How I Found My People

My People... I found them

My People… I found them

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?

Megan & I after the 2015 WDW 5K

Megan & I after the 2015 WDW 5K

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.

Enter the Mickey Milers - My People!

Enter the Mickey Milers!
(P.S. – A picture with every character is a must do!)

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.

Mile Marker Pic with My People - why not??! Its fun!

Mile Marker Pic – why not??! Its fun!

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.

You ain't never had a friend like me!! We run. We love Disney and we have FUN!!

You ain’t never had a friend like me!!
We run. We love Disney and we have FUN!!

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?

Donna Quackenbush

Donna Quackenbush

Donna is a 40 something, empty nester who lives with her husband (and sometimes kids) in Maryland. She is a self professed Disney fanatic and really started running because she realized she could do it at Disney and therefore have another excuse to visit the parks. Other races came into the mix when she figured out she actually enjoyed the sport and could do it just about anywhere. Shenanigans (and costumes!) make running all the more exciting and enjoyable and she plans to continue running till she physically can't.

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11 thoughts on “How I Found My People

  1. Pingback: Breaking Up with runDisney - Team Shenanigans

  2. Karen

    Donna- thoroughly enjoyed your blog!! I can’t wait to read more. Congratulations and best of luck! And don’t forget about the “crazies from New York!” Join us in Miami next year and we’ll even let you wear a Disney costume!!
    Enjoy your running and blog!

    1. Donna Quackenbuh

      Never will forget my NY crazies!! When is Miami?? I know its always a tough choice for me cause its around the same time as the WDW Marathon weekend…. May have to skip it sometime though to catch up with you guys. I did see this cool 3 day race weekend down in South Carolina, Hilton Head area, and wondered if that would be fun to try and do with you guys. I’ll have to keep looking at it.

    1. Donna Quackenbuh

      Its definitely a bucket list thing and probably once in a lifetime happening! Lots of saving and pre-planning. Good luck with Power Ball ????

  3. Susana

    I have the same feelings Donna! I have found such a wonderful group of runners whom I can share our passion for travel, Disney, running and fun. “You’ve got a friend in me”.


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