Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Dark Side of the Princess Half... Story Time!

Once Upon a Time....
There was a princess that went on a quest to run ALL the way through a magic kingdom in a 13.1 mile race. Having completed this epic quest, the princess-- being a little obsessive-- decided that she had not done enough and would go back through the course. On the way back she cheered on many other princesses that were enjoying themselves along their own quests. Most runners thanked the princess or cheered back in return. The princess was so happy to see the magic kingdom filled with many happy princesses who all supported each other-- hey, we don't need no princes here! The princess continued on her way until suddenly an another SINISTER princess came along, looked her straight in the face and very seriously said "B****!" 

.... the end!

This past weekend at the Disney Princess Half Marathon I had the time of my life (both times through) but some runners were impeding on my "happiest place on earth" moment. With a 90% female race you can imagine cattiness will ensue (yeah, I said it) but even I was a little surprised at some of the behavior. No, this woman was not joking. She was personally offended that I had finished and was running backwards through the course. 

I'm sure she had her reasons-- was unhappy on the course, or thought I was showboating by going back through. But I had made an effort to cheer everybody else on along the way and besides, everybody has their own goals and their own challenge. We all need to respect that to some people that's running a marathon, to others it's running to the end of the block and back. What did her rude comment dude? Besides offending me it made me stop cheering for other people in fear that I was doing something wrong. Not cool lady, not cool! 

*Note: The picture above wasn't actually a "how rude" face in response to the girl in the above story. I was actually captured the minute I saw Mickey at the finish and was clearly, very excited!

Story #2...
Let me preface this story by saying, I'm not all too happy to be turning 25.... +1 next year but I'm dealing. Aaaaand story:  Having met up with my maniac friends, we started our track back to the finish line. My friend had mentioned that he hoped Mickey would be at the finish line. A girl (not too far from my own age) was close by decided to jump in. This is what happened....

Girl: Oh yeah, Mickey is at the finish
Me: I hope he is now, but only goofy was there a little while ago
Girl: How would you know???
Me: (holding up medal) I already went through and came back to meet up with these guys
Girl: Why?
Me: Because I'm training for an ultra and needed more miles today
Girl: OMG I hope I can do that when I'm older!!!! 

... Seriously??? A full spread panic came over me and flight or fight reflexes kicked in full force at this point. What could I do? Strangling this girl in the magic kingdom would only bring the fairy godmother down to beat me with her wand, so I did the next best thing... I screamed "OMG I'm NOT that OLD!!!!" And TOOK OFF away from the chick as she tried to explain herself with my friends dying laughing behind me and screaming "wait up grandma!" (thanks Dave!!!). 

Put the Cheer Back in Marathon!
This isn't the only thing I've noticed in races. Lately, I've been a little concerned about the state of some marathoners etiquette. The biggest thing I've noticed is the lack of support for each other. More and more  I've experienced other runners ignoring cheers and thumbs up when passing each other. Now, I understand some of the faster runners don't like getting passed. However, I've seen a lot of this in the people that take early starts and the half marathoners that finish at the same line as us.

C'mon people, marathons are not easy for anybody and we all need each other to get through. If you run a little slower and somebody says "good job," say it back. If you're too winded then try a little wave or thumbs up. If you can't do that, well-- run toward a soft patch of grass because you're about to pass out. Hey, it can actually be helpful for you! Cheering on others gets your mind off your own running AND you'll find that it has an internal affect on you. I bet you'll notice your speed picking up a little. Saying positive things outward has a great inward affect even if that's not where it's directed.

Take care of each other out there!

Happy Running,
"Run to Win" -Meb


  1. You need to stop the 'I don't won't to be so old' stories! I'm not old and I have a son who is almost your age...
    What's next, posts about how fat you are???

  2. I would say my 26-30 years quite amazing & you're just getting into them. You've got wisdom to not make the mistakes of a 22 year old, but you still have your strength of youth. Enjoy your 20's, every last day of them!

    If it helps, I just got carded by a VERY shocked waitress on Tuesday night...and I just turned 38! You are living the lifestyle to stay & look young forever.

  3. Excellent point! I noticed the same thing: there seem to be more 'rude' runners out there by the day: such a shame!

    And did she actually shout out 'b****'? What the heck!

  4. "Saying positive things outward has a great inward affect even if that's not where it's directed."

    I totally agree!

  5. While I don't condone the yelling at you, it can be a little demoralizing seeing someone run back through the race. I think it's great that you are training for an ultra but many of the people there are just trying to get through their race. If I wanted more miles in, I probably would have done them earlier(yes, I know it's already an early start) so I could finish the race with the miles I wanted. Cheering on people on the sidelines when you are finished near the end is awesome support though.

  6. I'm one of the slow back of the pack types and try my best to cheer people on during races. My favorite to say to runners in mile 24 is "Hey it's only two more miles! After the training we've been through, we can run 2 miles in our sleep. Come on!" I usually get a chuckle. About runners backtracking, I think they must be very good friends with someone still on the course and they're going back to help them finish. Wish I had more friends like that!

  7. Wow, she called you a b*tch??!! Someone must have been having a bad run!

  8. When did B***** equal jealous? Because clearly she was.

    If you are old, I am ancient.

    Trail and Ultra runners are a different breed. Sure there can be bad apples in any group but on the trails they are few and far between. That's way I'm sticking off road.

  9. Ugh. I had one of the girls that I was running with during the Princess Half basically do the same thing to a runner going backwards through the course (I hope it wasn't you!). We had a long discussion after that (ie, I lectured her). It's stupid to tear someone else down just bc you're in pain, especially when they are encouraging you!

    Sorry you had to deal with that!

  10. I can't believe she would scream at you, that is uncalled for! I can also understand where a few of the people are coming from that it might be demoralizing to see other runners come back past them as they're still trucking towards the finish line. Maybe run those miles on the other side of the course where spectators are lined up? Just a thought.

  11. I love what you have to say about runners and being supportive of one another...and if you aren't feeling well, at least give a thumbs up. I just don't see the point of being mean, catty, etc. And this is even after finally experiencing feeling like complete death and being reduced to a walk. I was still thanking volunteers, etc.

  12. oh my lord.....the first commenter - plain mean.....second commenter...yikes, 26 is not old.

  13. RAWR... that was kind of hateful from that lady on the course, wasn't it? As a middle of pack person, I will say it can be a little frustrating to see people who have already finished coming back through (but not to the point of calling you out).