Amy Woolwine and Debbie McKinsey are going to Disney World in January. While there, they plan on cutting in front of as many people in line as possible.
That's OK, though - it's expected with the crowd this time of year.
Even Walt Disney would approve.
That's because they'll be part of the 12,000 people meeting early Jan. 9 under the golf ball-shaped Epcot Center, ready to explode out of the gate with the fireworks that signal the Disney World Half Marathon has begun.
Woolwine and McKinsey, both 38, along with eight other Concord residents, are running the race to benefit the Junior Charity League's Mariam C. Schramm Clothing Room, a volunteer-run store that provides clothing free to schoolchildren in need in the Cabarrus and Kannapolis school districts.
Both ladies are eager for their first Disney race, which takes runners through landmarks like Cinderella's Castle, Space Mountain and the Mad Tea Party's oversized teacups.
Hundreds of characters, from Jiminy Cricket to Buzz Lightyear, offer participants high-fives and chances to stop and have their picture taken along the way.
If words of encouragement from Cinderella or Mary Poppins don't motivate a person to run, what will?
'I've got to finish'
"Fear. That's helpful," said McKinsey, who admits to not being much of a runner in the past. "I've got to run 13 miles. I've got to finish."
Those who can't maintain at least a 16-minute pace are picked up by Disney officials and shuttled to the finish.
That's not going to happen to the stay-at-home mom, who has been in training since her kids went back to school in August.
Practicing in her Kings' Crossing neighborhood four times a week, McKinsey can now hold an 11-minute mile for 9 miles straight. A trial run during the Santa Scramble 5k in November proved she wouldn't buckle under racing pressure. Her time, 32:01, beat the 11-minute mark with 59 seconds to spare.
"I'm not looking to break a land-speed record," she said. "If I can do two and a half hours, that would be ideal."
12 weeks to get in shape
Woolwine, a doctor of internal medicine, passes her first test of motivation when she steps out her door.
"It's a big hill either way I go," she says of the small valley in which her house is situated in her Laurel Park neighborhood.
Woolwine has prescribed a 12-week program to get back in shape after having two children.
"I've been using this half marathon as a way to get back in," she said.
Last year, the Junior Charity League raised $10,000 for new clothing during the race fundraiser.
"I'm not sure what the economy will do this year, but we're on our way," said Liz San Jose, chairperson for the event.
This year, they clothed anywhere from 15 to 50 kids a day with essentials such as winter coats, pants and shirts.
"The counselors keep calling," said San Jose of the high number of referrals they have received during this school year.
The organization will be providing clothing for McKinsey and Woolwine as well, with shirts that say "Every mile clothes a child."
That has to be the best motivation of all to finish the race.