all of you and in some cases I even forgot to take a picture with a lot of you!

The thing is, my mind was somewhere else. I was so worried about the race and not finishing, that I could hardly say anything. When I did say something, it was about how I was freaking out about the race. So sorry folks. I hope I get to see you in another race. I promise I will try to be friendlier and a better running representative next time. Unless I'm doing Dopey, in which case, I'll be freaking out about that as well.

Just kidding (I hope).

That's not to say I didn't meet a lot of incredible people along with some others who are rock stars in my book and I totally look up to. For example Donald here:

Bracelet Buddies!

I've become a total fan of this guy ever since I met him online. He often sends me words of encouragement and tells me he loves to read this blog, but it is I who should be taking a tip or two from him. He has lost over 85 pounds and counting! And get this: While I was freaking out about running my measly marathon, this man was doing the Dopey Challenge(5k, 10K, Half and Full in 4 days straight). Actually he didn't do the Dopey, he totally rocked it! He is also, very tall. True story: we were actually staying in the same resort and finally got to meet while we were in the same bus on our way to Downtown Disney. We didn't realize were in the same bus until we were getting off, when he stood up and banged his head. Hard. Again, tall.

Then there was Heather. It was through her blog Through Heather's Looking Glass, that I found out there this whole side of Disney I didn't know about called Run Disney. I still don't know if to thank her or blame her. LOL! It was her story that made me aim high and set the goal of running the WDW Marathon. I knew there was a slim chance I could meet her as she was doing the Dopey challenge as well (actually about 7,000 runners did the Dopey) and would probably be plenty busy, you know... running. But lucky enough, right as I was about to leave for my corral for the marathon, she showed up.

Ursula and Ariel?

It was a mixture of nervousness and being star struck. She asked me how I was and obviously all I could say was that I was freaking out about the race. She actually gave me some great advice about the start which I followed to the letter. She is also the one that finally confirmed that if I made it to Hollywood Studios I would be safe from being swept. She knows her Disney races and she has done most of them if not all of them. She is also a travel agent with Travel with the Magic. She set us up for this trip and it was great! If you want a Disney vacation she's the person to call. Her blog is also an awesome read.

It was very simple for me. I would not leave Florida without doing two things: Finishing a marathon and meeting Mindy, who writes the blog Road Runner Girl. I learned about her blog through Heather and started reading as she was getting ready to run the Disney Marathon last year. I confess Mindy, I have a bit of medal envy. Last year's medal was so cool. She was running the 10K and the Half this year and was staying two resorts away at All-Star Movies so the day before the Half I walked over and said hello.

Mindy loves her Disney bling!

If Donald is tall, Mindy is tiny!! LOL I don't know. I thought she would be taller. Maybe it's because she has such a big heart. Folks, you have got to read her blog. She is a mom, wife and teacher yet she still finds time to run regularly and feed her habit which is running Half-Marathons (and I've heard somewhere, eating pizza). The WDW Half is her 20th!! You could tell too. Even though the Half was the next day she was so calm and relaxed. Mindy has been a constant source of inspiration and a very important part of having achieved my goal. Meeting her was one of the highlights of this trip. The other being... you know, not dying during the Marathon. We got to chat for a bit and again, all I could talk about was how scared I was about the race. Geez... I need a new speech for next time.

I also got to meet the Castle guy(inside joke), Greg who writes Why I Run Disney. It was his first marathon as well. He had a pretty cool Buzz Lightyear tech shirt and his wife did the 10K. I got to see him a couple of time but alas, no picture. (Do I even have to say why at this point?!)

Finally, and somewhat sadly, I got to briefly cross paths with Matt who writes Dad's got the Runs. He is the evil mastermind behind Team #RunDisney. An online community  that is all sorts of awesome. If you are even thinking of running a Disney race make sure you check them out on Facebook. You will get all your questions answered and then some. Great friends, great  support. Just awesome. Anyway, I saw Matt right before leaving for my corral but I wasn't sure it was him. In his Facebook profile he always hides his face behind whatever Disney medal he has won most recently. I didn't have a medal with me... if only I'd have met him 7 hours later... Anyway, I hardly got to say hello and thank him for putting such a cool thing as TRD together but I was in a hurry to get a good spot in my corral because, say it with me...

The man is fit! He was also doing the Dopey and looked like he could very well do a full Ironman right then and there. It bears repeating: Team Run Disney is awesome!!

Anyway, that's some of the people I met during Marathon Weekend. If I saw you and didn't recognize you, sorry about that. If you saw me and recognized me shame on you!! I would have told you all about this race I was freaking out about...

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