So, Thanksgiving is mere days away. Friends have been writing daily posts of things for which they are thankful. I have been ruminating about what I would write.
Of course, I am thankful for many things but for this post, I’ll stick to things related to Disney. I want to make sure to give thanks to everyone, whether we have met yet or not (thanks Lou), who is a member of the WDW Radio Running Team. I was listening to the podcast and hearing time and time again about Disney races, the running team, and to be honest… the bling. I walked a 5K. Then I signed up for the runDisney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013.
So many people who I knew through the podcast encouraged me through my training. I use a running app and it posts my runs to social media. So many WDW Radio Running Team friends respond with words of encouragement. Each time I would see those “liked” notifications… each time someone would tweet back “great run”… I knew I could run a little farther next time.
On the morning of my first runDisney half marathon, it was the team that happily chatted pre-race and distracted me from my own jitters. The team stayed together in the corral waiting to start. Quick hugs and, “Have a great run!”, “You’ve got this!” as it was our turn to start. Two friends checked in with, “Are you okay?” before we ran our own race at our own pace.
Blue shirts along the road kept me comfortable knowing there were friends all along the course. Seeing the team cheering on Main Street was one of the most exhilarating things I couldn’t imagine. Entering EPCOT and seeing them one more time to give you the last push to the finish was just what a runner needs.
During the Tower of Terror 10 Miler this October, several members of the running team stayed together the whole distance. I had never finished with others. This was another layer of the running team. The team is stronger than the individual!
Disney provides the location, runDisney provides the opportunity, and the WDW Radio Running Team provides the heart. I am thankful for all of my teammates. This coming January, I will be back. I am doing the 5K, 10K, and half. These will be great accomplishments. However, the thing I am most looking forward to is being part of the “cheer squad.” I want to show my thanks by standing on the sidelines and cheering my teammates to give back what was given to me.
Have you been part of the “cheer squad”? What great memories would you like to share?
Are you a member of the running team? If not, come join us! You can run, cheer, or do both!
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Liz has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was five years old. She is always looking for a nook or cranny of Walt Disney World as yet unexplored. When not in Walt Disney World, Liz is a teacher in the Chicago suburbs.