The Day I Became a Princess

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.

princess logo

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.

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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!!!!

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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!!!

snow white laural

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.

Next stop? That would be Magic Kingdom. Now, you have to understand that Jodi is a fast runner (she moved back from Corral A to start with Alana and I) so the fact that I was anywhere near her at around the 10K mark is amazing. And, I’m so glad I had someone to share that moment of “we’re running through Magic Kingdom, OMG” with. So, as we entered we had a quick lipstick check and in we went! I cried running down Main Street, USA. I was doing this. And it was awesome. And then we hit the castle!!! That was my favourite moment of the race. I’d been working so hard for this, and it lived up to all the hype. Not only was I there, I was feeling great!
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!
The next 7 miles flew by. There were a couple of tough moments. But, it was just amazing. I got into a bit of a zone, and I just enjoyed my music and the beautiful day and scenery. Before I knew it, I could see Epcot. We also had to run all the overpasses and that was tough.
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Then we got to Epcot. When we ran in, I was tired. We were 2K from finishing, and I was feeling it. I walked the water station and the awesome volunteers were cheering for me and saying, “Keep going, Snow White!” –  it was just the boost I needed. I made sure my ear buds were out and I just enjoyed the moment. I passed the gospel choir and I saw the finish. And with that I was done!!! My time was 2:53:10 (if you take out photo stops, it was about 2:35). My first Half Marathon complete.
Laural Princess1
So…would I do this again? In a heartbeat! I loved it. It was everything I hoped for, and I’m super proud of myself. I loved running it. If you’re thinking about it, sign up early. Train, and do it! It was life changing for me. And that is the story of how I became a Princess, happily ever after.

One thought on “The Day I Became a Princess

  1. Yay Princess Laural!! I LOVED this post! I’ve read so many recaps from people running their first Princess Half but yours is exactly how I envision mine will be!!! I too started running with the goal of doing the Princess as my first half. Luck was not on my side last July when registration opened for 2015 so I had to make do with the 5K. While I had to put off my goal race for a whole year, I have been steadily increasing my mileage and at least this way I know I should be well trained! Fingers crossed I will be quick enough to get signed up for the 2016 Princess half! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

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