So you’re training for a Disney race: what is even more important than logging the miles? The costume, of course! Runners go all out for Disney races with the majority of participants dressing up in tutus, tiaras, mouse ears, fairy wings or some other nod to their favourite Disney characters.
The Disney race distances are no easy feat – we’re talking half and full marathons here in terms of the big ticket races. There are 5K fun runs attached to most race weekends but, for the most part, these are some serious race distances which require committed training and proper gear. Marrying the practical needs of running a half or full marathon with some fun and fantasy is the challenge!
It should come as no surprise that runners choosing the Princess Half-Marathon, one of the largest women’s specific endurance events in North America, are often card-carrying shopaholics – making this a challenge that participants are all too eager to accept!
We decided to run this year’s Princess Half-Marathon a full year ago, so we have had many months to plan our outfits. And yet, here we are with only weeks to go, and I can’t say we have this fully figured out. We are admittedly both Type A princesses-in-training so you may be wondering why this was not finalized months ago. It is certainly something we have asked ourselves. It is definitely not for lack of trying…or shopping! We had costumes planned as early as last spring – but then we changed our minds and settled on a new costume. And then we changed that one too. A few weeks ago, I tried on the latest outfit idea. And immediately decided that wasn’t “the one” either.
Why has this been such a difficult decision? In the wise words of my 6-year old daughter, “You need to love it. You need to think it is the best outfit ever and, if you don’t feel like that, you shouldn’t wear it.” Clearly I am raising a mini-me shopaholic, but the kid has a point.
Just as those crazy people on “Say Yes to the Dress” want to find the perfect dress for their big day, we similarly want the perfect running costume for our big day. It has to be special. It has to be an outfit we can’t wait to wear. It has to be something that makes us feel both fast and fabulous. Bottom line, it needs to make us feel like a princess.
I have run countless miles in my pink shoes, training for this race and preparing to earn that tiara medal. I have run through wind, rain, snow and sleet. I have run when it is so hot that you could have fried an egg on the road in my wake. I am currently training through an injury that is jeopardizing my ability to participate in this race. I have suffered through shockwave therapy that caused my foot to swell to epic proportions and cortisone injections that were so painful they made me faint. I have literally invested blood, sweat and tears into this race. I have nothing left to prove. This journey has transformed me into an athlete and there is nothing that can keep me from that starting line.
So when I line up to run in the wee hours of February 24 and the Fairy Godmother counts us down and the fireworks light up the sky, I will be wearing something beautiful. Something fitting for a princess as she chases her happily ever after. Does this make me any less of a runner? Absolutely not. It makes me a running princess – and I’ll soon have the medal to match the fabulous outfit. What more could a girl ask for?
Tell us: Have you ever run in costume?