Disney Princess Half Race Recap

On February 24th, 2013, the alarms clocks sounded early: some at 3:00 AM, some even earlier. We early risers broke away from the lure of continued sleep to fit ourselves with tutus, capes, tights, bows, and even mouse ears. We laced up our shoes, and departed. The time had come, and we were ready. The Disney Princess Half Marathon was upon us. Eleven Colonels came ready to run that day with our friends, family, and supporters nearby to cheer us on. Some of us were preparing for our very first race, some were veterans, none were unaware of the challenge of crossing the finish line 13.1 miles later.

When we arrived to the starting line for the race, around 23,000 other participants (94% of them women! …er…princesses) shared our goal: to cross the finish line. With a Fairy Godmother to wish us well, a magic spell, and a burst of fireworks to start the race, we were off! There was much more than 13 miles that would come between us and the finish line, and most of it fun! In the first few miles alone, we ran past a high school marching band providing encouragement by playing the Rocky theme song, a bunch of Disney characters along the road, a drum line, streets lined with supporters and well-wishers, and a receiving line of Villanesses. At around mile five, still going strong, we entered the Magic Kingdom. We ran through the park passing Space Mountain, the new Fantasyland, and Splash Mountain. Then came the big attraction: we ran through the Magic Kingdom. Not be be clich√©, but it was actually magical to run toward the castle, and then get to run through it and out onto Mainstreet in front of a wildly cheering crowd, gaining some fuel to keep running from the all the people and the noise of the cheering.

It was a huge rush to run through the Magic Kingdom, but there were still a long way to go. There were more great sights along the way to keep us going, even impromptu “wedding” ceremonies for runners and princes alongside the road, a DJ dance party, and a of course more characters.¬† But at this point in the race, it took a lot of internal motivation to keep going, especially in the Orlando humidity. We were headed toward Epcot, where we would put in our final mile. The going got tough along the way, and we Colonels kept going. Once we made it to Epcot, we took a quick loop around Spaceship Earth, and headed back out of the park toward the finish line. About a quarter of a mile out, we were surprised by a gospel choir who brought us into the finish line with a Hallelujah chorus and just the right feeling.

Minnie and Mickey Mouse greeted runners as they crossed the finish line. WE DID IT! Finishers were awarded with a quick dash of pixie dust, and then were presented with the medals that we had worked so hard for. Crossing the finish line was a proud moment. It felt so good to have made it all that way, just as we had spent months of training planning for. Even more than completing the race, we got to enjoy a weekend of the company of our fellow Colonels and to come together to do something tough in support of a cause that meant something to us. If you ask me, by working together and completing the race, we were living out the Power of Maroon.

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Click on photos to enlarge.

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Categories: The Team

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