Thursday, June 6, 2013

Glass Slipper for One, Please.

I have to admit it – I was having second (third, fourth…) thoughts about tackling the Princess Half-Marathon again in 2014.  Not because I have any doubts about my physical abilities… but because of the drama that seems drawn to this race, especially.

Until a week or so ago, I’d been feeling pretty good about trying the GlassSlipper Challenge, which combines the Enchanted 10K on Saturday with the Princess Half-Marathon the following day.  I like the distance – 19.3 miles over 2 days; more than a half, less than a full, with a long nap in-between.  I’ve been saving money from my grocery budget each week (don’t worry – we’re all still well fed!) to pay the gigantic registration fee.  Most of all, I’ve been chatting with a GREAT group of stranger-friends on the Internet – new runners, accomplished runners, never-run-before runners, just talking about training plans, race logistics, registration processes, sharing what I learned from my own experience, cheering on and supporting the folks who are where I was a year ago, all have made me pretty darned sure I wanted another crack at Princess.

And then the drama hit.  Some folks found a “secret” link to register before registration actually opened.  Some folks thought taking advantage of that situation was very, very wrong.  Others felt it was perfectly fine.  Some wanted the link to be shared; others said “no.”  Feelings were hurt.  Frustrations were expressed.  Resentment set in.  Judgments of character were made.


Personally, I don’t have an opinion on the “secret” link situation.  I chose not to use it, for a number of reasons.  I also chose not to be offended by anyone who did try it because, really, it’s not my place to police others’ behavior.   But the whole thing brought back to me the not-so-Fuzzy feelings I had going into the 2013 Princess Half.  By Saturday, June 1, I’d decided to skip the whole dang Princess weekend.

And then I saw this:

The 2013 Prefontaine Classic.  Seventeen-year-old Mary Cain came in 5th in the 800 meters… setting a new high school record.  And was promptly celebrated  by her competitor, Alysia Montano, in a big, big, classy way.  (As an aside, this is particularly special to me – a gal who loveloveloves wearing a big, flamboyant flower in her hair.)

Not gonna lie – it made me cry.

Because that’s what the running community is to me: a place in which we support and encourage one another and celebrate the success of our fellow runners, whether they be proven elites or newcomers.  Seeing an athlete of that caliber take a moment to say “Good job!” instead of indulging in a round of self-pity for not coming in first reminded me that the drama isn’t everywhere, and it doesn’t have to impact my enjoyment of running any race.

So, THANK YOU Alysia Montano, for being a class-act and for showing us all how to create some positive drama in our running lives.  As for me, well…

Dear Vanessa,
Congratulations! You are now registered for 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Please check the event's official website for updates:
View your complete registration details »
This is for the 2014 Glass Slipper Challenge on Saturday, February 22, 2014 and Sunday, February 23, 2014.

Bring it. :)


  1. <3 the post V! Glad you are running.

  2. saw this posted on a friends facebook wall and had to take the time to read it. HATE the princess drama and try my best to stay away from it.. loved this post and I too will be at Princess weekend.. away from the drama :)

  3. I will also be at the Princess Half weekend and avoid drama at all cost. It will be a great weekend and I will stay away from those who do not want to have fun and be supportive.

  4. I'm hoping to make the run if my money situation works out to register before it frantically closes.

  5. This is exactly how I feel and what I have thought. I will see you at the Glass Slipper Challenge fellow Princess!

  6. Excellent post. While I have made best friends through running and the board that shall not be named, I have also seen some really ugly, un sisterhood like behavior. To me, we are all in it together - ALL of us. I don't care about your corral or training or pace, on that course I am your sister in arms. One of my BFFs had TWO women collapse in her arms at the 2013 Princess. She held them and waited until medical came - she did not abandon them for her finish time. That's the community I love - not this silliness over petty things.

    We decided, as a team, to forgo the Princess from now on - the conduct of the women, on course and online, just ruined the experience for us. We will do two other Disney halfs in 2014, but not that one.

    However, I wish you a FAB experience and I will follow it!!!

  7. Is there negative conduct on the course, Liz? I didn't follow any drama, since I hadn't tuned into the Disney races yet but was interested in the Glass Slipper challenge so I've been looking at it. It's a bit too steep for me since I tend to sign up for a lot of races and can't splurge that much in just one weekend. :)

  8. This may be weird, but I am SO heartened by your replies! Sometimes I wonder if it was "just me", so to hear that others felt the drama, too, makes me feel a little less, well... dramatic. I really do think it can be avoided, though, and that's my plan - avoid drama at all cost!

    yousignedupforwhat (BTW, LOVE your name!) - I never saw anything bad on-course. Though, admittedly, I kind of had blinders on while in race mode. The only things I can think of were a few strange (angry? resentful? tired? confused? who knows...) looks as I passed people toward the end. I wouldn't say it felt much like a supportive, sisterly group, either, but I'm okay with that.

  9. I just popped back here since I was reading more about the Glass Slipper details, trying to make my plans - because by the way I DID end up registering for the GSC later that day. LOL at my previous comment about it being too $, mere hours before I pushed the button. I got a little caught up in the "OMG it's selling out!" since I was going to think about it a while. I'll high five you as you pass me next year towards the end!