Monday, March 24, 2014

Enchanted 10k 2014: Glass Slipper Challenge

And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what it looks like when you put together all your stuff for a pre 10k picture the night before your race! Not featured is the DayQuil and Claritin. Oh yeah, I probably should mention that when we got to Florida I came down with a sinus and upper respiratory infection/illness/death, and yet I still had every intention on running 19.3 over the course of two days.

Cinderella and Ariel pre race

 Ali and I were up by 2:30 Saturday morning, on a bus by 3:15, and at Epcot by 3:30. Our excitement outweighed our sleep deprived state, and as people began to fill the area everything finally seemed so real! I must say, the intricate work and detail that some people put into their costumes was some intense dedication! My favorite on Saturday was Merida and a bear, yes, a guy dressed as a bear to run with a girl. It was adorable.

Megan, Ali, and myself
When we made our way to our corrals, Ali made the decision to drop back a corral to be on my level, and then we also met up with another one of our friends who dropped back to join our corral party too! The execution of how the corrals started was very well timed. For the 10k about every ten-fifteen minutes they would start the next corral. This eliminated congestion on the race course, and allowed for a pretty amazing opportunity. Given the fact that this was a six mile race, before we were even heading out the first finisher was starting to come back. The cheers that we heard were so inspirational and it made for excitement among all of us.

For the first part of the race we pretty much stuck together, Megan, Ali and I. Then thanks to my cold/sinus problems, I fell back and started a coughing fit. Can I just tell you that running in Delaware where it had been 26 degrees and snowy then going to Orlando where it was 80 degrees and humid was a fun/interesting experience. Running through the Boardwalk area and Epcot was awesome, it was great to see everything in the parks and the different areas.

Along the race course I came across a girl who had fallen, I wasn't going for a PR, I wasn't going for anything really, my goal for Princess Weekend was to cross the finish line. Anything else was an added bonus. Especially given that I could barely breathe thanks to whatever ailment I had come down with. I stopped and asked her if she needed help, turns out she was sixteen, and this was her first race ever. She wasn't even a runner, honestly. That was her father's passion, and he had run Boston the year prior and was near the explosion when it happened, she was running this race because PTSD was preventing him from running it. She just wanted desperately to get to mile five, around there is where her family would be.

It was appropriate, I was running Disney after all
I look at the running community as a family, when Boston happened our hearts were heavy. Boston is a long term goal of a lot of us out there. And the fact that something so terrible could happen to our little community, something that a lot of us use as an escape had been harmed. Being a Disney race, the quote from Lilo and Stitch played through my head. I "ran" with her for the extent of her time on the race, and when she got to the part of the race where her family was her father extended his gratitude that I kept an eye on his daughter. And with my teenaged running partner no longer by my side, I pushed to the finish.

I didn't stop for any character photos, looking back on it now I regret it. I wish I had gotten at least one picture with a character. But, there is always next year to get pictures with some princesses! As I crossed the finish line it was a moment of victory. I was excited to get my first Disney bling, and excited to find Ali to hear how her race went. And to get my hands on a post race snack box. After brief search, I found my travel buddy and we snapped a picture together! We were definitely both very excited to have our first medals of the weekend, and to get back to the hotel to get ready for our adventure in Epcot that day.

Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger