After a mere 3 hours of sleep, my alarm went off shortly after midnight on Sunday morning. After stopping for gas and coffee Alex and I were on the highway by 1am. We were on our way to spectate the Walt Disney World Marathon!
My first priority was to see my cousin who was there with Team In Training. My cousin is pretty much a beast and runs a 4:15 marathon while looking like it’s a stroll in the park. For this marathon she dropped back a few corrals to pace a teammate who has never finished under 5 hours and was shooting for a PR.
After we wished her and her team luck we headed to mile 4 at the Ticket and Transportation Center to scout a spot.
Race fireworks went off at 5:30am and it didn’t take long for the first runners to whiz on by. Those men and women who lead the pack were intense.
We saw my cousin about 40 minutes later, but we hung around to cheer on other friends and runners.
By 7:30am we were starving and headed to the Contemporary hotel for breakfast! When at Disney you eat Mickey waffles the size of your head. With banana and caramel sauce, of course!
By 9am we were inside of EPCOT right around mile 26. The home stretch. We found a nice spot in the shade and cheered everyone on. There were smiles, tears, high fives and hugs all around. At one point I was brought to tears myself.
I finally saw my cousin coming around the corner, she was all smiles but I was a bottle of tears. I gave her a high-five as she ran on by, but I was just so moved by the atmosphere and the accomplishments of everyone around me. (Note: they finished in 4:58 getting the PR for her teammate!)
These people, family and friends, were marathoners! All shapes, sizes, and ages! Together for one common goal.
I’ve got to say, there is no race quiet like Disney. Just leading up to race weekend there was so much support, encouragement and love online. These runners look out for each other like nothing I’ve ever seen. And it’s apparent on race day too.
I am thankful for everyone who ran on Sunday and let me be their cheerleader. It was an experience so humbling, motivational, and inspirational. It was like no other. They were (and still are) my heroes and heroines.
I don’t know if there is a running “career” in my future. Am I still a wannabe runner? Absolutely! Do I know if I will ever run a marathon? There is no telling. After being a spectator I know that I am going to give running my best shot. I will train, waddle, shuffle, and crawl if I have to. I want to know I gave it my all. I want to honor the body I have and be thankful I have the ability to run.
Something magical happened on Sunday that makes me want to accomplish something great, be the outstanding person I was created to be, and inspire others the way I have been inspired. I hope I never forget this feeling.
No reward shall come if I don’t take the first step and continue putting one foot in front of the other.