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Reflecting on my Walt Disney World Marathon While Finding Inspiration in Others

Today was the Walt Disney World Marathon and spending it at home in Connecticut was not what I expected.  But I’ve had to focus on me and my health lately and that meant less travel over the past few months.  I’ve been glued to social media for the past few days watching my friends race and cheering everyone on virtually, and of course it has had me reflect back on my Walt Disney World Marathon experience one year ago.

08 Runners at Start Line

Never in my life did I think I would run a marathon.  I’m not built like a runner.  I’m short, stocky, chubby, muscular…all of the things a marathoner is not.  But when the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon was announced, I registered.  I didn’t train properly and I was sick for the race, but I finished.  It was one of the hardest and most painful things I’ve ever done in my life, but I am so proud that I did it. This non-marathoner IS a marathoner and nothing will every change that.  You can read about the days leading up to the race and my marathon recaps if you want to relive all the painful fun moments with me.

SO WORTH IT!

SO WORTH IT!

After the race, I knew I never wanted to do that again.  People kept telling me I would change my mind, but I knew and still know that that marathon was my one and only.  But then today happened and I thought maybe, just maybe I will do this again one day.

How can you not help but to feel inspired by these runners?!?!

There’s Ashley who ran her first marathon today and raised over $2,700 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society…all this with a smile on her face.

2014-WDW-Marathon-Ashley-Forster

Nichole who completed her first Goofy Race and a Half Challenge…I remember running the 2012 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler with her which was her first big race.  Now look at her!

2014-WDW-Marathon-Nichole-Willis

Kim who finished the Dopey Challenge after completing her final chemotherapy treatment just last week and a long battle with breast cancer.  Makes my struggles seem minuscule…

2014-WDW-Marathon-Kimberley-Torres-Markey

And then there is my runDisney inspiration, Amanda.  She didn’t complete the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge last year and set out with fire under her ass to conquer Dopey this year.  Guess what she did and I couldn’t be prouder!

2014-WDW-Marathon-Amanda-Tinney

I watched my friends and RAD readers run that race with smiles on their face and enjoying every magical mile.  I found myself reliving all of the good things about the marathon instead of the bad.  Running through Cinderella’s Castle, hugging a goat, seeing B and my Mom at mile 16, running down Hollywood Boulevard, getting that medal at the end…all such wonderful memories!

Who knows if I will ever run a marathon again, but the reality is that I probably won’t.  I just don’t enjoy the distance.  But I do know that I will be back at WDW Marathon weekend to run in one of the races and to most definitely cheer on everyone who inspires me out there.  I don’t regret not going this year because it was the right decision for me, but I am sad that I didn’t get to hug my best friend at the finish line and cheer on ALL the amazing runners who ran throughout the weekend.  Thank you all for being RAD!!!

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5 Responses to Reflecting on my Walt Disney World Marathon While Finding Inspiration in Others

  1. Sorry you weren’t able to go this year Sarah:( Hope you feel great very soon!

    Just wanted to say congrats to 2 of the special people you mentioned: Nicole and I go way back! I am so proud of you! You are amazing and I love ya!
    Amanda- you are a total rock star! You are an inspiration to me and to so many others!

  2. I ran the marathon yesterday and, while I was miserable by the end, I finished! Your recap of last year was such an invaluable part of my race experience. I can’t thank you enough for writing it. I kept thinking about it around every turn and it really helped me know what was coming. (And it kept me from trying to hug the goat!) This is all to say that you were definitely there on the course in spirit, probably more than you’ll ever know! Thanks again!

    • Wow! That means so much to me…I’m not even sure what to say. 🙂
      Big congrats on the marathon yesterday! It is such a HUGE accomplishment! And I’m so glad my tip about the goat helped…it’s really hard to resist their cuteness 😉
      Thank you so much <3

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