Saturday, January 10, 2015

Woo Hoo! It's Saturday!!

It's just amazing, isn't it, how sometimes days just seem to fly by! Anyhoo, in case you've missed it, today is half-marathon Saturday!!

For today's race, it's Steve, Molly, Katie, and me. Since Steve is participating, we were able to take the car. The fun part was that we had to walk past a very long line of runners waiting for the bus to the start of the race. Several gave us the stink-eye, perhaps thinking that we were headed in front of them to break line. But no, we were just headed to our car! That was the easy part. Once we got in the car, we got into race traffic, which moved at a snail's pace - sort of like I do in races. We plodded along (again, like I do in races) until finally reaching Epcot and the parking lot.

Once there, we sat a bit before going to our corrals. Then once we got into our corrals, we sat a bit more until our corral was eventually called and off we were! Today was still a little cool, and we shared our fancy sock gloves with Katie. And yet there were still the fast runners with their itsy bitsy race clothes!

Once we started, Steve, Katie and Molly headed off. I kept my usual pace - slow - and eased up a bit as the miles wore on.  There are many special moments in a Disney race. There are those moments when you meet certain mile markers (for me, it's sort of like every one), there are those moments when you know you're headed home (when you round the bend and pass the Grand Floridian), and there are those moments when you know you're going to make it (Mile 12 when you're headed into Epcot). And then there are those unexpected moments, like the one I had today. Here's how it went ...

Just after you pass the Contemporary Resort, you pass Mile Marker 5.  You make a sharp left and head into the back/cast member entrance to the Magic Kingdom. You're actually backstage until you enter the park right between Tony's Town Square and the hat shop. As I as wogging along in the backstage area, I happen to pass a lady who was looking up and around with a huge smile on her face. I heard her say, "This is my first time here." I wasn't sure if she meant her first time ever, or just her first race, but I could fully appreciate her joy and sense of wonder. I said to her, "Just wait until we get into the park and make that first right turn." I knew that the castle would still be lit up and that the view was amazing. I then said to her, "There are volunteers all around - be sure to stop and get your picture!" We got separted with the narrowed course and many runners, but I saw her again one last time. She had indeed stopped to ask a volunteer for a photo - truly one she will never forget.

And that's why I do Disney races. I try to ignore the haters who think we woggers are pond scum and somehow demean their own personal runs. I try to forgive the runners who want to shove past me without a word. Instead I cherish those moments when I see a first-time racer who is so excited to be here and so excited to finish and receive that medal. I cherish it because I know how they feel - I still feel it every time I lace up my shoes and head to the start line!
Today is a gift because: starting and finishing the half; first-time lady at MK

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