Once upon a time, a Disney park-obsessed runner strong-armed her best friend into running Walt Disney World's Princess Half Marathon. They ran the whole thing together and crossed the finish line holding hands. It was such an amazing experience that they determined that they simply HAD to max out their runDisney experience by hitting every single race. And then they thought, hey, what better way to motivate and celebrate than a blog about those exploits? Thus was born The Fairest Run of All, because these devoted friends love a good pun. Join Jenn and Moon on their magical tour of the runDisney pantheon! (With a healthy dose of training, food, and Disney fun.) Ready? Onward!
MOON: Okay! Fire away.
JENN: So I had just started running as my main mode of exercise a couple months earlier when I noticed an entry toward the bottom of the MousePlanet WDW weekly news - the Princess Half Marathon was, oh, I think it was 88% full? Something like that. And I thought to myself, hey... I could probably actually DO that. And then I thought, would anyone want to do it with me? And then I thought, Moon runs! Naturally I went into full on badger mode, because I will badger shamelessly in the name of Disney.
MOON: I've ALWAYS wanted to be a runner. I remember one of the first times I went running on my own. I was about 11. I had this ridiculous yellow track outfit. I was too nervous to run around the neighborhood during the day, so I went out at night (although, in retrospect, a yellow track suit wasn't a good choice). I went around the block, but realized I was a terrible runner.
Fast forward many years! After college, I started working out a lot. It was the king of therapy for me. I loved it and I would typically run for an hour and a half every day. Then grad school happened and running was put on hold.
BUT, then Jenn happened. She really encouraged me to do the Princess Half. And it was a great time. So, naturally, now we're doing all of them!
JENN: Yes! That's the purpose of the blog: we want to do ALL of them.
MOON: I think you should open up the blog with an explanation of your Disney condition.
JENN: Now it sounds like a rash. Which probably manifests in spots that conveniently appear grouped in Mickey head formations.
Well, here's item one: my Disney Condition has absolutely no roots in family nostalgia. I have been with my family twice, the last time when I was 12. I do not come from a Disney Family. In fact, my parents have both expressed incredulity in the face of my repeat visits (although my mom is now coming with me in December; I'm determined to bring her over to the
But my memories of my couple times in WDW were awesome, and for the longest time I thought what I liked was amusement parks in general. And that's true, to an extent. I love a good roller coaster. I like rides, and the ambiance. But then, sometime in my early teens, my day trips to Six Flags started to lose their sheen. I had this horrible, horrible feeling - was I not enjoying myself as much because I was growing out of the theme park experience? Was I - ugh - GROWING UP?
Then came that wonderful, healing trip to Orlando we took with our high school orchestra, to participate in the Music in the Parks program. We hit up Disney and suddenly everything was glorious again - the rides, the themes, the surroundings, the food, everything. It was magnificent. I was home.
This sparked a crazy obsession that lasted all through college, which found me reading trip reports and park blogs and sites like a crazy person. I took my first un-school or -parent sponsored trip in 2008 and never looked back. It's love, baby. Love. My current count is... 13 times? I think. Lots. And more to come!
MOON: Well, I can bear witness to Jenn's obsession. I've gone with Jenn to Disney 4 times now. Although, I must point out that I would never have gone had it not been for Jenn's persistence. Every time, I stress about the trip - Can I afford this? Should I go somewhere else? Why are we going AGAIN? - but honestly, I always have a great time. Seriously. Let this girl take you to the parks.
JENN: Awwww. It's true. I'm professional. ;)
Okay, now let's hop backward to the runDisney thing. How hard did I have to twist your arm to get you to sign up with me?
MOON: Hmm. I don't think you had to twist THAT hard. I remember my only concern was omg-thesis-grad-school-have-to-graduate. We signed up in October, I think. I remember thinking we had plenty of time to get ready and I have enough time to plan ahead.
JENN: Yup! We signed up right before the price went up and shortly before the race filled entirely. I think we can do a more detailed recap of our race experience in a separate post, as it's a topic worth delving into, but if you were to sum up your experience in the Princess Half...?
MOON: Summing it all up... Happy. Which is a big deal... for me...
JENN: ... Are you my conscience?
MOON: The end of the race felt so good. I keep trying to think of what to say, but that's really the important part.
JENN: And even though we didn't speak much during the race, it felt really good to do it with an amazing friend. Which I know is a grossly mushy thing to say, but it's true.
MOON: She's right. Today I totally wanted to take a break and not run, but I thought about our race and knowing that we are doing something like this together made me do it. And even though we didn't speak a lot, we did get the important "Steve Holt!" high fives in every mile.
JENN: Haha, yes! STEVE HOLT!
MOON: STEVE HOLT!
JENN: So, that brings us to our next goal: 2014 will be the Year of the Coast to Coast Medal! We're hitting the Tinker Bell Half in Disneyland and then the Wine and Dine in Epcot, which sounds AMAZING, by the way. I'm super excited for both, but especially that one. If only because we get awesome food and alcohol when we finish. Also, as a certified night owl, the idea of a night race appeals to me immensely.
MOON: Me too! And we can go to sleep afterward!
I'm excited to do this. We might even try to convince some other friends to give it a try. I hope they join us!
JENN: Yes! 5Ks for EVERYONE!
Our ultimate goal, although it will develop slowly, is to run ALL the races. 2015 will be the full Marathon year! And then we'll start sprinkling in the 10Ks and 5Ks. I mean, I'm bound to get a raise eventually. And I'm counting on Moon to marry rich.
MOON: 2015! Steve Holt!
Yup, that's us! You can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. (Thanks to Running at Disney for introducing us to dailymile!) If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!