Stick in the Mud

Yup, that’s me – Terri that is. I can’t speak for Jim on this one so much since we don’t or haven’t really discussed it but there are some things in the running world that I just don’t get and I feel like a real stick in the mud every time the topics come up. So, I have kept my mouth shut… until now. Just in case there are any other curmudgeonly runners out there, I will go ahead and say it for you.

I just don’t get…
Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 10.04.45 AM

Walt Disney World Marathon. I have read and listened podcasts of runners getting all excited about it. I went to the website and saw the photos. I have heard about the Wine and Dine, Princess Half and Goofy Challenges. I hear about the amazing medals and bling and how you stop and get your photos taken with Disney characters.

It’s not that I don’t understand the festive idea of running in costume. Jim and I have both added a little something to make a holiday race more fun. We have worn flag striped shirts for the 4th, pumpkin shirts for Halloween, jingle bells and Santa hats all of December but I’ll be darned if I am running carrying a wand in my hand or wings on my back for 2 – 4 hours. That just doesn’t sound like fun to me, it sounds like more work.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 11.16.22 AMFor that matter, I guess I don’t get sparkly tutus for running either. I love my running skirts for modesty and freedom of movement. In my opinion sparkly tulle would just undermine both of those reasons. A sequined and pleated tutu would be scratchy and only draw attention to my butt. No thanks, I think I would rather run in jeans.

It’s not that I can’t understand the charm of running while on vacation. This marathon, in just a couple of days, falls in the middle of winter and it probably snags a lot of runners that are on vacation with their families in Florida. But if you are going to do Disney, DO DISNEY. There is plenty to do for days and unless you can afford to go every year, I can’t understand running out of things to do while you are there spending a bunch of money already. Running in new places sounds great, I just don’t get Disney as the place to do it.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 11.19.08 AMThe whole running with a huge group of people is kind of a turn off for me too. I understand that the ING New York City Marathon is exactly like that but I must forgive that because of its popularity and history. I would see the crowded course as probably the biggest challenge of those 26.2 miles.

I know the support of the volunteers and spectators can carry one through the more difficult miles of a marathon. I appreciate everyone who has ever clapped as I run past them, handed me a cup of water or directed me on where to stay on the race course. I just think it is a bit over the top to want or need things like bands and cheerleaders and costumed characters and crazy snacks to get me to the finish line. If you are thinking that I probably don’t understand the whole Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series either, you are right.Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 11.17.04 AM

I suppose I am more forgiving of events like Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder since they are meant to challenge people in different ways. It is questionable that I really consider them to be races and I know I will never participate in one that has electrical shocks.

I do believe that there is a place for races like all I have mentioned, obviously they are very popular. But with so many of the running forums all abuzz with dirtied-down, jammed-up and glammed-out races and am happy that there are still no-frills runs to choose from. Does that make me a stick in the mud?89678-8937-001f

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5 thoughts on “Stick in the Mud

  1. As someone who has run a Disney Half and the Disney Princess Half, and will be cheering on my daughter and son-in-law (but unfortunately not running) the Disney Half this year, I can tell you that the attraction is the FUN of it. I personally don’t run in costume, other than a tiara pinned to my hat for the Princess, but it’s a hoot to see what other people come up with. Yes there are runners in tutus, Tinker Bell costumes, and Princess dresses. There is music and Disney characters all along the way, and Disney staff and volunteers cheering you on. You get to run through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s castle. and finish at Epcot. How cool is that? Everyone is there for the experience and joy of running a Disney race, not for trying to achive a PR. It is PART of their vacation — not detracting from it.

    I have also done absolutely no frills halfs, and those are fun for me as well. Those races are all about the running. But they are not an “experience,” which the Disney most definitely is.

    If Disneys or the Rock ‘n Roll Series aren’t your cup of tea, that’s fine. I don’t think you’re a stick in the mud for choosing no frills races over the “glammed up” races. I personally don’t mind the crowds because they’re so much fun to do. But I would hate to do a race like New York because it’s all crowds and no fun.

    That’s why there’s so many races to choose from!

    • I get Disney is fun and running is fun but I just don’t think I could blend these 2 activities and feel like I was getting the most out of either. 🙂 I also know I couldn’t afford it at all.

      Sure hope you didn’t feel targeted by my post, I hadn’t seen you were doing Disney. SO many posts are about it right now.

      • No offense taken! Everyone is different and runs for different reasons. I did the Disney the first time at the invitation of my cousin, who does halfs all over the country, and had a great time. Also, my whole family is coming down, and all my cousins, to do this race. I live right outside Orlando, so this is in my backyard.

        I run the Disneys for fun, and other halfs for “real.” I do my best at the Disneys, but never expect a PR. That’s for other races. Like I said, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoy it.

  2. I feel like I’m still too early in my evolution as a runner to love these events. I need to feel supported in my race, but not overwhelmed in a sensory way. The Cleveland and Akron Marathons in Ohio have been perfect for me, as the crowd support is high, but the gimmicks are low. I also can’t afford to take on the high cost of travel, hotel accommodations and meals just for the sake of saying I ran 13.1 at Disney World, especially when I can run many races in a 25 mile radius of my home in Ohio. You’re not alone on this one, and certainly not a stick in the mud!

    • Thanks Jess!! My first half was a Diva Run and although it didn’t have a band every mile it had some pretty crazy stuff like feather boas at mile 12. I figured if that was the only time I would ever run that far that I would make it a crazy party the whole way. It is a cute idea but a bit much. You really put my issues into words when you said “not being overwhelmed”. Every race is exciting enough for me right now.

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