Once upon a time there lived a beautiful but sad young lady because her stepmother didn't like her one bit. All her kind thoughts and loving touches were for her own daughters. Nothing was too good for them - dresses, shoes, delicious food, soft beds, and every home comfort. Cinderella was very disappointed so she ran and ran and ran to ease her frustrations. One day something amazing happened. As Cinderella was sitting alone, her fairy Godmother appeared and promised her she would go to the ball, something only her stepsisters were allowed to do.
Cinderella entered the ball in grand fashion with her beauty radiating like the stars in the sky. She danced the night away with Prince Charming and had the time of her life. Cinderella was not only beautiful she was also very fit. As the clock struck midnight, without a word of goodbye she slipped from the Prince’s arms losing a shoe as she ran down the steps and ran home to return before the last stroke of midnight.
The prince was madly in love with Cinderella and had to find her. He picked up her shoe and set out on a quest to find the love of his life. Cinderella was the last one left in the kingdom to try on the shoe. When Prince Charming arrived, he found Cinderella but she was not dressed in her beautiful evening gown, she was dressed in running clothes! Prince charming got on one knee and the shoe fit perfectly only it was not a glass slipper, it was a Saucony Kinvara 4 running shoe!
“What took you so long?” Cinderella asked the Prince? I’m late for the Disney Princess Half Marathon! Prince charming proceeded to place the running shoe on Cinderella’s foot and the two of them set off to run the race together and lived healthy and happily ever after!
Well that’s not exactly how the story goes, but for a group of ladies in the Blythewood area their dreams of becoming a princess have come true, just like Cinderella. The Running Princesses is a running club for women that began by complete accident. May and I were at Disney’s Marathon Weekend last year and she discovered the Disney Princess Half Marathon, a race each February for women and their inner Princess. In true Disney fashion, Disney has created an event where women are encouraged to be the Princesses they are and The Running Princesses are helping women make that a reality.
Excited to participate in the Princess Half Marathon, May shared her excitement with some friends at church and in the neighborhood and her excitement and quest to be a princess spread like wild fire! Before long there were several women coming together in fellowship and friendship and The Running Princesses were born. “I loved the idea of a race for women where we can be real Princesses,” said May Vokaty. “What started as a few women getting together to run the Princess Half Marathon has turned out to be a community of women that share Christian fellowship and friendship that happens to focus on running and healthy life styles.”
The real beauty in the Running Princesses is not competition, but having a means for women off all ages and abilities to come together to enjoy fitness and support one another! Jennifer Coleman, one of the first Princesses explains what the Running Princesses means to her. “This group of woman, some of whom have never met each other and maybe never will due to geographic locations, is available every single day to provide support. It can be something as simple as "someone remind me that I HAVE to run today" or something as complex as praying and helping each other through crisis times in our lives. I look forward every morning to checking our Facebook page to see the "verse of the day" and to see if everyone was able to work out that day.”
Faith, fitness, fun and friendship are just some of the many benefits of this wonderful and growing collection of Princesses. Princess Laura Urtz shares what the Running Princesses means to her. “It is important to me and I like it best because it gives me encouragement to know I am not alone in this, even if I am running alone! My goal is to lose weight and to feel good and to be fit. Women age like fine wine, so I intend too as well!” “I believe it is popular because it is an encouraging group. Woman wanting to be fit is always more popular to women than always making excuses as to why they cannot. In our group alone the ages, sizes, and shapes are all different yet we are all the same. We are all RUNNING PRINCESSES!”
Every little (and big) girl’s dream is to be a princess and the Running Princesses are making this dream come true for any woman that wants to become a member. Jennifer Coleman said it best, “we get to wear tiaras and tutus! Every girl wants an event to go to where you can wear a tiara and a tutu!”
Meredith Newman shares her thoughts. “The Running Princess Group is growing because what girl doesn't want to have an excuse to wear a tiara!!!!! Truthfully, it's a community where we can be real and honest with each other. There is no judgment! If you struggled through a work out or through the day, post it and someone is praying for you. NO matter where you are in life, what the struggle...we are there for each other!”
The sky is the limit for what this fine group of women can achieve. Blessed with strong leadership, spirit and a desire to make their lives and the lives of others better, the Running Princesses will continue to focus their efforts on faith, fun, fitness, friendship and helping women of all ages. So the next time you see someone running in a tutu and tiara, let your inner princess come out and join them for a run, there is plenty for room for everyone!For more information, contact The Running Princesses at firstname.lastname@example.org