When I signed up for the Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend months and months ago, I had big plans. The Tinkerbell Half was my first Disney race with Meri and Vic so it holds a special place in my heart. I had been promising my daughter a Disney race for awhile so back when I was feeling super motivated, I signed myself up for all three of the Tink races and signed up my girl for the 5k. I had high hopes of training and PR’s and what not, but you know how it goes. Sometimes you accidentally get pregnant.
Luckily, I was able to get a refund for the half and 10k, which, by the way, I thought was super understanding of the peeps at RunDisney. We decided to go ahead and run the 5k together. I thought a Disney race would be perfect for Sophie. Disney races are super family friendly. There’s always runners of all athletic abilities and all ages. Sophie’s a very active 11 year old, she plays soccer and runs a lot at practice so I had no doubt she could do this race. I was more worried about being able to keep up with her!
We stayed the night close to the park before the race so we could make the 5 am start time and so we could pick up our bibs and hit the expo the night before. We didn’t plan costumes, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything pregnant friendly that wouldn’t be suffocating. Also, the more pregnant I get the less motivation I have to do stuff. So when we got to the expo, Sophie found a Tink tee from Raw Threads that she just loved. Obviously, a girl can’t run her first Disney race without some kind of sparkle, so Sophie got a sparkle skirt and some fairy wings to go with her shirt. Because that’s how we roll!
The race started right on Main Street, which I haven’t ever experienced in a Disney race before. There aren’t Corral placements for the 5k, it’s first come, first Corral, and we ended up in Corral C. Sophie couldn’t contain her excitement. She whooped and hollered when the MC’s roused the crowd. She danced and cheered for her favorite songs. And she was mesmerized when Tinkerbell flew around Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
As our Corral moved toward the start line, Sophie was ready to run. We planned to meet at the finish if we got separated. I told her about pictures with characters and so she decided she would stop and get pictures and maybe I’d be able to catch up to her. However, when we finally started, she took off! I didn’t even get one picture of her running. There weren’t many characters out for the 5k, so that plan blew. The whole race I expected to see her walking or at a bathroom or something, but nope, that girl left me in her pixie dust and never looked back.
I walked my way to the finish and looked for Sophie. She was no where to be found. I began to slightly freak out, trying to ignore every worse case scenario that popped into my head. I decided to check the post-race area before I panicked, and that’s exactly where I found her. Shoe-less and fresh out of snacks, she flagged me down with a wild wave. She finished in 38 minutes. It took me at least an hour, so she just hung out for twenty some minutes. I had no idea she was so responsible and independent! We headed back to the hotel with our medals proudly displayed. She wore that medal later that day when we visited the park until she left it in the seat pocket on Big Thunder Railroad. Luckily, a cast member found it for her and she promptly stowed it in my bag for the rest of the day.
To be honest, I would have skipped the race if it weren’t for Sophie, but I’m so glad we did this. She made it magical and I love that I get to share this part of my life with her now. So many changes are happening in her life this year. She’s getting a new sibling, she’s going to middle school, we’re moving (again!!!), but I hope these races are something we can share for as long as we’re able. She even wants to do a Ragnar! Like she said, this can be the start of a family tradition. She already has costume plans for next year. That’s my girl!