Walt Disney World Marathon - by Sara and April
Sara and April from Acting on a Dream took on a world marathon challenge in January, completing the Walt Disney World Marathon through the parks.
We caught up with them after and this is what they had to say:
1. Why did you choose this challenge?
We chose to run the Disney World marathon because we wanted to celebrate our partnership with Dreams Come True. We knew we’d probably never run a marathon again so wanted to go all out and run one of the best ones in the world! We also really wanted to raise money for Dreams Come True as they are such an amazing charity and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. Despite Martin’s efforts, we managed to just sign up for the marathon and not do the Dopey challenge (5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon over 4 days) but that said, the marathon was the hardest thing we’ve ever done and the gruelling hours of training in the winter certainly tested our will-power!
2. Did you have to do any special preparation?
Yes! We trained for 4 months leading up to it, ran many half marathons and more to prepare. We also filmed our own blog to track our training and keep friends and family up to date each week. On top of that, the strenuous hours spent carb-loading put us through our paces, thank god Christmas happened and fattened us up nicely in preparation for the race.
3. Describe how you felt in three words
Inspired, exhausted and proud!
4. How did you feel on the day and once it was completed?
The day was such a mix of emotions. It was amazing to be out there with the Dreams Come True team and all of them were a huge pillar of support and encouragement, particularly our team captain and Dreams Come True superman Martin. It was so exciting to run through the Disney parks and as all the characters were there to meet us whilst running, we saw animals, rollercoasters, cheerleaders, brass bands, DJs, Mickey Mouse, disco lights, fireworks… and on the list goes on! We started almost an hour after the first group so it was tricky negotiating the crowds and adjusting to the heat in Florida. We also had no idea how fast we were running as our watch broke so it really was a complete surprise when we crossed the finish line. We both lay on the floor for quite a while before we could move again, but with that beautiful medal around our necks we couldn’t have felt more proud of what we had achieved, all the hours spent training and the amazing support from friends and family back home.
5. Most memorable moment?
Joint most memorable - Running through magic kingdom under the castle and the Frozen characters waving from above.
Sara – Mile 22, meeting another Dreams Come True team runner by complete surprise and taking a selfie together! I was so tired by this point and it helped give me that final burst of energy I needed to finish…. Oh and crossing the finishing line, that feeling I will never forget!
April - The support was unexpected and overwhelming, I particularly enjoyed banners such as ‘Hurry up, I’ve got things to do’ and ‘Worst parade ever’. By the time I reached the final stretch the crowds were massive and I was desperately trying to record the finish line, then all of the sudden I heard ‘You can do it babes, I love you’ - I was so, so shocked and grateful that out of the hundreds of people there Sara and Alex were amongst them and had held tight to see me over the line.
6. Any tips for others doing the same thing?
We urge anyone considering a marathon to just DO IT. You are stronger then you think; the marathon is a test of sheer will-power and it has had such a massive impact on our lives. Whenever we have a tough day we stop and say to each other “it’s not as hard as the marathon” and then we plough on!
In the words of Walt Disney: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
And in the words of Acting On A Dream “anything is possible”.
7. Anything else you would like to share?
We hit our target of £5,000! We’re so so happy to have raised this much for Dreams Come True charity and want to say a huge thank you to all our donators – you guys rock.