I really had my heart set on it. 2015 was going to be the year that I ran 26.2 miles…not in total…but all at once. The place this was going to happen? Walt Disney World. The event? The Walt Disney World Marathon. I was so dedicated to this pursuit that I had registered, began my training, and already found out through physical therapy that the pain I was feeling in my foot while running was known as hallux rigidus, or arthritis in my big toe. But, that’s not what caused me to decide to have to defer my race. We can always push our bodies through pain to pursue our goal, right? (Note: The author is not advocating this. If you are in pain while training, seek medical attention!) Rather, it was life’s events that caused me to decide that going the distance would have to wait. I decided I needed to defer my dream for one year.
Let me set the stage so you can understand. Somewhere around September I found out I was offered a new position, which would require a pretty significant move. Eager to start a new chapter in life, my wife and I decided to pursue the opportunity. However, with the pressures of learning a new job, packing and unpacking, and real estate decisions increasingly weighing heavy on my mind, the time and energy able to dedicate to my training began to decline. Add to this the news of a new baby on the way and the opportunity to defer began to seem quite attractive.
The folks at runDisney were very understanding when I explained my decision. I’m not quite sure why but somewhere in my mind I thought they’d comment on my lack of commitment, or tell me that my reasons weren’t serious enough to defer. Instead, they told me that though my entry fee was non-refundable, I was able to defer my race by one year by visiting the runDisney deferment website. Luckily, the deferment for the WDW Marathon was quite easy and I was glad that no questions were asked. In short, once I submitted the request, runDisney sent me an e-mail containing a coupon code, which I can use for next year’s race entry (Note: deferments must be to the same race. So, for example, I couldn’t defer the Disney Marathon and use my coupon code to enter the 2016 Dopey Challenge). I am also glad I made the decision as early as I did as deferrals for the WDW Marathon weekend must be completed by December 18, 2014, and the cost of the deferral request increases from $45.00 to $70.00 after November 20.
Once the deferment went through, I sadly made the call to cancel my resort reservations that I had made for the long weekend. In actuality, the most frustrating part of the cancellation process was cancelling my family’s reservation for the Pasta in the Park Party. Unfortunately, Pasta in the Park Party tickets are non-refundable and are not interchangeable (though it is always worth the effort to try and obtain a refund…you never know when Disney magic will find you). So, in the future, I would recommend waiting to make reservations for this event as it does not sell out as quickly as some of the other Marathon weekend events.
Overall, deferring my runDisney event was fairly easy. As with most things involving Walt Disney World, planning ahead was essential. Though I am disappointed to not be running in 2015, I am looking forward to my race in 2016. Already I’ve begun to plan for my 2016 WDW Marathon debut and my wife and I have decided to make an extended vacation out of our visit to Walt Disney World. In fact, we’ve decided to combine the WDW Marathon Weekend with a 4-night Disney Cruise. I’m looking forward to being able to also participate in runDisney’s new Castaway Challenge.
To those who are running in a few short weeks, continue to train hard and best of luck. To those considering pursuing their dream by participating in a runDisney event, I hope to see you in 2016. If you’re still on the fence as to whether to participate in a runDisney event, I wish to leave you with something I learned during my training. Somewhere around mile 6 of an early training run, I realized that despite my initial doubts, I was going to be able to do it—I was stronger than I thought. I may have been fatigued, but I realized I could go the distance. And, so can you.
Category: Disney World