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Runners Find their Inner-Princess

Friday, March 02, 2012

This past weekend 16,000 women and 1,000 men from around the world gathered at the Walt Disney World Resort to find a new personality.  The chance to let their inner-princess and prince come out in a way Run Disney calls the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, February 24th - 26th.  Who knew Princess Aurora carried a stop-watch and Cinderella wore running shoes instead of glass slippers.  Dreams came true for several runners as they crossed the finish line in several races designed for the novice to the more experienced runners.  Races included a 1-mile kid's race, the royal family 5k (3.1 miles), and the Princess Half Marathon (13.1 miles).  The theme for the weekend was to have runners focus on those princess qualities to help make dreams come true; commitment, courage, determination, fantasy, and strength.  The winner of this year's Princess Half Marathon, Rachael Booth, was the first runner to win a Disneyland and Walt Disney World half marathon race showing off her running expertise on both coasts. 

Rachael Booth crosses the finish line at Disney's Princess Half Marathon becoming the first runner to win a half marathon at Disneyland and Walt Disney World 

The weekend started on Friday with the 'Fit for a Princess Health and Fitness Expo' at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  All race participants gathered to pick up their race materials, listen to running seminars by running pro and Run Disney Coach Jeff Galloway, and check out the latest running gear.  On Saturday morning families and individual runners gathered for the Royal Family 5k and the Royal Family Kids' Races.  The 5K took place through the EPCOT theme park before the park opened to the regular guest crowd.  Once the race was completed the scene shifted over to ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex where children participated in races designed for all age levels.  From the very young child to adults alike finishing these races provided a sense of accomplish and self-confidence to compete in future Run Disney events   

Runners in Disney's Royal Family 5K ran through the EPCOT theme park

The scene shifted to Sunday morning where runners towed the line at the Princess Half Marathon.  The race started in the EPCOT parking lot and lead runners all the way to the Magic Kingdom and then back to the EPCOT theme park where they finished their 13.1 mile trek.  Along the course runners were treated and courted by some of their favorite Disney princesses and princes.  Photo opportunities and even course entertainment were part of the race event keeping runners motivated to finish the race.  For finishers of the Princess Half Marathon it was truly a Cinderella story. Maybe they finished their first half marathon and completed a journey they started months ago with training, diet, and exercise.  Whether it was their first or 50th half marathon finishing 13.1 miles is no easy task.  Each runner should be proud of their accomplishments. 

Nearly 16,000 runners started the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday morning, February 26th

The Princess Half Marathon took runners from EPCOT to the Magic Kingdom and back to EPCOT for 13.1 miles of Disney bliss

Team Studios Central Represents

The recently created Team Studios Central was well represented at the Princess Half Marathon weekend.  Some team members came out for their first ever running event while others continued their running expertise.  For some of these runners finishing the race was a huge accomplishment, but just making the decision to start their races was just as big of an accomplishment.  Congratulations to Megan Annunziata, Yulady Rodriguez Guerrero, her daughter Stephanie, Ashley Reeve, and Marissa Hochberg for starting and completing their races over the weekend.  We are very proud of your accomplishments. 

Yulady Rodriguez Guerrero and her daughter Stephanie show off their medals after completing the Royal Family 5K

Megan Annunziata shows us her bling after completing her 4th Disney Princess Half Marathon

Ashley Reeve proudly displays her medal after completing her first 5K

Do you want to be a part of Team Studios Central?  We are a team dedicated to running for better health, having fun, and making a difference along the way through charitable contributions.  We love running in Disney races, but enjoy running in general.  If you've never run a race before or are a seasoned veteran consider joining our team.  You can find out how to join our team here.  We hope to see you at the next Run Disney event. 

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About this column

Aaron DelPrince looks at the various activities you and your family can experience at Walt Disney World


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