UPDATE: Why I Run for Sophie and Madigan's Playground

As many of you know, I'm a total Disnerd. Disney Addict. I'm obsessed; hopelessly devoted to Disney. Forever and always.

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I'm also a runner, so naturally I LOVE doing runDisney races. I don't stop for character photos or anything, but I can't help but love running through the parks as the sun begins to peek over the horizon. I'm especially in love with the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I wore my medals proudly as I limped through the parks the day after both the 10k and Half, and I can't wait to do it again next February!

But there's another thing I love about running the Princess Half weekend's newly rebranded Fairy Tale Challenge: I love running for Sophie and Madigan's Playground. 

Sophie and Madigan's Playground is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization created to honor the lives of Sophie and Madigan Lillard, who died at ages 6 and 3 as a result of a horrific house fire that occurred on January 31, 2013.

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The mission of Sophie and Madigan's Playground is to honor the lives of Sophie and Madigan Lillard by building a memorial playground and providing opportunities for children and their families to play, learn, and create lifelong memories together, and in ways that reflect the beautiful personalities and spirits of these two sisters.

Sophie and Madigan, and the Lillard Family as a whole, are huge Disney Fans as well. They spent a lot of time in the parks and falling in love with everything I love about Disney. Part of what makes running for them so special, is that I get to run alongside their father, Jack Lillard, for these races as well. Not only that, but when I arrived to meet everyone for a photo before the race, I met a fellow runner and friend of the Lillard's from near my hometown in Southern Indiana!

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There's something about running in memory of these two little girls that really gets my heart going, that helps me push through the wall (I don't believe in the wall, really. I believe in the Blerch.) Something about running for that family keeps me pushing myself. I don't know if it's the sweet handwritten note from the Lillard's before race day, or meeting them and running with Jack (well, behind him. He's always in corral A!) but something about them keeps me coming back. I hope to run for them for many years to come.

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If you want to help Sophie and Madigan's Playground, I have two ways you can do so! You can donate to them HERE or, if you are in Chicago or the Chicago area, I cordially invite you to my fundraising charity ride for them, Princess Pedal, on December 3, 2017 at 12:30pm. It will be a Disney themed ride with swag bags of my favorite goodies from brands like Muscle Milk's Evolve, Vital Proteins, Scratch Goods, Balega and more! It's $35 and you can sign up HERE or click the image below to go to the Facebook event!

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