Last January, as you might remember (seeing as how I’ve mentioned it about ten thousand times), Wes and I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon. While we were there, we found out about the Coast to Coast Challenge and its corresponding medal. To get the Coast to Coast medal, a runner has to complete either a full marathon or a half marathon at BOTH Walt Disney World and Disneyland. East to west, west to east — it doesn’t matter the order you do it in, just as long as they both happen within the same calendar year.
Well, you know me. I can’t pass up the opportunity to get a medal. Especially when it’s one that has Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse displayed on it, right? (And especially when doing so includes a run through a Disney park!) We had already done the hard part — running the full marathon during a full week at WDW — so how hard would it be to get out to California for a weekend to run just a half marathon?
Harder than you would think, actually.
Registration opened up early in the year, back when we were still paying on our house in Oklahoma. We told one another that IF the house sold and registration was still open, we’d see about the cost of flying out there and doing the Disneyland Half Marathon over Labor Day weekend. Well, as you know, the house didn’t sell until the very end of May, and registration for the race? It filled up a month and a day after it opened. So, no go, right?
Logic would tell you that, of course, but it hasn’t stopped me from being a little sad that we weren’t going to make the Coast to Coast Challenge this year. Sure, I guess we could go back and do the full marathon at WDW again one of these years, then do the half at Disneyland… but we’re already halfway towards the medal RIGHT NOW, right?! What a waste!
I knew that there were some charity spots open for the half, and having no idea how we would even afford the airfare or park tickets or any of that, I began looking into what it would take to get one of those spots. Wes has been worked really hard this summer with only a few days off here and there. He loves his job, but he needs a break. And his wife? TOTALLY needs him to have a break! I can’t hardly convince him to take any time away as it is, but I know his weakness is racing, so I figured if I could find any humanly possible way to make a race weekend happen, I could talk him into taking time for that. And if I was looking for a race, why not do THE race, right? It even falls on the weekend that our marathon training schedule has us running 13 miles. Was this meant to be or what?!
Well, the charity spots were a no-go. We would have had to raise over $1000 each to get them which was an insurmountable goal, especially considering that we didn’t even have a thousand dollars to spare to get to Disneyland in the first place. (Why was I even looking, right? I had no way of getting there, yet there I was, trying to find some open spots! I know, I know.) Impossible, y’all.
My in-laws just happened to be in town while I was searching these charity spots, and they told me that if I found two spots for the race, they’d give us their frequent flyer miles. I told them I appreciated it, but there was just no way. Dejected, I mentioned it to Wes later, off-handedly, and he went to searching…
… and found TWO SPOTS at REGULAR PRICE! (How does he manage to do this, y’all?)
“Is this even legit?,” I asked when he told me that he would be able to register for the race AND get park tickets as a bundled package with this service, with those park tickets coming in WAY BELOW their regular price. (WHAT?!)
“The company’s recommended by Disney!” And sure enough, they were. It was FOR REAL, y’all! (Still not sure how/why Disney is doing this, as I know they’re not in the business for smiles and laughs but cold, hard cash. But whatever, y’all. I’m going to rejoice in their business oversight!)
Wes’s mother quickly booked our FREE (!!!) flights, we paid for our super cheap registration/park tickets bundle, and we found an equally inexpensive hotel/car bundle deal (for real?!) that same day. Add in our Disney reward dollars, and we’re getting a second day in the parks for FREE. We’re going to travel, stay, park hop, and run the Disneyland Half Marathon for cheaper than we could vacation in San Antonio for the weekend. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
So, all that said… I’M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!!! WOO-HOO!!!