By Princess Laural
Once upon a time, in February 2013, I became a Princess. You might know all about the day Jodi became a Princess. And you likely know all about Alana’s special day. But here is my story…a tale as old as time!
The Disney Princess Half Marathon was a bucket list item. It was something I wanted to do “one day”. It’s hard to explain how things change other than to say that one day I decided I was sick of wishing my life away and wanted to do something about it. So instead of saying “one day”, I decided to start running. I slowly added kilometres to my runs. Then I ran a 10K. The next day I signed up for a running clinic and, as soon as registration for the Princess Half opened, I signed up.
After running hundreds and thousands of kilometres, race weekend finally came. To say I was excited is an understatment. I woke up just before 2 am. A princess needs to get ready, and between hair, makeup, costume, breakfast and coffee, I knew I needed to give myself time. It sounds crazy to wake up so early, but seriously, I was wide awake! I was excited.
I got to the bus at about 3:15 am. Before I knew it, we were off to the races (literally). The bus was full of tutus and costumes. I totally fit in. That was the only time of the day I felt any anxiety. We arrived, and started the walk over to the staging area. I met up with Jodi and Alana, and we started the race together.
One thing that you hear a lot about is the long walk to the corrals. We were starting in Corral B, and honestly the walk didn’t seem that long. It was a perfect morning. It was warm, not hot. The excitement was palpable. There was music blasting. It was awesome!
We hung out in Corral B for a little while. The time just seemed to fly by as we watched everything going on. There were a couple of points it seemed to really hit us and we’d tear up, but for the most part, it was just pure fun. There was a lot of last minute water sipping, giggles, and planning.
Before we knew it, Corral A started and we moved up. Only 5 minutes until our turn! And then we were off!!!! It was finally here!!!!
I’d done a lot of races leading up to this, and I was grateful for all of that prep. I was thrilled to start with friends. The whole race was awesome, but I loved the beginning. It was just pure excitement. I wasn’t running the race for time, but I was comfortable enough to start at a good pace. My music was going, but I only used one ear bud. There was entertainment. We chatted a bit. I felt great.
Just before the 5K mark, we saw the photo opportunity I’d been waiting for … the Princes!
If I’d been running for time before, the fact that it was a crazy long line up killed that time. We lined up for about 10 minutes or so. It was worth it. While Jodi and I were waiting, I saw Alana run past, so I dragged her into the line to join us.
After the photo stop, we had to boot it! I knew my family wasn’t too far ahead. We took off again, and ran past some pretty awesome stuff! There was music and dancing puppets and Lightning McQueen. You could stop for all of these, but I wanted to keep running! And then we hit the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Centre). I knew my family was there and I had my eyes open for them. And then I saw them!!!
I totally broke race etiquette and ran in front of everyone on the road to give high 5’s. Mike and the kids were out of the hotel at 3:30 am to be there to support me! I was soooo excited to see them.
Truthfully, I was expecting the second half to be super hard. We were done the exciting part. And we were only at the halfway point. Whatever! This is what I trained for! As we exited Magic Kingdom and started on the path to Epcot, I had two big goals in mind: 1) Find my cheering family at the Polynesian Resort and 2) Enjoy every moment of the race. I did both!