It’s hard to believe the effect Walt Disney World can have on an individual. It’s even harder to believe the effect one single attraction can have on someone. Case in point, meet Courtney Anne Maclaren. Originally from Wilmington, DE and currently living in the Orlando area as a Disney World Cast Member through the College Program she’s a huge Tower of Terror fan. She recently graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Elementary Education.
It was the Tower of Terror that motivated Courtney to begin her running quest. When Disney announced the Inaugural Tower of Terror 10-Miler race Courtney new she had to get involved. With her friend, Jess Furtado, they both committed to running the race in September of 2012. Courtney knew in order to complete the 10 mile distance she’d have train and prepare. When she began her race training in January of 2012 she could barely run 30 seconds without using an inhaler. She admits her training was very difficult, but she powered through it. Today, Courtney is able to run long distance races without the use of her inhaler.
Courtney and her friend Jess Furtado share a moment after completing the Tower of Terror 10-Miler race in September of 2012
After completing the Tower of Terror 10-Miler Courtney was so motivated she set her sights on another runDisney event; the Princess Half Marathon. What caught her eye was the date of the race. The 2013 Princess Half Marathon fell on Courtney’s 24th birthday. What better gift to give to herself than the gift of health and accomplishment. An absolute terrific way to celebrate a birthday. Courtney’s best running memory was during the Princess Half Marathon. She remembers almost giving up, but she kept moving forward. She distinctly remembers reaching mile 12 at EPCOT and crossing the finish line with such a sense of accomplishment that it made every struggle during the race worth it.
Since Courtney is a huge Disney fan and lives in the Orlando area she spends most of her time in the theme parks with her friends and relatives. She loves to read and is also a Doctor Who fan so it’s easy to understand why she spends her evenings reading and watching TV. But, it’s Disney that drives Courtney. It’s everything she grew up with. She loves how no matter how old or young you are there’s something for everyone at Disney World. Courtney even says “You can be as cranky as Mr. Fredricksen from UP and find something at Disney World to make you happy”. Courtney enjoys seeing the faces of guests at Disney World each day as they are lit up from the magic that occurs all around them.
Courtney stops to see if her muscles size up to Gaston's during the 2013 Princess Half Marathon
Courtney is a true inspiration. A woman who never ran in her life has now found the determination to run and realizes the thrill of the finish line. Like other runners when she crossed her first finish line it changed her life in a positive way. Courtney sets her life by a quote from Walt Disney himself, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. Courtney’s newest path is running and Team Studios Central is proud of her for opening the door to a healthy lifestyle and fulfilling her dreams.
If you are interested in joining Team Studios Central you can find all of the information here. We are a running team dedicated to staying healthy and making a difference in the community at the same time.