A note from Krista: I want to introduce you to Rachel, my fantastic new Disney friend. Between having a precious son to care for…training…AND her Disney marathons, I can’t even imagine the miles Rachel has covered! I am super excited that she took time to share this wonderful post with you and I – via Disneyways today. Make sure you read it to the very end, and if you have a tender heart like I do, you may want to get the tissues ready. This is the stuff that bittersweet Disney tears are made of.
Thank you so much Rachel for your wonderful contribution!!
Running for a Reason ~ Written by Rachel
Running, for me, can be a very emotional thing. I am not sure why. Maybe it is
because I love it so much. Your average PT run or run around the neighborhood,
maybe not. But racing…I love racing. And I get emotional when I race. And I get
VERY emotional when I race at Disney. There is something about how emotionally
charged and amped up the entire race process is…from the family reunion area
and the anticipation of hearing them call your corral, to the walk through the back
lot of Epcot to the start, to the fireworks that kick off the race and passing under
that banner that says START with Mickey and Minnie, or more recently the Fairy
Godmother, waving as you pass. It can all be very overwhelming. I am used to that.
I am used to crying like a baby when they play the pre-race montage, this year’s
used the song Go The Distance from Hercules—very fitting. And I am used to crying
at the finish line. Coming around that last corner out of Epcot and seeing the FINISH
about 100 meters away… it hits you that you really have just run over 26 miles, and
you are about to cross that finish line. I think the most stoic of people would get a
little choked up.
This year at the marathon, however, something was a little different. This year,
everywhere I looked, it seemed like I was getting choked up. Some background is
required: The week before I went down to WDW for the race, my boss had asked
me a question that I couldn’t really answer. He asked me why I do this. Why I put
my body, one already wracked with pretty bad degenerative arthritis, through such
torture. I told him that I really didn’t know why…I just loved it. And I didn’t know
why I loved it, I just did.
His question stuck with me though, and as the miles started to pass I slowly started
to realize that we all had a reason to run. The back of one Team in Training jersey
told me that she was running in memory of her father. The back of another told me
that he was running in honor of his daughter, who was fighting breast cancer. More
shirts showed pictures of my fallen comrades – one even a Soldier I served with
at Fort Leavenworth. His sister was running the WDW Marathon in his memory.
Several shirts said “26 miles for 26 beautiful lives lost”. They were running for
children and teachers from Newtown, CT. It was about 30 minutes after the sun
came up and I had tears streaming down my face from reading all of these reasons
that everyone was running. I turned to Jim and said, “This. This is why I run.
Because we ALL have a reason. We may not even know what it is, but we all have a
In September, I have decided to join the many who have a reason way beyond
themselves and a shiny medal to run. In September, I will run for every child who
has ever been diagnosed with cancer. In September, I will run for every family that
has had to hear those words, knowing what it could mean for their precious child.
In September, I will run for hope, for faith, for a cure, and for St. Jude’s. And I will
keep running for a reason for as long as I possibly can – no matter what the reason.
Because there will come a day that I can no longer do this. But that day is not today.
To find out more information, and to help support Rachel and her noble cause,
please click here.