Farewell Peggy Sue

Photo Credit: Tiffany Johnson

This morning I learned of the passing of a legend in the runDinsey community, Peggy Sue.  This is a huge loss not only to our community, but to me personally as she has touched me in so many ways over the years even though she probably had no idea.

Photo Credit: Tony Conticello
Photo Credit: Tony Conticello

If you have run a race in Walt Disney World or Disneyland, chances are you have seen Peggy Sue and you have smiled.  She was always near the end of a race course holding her famous sign: “Hello Complete Stranger, I’m Proud Of You Too!”

My first memory of Peggy Sue was during my first half marathon, the 2012 Princess Half Marathon.  I recall seeing her near the bus stops as you head into Epcot for the final mile of the race.  I was so emotional about finishing my first half marathon and to think that this person had come out to cheer ME on was mind blowing…I will never forget her there.

I continued to see her at every Disney race.  In front of the Yacht Club for the Wine & Dine Half and the WDW Marathon and in Downtown Disney for the Disneyland Half.  I didn’t know who she was, but I was always thrilled to see her and would stop to thank her for her support.

It wasn’t until after a year or so of running that I found her through the Pacebook Running Club (PbRC).  I was thrilled to learn her name and I quickly friended her on Facebook.  She was a HUGE part of the PbRC and always attended their meet ups on race weekends.

Photo Credit: Nahed Jawhari
Photo Credit: Nahed Jawhari

The last time I saw Peggy Sue was during the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  I had known she was ill and I wasn’t sure if I would see her.  Plus is was pouring rain and chilly for that race.  When I saw her and her signature sign in front of the Yacht Club I was elated.  I ran over, gave her a big hug, asked how she was feeling, and thanked her for coming out on that incredibly crappy night.  I didn’t know it would be the last time I would see her, but I’m so thankful for that moment.

This incredibly kind and selfless woman will surely be missed both on and off the race course.  She meant so much to so many and touched thousands of lives.  Her spirit will surely live on in all of us and she will never be forgotten.  Thank you Peggy Sue!

Photo Credit: Tiffany Johnson
Photo Credit: Tiffany Johnson & David Jones

Please take 5 minutes to view this wonderful tribute:

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  • Thank you for writing this and including your memories and photos. I read about Peggy Sue’s passing on Facebook, went looking for news about her, and found your site. Peggy Sue really was a hero to so many runDisney fans.

  • I remember her and her sign giving me a mental push on more than on occasion to keep going because it always lifted my spirits. I’m quite saddened to hear this, but it’s a great tribute to her that so many people (even those like me who aren’t a part of any groups or racing clubs or run seriously) remember and are thankful to her for being a part of our races.

  • I did not know her by name, but by her warm smile and unending support. She did not know a stranger. Last year I ran many Disney runs and she was a highlight of each one. Thank you for writing this and sharing your memories and allowing others to share theirs. A truly special woman, who will be greatly missed.

  • So so sad! What an inspiration to all who saw her. Please say that her sign was famous and NOT infamous. The definition of infamous is “having an extremely bad reputation” and Peggy Sue and her great sign certainly did not have a bad reputation. Thank you for the tribute!! She will be missed by the RunDisney community!!

  • Does anyone know her family or is there a tribute page?? I would love to share my memories of Peggy Sue with her family just so they know how much she affected me as well as other runners!

  • I first saw Peggy Sue at the 2012 Princess marathon. Her signed choked me up and gave me inspiration to finish strong. My second year running it I shook her hand and last year I asked if I could take a pic with her and she happily obliged. I then gave her a hug and thanked her for being so supportive of all of us, all the time. I will always be grateful to her. Thanks for the wonderful story, I know she will be missed.

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