Sometimes the simplest things become inexplicably challenging! So it was with supplying Proof-of-Time for the upcoming 2018 Fairy Tale Challenge (Enchanted 10K and Princess Half Marathon).
First let me explain why we even care about sending in a proof-of-time for these races. Proof-of-time is used for corral placement in runDisney events. The faster you are expected to finish, the earlier you are allowed to start. Simple as that.
Reasons NOT to send in Proof-of-Time – You or someone you are running with wants their particular runDisney event to be their very FIRST race. For a lot of people who are new to running, this simple fact gets them through all the training miles that lead up to the magical event(s). If you want your first race to be an incredibly memorable one, you will not be disappointed. Another reason you might not need proof-of-time is that you simply don’t care when you start the race. I know lots of folks who schedule long post-race Disney vacations and race days are not spent park touring. You’ve got all the time in the World to focus on the task at hand – not a bad thing at all.
Reasons TO send in Proof-of-Time – The most obvious one is that you’re an elite runner who has a chance to place in these events. If that’s the case, you ROCK and I salute you! Our reason for supplying proof-of-time is made up of much less than lofty race-winning dreams. We want to get going as early as we can so we have as much of the day left as possible once the running is through. We’ll still have a full day of park touring and dining plans once the race is over. We only spend three or four days at Walt Disney World for these events and time is of the essence! Yes, it’s exhausting, but we do it anyway.
Back to our proof-of-time for 2018. Joseph and I like to run a 10K in October called the Grin and Bear It. It’s a flat course, close to home, and the weather is usually cool and fall-like for the out-and-back course along a pretty lakefront. We knew we could use our 2016 times for the 2017 Princess races, but on the outside chance that this year’s times would be better, we registered and ran it a couple of weeks ago. What about Megan, you ask? Unlike Joseph and I, Meg HAD to run a 10K before the November 14th deadline to have any proof-of-time at all. She’s never run a 10K before and had already booked a weekend away that conflicted with the Grin and Bear It race.
So we found a 10K race on October 28th in Lake Charles, Louisiana for her to enter. Not close to where we live, by any means, but close enough for a quick overnight trip. I’d started coming down with something on Wednesday and by Friday I felt lousy enough to know I wouldn’t be running on Saturday. No worries, though, Megan would go on without me and I’d be there to cheer her on. We left Friday right after work and were on the road for the approximately 31/2 hour drive by 6:30 pm. We’d booked a hotel room really close to the race start to maximize sleeping time and I’d picked up bananas and Cliff Bars for breakfast.
Everything was going great…GPS lady was talking us through directions. We grabbed a quick dinner-to-go at Taco Bell in Alexandria and had just finished eating when we stopped at a red light, were sitting there for a minute waiting for the light to turn green and then BAM! We were suddenly rear-ended. HARD! It was dark out and raining and there was no way I was getting out of the car to approach the stranger that had plowed into us. Once we realized we were okay, I kept my eye on the driver through my rearview mirror while Megan called the police.
After talking to the dispatcher for a few minutes as they ran down their list of questions to ask, they requested that (since our car was drivable) we pull out of the intersection and off the road. As I pulled forward to comply, the driver that hit us simply drove away. Yup. We were victims of a hit-and-run. The police were perfectly nice and sympathetic. Must have been a slow night in Alexandria as no less than three cruisers arrived on the scene.
Megan and I were unfortunately unable to get the full license plate number of the other driver, but based on what we did record, the police thought the other vehicle was a rental. My only consolation is that it cannot possibly be undamaged so at least they’ll have to deal with the rental car agency over it. I’m out my $500 deductible and Joseph and I will have to carpool while the repairs are being made. In the grand scheme, this is no big deal. We weren’t hurt, just shaken up (and really mad) for a few minutes.
As we do when faced with adversity, Megan and I shrugged it off and got back on the road. We were settled down for the night quite a bit later than expected, but safe and sound and back on track. We set three alarms for 5:15 am and called it a day.
Race morning dawned clear and crisp and perfectly calm – excellent running conditions! Megan checked in at 6:40 and we sat in the car to keep warm until it was time for her to line up with the other runners for a 7:30 start. I keep watching for my friend Karen who writes one of my favorite blogs. I spotted her just before the race and she made me feel so much better – Megan wouldn’t be alone on the race course after all.
55-minutes into the race I started walking backwards along the course to find Megan and cheer her on. I didn’t get far before I spotted Karen who was doing great (second female finisher)! I walked on a little longer and there was Megan! She looked comfortable and was running really fast! I jumped on the course with her and ran along with her telling her what a great race she was having and how proud I was of her. Megan’s final time for her very first 10K was 1:01:16. She was happy and said she felt great. Mission accomplished.
So, there you go. Sometimes simple stuff gets complicated, but life’s like that…you can either deal with it or let it get you down. As for me, I felt even worse as this week began and finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday. Next week’s Disney Sea-and-Land vacation is swiftly approaching and I want to be 100% by then. Adventure is out there!
Are you a runDisney participant? Do you send in proof-of-time?