My mom has been itching to complete a Disney 5K for the past few years, but since everyone she knows always talks about running them she was concerned that walking it was not really an option. So when I ran their Happy Haunted 5K, I was thrilled to report back to her that there were actually quite a few people enjoying the event at a slower-than-jogging pace. I told her I was going to sign her up for the next available Disney 5K as her birthday gift, and offered to walk the course with her. She was so excited!
My mom is not exactly a lover of exercise, and during the few months that we had to wait for our event date she was sick off and on, making it difficult for her to train as much as she’d hoped. But she did squeeze in a 3-mile walk on her treadmill whenever possible, even adding in slight inclines to get her body prepared for any potential inclines on the course. When the day of the 5K arrived, she was definitely mentally ready, although not 100% confident that she could keep up the steady pace she’d maintained when indoors on her machine.
We picked up our packets the day before, which included a clear bag for our gEAR (more nods to Mickey there), a shirt, snacks, and our bibs. We toured the expo for a while and bought ourselves a couple of goodies, including a tiara charm for our sneakers to commemorate the occasion and a super cool magnetic pouch that enables you to run with your phone and a few other small items if needed. I also bought my mom a magnet for her car that says “Walker Girl,” since I’m all about decorating the car with major accomplishments.
The next morning we were up bright and early and in our corral for a 6:15 start time. We were in the 3rd corral, and didn’t have to wait long. I gotta say, at this point I’m pretty confident that I will start to get weepy at probably every single starting line I cross at one of these things for the rest of my life. This time I had tears of joy for my mom. She was so giddy!
We planned to walk the whole thing, and my mom kept up a pretty steady pace the whole 3.1 miles. It was really exciting to see her smile get bigger as we passed mile 1… then 2… then 3. Our route took us through the parking lot at EPCOT, then through the park behind Test Track and Mexico, where we entered the World Showcase. We walked past all the countries, then out behind London and back in near Canada. We then took a walk up through Future World, around the front of the famous EPCOT ball, and back out to the parking lot where we crossed the finish line! And my mom kept up her pace the whole time. I remember at one point she said we needed to slow down since there was a big incline, but I don’t think she ever actually slowed down. I was SO crazy proud of her.
At the finish line my mom got her medal. Her first 5K medal EVER. She was beaming. And my heart was so happy. We took a couple of pictures together, then headed to the car and back to our hotel. It’s been almost 8 hours since we completed the 5K, and every few minutes my mom says, “I still can’t believe I did it!” It’s one of the best feelings in the world to accomplish a goal like this, but I think being able to give someone the opportunity to meet their goal has got to be a close second.
I love you Mom, and I’m so proud of you! You did it!