Who are the Balloon Ladies?

As time drawers nearer to the Disney Princess Half Marathon, nerves are starting to set in. (HA….as though I haven’t had them for the past year).  Have I trained enough? I surely haven’t posted enough.  Hopefully my posting frequency, or lack thereof, won’t be an indication of my performance in the Disney Half Marathon in less than twelve days. 

Back to the immediate question at hand, however.  Those balloon ladies…who are they?  If you’re like me, you read up on everything you can about a race. Are there any surprises? What are the other runners saying?  Well for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, the biggest buzz is about the infamous balloon ladies.  After the last runner has crossed the starting line, these “balloon ladies” (so aptly named for the big balloons they will have tied around their waist), will step over the start line and begin the required 16 mile per hour pacing.  If you can’t stay ahead of these ladies, the current (or next) mile might be your last.  Can’t keep up and you may get picked up by “the bus” and driven to the finish line.  Terror!

Riding  the “bus of shame”? This thought alone is enough to spark fear in any novice half marathon runner.  I’ve taken heart, however, I’ve read that the volunteers on the bus make it as easy as possible for you as you wallow in whatever emotions you might be feeling…shame for not finishing…berating yourself for lack of training….or happiness because you couldn’t run one more step.

Balloon ladies or not, I have a goal. My goal is to finish – preferably without ever seeing the balloon ladies, but time will tell, however, as we begin the last count down toward – grandma running a half marathon.