I’m a runner, I like to think I’m a fun person and I completely??LOVE Disney. ??I don’t really find these traits to be totally uncommon, yet trying to find others who had those same qualities was proving to be a difficult task for me. ??I could find people who were fun – but not runners. ??I could find runners, but they didn’t love Disney. ??Are you seeing my problem? ??I’m happy to say, ??my search is over. ??I have found MY PEOPLE and couldn’t be happier.
Let me tell you how it all came about. I can still remember turning to my husband in March of 2014 and timidly saying – “I’d really love to run all the runDisney races in one calendar year now that we are empty nesters and I don’t have to focus so much on the kids.” I was somewhat surprised when he did NOT respond with “WHAT, ARE YOU CRAZY??” He instead was very supportive and said, “Wow, that’s an admirable goal. Better do it soon though before your body falls apart.”
Now, although he is supportive of this goal, he was not prepared to come to every race weekend with me (he enjoys Disney, but he’s not quite the fan I am). So I start thinking and planning. I’d be running in 6 race challenge weekends over the course of 2015 and thought it would be wise to have some traveling companions and or people to run with. This is where my dilemma began.
Who could I find to do these races with? As it is, anytime I mention Disney,??I’m typically met with an eye roll and the question, “you’re going THERE again?” How would I get my friends??to join me, AND actually pay the crazy registration fees on top of it!? The first race challenge was the mother of them all – the Dopey Challenge (a 5K, 10K, 1/2 and full marathon!) How would I run 48.6 miles??all on my own?
My daughter Megan, is very much like me. She and I have run the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World for many years now so she’s always my first pick to head down to the parks with. However, she actually has other things going on in her life, and as much as she would like to, wouldn’t be able to join me for every race. She did join me for a portion of the Dopey Challenge, running??the 5K with me. After that though, I was on my own. The morning of the 10K, I was in for a huge and very welcoming surprise.
At this point, I had been listening to the Mickey Miles Podcast, which is about running at Disney,??for several months. Turns out, they had some meet-ups planned for Marathon weekend, so I decided to check it out. What I found there was a group of people – fun people who were runners and loved Disney – JUST LIKE ME! I ended up running the 10K with a group of crazies (many of whom you’ll find as Featured Writers here) and had the time of my life! While it was the slowest 10K I’ve ever run in my life, it was by far the most fun. We took pictures at the Mile Markers, we took pictures with characters, we took pictures of each other, we took selfies and then we took some more.
We danced, we laughed, we sang, and we ran (some). It was truly a magical time. I can’t even think about it or look at these pictures without a huge grin showing up on my face. And the best part is, I no longer have to worry about finding people to GO with me to these races. I have found my people and I have friends who are just like me.
I now have friendships and memories to last a lifetime.??I hope that you are able to find “your people” in this world. ??If you’re still searching, why not??learn more about joining the Mickey Milers or??running with Team Shenanigans?