Courtesy photo Bonnie Smith, a paraprofessional at Cracker Trail Elementary School, participated in the Goofy marathon and a half at Walt Disney World. The half marathon was Saturday and the full marathon was Sunday, for a total of 39.3 miles.
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published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Goofy Challenge not so goofy after all
When Bonnie Smith went to Walt Disney World this past weekend, she went with the intentions of checking an item off of her bucket list. She accomplished that ... and was rewarded greatly.
At 48, the paraprofessional at Cracker Trail Elementary School participated in her first Goofy Challenge - a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday for a total of 39.3 miles in the two days. The only requirement is that she had to keep a 16-minute mile pace. If not, she knew the truck would come along and pick her up.
This wasn't Smith's first Disney running event. She has participated in one other full marathon and eight other half marathons since she first took up running in 2004.
"I never was a runner. A friend and I started walking and eventually I added the running into it. I never run the whole thing. I walk a mile and then run a mile. It makes you feel good. It makes you exercise. I count it as a gym membership," she said, adding Disney always throws in a little entertainment along the route.
It was a Disney World event more than two years ago where she met Andy Jackson of Riverview. The two started dating and together put the Goofy Challenge on their bucket lists.
Smith finished her challenge Sunday with about 30 minutes to spare on the allowed marathon time. Jackson, who walked the route, finished just shy of his allotted time.
When he finished, he knelt down on one knee and Smith became alarmed that something was wrong. She rushed to his side and friends gathered around with cameras. Instead of coming to needing aid, Jackson popped the big question to Smith, asking for her hand in marriage. She accepted.
When will the big day be? They don't know and right now aren't even thinking about it. Instead, they are preparing for the Princess Half Marathon next month at Disney.
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