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  • Loretta Garcia

Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon 2017

Mother's Day weekend at the Disneyland Resort found me alongside thousands of runners and supporters enjoying the excitement of the 2017 Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon.

I was there to participate in my 3rd Tinkerbell event. Having signed up for the first one in 2015, I became addicted to the bling and the feeling of accomplishing something I never believed I would ever do. This weekend I was signed up to walk in the 5K, 10K and the 1/2 for a total of 22.4 miles over the span of 3 days.

The 5K started at 5:00 am on Friday morning at the end of Main Street USA inside Disneyland. Looping in and out of the parks and ending at the Finish Line by the Disneyland Hotel, the 3.1 miles flew by as I walked in the company of my friend and fellow 5Ker, Carolyn.

Saturday's 10K had me feeling a bit sore as I stood in the corral and waited for the start of the race. Walking the 10K alone allowed my mind to wander and before I knew it I had reached mile 4. A bit hungry and with achy feet I pushed my way through 5 and 6 and suddenly there was the finish line. Another race completed.

Sunday's half marathon - 13.1 miles through the parks and streets of Anaheim started at 5:30 am. Having completed my 5K and 10K, I was able to get through 5 miles at a decent pace. Leaving the park, I remember seeing Marker 6 and then everything was a blur until Mile Marker 9. Miles 10 through 12 were rough, but finally I was walking back into the park for that dreaded last mile. The aches, pain and burning in my legs were unbearable, the tears were sliding down my face and all I could think of was I have to finish. And finish I did, with cheers from spectators and high fives, I ran, yes ran across the finish line with tears running down my face and the feeling of accomplishment burning somewhere deep down inside, buried under the tremendous amount of pain and exhaustion but burning non the less.

I get asked by friends and family, why do you pay good money to run/walk 22.4 miles for some shiny medals made in China? Why torture yourself at your age (57) and get up at 2 am drive 125 miles round trip 3 days in a row and spend the next week after the races in pain and agony?

Why? Because I can!!! Because 4 years ago, I was at my heaviest and in such pain from health issues that I could hardly walk. Because it was a goal I set for myself that I continue to reach for each year. Because it helps me stay on goal with my exercise (which I hate to do), but most of all because of the shiny medals made in China.

The medals that are proof that I can and did!

Why do you run, walk or crawl in the RunDisney

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