it’s the ultimate “girl’s weekend.”
i’ve heard it said that “girl’s compete with each other. but women empower each other.”
& that’s definitely true when it comes to the princess half marathon weekend.
of course i saw lots of running costumes (carrie, elise & i ran as flora, fauna & merryweather, sleepying beauty’s “good fairies”), tiaras, all things sparkly, princess sashes & many flutes of bubbly throughout the weekend.
but what really stands out in my mind was the kindness, friendship, encouragement & even love that i witnessed throughout the entire weekend & especially during the race itself.
i watched as friendships formed in the corrals, as runners encouraged & sometimes even helped one another on the race course, as volunteers & spectators cheered & motivated thousands of “random strangers.”
for some people this was their first half marathon ever.
others were hoping to PR after months & months of training.
for a number of runners this race was the final step to completing the inaugural glass slipper challenge (running both the disney enchanted 10K & the princess half marathon in a single weekend, at total of 19.3 miles).
& many people were looking forward to earning their “pink” coast to coast medal, having already run the tinker bell half marathon at disneyland the month before, entitling them to extra “bling” at the finish line.
but i think it’s safe to say that every single person was looking forward to, thrilled, eager & very much excited to soon be running & walking through the walt disney world resort, the magic kingdom & epcot.
running with some of my BRFs (best running friends), character photo opps, on-course entertainment, & the overflowing feelings of excitement, empowerment and love for one another, were definitely the makings of a memorable race.
but one of my favorite moments of the weekend was sitting at the finish line, cheering & watching as runners crossed.
to be quite honest, i think watching others cross the finish brought me more joy than when i crossed it myself, earlier that same morning.
watching others accomplish something amazing, something they had trained months for, something some of them may have once thought to be impossible – was definitely nothing other than magical.
everyone i saw was exuding happiness.
i love how one incredible weekend, how 13.1 amazing miles, & the promise of a little bling, is able to bring out the “inner princess” in everyone.
“if you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”
better yet, attend the princess half marathon.
feel the love, experience the kindness, & embrace the empowerment for yourself. i can promise you this – you’ll walk away with a warm & fuzzy feeling inside.
2014 princess half marathon by the numbers
* total chip time 2:22:49 – definitely not my fastest time, but probably my most memorable race ever.
* 453rd place out of 3,051 women in my age group
* 2513rd place out of 19,294 women
* 2830th place out of 20,750 runners
* 5K split time 26:24 (8:30/ mile pace)
* 10K split 54:07 (8:43/ mile pace)
* 15K split 1:21:38 (8:45/ mile pace)
i don’t know what it is – the energy, the spectators, the entertainment, the pixie dust? somehow runDisney races always prove to be my most favorite races of the season.
so if you haven’t run disney yet – do it. whether it’s your first race, or your tenth, you’re sure to have a magical time.
want to read more about my runDisney adventures, check out my other runDisney race recaps.