I’m the kind of person who gets a thought in their head, and it slowly begins to bug me. It keeps poking me, tickling my brain, worming its way deeper and deeper into my subconscious – until I begin dreaming about it. Once that happens…..I’m a goner. Once an awake , day-time thought starts to show up in my dreams — it’s something that it just going to have to happen……To Become Real. This is what has been going on this week with the idea of running the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2013.
I became aware that Disney had a running program quite by accident. Last summer, our family made our first trip out to California in late August. We spent a week in Anaheim at the Grand Californian Resort. On the day we were to check out to head back home to New Jersey, they were running the Disneyland Marathon, or Half Marathon. Hmm, I’d never heard of such a thing. When I got home, I Googled it . (Ahhh, my friend Google). It was then I found that Disney does all sorts of Marathons and Half Marathons, not only in California, but in Florida too. So, at various times when I was Googling for fun, I’d find and read numerous blogs and reviews of individuals who had run the WDW Marathon —- it’s a different sort of thing, but most people Love Love Love it.
The 26.2 mile run starts in Epcot, in the very early morning hours – with sunrise still ahead and the twilight surrounding the blue, pink, silver opalescence of Spaceship Earth. Now THAT is a sight I want to see. From there they run you around some back roads, and back lots — which many say are NOT very scenic — its plain ole flat Florida after all — but the pay off is that next stretch is heading to the Magic Kingdom, and running right through Cinderella’s Castle while the sun is coming up. I imagine it to be truly beautiful. Cinderella’s castle holds a very very special place in my heart. To this day, when I walk through that tunnel, in my mind’s eye I can see myself as a young girl, walking, holding my father’s hand, being mesmerized by the colorful mosaic tiles that tell the story of Cinderella on the inner walls. In that place, I am forever a child. Holding my father’s hand. In that place, I can feel my Dad very close to me….even now 33 years after his death. His soul still touches mine when I walk through the Castle. I can “feel him” there. As I slowly walk through and let my eyes dance across the tiles, in my mind and in my heart, I take a moment to thank him for all that he gave of himself for me, so that I might live a life beyond that which he lived. And I always, always come away feeling that my father has been proud of me. That his favor shines down on me and my family. I’m not sure if I’ve shared this with anyone, other than Peter. All of this emotion might seem strange to be tied to a fiberglass Castle in Central Florida. But the mind and the heart knows what it knows. I lost my father to cancer when I was 13 years old. So most of my memories of him are through the eyes, mind and spirit of a little girl. Inside Cinderella’s castle, I can feel his hand in mine….and for a few minutes — I can have him back, if only in my imagination. I will see you there on January 13th Daddy. I really really look forward to it.
Somewhere, somehow we run from the Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios, and to the Animal Kingdom (oh great, REAL gazelle!!!) ….and back to Epcot for the Finish Line. All 4 parks in one morning. All 4 parks for a total of 26.2 miles, with bands and Disney characters and photo opportunities along the way. It’s for this last reason, that the WDW is a weird kind of Marathon. I mean, I can see myself stopping for water. I can see myself stopping for a port-o-potty. I really can’t see myself stopping to take a picture with Stitch or Pluto in the middle of doing the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done…..But they sure will make me smile along the way……and THAT is going to help me get through this. Yes, Yes it is.
At the end, we will receive a really spectacular 20th anniversary WDW Marathon Finisher’s Medal. After the glory and celebration — I myself plan to make an appointment at the Mandarin Spa at the Dolphin Resort to get a deep tissue massage later that same day. THAT thought just might help me run 5 miles right there! I’ll get a pedicure….IF I have any toenails left by the time this is over. Marathon Brian, I think this is where I lose them guy!
In summary, I suppose, in my way of thinking — that since I didn’t get into the NY City Marathon (which is sorta my home town), I would run through Disney World (which in my family — is our other family stomping ground). Sort of like, the next best thing. It will be January, it will be early, and with any luck it will be cool. Peter and the girls will come with me for a fast paced weekend trip. My mother and my sister live in Central Florida and plan to come to cheer me on. So, it’s the second best place for me to fulfill a dream, and have my cheering section close by.
Look out TInkerBell — I’m going to be swinging by for a good dose of Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust! January 13th 2013 it is!
Ciao for now….Diane