It’s Friday evening, I am on the monorail having just finished a character dinner at 1900 park Fare. I’m browsing my emails on my cell phone and I noticed one from run Disney. We are sorry to inform you that Disney’s Marathon Weekend Half Marathon has been canceled.
What?! I continue reading due to inclement weather and dangerous weather conditions we have decided for the safety of all crew, volunteers, and participants that the race will be canceled. You will receive additional information by 10 o’clock this evening.
At first I thought that it must be a joke, someone had hacked into Disney’s account and sent this out, but as I was getting off the monorail there was a sign stating the same news. Disney’s Marathon Weekend Half Marathon had been canceled.
Well I must say I had mixed feelings about the news. On one hand I was very upset, I really was looking forward to challenging myself and pushing myself through the full Dopey Challenge. On the other hand I had not trained the way that I had planned to, my legs were a bit tired and sore, and I have never run a full marathon which was on Sunday.
So although I was disappointed, it was definitely a bit of a blessing for me.
Since I did not have to wake up at 3:30 the next morning, I decided to stay up a little later tonight and get the updated news on the event.
While I was waiting for the news, I was laying in bed browsing the Internet and Facebook about the race, and people had already changed the name from the Dopey Challenge, to the 2017 Grumpy Challenge. Just a few hours after the race was canceled you could find Grumpy Challenge t-shirts and half marathon shirts with 0.0 miles on them from sites like Etsy. It was pretty funny actually.
I immediately thought of my friend Vince who hated running, and would send pictures to me of shirts or memes that showed 0 for total miles run. I would have loved to send him one of those shirts.
By 10 o’clock I was notified that since I was signed up for the Dopey Challenge, I would either be refunded my money by way of gift certificate to Walt Disney World or I could use it as a credit for a future Run Disney race. We would also receive the half marathon medal and all other medals including goofy and dopey challenges. I thought that was very generous of Disney, since when signing up for the race I agreed that if any of the races were canceled due to inclement weather conditions I would forfeit all money.
So even though no one would be competing in the race, everyone would still get all of the medals as if they had. I was happy about that, but, is a medal not earned worth anything? Not really.
The next morning when I woke up I was very happy the race had been canceled. The temperature had dropped about 20° , it was raining, and there was lightning in the distance. The race would have been canceled even if they had waited until morning. I was happy for myself not having to run in this miserable weather, but also happy for Disney. There were a lot of not nice things said about them on Facebook and Twitter for canceling the race the night before. No one could deny that Disney made the correct move by canceling Disney’s Marathon Weekend Half Marathon.
Saturday morning after I woke up I walked down to the Kamehameha Club and started having breakfast. The next thing that I notice, was that there were people running outside, and wearing their race bibs and running clothes.
Many of the participants of the Disney’s marathon weekend half marathon had decided to run the race on their own. They were not going to receive a medal that they did not earn.
Wow, what a great thing to see. People had trained hard for this race and they were not going to let a little weather get in the way.
I have not been involved in the running community for very long, but I have been involved with other forms of athletics. Sports and athletics brings something special out of people, something you don’t often see. Self-motivation, drive, but most importantly, comradery and support for your fellow athletes, no matter how advanced or beginner you are, if you are competing you have support from your fellow athletes.
I walked outside and saw people standing on the side of the path, cheering other runners on. What a special thing to see. At times like this the true nature of human spirit comes out, and it shows amazing possibilities for people as a whole.
At this point I started thinking, should I run the 13.1 miles?
I went back and forth for about 45 minutes thinking, yes I should do it, and then deciding no I shouldn’t do it.
Ultimately I decided not to do it not to run the 13.1 miles that day. And as I look back at that decision, I know I made the right one. For me not being totally ready for the dopey challenge, I needed a full day of rest before the marathon.
So instead of running I decided to head into the magic kingdom walk around with a raincoat on, have a nice lunch, and get to bed early, that way I would be well rested for the next day’s challenge.