Disney Half Marathon

As I thumbed through the Journal’s sports pages in January 2010 little did I know that two years later I would be holding a half marathon medal.In that paper I noticed an article about ‘Getting back into running’ – a beginners course for 6 weeks at the end of which you will be able to run/jog for 30 minutes.Well I hadn’t run for over 20 years so I thought why not, good place to start, so on a cold dark February evening I found I struggled to jog the length of Normanston Park’s car park without getting out of breath. But after completing those 6 weeks I decided I loved running and as I progressed I joined Waveney Valley AC running my first ever race a 10K in Great Yarmouth in October 2010. After enjoying it I decided to run at Framlingham Cross Country the following weekend. Lets just say I have a love/hate relationship with cross country!! As I started to improve I looked for new challenges and despite a few hiccups in my training I ran a few races and gained some PB’s.

As a family we had booked to go to Florida over Christmas 2011 and discovered that the Disney World Marathon Weekend was towards the end of our stay on 6-8th January. How could I go to Disney World and not do a race there, running through the parks. I decided to attempt the half marathon. Fitting in the training was a challenge and a major hiccup 8 weeks before the race threatened me even making the start line. I was sidelined totally for two weeks and told to take it easy after that. A revised training plan and a brilliant sports therapist worked and grateful thanks go to the members of Waveney Valley for their encouragement especially David who ran my longest training run of 13 miles with me the day before Christmas Eve. After that run I actually believed I could do it. We flew out to Florida and I tried to acclimatise but 100% humidity and temperatures in the mid 20’s was a far cry from the 2 degrees on the 18th December when I had run 10 miles at the Beccles Turkey Trot.

I woke up 4 days before the race with a hacking cough and cold and slight temperature, great I thought. Luckily it subsided a bit for race day on Saturday 7th January and when I left the villa at 3am for the 5.30 race and the temperature was a cool 10C. I meet up with some runners, who are Disney fanatics, who I had got to know on the internet and some of us met up for dinner that evening. Running through Disney and the Magic Kingdom especially running under the Castle was just magical and despite my interrupted training I managed a respectable time of 2 hours 29 mins and 24 secs finishing 10,003rd out of 22,435. I found the race went really quickly and was surprised that apart from the overpass at mile 10 I didn’t struggle as much as I though I would. The crowds and support around the course was amazing. Having caught the running bug I am now looking to better my ½ marathon time sooner rather than later.

When I first mentioned that I was running the ½ marathon people asked me who I was running it for. I hadn’t thought of doing it as a sponsored run, but as one of our club runners is a Marie Curie nurse and I know people who have been affected by cancer, it seemed an obvious choice to raise funds for them. I set myself a target of £500 but to date I have raised over £700. I would like to thank all those who have so generously sponsored me and I am now collecting that sponsorship in, I am still accepting donations if you would like to visit my fundraising page – Just Giving – Tracy Mayne

Tracy Mayne.