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A Celebration for the Final Finishers

A common fear that many runners have is not finishing a race.  We are always worried about staying on pace and occasionally look over our shoulders for the dreaded “Balloon Ladies” and sweeper vans.  What you may not know is that finishing last in a runDisney race is often as big of a celebration (if not bigger!) as it is for the winners!

Since race spectators mean so much to me, I often like to stay after I complete a race and cheer on the runners that are still coming in.  Well that’s if there is enough time left after I finish!  After the 2014 Princess Half Marathon, I made a point to spend some time cheering the runners on and I really wanted to see the last few come in.  I’ve heard they do something special and I wanted to see if for myself.

It was SO inspiring to see these final runners coming in.  You could see that many of them were struggling, but pushing through the pain.  Many had tears in their eyes and huge smiles on their faces as they saw the finish line in the distance.  And of course, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy were there in their regal attire to give them that last little push!

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I just LOVE how Mickey is bowing to the Princesses coming by!  The woman below had hurt her knee and was wearing a brace, but man was she determined to finish.

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Then came the final finishers.  I overheard that the woman in the center had recently lost her 2 children in a fire and she was completing this race for them.  She was arm in arm with her 2 friends and you could just see the mix of emotions on their faces…joy and sorrow.  It was incredibly emotional.  The characters ran to meet them and they all walked to the finish line together.

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The strength she showed was simply amazing and bravo to runDisney for highlighting that.  A half marathon is a TOUGH journey and no matter how long it takes you to complete one, it should be celebrated.  Those final runners show incredible perseverance and deserve that medal as much as the first place finisher.

Have you ever seen the final finishers at a runDisney race?  What have you overcome to finish a race? 

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6 Responses to A Celebration for the Final Finishers

  1. I’ve never stayed to watch but your post makes me want to :-)

  2. Amazing story, and the photos capture everything so perfectly. I have never seen the last runner cross the finish line, but I really want to – it looks so inspiring!

  3. I like to watch the finishers for a while after I finish but i’ve never got to stay till the very end. If it was up to me, I would stay till the last finisher crosse but I am usually with my running buddies who want to go back to the room and shower. This year at PHM, I stayed and watched till well into the fourth hour and ladies were still coming in strong.
    Meranda@fairytalesandfitness recently posted..If you’ve ever wanted to run Big Sur…..My Profile

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