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Why Run a Marathon? Why Not? | Guest Post

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Another day closer to moving, another guest post to help me get through the week! I’m loving the new voices over here and hope you are too.

Here’s another fantastic can-do story about taking a canceled half and making the most of it.

Meet Meghan Schoenborn: half runner turned marathoner.

Why Run a Marathon? Why Not?


Simply put, “Why not?!”

I became a runner, to run Disney. A group of people I would have called crazy, I probably even did, set their sights on the 2015 Princess half. I opted for the much shorter 5k that year. My first race ever. During which the running bug bit, and bit HARD. I have since run several 5k’s, five 10k’s, plus five and a half Half marathons. The vast majority of this has been at Disney, even some in Disneyland. But….

Why in the world would anyone, that had never done a marathon, opt into one with no training for one and having to go twice as far as you planned on, with less than 36 hours notice?

Well, it was simple, I WANTED TO RUN! Not to make up my miles, or to prove anything to anyone, but because I had worked towards this weekend, and stalked that runDisney site just crossing all of my fingers and toes for MONTHS that somehow I could get into that darn Donald Duck half marathon, anniversary race. It opened back up and I took full advantage, snagging my spot. I had grand plans to *just* run the half. I had completed 5 challenge events at various runDisney weekends in 2016. I am already registered for 2 events at Princess weekend, plus I am running all the events at Dark Side for my charity Kellsie’s Hope foundation (my sights set on legacy for that weekend someday). So this was going to be a fun weekend to set a new PR maybe, soak up a weekend that I have never participated in, and end the last 365 days of running on a high note. Even if I had to run in the rain, I would make the most of it and have one heck of a runner race story to tell.

Alas the Florida weather got the last laugh #becauseFlorida and the WDW half was to be cancelled, by the diligent race director, due to the strong thunderstorm that brought tons of lightning along as is usual down here. I never doubted the call that was made, as a Florida native I know just how bad a storm like that could be, lightning is deadly. But immediately I did want to know what they were going to do since I had only come for that race. I waited with baited breath for details, and once the options were laid out, I weighed each one; a gift card couldn’t be used for a race registration so that didn’t fit, park tickets don’t really work for me either, and although a deferment seemed cool, I couldn’t use it towards a challenge registration, which is up next for me. So that really only left “Option 4” converting to the FULL MARATHON. I said it out loud a few times, half joking. I laid it all out to my mom, whom I was staying with. I called my best friend, who although I knew would call me crazy, she always supports my crazy ideas. “My race got cancelled. I think I’m going to switch to the full on Sunday.” Yep, she called me crazy but said she would hop in her car once I could get the details and watch me run this crazy thing. “Okay I think I’m doing it.”

Back to my computer, I waited and refreshed, and refreshed. I was convinced that this option would fill up. Finally at 11:24 Friday night, I announced “I’m doing it! I’m signed up for the FULL!” From then on I was cautiously excited. I told my husband who was immediately worried for me. I told my runner friends, my fitness mom group, I shared on my social media, and I posted in some of the runDisney runner groups too. I made adjustments to my race outfit to combat a different kind of weather beast, and as a Florida girl the one I hate the most, (extreme to me) cold, and put a last few finishing touches on my “costume.” I learned on race morning that 1,500 of us had decided to “upgrade” to what I have been calling the “Inaugural Donald Double Duck Half”.

I actually never worried about getting hurt, my plan was to just “keep moving forward.” I decided to skip the timed intervals I usually use and opted instead to just listen to my body to find a groove for intervals. I had zero plans of quitting, and the texts, private messages, posts, and tags that kept rolling in from friends and loved ones near and far, kept me motivated and moving. Overall I kept a steady pace that I was happy with until about mile 17. I knew Wide World of Sports was approaching and that it was going to be some of the most monotonous milage on the course, plus gravel, which I thoroughly dislike running on. Once I was coming down that overpass for the Hollywood Studios bridge my best friend called and I got misty eyed for at least the third time on the course.

She was IN EPCOT, waiting at the Mexico pavilion, and was taking my drink order for a margarita! I just had to make it to her and I knew I was home free! One final pitstop when I got into England, then I called her to order the best margarita I have ever tasted in my entire life. I was SO excited to see Mexico in the distance. I gave her the biggest hug, handed off my jacket, and took a huge sip of that frozen deliciousness before declaring, “less than a mile to go! I’ll see you after I finish!” and off I went sipped and power walking my way to the Gospel Choir! I spotted Donald Duck at the finish line and he spotted me. We exchanged “hey cool outfit” points as I trotted closer to the finish line. Then I raised my triumphant arms and victory drink high as I crossed that finish line, A MARATHONER! I was sore. I was tired. I was HUNGRY. But I will always be a marathoner!

I am still wrapping my head around the fact that I just did what I did. I had posted in one of the runDisney groups looking for the full race tech shirt included with registration in my size, because those of us that upgraded didn’t get new bibs or a marathon shirt. Once again the running community was amazing, and a fellow runner came through for me before I left town. I may NEVER take off this shirt! but if I do it will be to change into my marathon “I Did It” shirt LOL I will never regret taking on this race, not just because I was successful, but more because I loved every minute of it, even when it was tough, and hard, and didn’t feel great. I LOVED it! I only ever planned on running a full once in my life, convinced it would an experience I would never want to repeat. But I was already planning to sign up for Dopey 2018. So it looks like this runner will complete at least two full marathons in her lifetime.

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Carrie Newbern

Sunday 22nd of January 2017

Omg! I found you! I'm the other third of our freezing pre marathon blanket party by the bleachers! I have regretted every second not getting contact details from you to see if you finished! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!