My Incredible Runners!

2018’s Princess Marathon Weekend is only about a month away. My heartfelt best wishes to anyone participating during the weekend, whether you’re doing one race, two or (gasp!) all of them. I’m going to be there, not racing, but supporting my daughter Shelley who I couldn’t be prouder of!

In the past, I’d never really understood runners. In both grade school and high school, we were forced to run, and other than the short sprints, I hated it. Although I was physically fit and participated in other sports, I always seemed to huff and puff when trying to run long distances. And, to be frank, I thought it was incredibly boring.

Fast forward to 2012 when my son Mark ran the Chicago Marathon. I knew of course that he had started to run either as a hobby or simply to keep in shape, but I really had no idea he wanted to run a marathon. Moving throughout downtown Chicago to try to catch a glimpse of him while running was exhilarating and frustrating all at the same time. Never having witnessed a marathon before, it was quite the experience; massive crowds and trying to figure out how to get to various places on the course before he arrived. The highlight of course was seeing Mark after completing the race. He was exhausted but jubilant at having completed his goal! He still runs most every day as does my daughter-in-law Missy, and they even take my grandbabies along for the ride! So proud to be his mom!

Then there’s Shelley…. I don’t know if Shel picked up the running bug from her brother or just decided it was a great way to stay healthy. One big difference is Mark had always been involved in some kind of sport, but Shel…. not so much. What I do know is Disney sponsoring run weekends gave her an extra reason to pursue running. I think most people struggle with exercise, whether they just can’t find the time, or they can’t discover an option they enjoy. But exercise tied in with Disney…. What’s not to love! And Shel making a decision to start running and sticking to her goals has been amazing to watch!

Shelley has taken to this new lifestyle like a fish to water. She ran her first race, the Princess 5k in February of 2016 and Mickey’s Holiday 5k in November of that same year. She even convinced me to WALK Mickey’s Holiday 5k with her. Although physically it was a lot for my old body, it was FUN! I totally understand how easy it is to get caught up in WANTING to run at Disney! In 2017 Shelley completed the Princess 5k, Princess 10k and her first half-marathon with the Wine and Dine Half in November. AMAZING! Even more so because she was sick for the races, having caught a serious cold four days ahead of her first race of the weekend.

This February Shel is signed up for the Princess 10k and the Princess half and I’ll be there to cheer her on. I think this is an incredible feat for someone so new to running. She’s been training religiously since our November trip, and regardless of when she finishes, I’m bursting with pride! Shel, this article is dedicated to you. You are inspiring!!

Jo Scholl is a long time Walt Disney fan, grateful Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owner, and proud mom to three amazing adult children, one of whom is fellow columnist Shelley Scholl. Jo is also a first time grandma to a new Disney fan, Reese Ann, and her brand new baby brother Camden Joseph! Life is good. Jo also resides with a small black dog named Mickey Mouse!

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