My first one is from Ronda at Little Fruit Fly in Rainbow Colored Socks. I asked her to write a post for me because of our shared love for all things Disney! Enjoy her post below, and go have a look at her blog. She is an enthusiastic, entertaining writer and has shared lots of great stories on running, working at Disney and her life in general!
Hi! I'm Ronda, otherwise known in the blog world as Fruit Fly! I'm so happy that Heather asked me to write a guest post for her ... and when she said I can write about Disney, running or BOTH I was very excited to see what I could come up with! I spent 3 and a half years of my life working for the Mouse in Walt Disney World (in both Magic & Animal Kingdom, on-stage and in a lovely air conditioned back-stage office). And I've spent the last 2 years of my life trying to be a runner. Nothing pleases me more than when these two passions mix. But this wasn't always the case!
|Disney Internship 1997... |
remember that Birthday Cake Castle?!
The first time I worked in Walt Disney World my internship ended right before Marathon weekend. I didn't even know there was a WDW Marathon, and if I had known I wouldn't have thought twice about it! After college when I returned to Florida (I am an Oregonian) to dedicate myself to Mickey again, it didn't take long before I was smack dab in the middle of this bizarre group of people called runners.
My mom and step-dad came to visit me in January of 2002. I had been in Florida for a few months and was so happy to have my mommy in town to see where I lived and what I did every day. To start off their vacation I insisted they first visit Disney's Animal Kingdom (and soak in every inch of Asia because it IS the best land -- not that I am 100% biased or anything!) **This is Heather - she use to work the Kali River Rapid ride! It was early morning, still feeling kind of dark outside, and cold. We parked in the Cast Member parking lot and I was going to escort them to the main entrance on my way to work. Then those darn runners ruined my plans. I can't even express how annoyed I was when I had to detour and stop and just wait. I had to get to work, but I also was being forced to watch people run. Even later on a bus when we saw guests in their Mickey and Donald medals I had to vent. Why?? Why on earth would anyone ever want to go on vacation to Walt Disney World and then get up at some ungodly hour just to run around ... and it was so cold!! What is wrong with these people?
Fast forward to 2009. After reading about a friend's journey to become a runner, and seeing other friends that I adored had completed marathons I thought that maybe I should buy some shoes and give it a try. So I went to the Nike outlet, found a cute, comfy pair of shoes and a Nike+ sensor and started. Because I am ultimately a total slacker I knew I had to register for a race. I feared if I didn't have a goal and a date for a race then I would just give up and never be able to run even a mile. I was bored and decided to search for races that appealed to me. I found a 5K fun run that finished on the 50 yard line of my college. Perfect! I immediately registered and was so excited that I had to look for more. (I may as well point out now that I think I might be addicted to registering for races!) I started aimlessly looking and for whatever reason (I like to vacation!) I looked up Disney races.
It didn't take long and I saw there was this event called the Disney Princess Half Marathon. That didn't exist when I was in Florida, so I had to look further. Hot dog! They had a 5K race. Immediately I had convinced my mom that I HAD to run in this and she HAD to come with me to cheer. And there I was, registering for a Disney race. I was going to be the one vacationing in WDW just so I could run at some ungodly hour when it was cold! I ran it all. It was the first time in my life I had run 5K non-stop, and I was thrilled to achieve my goal! However, I needed more. It was that weekend at the Fit For A Princess Expo in 2010 that I was suddenly embarrassed that I wasn't going to be running THE big race. That day I looked at my mom and said, "Next year that will be me. I will be here and I will run the half marathon."
I spent all of 2010 preparing for February 2011. I raced nearly a 5K every month, as well as some 10Ks thrown in for good measure. By the time the Princess was here I was more than ready! It was the most amazing experience unlike any other. I met so many awesome fellow bloggers, I stood right by Jeff Galloway, I earned my huge medal!
|Woohoo for all 2010 Princess Half Marathon finishers!|
Because we goofed off during the race and took pictures at probably 95% of the photo stops, I knew what I had to do. I had to redeem myself. I haven't yet figured out what I'll be wearing that day, but come January 2012 I'll be back in WDW on another one of those vacations where I am there to RUN!! And if that isn't enough, in just one month I'll be down in Disneyland getting my Coast to Coast medal! (If you are there, and happen to be running the 5K as well ... look for the lizard and the dino...that'll be me and my racing partner!)So I guess the moral of my babbling story is, you just never know! Don't make fun of those crazy, annoying runners because some day you might be one, too!
Thanks Fruit Fly for putting together such a great guest post! For all you readers, don't forget to check out her blog. For a quick link to her Princess Half recep, click here and for her pictures of the race, click here.
Only 24 days until the Disneyland Half Marathon! Coast to Coast Medal, here we come!