Category: Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

BIG Changes Coming to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend!

Changes to Wine & Dine

BIG changes are coming to Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend!  For 2016, runDisney is offering up a new “menu” of races including the Disney Wine & Dine 10K and Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge for those who complete the 10K and half marathon.

I think the bigger news is that the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is no longer a night race and it will now be taking place on Sunday, November 6th in the morning with the Finish Line Party later that evening.  Here is the new schedule for the weekend:

Thursday, November 3rd – Health & Fitness Expo Opens
Friday, November 4th – Mickey’s Holiday 5K
Saturday, November 5th – Wine & Dine 10K
Sunday, November 6th – Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Here is the official press release from runDisney:

***

Expanded Menu Planned for 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

New 10K race, new half marathon course and new Challenge event being served up as part of extended race weekend; Registration opens March 29

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 10, 2016) – The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is getting some new flavor this year.

The November runDisney race weekend is expanding to a three-day event that includes a new 10K race, a new half marathon course and a new challenge event. The Disney Wine & Dine 10K will debut on Saturday, Nov. 5. The new challenge – the Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge – will involve runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. The new half marathon course will now involve a 13.1-mile route that takes runners through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot. 

And the half marathon will be a morning race instead of a traditional night event, giving runners more free time in the evenings to experience new Walt Disney World Resort nighttime entertainment such as “Rivers of Light’’ coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in April.

The race weekend, set for Nov. 3-6, kicks off with the Health & Fitness Expo on Thursday, Nov. 3 followed by the Mickey’s Holiday 5K on Friday, Nov. 4, the 10K on Saturday, Nov. 5 and the half marathon on Sunday morning, Nov. 6. There will also be runDisney Kids’ Races on Friday and Saturday.

The Finish Line Party (8 pm to 1 am on Sunday, Nov. 6), which is part of the popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, will once again be the perfect nightcap for runners who will have access to more than 30 festival marketplaces offering fine cuisine and wine, plus Disney characters, musical performances and the opportunity to ride signature Epcot attractions.

Registration opens March 29 at www.rundisney.com. Last year the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon was the fastest-selling race within the runDisney series. More than 20,000 runners participated during the two-day event.

***

My initial reaction to this announcement is disappointment.  This change means there is no longer a night race option in the runDisney race series.  This was a unique experience with an incredibly fun course and after party.  The weekend now follows the same schedule as all other runDisney races.  What are your thoughts on this change?

Stay tuned for more details on the race weekend and registration info in the coming week here on RAD.

RAD Signature 100x75

2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed!

runDisney released new medals for this year’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  After last year’s 5 year anniversary of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and the commemorative spinner medal, it was to be expected we would see an entirely new design for 2015.  The new medal once again features running Chef Mickey and a new logo/font for Wine & Dine.  What do you think?

2015 Wine & Dine MedalsThe Kids Races and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K medallions continue to have a holiday theme as in years past.  I do like that the 5K medallion incorporates a wreath into the design and the ribbon goes through it…something a bit different!

Are you running during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend?  Which medal will you be getting?

RAD Signature 100x75

Registration Opens Today for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

wine-dine-logo

Registration opens today at Noon EST for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend!  Named as the perfect “Runner’s Night Out,” this race takes you through 3 Walt Disney World parks and ends at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  How can you go wrong with that?!

All running events take place on Saturday, November 7th beginning with Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K at 7:00 am at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  (Here’s a great review of that race from 2013!)  Later that morning at the New Balance Track & Field Complex, located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS), are the Kids Races with the dashes starting at 10:00 am and the 1-mile run at 10:45 am.  And if that’s not enough running for one day, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon starts at 10:00 pm in the WWOS parking lot.  This nighttime race takes runners through Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and finishes at Epcot…the only Disney Half Marathon to take you through 3 parks…and ends with free beer & wine at the finish!

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-20

Other events taking place over the weekend are the Pre-Race Taste and the Finish Line Party.  The Pre-Race Taste is a 1 1/2 hour event on Friday, November 6th located at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Theater inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios and features food from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, entertainment and unique photo opportunities.  The Finish Line Party is a great event for runners and their supporters.  It takes place at Epcot following the Wine & Dine Half Marathon where select attractions including Soarin’, Test Track and Mission: SPACE are open until 4:00 am for those attending the party.  Another added bonus is that all of the Food & Wine Festival kiosks are open during the party to feed your post race hunger!!

Pricing for the events are as follows:

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

  • $190 by March 31, 2015
  • $205 between April 1 and April 14, 2015
  • $220 on or after April 15, 2015

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K

  • $65 by April 14, 2015
  • $75 on or after April 15, 2015

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $15 by April 14, 2015
  • $20 on or after April 15, 2015

runDisney 1-Mile Run

  • $30 by April 14, 2015
  • $35 on or after April 15, 2015

Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste Tickets

  • $79 for Adults (ages 3 and up)
  • Children under 3 do not need a ticket

Finish Line Party Tickets

  • $75 by August 12, 2015
  • $85 between August 13 and October 28, 2015
  • $95 on or after October 29, 2015

The price tag for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a bit higher than other Disney races, but it includes a few extra perks.  You get the usual amazing Disney entertainment on the course, a long sleeve tech shirt, and race medal, but also included is admission to the Finish Line Party at Epcot and a $15 gift card (increased from $10 in previous years) to use at the Food & Wine Festival kiosks!

Packet pick-up will be required at the Health & Fitness Expo held at WWOS beginning November 6, 2015.  Remember you MUST pick up your own packet.  Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend and click here to register for any (or all!) of the events beginning at noon today.

rad-wine-dine-aLooking for a place to stay over Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend?  Kingdom Magic Vacations has rooms available at various Walt Disney World resorts from Value to Deluxe.  Not only will they get you the best rate, but they are experts when it comes to running at Disney.  They will help you plan the perfect racecation and take care of every little detail for you.  All you have to do is the training!  Click here to get a free quote.

You can also check out some of these RAD recaps for more info on what the events are like:

2014

2013

2012

As per usual with runDisney races lately, this is sure to sell out quickly.  Make sure you are at your computer with credit card in hand when the clock strikes noon!  This is such a fun race and I can’t say enough good things about it…well if the weather cooperates. 🙂  Will you be running in 2015? 

RAD Signature 100x75

Sticking Together for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Talk of rain began in the days leading up to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. There is always afternoon rain in Orlando as the 4:00 pm thunderstorms roll through, so I didn’t think much of it at first. However once race week rolled around, the sense of dread started to set in. It was looking more and more like the rain was going to arrive late Saturday night and on through Sunday morning. This was not just a passing storm…

Fun fact…I have never ran in the rain before. Maybe through a few sprinkles on a training run, but for no longer than 3 miles or so. Another fun fact…I hate having wet shoes. This is one of the reasons I’ve never done a Warrior Dash, Spartan Race or similar mud-themed race. Wet shoes = blisters and an unpleasant time.  Wait…are those really FUN facts?? Sigh…

So I arrived on Thursday before the race and enjoyed all things Food & Wine and even went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time.  I was having a blast…life was grand!!  Then I woke up Saturday morning to grey skies and a not so promising weather forecast.  I can’t say I was thrilled about the race at this point, but I was just going to make the best of it. I knew that I had a bunch of friends that were going to be in corral H with me so my new goal was to get through it with as many laughs along the way as possible.

My running buddy Amanda and I decided that since the rain was imminent our best bet would be to leave her car at Epcot so we could make a quick exit after the race incase we were soaked. We were able to park close enough to the finish line (or so we thought) that I left my gEAR bag in the car instead of schlepping it all the way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to check it. So we boarded the buses to the starting line and our journey began…

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-1

Since we hit quite a bit of traffic on the way over, we didn’t have much time to check out all the pre-race festivities, but I did notice that they made some nice additions this year. There were quite a few concessions available including a beer cart for the spectators. I actually found that to be a cruel joke because I had to run 13.1 miles to get my beer, but here was a cart right at the start line!

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-16

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-17

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-15

There were also quite a few picnic tables set up which was a nice alternative to sitting in the damp grass.

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-18

However our friends Kevin and Carrie decided to sit in the grass because they were sporting the trendy look of the day…trash bag chic.

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-2

After a quick stop at the sea of porta potties and some hugs and well wishes from friends, it was time to head into the corrals.

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-4

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-5

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-19

Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

It was great to see that even with the threat of rain, the spirit of many of the runners was still going strong. There were tons of great costumes around and many were themed around the theme of the race, food and wine! Here is my favorite…she’s a Dole Whip!!

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-6

The sprinkles started around 15 minutes before the start of the race so out came the ponchos and ziplock bags.  Earlier that day we took a trip to Walgreens to stock up cheap ponchos.  Well worth the trip off property to grab them for $1.49 instead of spending almost $10 for a Disney poncho.  You won’t feel bad tossing it if you need to either.

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-7

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-8

Hey did you know that you can use your iPhone through a ziplock bag??  It was a HUGE revelation among the group…minds were blown.

Since we were in corral H, we didn’t actual get going until about 30 minutes after the start of the race.  The rain was turning into more than just a sprinkle at this point and the winds were picking up so we were all anxious to get going.  This is the first runDisney race that I didn’t get photos or video of the start line because of the rain, but I was happy to see that each corral was still getting a spectacular fireworks show! Once we got going I couldn’t help but laugh at how loud this race was due to the noise from all the ponchos and garbage bags moving around 🙂  I ditched my poncho after the first mile as it was making me quite warm, but this was something I would come to regret later.

There were 6 of us who decided we were going to stay together and run through the suck…remember the goal was laughter!  I had run this race with my friend Jim back in 2012 so I was happy he was in my corral again this year.  Unfortunately he was dealing with an injury and by mile 2 he encouraged us to just keep going after much protest.  Marc and Tiffany pulled ahead at some point and we lost them for a while, so Amanda, Charles and I trudged along to Animal Kingdom and we were actually making decent time when we hit the 5K mark.

By the time we got there, the rain was coming down hard.  The uneven terrain of the park was a bit treacherous and the paths were crowded due to all the construction going on.  This is also where I stepped in my first puddle…wet shoes, my favorite!  Blech.  When we left the park and made our way around the parking lot, all that was going through my head was “I’m COLD!”  Being soaking wet in the dark when it’s 58 and windy is not fun.  Here’s where I really regretting ditching that poncho.  I was hitting a low point and seriously considered stopping…but I just kept moving.

As we got close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the rain began to taper and I could feel my motivation coming back a bit.  We were more than halfway done and the best part of the course was coming up.  I couldn’t help but smile when I turned the corner to see one of my favorite sites, the Hollywood Tower Hotel!

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-9

It seemed safe to take out my phone now and I was happy to get back to my usual habit of snapping tons of photos along the course.

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-10

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-11

Just before we reached the Streets of America, I got a text from Tiffany asking where we were and to my surprise her and Marc were just ahead of us enjoying the Osborne lights!!  We were so happy to be reunited that we just had to dance it out and Marc got it on video 🙂

We all actually spend a good amount of time here and soaked it all in.  It seemed that a lot of other people were doing the same thing and enjoying the break in the rain.  I’m not a huge Christmas fan, but you can’t help but smile and be happy when surrounded by all of this.

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-13

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-12

We were all feeling pretty beat up from being cold and wet so we just banded together to finish the race.  Oh what a welcome sight Spaceship Earth was….just beyond that was the finish line!

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-14

This had been a mental and physical challenge from the moment we crossed that finish line, but it would’ve been much more difficult if we didn’t all stick together.  It was a great feeling to have this support team by my side and I think everyone felt the same way.  We all knew that we were going to cross that finish line together and we did it hand in hand 🙂

After the race I grabbed up a mylar blanket that the voluntEARs (BIG thanks to the voluntEARs the stuck it out in the rain for us!!) were oh so thankfully handing out and we made our way through the maze to get out. I also grabbed my free beer and we high tailed it to the car.  I was a bit disappointed to not go in and enjoy the Finish Line Party, but I was so wet, cold and tired that all I could think about was a hot shower and my comfy bed at the Waldorf.

This was my worst race time by A LOT and there were many times that I was cursing myself for doing it, but looking back now, I actually had a great time.  I have made so many wonderful friends and have great memories from my journeys running at Disney…this was just another one of those times.  I’m lucky enough to be able to complete these races and share these stories…there nothing bad about that.  Even with all the rain, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is still one of my favorite races and I hope to continue doing it for years to come.  I mean, who doesn’t like free beer after a race?! Cheers!

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-20

RAD Signature 100x75

 

The Kindness of the Running Community

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon Expo was, um, crowded. This was the first, and probably last, time I will show up at a race expo first thing in the morning. I arrived early because I wanted to get it out of the way so I could go enjoy my day in Walt Disney World and also to grab a pair of the Disney New Balance sneakers. It’s a good thing I did because the line was already super long 30 minutes before the Expo opened!

2014-Wine-Dine-Expo-New-Balance-Line

After grabbing the shoes, it seemed like the best time to head over to the official runDisney merchandise booth. Certain items have been known to sell out quickly so it made sense to just go there first. It was a bit chaotic, but manageable. I grabbed the few things I wanted (pins, vinylmation and a water bottle) and got in line to check out.

The morning started off chilly but quickly warmed up. Plus with all the bodies in the Expo, I was quite warm in my tech hoodie. So I tied it around my purse…something I’ve done countless times. Well sometime between paying for my runDisney merch (a remember seeing it in line!) and walking to the Expo exit, my hoodie feel off. In a panic, I retraced my steps to find it but no luck. This all happened within about 2 minutes…no hoodie!

I was super bummed because 1. it is my favorite running hoodie and 2. I was planning on wearing it for the cold, rainy race the next night. I headed up to the Services Center at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and filled out a lost item card, but had little hope that it would be returned.

What do you know? The next morning I received a call from Sharon at ESPN saying she thought she found it. Oh My! Well low and behold, when I arrived, there it was. Sharon seemed just as excited as I was to reunite me with my hoodie and she truly made my day…and race!

ESPN-Wide-World-of-Sports-Complex

I’ve always thought that the running community is made up of special people. There is something kind and supportive within all of us. Probably because we have all endured the humbling experience that is running. This experience just proved that point!

So thank you kind person who found my hoodie and took it to lost and found.  Because of you I was able to run a warmer (sadly not drier) Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

2014-Wine-Dine-Half-Hoodie

Do you feel the same way about the running community?  Have you ever lost one of your favorite pieces of running gear?

RAD Signature 100x75

Next Page »