Joan’s runDisney journey began with the Disney Princess 5K in 2011, and she’s been hooked ever since. For more than ten years, she’s participated in several half marathons with runDisney, including the inaugural Wine and Dine which consisted of a 10k and half marathon in one weekend.
While Joan loves participating in these events, she knows running isn’t the easiest hobby to take up. “Waking up at 2 AM to run is rough. But there’s a purpose to it. The courses are all so beautiful. I love seeing the characters as I run by,” said Joan. “The comradery of the runners is amazing. If you need encouragement, people will lift you up. If you trip and fall, someone is there to help you. It’s a very empowering community to be a part of.”
This year, Joan added a new member to her running team. “I met a new friend, Jennifer, while sailing for work and she had her service dog, Sulley, with her. Jennifer mentioned she signed up for a runDisney race and asked if I would be interested in being her guide.”
As a guide, it’s Joan’s responsibility to protect Sulley during the race, helping to avoid other runners and point out the reflectors on the road, enabling Jennifer to focus on running. Joan loved the experience of running as a team and being able to assist Jennifer and Sulley. Joan said out of all her races this one was one of her favorites. “I just loved the companionship between the three of us. Being able to run together as a team was awesome! Crossing the finish line is always an accomplishment but this was a truly special experience.”
We can’t wait to see Sulley, Jennifer and Joan race together again soon!