If anyone told me five years ago that attempted athleticism would have me crossing the continent to run without the aid of lions chasing me, I would have seriously questioned their sanity. In fact, that was my exact reaction when friends announced in 2009, that they were planning on running in the 2010 Princess Half Marathon. I was invited to join them and was almost tempted enough to go because, well, Walt Disney World. I mean, I never pass up an opportunity to hang with Mickey and friends. But truthfully? I thought my friends were crazy and even my love of all-things-Mouse couldn’t lure me to run in Florida, or anywhere really.
In February of 2010, I happily cheered for my friends who were busy channeling their inner athletic goddesses 1,000 miles away, all while I was back in New Jersey resting comfortably in my bed. I prayed they wouldn’t die with every text update I received, and I really had no desire to be in Florida running with them at dark:30 in the morning. At all. Not even a little. Well, until I saw the finisher’s medal. It was lovely. It was shiny. It was sadly, a lost opportunity for me. How did I not know how amazing the runDisney bling was? Why did I not investigate this more carefully instead of questioning the sanity of lifelong friends? What was I thinking? This was an athletic event created by Disney, of course the medal would be spectacular. Why wouldn’t it be? A medal so spectacular that upon one glance, has the power to compel even the most un-athletic of individuals to believe that they too can triumph over 13.1 miles in unpredictable humidity. I was beyond annoyed at myself and knew at that very moment I needed a runDisney medal in my life. I didn’t care who was going to try to stop me or attempt to talk me out of it. I was going to the runDisney Princess Half Marathon the following year. The end.
With that determination, I enlisted for the 2011 Princess Half Marathon on the first day registration opened and I never looked back. To this day, that race still holds a special place in my heart. It was such an incredible experience. It symbolized something I never dreamed I was capable of doing. It was one of my proudest moments ever and I knew almost immediately that I wanted to do more runDisney events, even if my will to move voluntarily once I crossed the finish line was nowhere to be found. You guys? I chose a bubble bath over breakfast at ‘Ohana. It was at that point I really started to question my own sanity. A week after returning home from my first-ever runDisney event, I registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon, just to prove that whatever sanity I had left was being held hostage by Mickey Mouse in a tracksuit.
So, why does a person register for another runDisney half marathon a week after returning from one? Well, more runDisney medals, of course! Folks, can we take a moment to honor their magical-ness? Just wearing one makes you feel like a rock star, even more so when you wear it in the Parks during a race weekend. Each one is unique and incredible in its own way. Sure, I realize that the main purpose of runDisney events are to emphasize the joy of running and less about the shiny trinkets waiting for you at the finish line, but I can’t be the only one that runs for fancy wall and cabinet decor, right? And for me, the runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal was the reason I signed up for another half marathon. It is the Evangeline of all race medallions. Seriously, people, look how she lights up the sky. I love you, Evangeline!
The runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal is by far the most beautiful and awesome race medal I own. Achieved by completing a runDisney half or full marathon at both the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort in one calendar year, the Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal is perhaps the most coveted medal in the starting lineup of runDisney bling. Black and gold featuring the Partners Statue standing on top of the world with the castle behind them, this medal just screams distinguished Disney honor. I love this medal so much that I felt it needed a friend. As I write this entry, my 2015 Coast to Coast Challenge medal is sitting proudly in the curio cabinet among its other runDisney medal brethren and my first Coast to Coast medal. Come to think of it, I should probably buy them a private cabinet, you know, so they discuss how fabulous they are. Actually, they have their own Coast to Coast wall placard that’s still waiting to be hung in a worthy enough location. What am I saying? They’re all fantastic! I love each and every medal to the last little sparkle. And what I love even more is that each race encourages me to take better care of myself, and even when my training gets derailed, I still feel magical when I cross that finish line.
So, DIStracted fans, why do you runDisney? Do you have a runDisney story you’d like to share with us? Which runDisney medal is your favorite? We would love to hear from you!
DIStracted Tip: Be on the lookout for more of my runDisney adventures! After all, I did just devote an entire post to why I runDisney. It would be unfair to not indulge more. We haven’t even began to discuss runDisney costuming. Adventure is out there, DIStracted friends!