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Distance4Dreams Takes on Disney World

This past January Distance4Dreams traveled to Disney World to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Members travel to Walt Disney World and partake in either the 10K, Half Marathon, or the Full Marathon as part of the fundraising efforts to grant the wishes of children, with life threatening illnesses, of going to Disney World. D4D has multiple fundraisers throughout the Fall Semester before their trip each year, so if you see them around campus make sure to stop by and say hello and congratulate the runners on a successful race and 2016-2017 year!

I am very lucky to have been able to participate in my very first marathon with the D4D team here at Xavier. The group is so supportive and the trip was absolutely amazing in every way, from fundraising for our wish child, all the way to the marathon itself. When I went to pick up my bib and race day package, I was overwhelmed with excitement that I was actually there in Walt Disney World getting ready to run my first half-marathon!

                                                                                                                  (author’s medal and bib)

Now, the week before leaving for the trip, I came down with what felt like the plague itself, but it just turned out to be a nasty case of bronchitis. I was still not feeling so hot the night before the half-marathon, and it was supposed to only be around 30 degrees the next morning, so at the moment things weren’t looking up.

I trained for months for the half-marathon, and when it came to be the night before the half, the race was cancelled due to predicted lightening storms the next morning. It was very disappointing when the team found out that the half-marathon was cancelled, mostly because the majority of the team was supposed to run in that race. Disney gave the option to every runner that was signed up for the half-marathon to be able to run in the full-marathon instead… So I thought, why not give it a shot?

When it came to the morning of the full-marathon, it was absolutely freezing cold;  it made for a pretty miserable start to the race. But as soon as the fireworks went off, and it was time for the coral I was in to cross the start line, it was like I forgot that it was freezing cold. I forgot that I was sick or that I was definitely wearing shoes that did not fit very well. There were so many people that were smiling and cheering each other on the entirety of the race, and even the bystanders that came out to support the runners kept up their energy the whole time! I ended up not making it to the finish line due to the fact that I still had that nasty bronchitis and it turns out wearing shoes that are a size too small is not a good idea when you’re trying to run a marathon.

Overall, my first marathon came about as a total surprise and the road to get there was a little bumpy, but I wouldn’t change a single thing about the entire trip! It was an amazing experience and I am so glad that I got to do it with such an amazing group of individuals!

Mary Soukup is a Sophomore Engineering Physics Major at Xavier University from Aurora, Indiana. When she is not writing articles for Her Campus, she can be found studying or working at the Cincincinnati Zoo. 
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