you see it was one of my very favorite weekends in florida this past weekend, marathon weekend.
do you know about runDisney? it is the segment of disney that puts on amazing races ranging from 5k to marathon. they aren't normal races. they have such a fan base and magic in them that they are different from any other. i ran my first runDisney race in 2010 and it changed my life.
you see. i don't like running. i really don't. sure i love how i feel after and i love the health benefits but it sucks to run for 3 hours and it sucks when your knees hurt and your body hurts and you don't feel very good at it.
but you know what i love? this community. this community of people that wakes up at 3am to cheer, the community of people who encourages me when i don't feel fast enough or good enough. this community of "not runners" who completed races like the dopey challenge (5k, 10k, half and full) while having beers and tequilas on the course. this community of people, where some of them actually tell me, that I'M why they run.
there was something that really hit me this past sunday when i cheered for the marathon on main street u.s.a in the magic kingdom for the first time. i'm not sure if it was because it was exactly a year since i completed my marathon, or because some close friends were running this year or because it was 3am and i was tired but something made me step back and take a look at life. i think it was when the pace group rounded the corner of the street marking the pace that if you fell behind, you would get swept. they remained so cheery and positive and motivating. a lady trailing right behind the group turned the corner, looked up at the castle, and started crying. i'm not sure what made her cry, maybe pain from the run, maybe fear, maybe just the castle. but as she did she walked faster. and she met up with that pace group and she kept going.
i saw that lady again. at mile 26. she was almost dead last. and she was still with the very last pace group. but she was there.
maybe this community isn't full of the best runners in the world. maybe we are really "not runners". maybe so. but if this lady is a part of that motivation. i want to be a part of it too.
this community of "not runners" is changing the face of running and i love more than anything that i was there to witness it this weekend. this community convinces me to be more active, convinces me to get outside and go and convinces me to turn my chin up to the world and keep going.
i am a cheerleader.
and i am a MARATHONER.
and i runDisney.
you should too.