This week I received a letter from Walt Disney World informing me that I was a Disney Sports Enthusiast, and all the rights and responsibilities that accompany that prestigious title. I’d consider myself an enthusiast of many things: Disney Parks, Disney memorabilia, Disney Fairy Tale Weddings, Jeeps and knitting ( my other non-Mouse related interests). But how did I, or how does anyone become a Disney Sports Enthusiast?
Back in late September 2012, I was getting so excited about my first runDisney race, the Jingle Jungle 5K in November. DisneyGroom and I were registered for Princess, but I knew I HAD to come back and be part of the Marathon weekend in January. It will be the 20th Anniversary – that is bound to make it even more special. So I signed DisneyGroom and myself up for the 5K on January 11. And I began to pay more attention to the runDisney chatter on the various Facebook groups and twitter. The more I tuned in, the more I realized I wasn’t going to be satisfied with just running the Family 5K.
I was, and still am so in awe of the Marathon and Half runners. They work so hard, training for months – working towards just one day, or in the case of Goofy runners – two very long days. This fangirl wanted to be there. To be a part of those amazing races somehow.
I checked the runDisney website for Volunteer registration and discovered the WDW Marathon Weekend option was not available (yet). I kept checking back and finally it was up! I’m not sure how many days it had been up – but not long, I imagine. I snagged this screengrab below on Oct 4th and sent it to my husband to peruse (and decide which race and where he wanted to volunteer).
1. Registration Options
2. Accept Waiver
3. Complete Form
4. Submit Payment
5. Print Receipt
2013 WALT DISNEY WORLD® Marathon Weekend Volunteer Registration
( * indicates required information)
I kept bugging him that week, and finally that Saturday I decided to just register us both for what I wanted – rather than wait for him.
I, of course wanted to hand out medals. DG’s only request was “not directing cars”.
As you can see in red above – there is a nice incentive to volunteering at the Expo AND the race. So with only our Friday Morning 5K in the way, we had some options for the Expo. And we also thought we had many options for the Half or Full.
Well, no such luck. All the options you see above were GONE. Sold Out. Filled. Full. Done. There was only one option left: Waiting List to be a volunteer for the Half ---- no preference whatsoever as to time, location, day, anything. I selected that option for us both (before it too disappeared). Then I grumbled at the husband and anxiously awaited some confirmation that we got in.
Well, that confirmation arrived yesterday in the mail, in the form of a letter.
DG and I are both stationed together at the Powerade/water station located at 0.8 miles into the Half Marathon. Woo Hoo!
The lessons here are:
1) Figure out which race/event you want to get involved in. Several months prior, begin stalking the runDisney Volunteer webpage: http://www.rundisney.com/volunteer/ and look for your event.
2) Do NOT WAIT to sign up for the openings once they are up. You must register through Active.com as if you were registering for a race, and slots seem to fill up VERY quickly. So JUMP on it.
3) If you are WAITLISTED, don't despair. Keep your name on the waitlist. There may be hope after all.
4) I didn't stress this above, but with the perks of being a Sports Enthusiast comes the responsibility of upholding the honor code outlined in the registration. Of course, we will all conduct ourselves like polite respectful adults, and be excellent to each other, but I found most interesting the language prohibiting alcohol and tobacco use. I use neither, nor does DG, but many people do, so if this is a habit, take note. I'm not sure how the volunteer organizers crack down on this, but be aware that they may.
Anyone reading this post that will be running the Half, or volunteering or cheering at the Half, if you are able to do so, please come by my waterstop and wave Hello. Since all the volunteers will be dressed in identical jackets, to stand out - I'll be in Bride Mouse Ears, and I'll get DG to wear Groom Mouse Ears. Look for a tall white guy in glasses standing with a short Hispanic woman; we should be easily recognizable. :)
As you can see, I am really excited about our next trip to WDW! We've also got our 5K and meetups happening that weekend of course. But, I’ll write about the volunteer experience after we get back next month.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and enjoying any time off from work. I am celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas through Jan 6. (Three Kings Day in Latin America). And I will be celebrating my 41st birthday on New Years Day. Last year we spent NYE and NY Day at Magic Kingdom, but with work schedules and everything – we are here in Tallahassee for my birthday this year. I got some really great runner goodies lately from many different Santas that are worthy of a post. And my birthday may bring more yet...
If I don’t post again before January 1, have a wonderful and safe New Year’s celebration.