So, now that you’ve all relived the magic of Princess Half Marathon race weekend with me (I hope it felt like you were there…did it?), I want to share with you some of what made it most magical: the people there to chEAR you on.
Now, if you’re a runner, you know how inspiring it can be to be out on a race course and have someone suddenly appear who is cheering for you. But for those of you who aren’t runners, let me paint a picture for you: You’re all alone on a course (or it feels that way). Your feet ache. Your knees hurt. You wonder why you ever thought you could do this. You’re convinced you aren’t going to finish. You wonder what would happen if you just sat down in the middle of the road. How long would it be before someone came and picked you up and whisked you away to the finish line? There must be a million miles between here and the finish line and you just can’t do it. And then you see it.
A volunteer. A spectator cheering for someone else. The homeowner of the house you’re running by. Someone who is there cheering you on. Telling you that you can do this. That you’re going to make it. Maybe they have signs. Maybe they have a cowbell or clappers. Maybe it’s just you and them. But in that moment, they are what keeps you moving forward.
Main Streeters, there’s nothing in the world like that feeling, whether that person is a stranger or someone you know. When I’ve thought I couldn’t make it and then there was a volunteer telling me to keep going, it’s moved me to tears. I know I wouldn’t have finished some races without them.
Now at Disney, you’re never alone on the course. With tens of thousands of runners, there’s no way you could be. But there are also a large number of people cheering you on. Whether they are spectators with family members running or cast members volunteering, there is no shortage of chEAR at the Disney races.
RunDisney even offers your family members a special package for their chEAR, called “chEAR Squad”. Now, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it, so let’s try and clear up a few things:
- You do not have to be a chEAR squad member to come and spectate.
- If your family is coming, have them at least sign up for chEAR squad at the Bronze level. It’s free and they’ll get emails with race information.
- There are 3 levels beyond bronze, but not all are offered at each event. Be sure to check the runDisney page for your specific event to choose the package that is best for you
- Silver: For the Silver package you get the email newsletter from bronze plus commemorative items for chEAR squad including a t-shirt, clappers, and a special gift (mom’s was a stadium blanket that came in handy those cold mornings)
- Gold: Everything in Silver and bronze plus special seating areas/viewing areas in the parks. I think there were also private restrooms for Gold at Princess weekend.
- Platinum: This is the package your family needs to get if you, the runner, are purchasing Race Retreat. It allows them entry into race retreat with all its amenities. It’s great if your family members are less mobile and won’t be following you around the course and just want to relax while you run.
I hope that clears up some of the confusion over chEAR squad. I’ll do another blog soon about spectating at the races. Is there anything else I haven’t covered yet you want to know more about?? Let me know!
But for now, keep on running!
TMSM is very excited to publish the first in a series of runDisney articles by Addie Clark. Please keep an eye out for more of Addie’s articles as she prepares for her upcoming race! If you missed the first articles in Addie’s series make sure you check them at www.themainstreetmouse.com/tag/addie/
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