I seem to talk about the Princess Half Marathon weekend far more than any other race I’ve done. Granted, I just started branching out into different race series only within the last year or so. But PHM weekend will always hold a special spot in my running journey.
It was my first race ever.
It marked my third time ever going to Disney World.
I grew closer to my cousin, Adriane, with whom I had always had a semi-strained relationship with growing up. She asked on Facebook in Oct. 2012 if anyone wanted to run with her, and I jumped on board.
I had always wanted to give running a shot, even years prior. I hadn’t had a support system, and by joining the online running community (which was in its baby stages even just a few years ago), I found my second home.
The experience in itself is one I won’t forget: all the pre-race training/hype (and post-surgery recovery), making fitness Pinterest boards, getting on the plane and flying down to sunny Florida ☀️, navigating the expo, looking at the merch, feeling those pre-first race jitters, waking up at ass-o-clock in the morning and finding my corral, toeing the line, seeing those fireworks, listening to the cheers as I crossed the start line, completing 13.1 miles with 25,000 new friends, and feeling that medal around my neck after crossing the finish line…
A single spark started a flame that is almost five years old now. Princess weekend has became a tradition, something that I can look forward to every year. Sharing my excitement, love, and expertise for this particular race with the runDisney/running community has been my way to give back and encourage those newbies that are also starting their journies.
I was in your shoes once before. Trust me…what you feel now, I have felt (and sometimes still feel) in my own running experiences. I’m here to encourage you along the way and to get you excited for something that is relatively intimidating!
We have less than three weeks ’til we converge on Disney World. Get excited, runners, for the magic awaits!