This past Sunday, more than 15,000 runners gathered at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California for the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Little did they know that 416 Hatters had arrived at the 6 mile mark as early 2:45 a.m. to secure their spots and cheer them on. Yes, Red Hat Society Members from California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Washington D.C. and Alaska were ready with signs, noise-makers and plenty of smiles to give the runners a burst of Red Hat Magic when they passed by.
While some runners high-fived our lively group of women, others stopped for pictures with us, and even clapped along with us. After the race, many of the runners made it a point to let Hatters know how appreciative they were of the cheering section, and some took to social media to share their gratitude. Here were a few of the comments we received:
Lori- "Thank you, beautiful ladies, for giving us so much support! I did the Tinker Bell Half last year (only the 10k this year), and seeing your smiling faces along the course is still one of my favorite memories of my first-ever half marathon. I've done two more since then, but I'll always remember the hats, boas and cheers of your organization."
Lorraine- "I just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU to all the Red Hat ladies that come out each year before the rooster is even awake to cheer on the crazy ladies like myself at the Tinker Bell Half. This is my FAVORITE cheering section. You ladies are AMAZING. Thank you so much. I even stopped to get a selfie with the sea of red and purple behind me."
Karin- "I just want to personally THANK each and every one of you for coming out and supporting all of us. My sister and I will high 5 all of you and be brought to tears every time you come out to support all of us! I can say this with complete confidence, I WILL SOME DAY BE A RED HAT LADY! Love each and every one of you!"
Nazly- "Running through the parks for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon may have been fun, but the BEST part of the race was running past all the ladies from the Red Hat Society! Highlight of the race, hands down. Thank you so much to everyone that came out to Disney before the sun was up! You ladies are the greatest!"
Stephanie- "One of the happiest parts of my first 1/2 marathon experience at Disneyland this weekend was seeing hundreds of you wonderful ladies there to support us. Thank you!!!"
Megan- "@RedHatSociety All the wonderful ladies really made me happy and emotional! Thank you so much for the needed pick me up! #TinkHalf
Brandie- "@RedHatSociety Thank you! Seriously, the sea of red was one of the coolest things to see along the course! #ThinkHalf"
Ronnettestarr: "Yes thank you girls so much. I enjoyed seeing all of your beautiful ladies as I ran right past all of you."
Cellphonebarbie: "You ladies were so amazing! It brought tears to my eyes as I ran by. Thank you for getting up early and making it easy to go the distance!"
We would like to thank every runner who shared a special message with us. We were really there to support, inspire and congratulate you on your incredible accomplishment. A half marathon is no easy task, and you all participate voluntarily! (We also really love the costumes.) Maybe next year, you'll see some Hatters running along side you.
Hatquarters would also like to thank the Members of the Red Hat Society who participated in this special event. More than 500 Hatters registered to attend, and 73% of those women were there on race day. What an amazing Sisterhood this is! Below are just a few of the pictures that were shared with us this week: