Why I runDisney (cont.)

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(part 1)

Why I runDisney

(and wanted my students to, too!)

On November 27, 2013 – runDisney posted a blog entitled, ‘Why Do You Run Disney?

On December 12th, I responded by posting this video to Instagram – my main message being that I runDisney to show my students anything is possible if they work hard and believe in themselves.  This is a mantra I started as I was training for my last marathon.  It’s a message I hope to teach all my students and one I feel fits the runDisney events perfectly … runDisney has taught me that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! runDisney has empowered me to believe in myself as I have set new PRs and pushed myself beyond what I thought I could thanks to the amazing support they give on course.

On January 2nd, I received a call from Bob Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer of runDisney.  He was delivering the exciting news that they want to share our story … I was in shock!  We chatted about the logistics and it was time to get to work – he would be out to film in 10 days!

At the time we were still on winter break but I knew I needed to get media approval before we could fully commit to filming at school.  After speaking with Bob, I called my principal to share what was happening.  She said she wouldn’t be able to submit the district paperwork until we return to school on Monday (the 6th) but she thought it was great and was fairly certain the district would approve it since it is a positive story.

Upon returning to school we were able to receive district approvals and permission from the parents of the 3 runners.  The following weekend I spoke with Bob one more time to see what else we needed and he asked if we could keep other running club kids after school on Monday while he was there … so, I quickly sent out an email to the parents along with a permission slip and hoped for the best.

Monday came and I must admit that I was pretty nervous!  Bob and his cameraman, Scott, were scheduled to arrive during my lunch time so I taught my morning classes as normal.  The morning flew by and after cleaning up for lunch I went up to the front office where Scott was just checking in.  I introduced myself, showed him around and we waited for Bob … who got lost and was a little behind schedule.

Shortly after Bob arrived, Kris showed up with lunch.  We all sat and talked about the plan for the afternoon as we waited for my afternoon class to begin.

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Once lunch was over, my principal came in and I began setting up for my afternoon class.  Luckily it was our parent/teacher conference week so I only had one afternoon class and then we had an early dismissal.  I was able to rearrange my schedule to make sure I was teaching the 6th grade class with the 3 runners in it – and this week we were playing hockey.

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As I was setting up with everyone watching the nerves came back and I told my principal it was more nerve-racking than a formal observation!  Before I knew it, my 6th grade class arrived and we began our hockey lesson.  Bob told me to teach as I normally would, which can be hard with a camera following you around!  For the most part, they really tried to let me teach uninterrupted.

Once the class was done and the kids were dismissed it was time for my ramblings … I mean, my interview.  Bob was great!  Surprisingly, once we got talking I almost forgot the cameras were there – he had a way of making it very easy and comfortable.  At the same time, I’m not very quick on my feet and I wasn’t prepared for a few of the questions … which is where the rambling came from.  I left hoping I gave him at least a few minutes of usable interview! :)

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After the interview it was time to run with the kids.  A few of our running club kids were able to stay after school that day to help … we ran, and ran, and ran!

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The day ended with an interview of Kassidy, Kaprice & Nicole – the 3 girls who were participating in the Tinker Bell 10k.

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That week flew by and soon we were headed to Disneyland.

Friday morning the girls and their families drove to California to meet up with us.  When they got in, we checked into the Best Western Stovall’s Inn and made our way to the runDisney expo.

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Bob then surprised the girls with a special meet-up with Jeff Galloway.  The girls have been using his run-walk-run method and were so excited to get to meet (and run) with the olympic marathoner!  He offered them a lot of encouragement and great advice – which they were excited to come back and share with the other members of running club!

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After the run, we went to listen to Jeff’s presentation at the expo.  What he said really sank in with the girls and their families!

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That evening we all had dinner together and called it an early night – we had a big day ahead!

Saturday morning we had to be up extra early to meet Bob at the start before the other participants started showing up.  That gave us time for pictures,  interviews and a warm-up before the festivities began.

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We cheered on Corral A and then took our place at the start of Corral B.  The countdown began and we were off!  Bob even joined us on the run.

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Since this was the first time the twins were ever seeing Disneyland, I made them stop for one picture …

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The girls did an amazing job in the 10k!  After we finished, we took a few photos, answered a couple more questions, received all our race goodies and headed back to the hotel to clean up.

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We then met back at Goofy’s Kitchen for breakfast.  In route, the twins bumped into Jeff and couldn’t wait to tell them how well they did in the 10k – they reached their goal of finishing in under an hour!

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These girls are definitely stars!  This was an amazing experience and I am so glad everything came together the way it did!!! I knew if I could get them to the 10k, it would be a special experience for them … This was WAY beyond what I could have ever imagined – Disney magic for sure!!!

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On April 25th – runDisney posted our video to irundisney.com and included our story on the Disney Parks Blog

I can’t thank Bob & runDisney enough for making this trip so memorable for all of us!  I’m also extremely appreciative to have an administration that supports my crazy ideas and helps me figure out how to make them work!!!  This was a once in a lifetime experience none of us will ever forget!!!

-Mindy


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