A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about Endurance Races for women. In compiling a list of races specifically for those with xx chromosomes I can’t believe we overlooked last weekend’s Princess Half Marathon! C’mon. Who can resist a fairytale weekend and a running race where everyone is a Disney-style princess?
The Princess Half Marathon (March 6-8, 2009) was a signature Disney event that saw more than 11,000 women runners compete in various races that included the Royal Family 5K and the Princess Kids’ Races, making the inaugural event one of the largest endurance race weekends geared towards women.
The weekend also involved a health and wellness expo that included renowned fitness experts leading seminars on training, racing and nutrition, and the latest running and fitness equipment. Participants and their guests experienced Princess meet and greets, a makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and a Princess-themed after party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with live entertainment and a special gift at the stroke of midnight. While the weekend was designed for women, more than 200 men participated on behalf of the women in their lives.
Liza Galvan , a teacher from San Antonio, Tex., led over 7,500 women runners from around the world to victory. Galvan, 39, battled second-place finisher Nadezhda Tuptova for most of the 13.1 mile race through Magic Kingdom and Epcot before cruising to the finish line in 1:18:18. Tuptova (Gainesville, Fla.), 33, crossed the line in a time of 1:19:24. Firaya Sultanova, 47, also from Gainesville, Fla., posted a time of 1:20:26 to finish third.
In the Masters Division, Lilian Kroner (Monroe, N.Y.), 43, won in a time of 1:22:25 – besting the next competitor by nearly four minutes. Jacqui Kapinowski from Point Pleasant, N.J. crossed the finish line in a time of 1:22:26 to win the wheelchair division.
Of course Disney princesses have attributes that all women want to possess: courage, loyalty, strength, commitment and perseverance. And this fantasy-filled event was designed to bring to life the “princess” in women runners of all ages and abilities. Now the whole concept may seem a bit far-fetched but fun nevertheless. I don’t know about you, but after I compete, I could really use a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover.
Will definitely calendar this event for next year!