|Matt & his Thin Blue Line Flag|
My running journey is much like any other. As a kid, I grew up running to stay in shape for sports and as an adult, I ran to stay in shape as a police officer and eventual father of 4. When I finished the academy, I was in the best endurance shape of my life and vowed to the OIC that I would complete the NYC Marathon. Well, with added life and all of its experiences, it took a Father's Day present in 2012 to get me to the start line of my first race. And what better place to complete 13.1 miles than in the Happiest Place on Earth.
The first mistake of what has become my running life was talking to the retired NYPD Officer on the airplane to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in 2013. Or better yet, allowing the kids to listen to his adventures as a Perfect Goofy runner. We came to learn that he had completed every Goofy Challenge, finishing the half marathon and full marathon in the same weekend. Before we landed, the kids were convinced that I should do it the following year.
|Earl Start for Matt & the kids, 5K|
No year has been the same, each challenge has been its own experience. We've had travel adventures and weather difficulties, but more importantly, we've always had fun. This year was no different as my 7, 10 and 12 year olds got up their first morning at 4:15 am and finished the 5K with me! The following morning the 10K proved uneventful, however late on Friday, we were informed that because of predicted thunderstorms on Saturday, the Half Marathon was canceled due to safety concerns. The full marathon had its own weather issues, as a marathon in Florida should not be below 30 degrees at start. But no matter the weather, no matter the time, no matter the transportation logistics, my family was at the finish line as I crossed with my Thin Blue Line American flag.
Although it turned into a Grumpy 35.5 miles instead of a Dopey 48.6, the adventure is always worth it. Mornings starting at 3 am for transportation to the start, followed by hours in the parks after the races makes 5 days in Disney fly by. So although I always feel like I need a vacation after our runcation, rest assured that I have my alarm set for 1 week, 1 day, 1 hour and 10 minutes prior to the opening of registration for Dopey 2018. And as my wife and I sit with 2 computers, 2 phones and an iPad trying to beat the quick sellout, we know that many more adventures await for our family.