I can’t believe the CHOC Walk has already come and gone! I dilly dallied in writing this post. Partly because I didn’t want the fun to be over, and partly because the idea of going through my 300+ pictures from the walk made me want to take a nap.
First, I gathered my essentials. I put the Blogging While Walking logo on a tee shirt, added Mickey Mouse ribbons to my shoes, painted my nails a sparkly blue, wore my adorable With Love From OC necklace, and of course had my Blogging While Walking team sign. Then I was ready to go!
At the start of the walk, in the pre-dawn hours in Disneyland, Main Street was solid people as far as you could see, and more. This year there were more than 16,000 walkers!
Mickey and Minnie themselves kicked off the walk, with fireworks and confetti that I wasn’t able to get a decent picture of. And then we were off!
But first, let me take a selfie.
And then another selfie. Because look who was outside of Sleeping Beauty’s castle! The fairies!
I ended up not needing my sign to rally the team, but I didn’t want to carry it around for nothing, so I took “sign selfies” in front of Disneyland and California Adventures landmarks. My favorite is that center image. Disneyland’s third shift custodial cast members stayed late to cheer on walkers and thank us for being a part of the CHOC Walk. Honestly, this is one of the things that choked me up. All of these people who had worked hard all night stayed even later just to wave and offer encouragement. It was amazing.
It was so great to see thousands of people who had woken up in the middle of the night to walk for the kids CHOC serves. There were teams of patients, teams of survivors, and teams in memory. I have pictures of some of the teams, but posting them feels like an invasion of privacy, even though they were in a public place waving signs. I don’t know, it just didn’t feel right to post them. But to say it was inspiring and emotional to see all of these families celebrating the care their children received at CHOC would be a massive understatement.
There were favorite characters all along the route, and walkers had the opportunity to stop and pose for pictures. I don’t care how old you are, there’s still a rush of excitement from seeing your favorites in the park. Or maybe I’m just a big old kid inside. It’s probably that one.
As an aside, this is the best photo of Sleeping Beauty’s castle that I will ever take.
And then, all too soon, the finish line was in sight. There was a party at the Downtown Disney finish, with announcers offering encouragement and congratulations to all the teams finishing the 5K walk.
I even got my first 5K medal! (And yes, I am totally counting it.) Granted, it was for my fundraising efforts and not finishing the walk, but I think that just makes it even more exciting.
The CHOC Walk was so much fun, and such a rewarding experience. I had such a great time, that I’m doing it again next year! Let me know if you want to be a part of the 2015 Blogging While Walking team! As of this writing, our team has raised $1,888, and you can continue donating to Blogging While Walking until October 31!