Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon

Once upon a time... (btw - this is how the next few posts will all be titled, seeing as I am catching up on blogging) I introduced you to my "blue belonging device" (A.K.A. a beautiful, beeping, blue watch) that gelled me into a running group (a.k.a. a rough, tough gang). This lovely group of ladies would gather together at various locations (often discussed in code) to synchronize our beeping devices and hit the road running. I had never run in a group before. So when I showed up for my first training run I stepped out of my car with my trusty running buddy in hand, my iPod, and was reprimanded in a way that had me throwing the thing back in the car, slam the door and lock it promptly behind me. I didn't know how I would survive without the Black Eyed Peas and Beyoncé encouraging me along the path with their "sick" beats. But let me just tell you, good company and good conversation can fuel any distance better than I ever imagined.

Some days we were a large group. Some days we even had kids in our company, lounging and snacking in their jogging strollers. (Which, by the way, are much harder to manage than I expected. Props to you mom joggers out there.) Some days we would chat about the weeks happenings, funny stories, physical ailments and new races to train for. And other days, in smaller groups, we would share prayer requests, our hearts aches and even tears. But every day, even on those painfully long runs, even when we were all so winded to even talk there was something about having the presence of another breathless jogger by your side that encouraged you to keep on going.

Our carrot at the end of the stick was the 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon in February where we would all embark on a 13.1 mile journey in and around the Magic Kingdom joined by 17,000 or so other tiara donning runners. We made a girls weekend out of it and I can't even begin to convey the hilariousness of the whole thing. There were Whole Foods dining experiences, miracle sock purchases, coffee shop freebies, impromptu camera phone photo sessions and late night costume construction shenanigans, to name a few. And somehow come Sunday morning before sunrise we were all suited up and ready to go at the start line. With fireworks overhead we were off and over the next 3 or so hours we weaved our way in and around the Magic Kingdom where we were cheered on by pirates, and bands, and dancers, and on lookers, and princes and princesses, and every Disney character that ever was. And we all made it. All the way to the finish line, where we paused just before crossing to take one last picture with Mickey and Minnie (who cared about those extra few seconds we lost at that point.) After much contemplation I opted to not take my giant camera with me on the run. But my mom greeted me at the end of the race (thanks, mom!) to pass it over a fence so that I could capture the aftermath, which included exhaustion, elation and several ice packs. But all in all there was a sense of accomplishment that swelled up inside of our weary, aching bodies to leave smiles on our faces for quite a long while.

Don't let the Shoemaker gal's (below) lack of sweat along with their perfect hair and makeup after running a half marathon fool you. It was not a walk in the park, so to speak. And miss Nicole even had a little bun in the oven.

The night before the race we decided to add captions to the back of our shirts that corresponded with the princess we each were representing. Some were clever, some were a tribute, some of the letters hung on through the 13.1 mile jog, some didn't. :) Thanks Lisa, for your dedication to the project!

Our nine person team wanted to wear something unique. With a title that has the word "princess" in it, you can only imagine the costumes that show up at this event. Every Disney princess, prince, sidekick and villain would be represented. And we could count on there being more tiaras and tutus than we had ever seen in one place at one time. We wanted to stick with the princess theme (mainly because we couldn't pass up the opportunity to wear a tiara) but we wanted something creative and unique that would stand out in the crowd. After the success of my 2010 Halloween costume creation of the Paper Princess Bride, princess paper tutus were the natural choice. With wavy scales for The Little Mermaid, fringes for Pocahontas and rounded loops for Cinderella and Jasmine, each tutu was unique to the Disney Princess the runner represented. The paper princess tutus were certainly a hit at the race. And even with the jostling with every stride, water and Poweraide splashes, and sweating, err, I mean glistening, most of them made it to the finish line a little worn but fully intact, just like the nine of us princesses.

Paper Princesses Shown (in order): Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Belle, Cinderella and Pocahontas.


About Caroline

I decided my destiny was to be an artist at age five when I won an honorable mention in a art competition in kindergarten. Ever since then I have been following a dream that has manifested itself in a variety of rewarding and delightful ways. I have practiced in the field of graphic design for over 8 years and recently acquired my Masters in Graphic Design at NC State University in Raleigh, NC (check out my design portfolio by clicking here if you like). But a passion that has stuck with me ever since I got my hands on my first Nikon camera in my undergraduate art education at Florida State University is photography. The instruction I received there was but a seed in what would develop over the next years of my life. Recently I have begun photographing people in their celebrations of life and could not feel any more blessed to be a part of capturing those memories.

About This Blog

A great american writer once wrote, "If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan my day." EB White penned the thoughts of my own heart. One part of me is a graphic designer working to challenge the world, seeking out problems and striving to create avenues for change. The other part is seeking out the beauties of the world and working to capture them in our memories forever through photography. This is what you will find here. Me enjoying the world. I have been truly fortunate to photograph such incredible people at truly beautiful moments in life. I can only hope that the images I've collected will forever keep alive those thoughts and emotions that swelled in their hearts and minds that day.

If you are interested in having me capture your life moments you can contact me by clicking here.

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