As I have mentioned before in my sports blog, one of the best experiences in my 28 years was running the Disney World Marathon in 2010. 26.2 miles in the Happiest Place on Earth was worth the year of training I endured.
Recently, in an attempt to get myself motivated to go on a long run, I started thinking about all the things that I loved about running the marathon. I came up with a long list of reasons why I should be out running instead on sitting in my recliner watching The Real Housewives of Orange County. So, out I went on a 6 miler to clear my head and continue my work toward an eventual Goofy Challenge finish.
Toward the end of my run, there is a sharp curve that leads back to my house. As I rounded this curve, something suddenly popped into my head. At mile marker 26 of the Walt Disney World Marathon, you come around a sharp curve as you leave Epcot. I knew I was close to the finish as I rounded this corner, but little did I know what would be there waiting for me. There, on a set of risers, was a gospel choir, singing their hearts out for all the marathoners.
I had heard many previous runners talk about turning that corner, seeing the finish line, and even seeing the choir. Little did I know how affected I would be by this sight. The finish line was straight ahead with a million people in the stands to cheer us on. And there was the choir. I can’t explain the feelings: relief, exhaustion, excitement. All I know is that still to this day, well over a year after it happened, I still tear up just thinking about it. It totally moved me. I guess saying that it was a “Hallelujah!” moment would be the truth.
Little things like that are what set Disney apart in their resorts, theme parks, and even marathons. Nothing can compare to those feelings. Whether it be finishing a marathon or just accomplishing a task in your daily life, I can’t encourage fans enough to let Disney be your inspiration. 5k, 13.1 miles, or 26.2 miles, do it because of the experience. Don’t be scared of the distance. And most importantly remember you “Hallelujah!” moment forever.