Posts Tagged by hollywood studios

Mission to Marathon: 2015 WDW Marathon Recap

We’ve been following Hannah’s journey to marathon redemption in her Mission to Marathon series for a year now.  She has shared the realities of training and given up some great tips!  Well it all led up to WDW Marathon Weekend and when Hannah DID complete her first marathon, but not without some difficulties. This is a wonderfully honest recap and I’m so proud to feature it here.  


Things NOT to do when preparing for a marathon:

  1. Don’t train (like…at all)
  2. Don’t hydrate/fuel in the days leading up to the race
  3. Don’t hydrate/fuel properly the morning of the race
  4. Don’t stretch or strength train to manage a prior injury
  5. Be super anxious and stressed not just for the race, but also about other aspects of your life

Yup…don’t do those things. But guess what, you can do all of them and still finish.

I’m not in any way advising you to do those things. And, I’m not suggesting it is a smart move to run a marathon after you’ve done them, but it is possible.

But back to what you want to hear about — The RACE!


Running at Disney is like nothing else. It is a completely different experience from other races you will run in. There is entertainment and support from volunteers and spectators that far exceeds any other race. Fair warning that I do not have many pictures. Well, none from the race itself. I will try to throw a few in and at the end you can click the link to watch my video (unedited raw footage and probably not that thrilling to most people, but you can see me fake a smile while in pain and head from the finish line to the med tent…but more on that later!).

Miles 1-5: Just full of anticipation. I feel like Magic Kingdom gets further and further away with every race, but it’s really just that it seems like the early part of the race, but it is five miles in so it its quite a bit of time before you actually get there.

Miles 5-6: Oh man, that anticipation kills you from mile five to entering the Kingdom. You’re SO close! And then you get your reward, you get to run down Main Street!!! This part of the course is PACKED with spectators and they are awesome! Hang a right and head through Tomorrowland then through Fantasyland before heading through the Castle. Yup! Disney lets you run through it.

The hubs and I got separated (bathroom break) so I waited on the backside of the castle until he caught up so we could run through together. Oh, and thanks to Anna and Elsa for a the little Disney magic of sprinkling snow! You finish up by running through Liberty Square and Frontierland before heading back outside the park. I was feeling pretty good at this point. Starting to think 10k is my distance, haha.


Miles 6-8.5ish: This is a bit of a boring stretch, but it’s not that long and you’re still on a high from all the fun at Magic Kingdom.

Mile 8.5-9: Running the Track! This is truly a cool experience and the only race you get to run here! Here is where I was really wishing I’d kept up with training. Not because I was hurting, but because I knew I needed energy to get me through the entire race so I had to stay focused through here rather than enjoying myself. I come from a car/racing family so this is a big thrill for me and I couldn’t even pay attention to the cars.

Miles 9-12ish: Another boring stretch. I was starting to feel a little bit of the fatigue at this point. We had been doing 5/1 run/walk ratio and cut it down to about 4/1 at this point.

Miles 12-13: I love running through Animal Kingdom. Just be careful of your footing because the park is a bit rougher than the others! We got to see Monkeys jumping around and the park is already open by this point so people are out and cheering on all the runners. We debated riding Expedition Everest but decided if we sat down in the cars we couldn’t get back out at this point, haha.


Mile 13.1: This was such a great point for me! Halfway done and also where the hubs and I parted ways last year. It was so nice to pound through this point and keep going, TOGETHER!

Miles 13-17: Last year I hobbled through until 16.5ish after the hubs went on his way. This is a long stretch on the dreaded Osceola Parkway. It started drizzling and then raining while we were running here. This was probably the beginning of my downfall. I don’t do well with weather changes under normal circumstance and rain just makes me cold. The bigger problem came after the rain stopped and then it got muggy hot. Ick! Oh, also, they switched up one of the fuel stops and instead of Clif Shots they had Clif Bars. I wish I had looked at the course map and known this. I would’ve scarfed down one of my own gels before the water stop. Instead I tried to choke down a dry, gritty Clif bar (sorry…but that’s what they taste like after 14ish miles). I only got about a third down before pitching it.

Miles 17-20: When you really look at it, you are in ESPN for quite a long time! Its a nice change of pace because you get to run off the track, but its also a windy route so its a bit confusing and turns you around. It started drizzling again through here. Also, my LEAST favorite part of the course. I HATE running through the baseball stadium. At this point in the race (or at any point) you don’t want grit and dirt kicking up into the backs of your shoes. You gotta slllooooooowwwww down to avoid this and it stinks. The crowds through there are a great, but I gotta be honest that they could cut this out and I wouldn’t care a bit.

Miles 20-22: This is where I really started to sink. I think everything just started hitting me at once. The Achilles in my right foot and my left IT band/knee were killing me so I was doing a bit of a shuffle. The hubs kept trying to get me to run, but it wasn’t happening.

Miles 22-23: Hollywood Studios! Woot woot! A little boost of energy to run through the park, but only after a pit stop for me to sit down and breath. I know sitting is bad, but I was light headed and afraid I’d pass out. The chocolate candy (holla at ya Hershey’s!) helped, but not enough. But the run through the park, past the hat and out the entrance was great!


Miles 23-25: What? We’re this far into the race? Really?! Running through the Boardwalk was really neat, but that lightheadedness and the slat boards of the boardwalk were just making me dizzy. Hubs said there were a lot more spectators out by this part of the race last year, but it was pretty sparse when we came through. Still fun and a great part of the race!

Miles 25-26: The LONGEST trip you will ever take around World Showcase! BTW…anyone else on the slower than slow track of this marathon, did you see John Stamos at Mexico? Hubs says “That guy looked like John Stamos” and I said, “I’m pretty sure it was” and then we kept moving. He had a sort of entourage and came running out to cheer someone on, so we’re thinking it was actually him? Anyone confirm?? On the bridge between World Showcase and Future World I took my 3-4 sit break to catch my breath. At this point I realized I wasn’t sweating, but there was no way I wasn’t finishing!


Miles 26-26.2: Hubs tried to get me to run the WHOLE .2 miles but it wasn’t happening. We did hold hands and run across the finish line! Yay!! Such vindication after last year. It felt awesome!

Post race: But immediately after the finish line I veered right towards an RN from the medical tent and a wheelchair. She, of course, got us our medals before wheeling me to the tent itself where they checked my vitals, gave me fluids and a heated blanket. We were there for about a half hour while I got my body back under control. They didn’t officially say what it was, but we are thinking heat exhaustion from my symptoms. After about 10 mins of being there I started getting really confused and was shaking and crying…but they gave me the heated blanket at that point and some powerade and after another 10 mins I was feeling much better.

I am so very grateful to have my wonderful husband who puts up with me and all my craziness. He was the reason I crossed the finish line and helped calm me down in the medical tent. He was so encouraging and uplifting. I was afraid I was disappointing him, but he was just so proud of me pushing through. And, I am so proud of him for finishing his second marathon (without training)!


We hopped a bus back to our resort, grabbed some food and rested in our room for a bit (with compression socks on…get some if you don’t have them). We were planning to head to Downtown Disney in the evening, but it was chilly and rainy, and my left knee was killing me. We ended up just doing a walk up dinner at Maya Grill at our Resort, Coronado Springs. I highly recommend this restaurant, especially if you are staying at Coronado. The food was delicious! We only ate about half our meals so we took them back and enjoyed the remainder for breakfast the next day (cold Tex-Mex is pretty good)!

So you CAN do everything wrong and still finish a marathon, but you will hurt like you’ve never hurt before, might end up in the medical tent, and will be so mad at yourself that you won’t enjoy the race.

That’s my recap!

Marathon Finisher Hannah

Congrats Hannah on finishing your first marathon and for being so honest about your experience.  I know first hand that it is an incredibly difficult experience.  

Here is Hannah’s raw footage from the Marathon and I think it perfectly shows the ups and downs of the race.  It’s not all smiles and running…and that’s ok 🙂

Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Race Weekend Info


For the third year, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler has crept up on us once again…are you ready to take a trip into the fifth dimension??  Well I hope so because I have all the information you will need for the race weekend so you can run directly to these medals!


Health & Fitness Expo

Like all other runDisney race weekends you will need to start yours by heading to the Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Hours for the Expo are:

  • Friday, October 3rd: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 4th: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Participants in all of the races MUST attend the Expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag.  The gEAR bag also doubles at the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, such as pins or necklaces.

Your first stop at the Expo will be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up.  If you are unable to attend the Expo, you can arrange for an absentee pick-up by filling out an authorization form (found here) and providing the person picking up your bib with a photo copy of your ID and signed waiver.  This is also where the Speaker Series will be held throughout the weekend.


From there you will then proceed across the way to the Jostens Center to pick up your race shirt and gEAR bag, visit with over 40 vendors and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.



Here’s a preview of some of the merchandise that will be available from runDisney!


Resort Transportation

Bus transportation will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events taking place during The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.  This includes the Expo, 5K, Kids Races and 10-Miler.  Bus service to the Expo will run during the following times:

  • Friday, October 3rd: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm (last bus will leave resorts at 6:30 pm)
  • Saturday, October 4th: 8:00 am – 3:30 am (last bus will leave resorts at 2:30 pm)

For the 5K, runners must be on a bus by 6:30 am to make it to the corrals by 7:15 am at the latest.  For Kids Races, families must be on a bus by 8:30 am to make it to the corrals by 9:15 am at the latest.  For the 10-Miler, runners must be on a bus by 8:15 pm to make it to the corrals by 9:15 pm at the latest.  Buses will run until 4:00 am on Sunday for a return trip to the resort.  If you are staying at the Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan or Dolphin, you have the option of walking to the staging area.

These are the host resorts for the weekend:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas Resort
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Villas Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Driving Directions

If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  An important thing to note is that there will be NO parking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the evening of the race.  Runners and spectators will need to park at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and take shuttles to the Studios.  Runners must be on a shuttle by 8:15 pm, so make sure to leave extra time to park your car and wait in line for a shuttle.


Since these races have a villain/Halloween theme, the costumes are always great!!  It’s amazing to see what some people run in!  Last year I ran into the Siamese Cats from Lady and the Tramp!

010 Tower-Siamese

Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  This is for your own safety, especially during a night race!  So who are you dressing up as??

Bag Check

Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.  Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race.  The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around if you are planning on staying for the after party.

All bags must be checked by 9:00 pm in the Film Lot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Bags will be available for pick-up at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Theatre and must be claimed by 2:30 am on the morning of October 5th.  This is a LONG hike after the race so if you are meeting friends or family at the after party, consider having them take your bag instead of checking it.

Staging Area & Start Corrals

The corrals will be located on the south side of the Film parking lot past the bag check area.  Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you.  All runners MUST be in their starting corral by 9:15 pm.  Corrals will then be walked down to the starting line (starting with A), which is on the other side of the main toll plaza at the south entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The 10-Miler will start at 10:00 pm with the wheelchair start at 9:58 pm.

015 Tower-Starting-Line

You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.



Race Bibs

Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly.  Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible.

Pacing Requirements

You must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line.  Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.  Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.

Aid Stations

There will be 7 PowerAde and water stops along the course and they are located approximately 1.5 miles apart from each other.  The PowerAde flavor is lemon-lime, so if that isn’t your thing you should carry your own.

Changing Tents

Changing areas will be available outside the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Theatre after the race so you can get out of those sweaty clothes to enjoy the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash.  But be warned that there is no privacy and the tents are HOT, so I have found that it is worth it to stand in line for a bit to get into an air conditioned restroom to change.

Course Maps

Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run


The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler


More information on other events like the Kids Races is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend.  Also, check out some of my packing tips as your get ready to travel and one of my plans for prepping for night races.  I have run this race race for the past two years and have a lot of tips and insight in my race recaps.  Hopefully you will find some of them useful:



I decided to take a break from running this race this year, but I have tons of reporters out there bringing you photos and stories from the weekend.  I have my fingers crossed for you that this year brings some cooler temps so you have a more enjoyable race.  I can’t wait to follow along!!

RAD Signature 100x75

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Course Maps & Corral Placement


Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend starts in only 27 days.  Who’s getting excited?!?  There is so much information around runDisney’s largest race weekend that sometimes it can get overwhelming.  I’m going to try and break it up a bit for you so you can get all of the necessary info to make it a successful weekend.

Let’s start by looking at the course maps and race corrals.  If you are wondering what corral you are in, you can find your race waiver here, which includes your bib number.  You can then see which corral you are in based on that number.  Note that corral placement has not been posted for the 5K or 10K races.  Your corral will be noted on your race bib when you pick it up.

Walt Disney World 5K & 10K


These courses are VERY similar and that’s kind of a bummer for those that are running the Dopey Challenge.  I was hoping that the 10K would include both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios…bummer.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon



This is the same course as in prior years and definitely one of my favorites.  See my mile by mile look at this course here.  For a look at the race itself, here is the Half Marathon recap from 2013.

Walt Disney World Marathon



The 20th anniversary course that was introduced last year seems to be continuing this year.  It’s a tough 26.2 miles, but it’s full of Disney fun!  Here’s the mile by mile description of the course and my Marathon recap from 2013.

Goofy Race and a Half Challenge & Dopey Challenge



And there you have it…courses and corrals.  Don’t forget some of the new changes that are taking place for 2014 Marathon Weekend including the addition of corrals and not being able to change your proof of time at the expo.  More information on this big weekend to come…stay tuned!  Oh and make sure to check out the new medals you will receive!!

What race are you most looking forward to?  

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Thrill Rides


This is one of my favorite series from two of my favorite Disney Bloggers, Estelle from This Happy Place and Melissa from Mouse on the Mind.  It’s so fun to see all of the different opinions on what people love and hate don’t love about the Walt Disney World Resort!  It’s also a great way to discover new blogs through the blog hop…so make sure to check those out!

This month we’re taking a look at thrill rides in Walt Disney World.  This is a tough one!  I’m a big fan of most of the WDW thrill rides, particularly because of the high level of detail.  These attractions submerge you into the surroundings and you often forget about the crazy thrills that lie ahead until they are right upon you making it all the more thrilling!  Let’s get started:

Kill – Mission: SPACE

My dislike for this attraction is twofold.  First, it is INSANELY claustrophobic.  From the moment that they close that door (or is it a wall?) until the end of our trip to Mars, I am filled with anxiety.  The screen is too close to my face, I can’t see what’s going on around me and the G-Force is very uncomfortable.  Oh and the fact that an attraction has barf bags never sits well with me.

Second, it replaced my beloved Horizons.  From Jules Verne to Brava Centauri, I loved every moment of this attraction and still lament it’s departure every time I am in Future World.

Refurb – Splash Mountain

When this attraction first opened, I couldn’t get enough of it.  I think at one point in the early 90s I rode it 6 times in one night and was significantly soaked for the trip back to the hotel.

Since the attraction is now over 20 years old, it is starting to show it’s age.  There always seems to be something that isn’t working, the details are fading and it just doesn’t have the pizzazz that it originally did.  Also, the addition of those lap bars have made the seats very small and uncomfortable.  I mean really, were those necessary?!?  Overall, it could just use a complete overhaul to liven it up a bit.

Marry – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Yes, I know this is shocking!  OK, not really…this was an obvious choice for me.  Unlike Splash Mountain, this attraction has only improved with age.  The way it continues to eerily loom at the end of Sunset Boulevard building on your suspense as you approach the attraction.  The dust over the years can only add to the creepiness of the hotel lobby.  The addition of the random drop sequences leaves you anticipating what will come next!  Everything, all the details…it’s just the perfect thrill ride!!

Tower of Terror

I also have a soft spot for this attraction because it is the first one that B and I ever rode together and we got this awesome pic!

Look how young we are!

Look how young we are!

Now it’s time for you to play along!  Here is the full list of all of the thrill rides at Walt Disney World.  What are your choices for thrill rides to Kill, Refurb, Marry??

Also, make sure to check out all of the other awesome bloggers participating in the Kill, Refurb, Marry blog hop or link up your own post!


2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Race Recap: A West Coast Point of View

I was lucky to get to know Kinnereth Jory, a California native and Disneyland regular, as I was getting ready for the Disneyland Half Marathon this year.  She had some GREAT tips for touring Disneyland for me!  So I was happy to return the favor when she was coming with her fiancee Andy to WDW for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  Kinnereth and Andy put together this fun Hers & His recap of the race…check it out!

Hello, readers of Running At Disney! Sarah asked us to share our race recap from a “Disneyland goer” point of view and we are so happy to share with all of you.

Kinnereth & Andy

Kinnereth & Andy!

Overall Impressions

Hers:  Disney World is so large!  I had been for the 2012 Princess Half Marathon (my second half and first Coast to Coast) but I forgot how large the property is in general.  We always tried to allow at least 20 minutes for shuttles (we stayed on property) and an hour to arrive at our destination (including possible walking).

We arrived from CA Saturday morning (I do NOT recommend this).  We were able to check in and nap before heading to the expo. runDisney in FL was very organized.  We were able to get to the expo on Saturday afternoon, change Andy’s corral, and exchange my shirt—all in less than an hour!  We lunched and rested for a bit before heading to the race start.

I had done extensive research by reading race recaps from prior years so that we would know what to expect.  I think this really helped us be prepared! Here are the tips we appreciated most: eat lunch and then lighter snacks leading up to race, be sure to rest and nap the day of the race, pack a check-bag with dry clothes for the after party, pack baby wipes for said changing.

His:  I’m originally from Ohio, so I had been to WDW more than Disneyland up until a year or so ago… but that was back in 1985 or so when there was just Magic Kingdom and EPCOT (which was only a few years old at that point). As a kid I didn’t realize the enormity of WDW and each of its parks. I’ve heard Disneyland is 300 acres… and WDW is 30,000 acres! Wow. That is huge.

We flew into Orlando on a red-eye flight from CA. I don’t sleep well on planes, so I barely had about 3 hours sleep the entire night when we arrived at our hotel—All-Star Movies—(which I’m glad we stayed at because my fiancee knows how into movies I am). After getting everything set with our reservation they found a room that we could stay at immediately! That pretty much made my day. So we went to the room and I crashed for a few hours.

After that we waited for the bus to ESPN… but the bus never arrived. In the span of about 20 minutes FOUR Hollywood Studios buses came by (stopping at the same area we were standing at), which was very teasing for us. We enquired about the Event buses we kept seeing go by (which never stopped at the bus stops). We discovered that they stopped around the other side of the building. While waiting for one of the Event buses, we finally saw an ESPN bus go by and ran to catch it.

Race Differences

Hers:  runDisney in CA needs to take a page from runDisney in FL and host a better race expo.  I loved the expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  It was so easy to navigate and we hardly waited in any lines!  I hope that the Tinker Bell half I run January 2014 goes as smoothly 🙂

02 W&D_Expo

In Disneyland I am used to walking to the starting line of the race from my hotel.  I have run four half marathons there and we easily have about 45 minutes to get ready and walk over. I was scared to be late to this nighttime race, so I made us arrive to the shuttle by 7:20pm!  We had NO problems getting on the shuttle right away and arriving quickly at the starting area.  My packet was missing the wrist band for entering the after party, so we popped in to the info booth and they gave me one (so easy – thanks runDisney), next we checked our bags and used the restrooms.  We looked at our watches and it was only 8pm.  So we sat on the grass and took pictures… do you like our signs?

03 W&D_K&A

The starting line and corral system seemed very similar to me.  I think there were more corrals in WDW, partly because there is more room!  This helped the race to be less congested.

Course: We ran on the highway first, then entered Animal Kingdom for a bit and back out to the road.  At mile 9 we ran through Hollywood studios, this time for about 1 whole mile, then on to some road by a resort before we reached Epcot.  Running the later miles in the parks was nice.  The west coast races have anywhere from 4-6 miles in the parks, then a looong time out in the neighborhoods of Anaheim (it does get boring) before heading back to the [same] parks for the last 1.5 mile.

04 W&D_Osborne

His:  Getting all the race stuff at WDW is a WAAAAY easier experience than at Disneyland. At Disneyland they don’t really have any space to hold the expo. They hold it in the bottom of the Disneyland Hotel, which is teeny-tiny and gets completely jam-packed with lines of people, often criss-crossing each other in the middle of the space. Ridiculous!

By contrast, at WDW there’s so much space that getting your bib and race bag is quick and simple. I was amazed at the difference. Back to the hotel we went for another nap to catch up on the sleep we hadn’t gotten on the plane.

We awoke at 5:30 pm, got dressed, caught a bus (quickly this time), and headed back over to ESPN to wait for the race to begin. We checked in a bag with a whole set of clean clothes for after the race, as well as a baggy of baby wipes so that we could at least get somewhat clean after the race. We stretched or sat on the grass waiting with everyone else and talked to some nice people while waiting.

We heard the call to line up and plodded along with all the other people into our correct corral. There we waited another 30 minutes or so for Corral A to begin the race. We were in Corral F so it was even later for us to begin. Finally we were off!

05 W&D_Fireworks

Race highlights

Hers:  I loved the nighttime race!  I loved all the time spent running through the different parks.  I loved hearing the “Congratulations” & “Good Luck” from fellow runners who read the signs on our backs 😉

The after party!  What a fun idea!  We zoomed past the changing tents and missed the comped beverage in order to sit down and stretch.  Then in Epcot we changed to dry clothes, purchased a glass of champagne and tried food from Hawaii, Greece, and Morroco.  All delicious!  We even had time to ride Maelstrom and Test Track before heading to bed at 4am.

His:  We started at a slow pace so that we wouldn’t get tired early. I hadn’t been keeping up on my training so I’d only done one long run (8 miles) since the Disneyland Half Marathon two months before. Not a great idea by any means, but life gets in the way of training… at least for me.

Anywho, we were running and I was feeling pretty good. My best race was a 10K around San Francisco a few months ago and I was able to do so well because of the weather. I don’t know about most people but weather means pretty much everything to me. I cannot stand being hot while I run or to have the sun in my eyes. As such I almost always run after it gets dark. I know that this is the opposite of most runners, who love to run in the morning, but that’s the way it goes.

So I was very excited that the Wine&Dine Half was being held at night. I had such a hellacious time at the Disneyland Half in September because after about a half hour of running the sun was up, it quickly got to about 90 degrees, and the humidity was something like 75% (which people from other states may not think is bad, but CA usually has extremely LOW humidity, being the semi-arid region that it is). Anyway, running the Wine&Dine Half was a much nicer experience for me because it was dark and the humidity was low, especially for FL.

WineDine Race from Website

I felt pretty good in the first few miles. We made a quick potty stop at mile 3, then kept on truckin’. My fiancee is a much better runner than I am, faster and with no complaining, while I bitch pretty much the entire time because everything hurts. But I was doing pretty good keeping up with her. We would go for two miles, take a 1-2 minute walk break, repeat. I was feeling so good in fact that I ran this way for the first 9 miles, which is saying a lot for me.  During the Disneyland Half I basically had to stop running after the 6th mile because any time I tried to start up again my quads would seize up and was incredibly painful.

But again, running at the Wine&Dine Half was a MUCH better experience for me.

Race Struggles

Hers:  Thankfully, I didn’t have any physical struggles this race.  I finally feel like I am getting into a running “grove”.  This was half marathon #8 for me, and I am currently training for my very first full, the Napa Valley Marathon 2014!!!  Ahhh!  I do think the higher mileage has helped me, personally.

What I did struggle with was a few spots on the course that seemed disorienting or dangerous.  When we got into Animal Kingdom the smell of the animal pens hit me (phew!), but it was also darker there and the paths were very narrow.  It was tough to really run my own pace with all the people and the fact that I was looking down to be sure of my footing.

Then in Hollywood Studios we passed through a tunnel that was filled with fog and disco lights – really!!!  I cannot stand disco lights or strobe lights, I get headaches and avoid them at all costs.  I really wanted to run with my eyes closed during this section.  The fog on top of humidity I’m not used to made it hard to breath.  Thankfully this stretch seemed to end quickly!

I enjoyed this race so much.  All of the great things outweigh the few negative experiences.  I hope to come back and race this one again.  Maybe on an anniversary year?

His:  From mile 9 to the end I had a lot more problems. I started getting the same quad pains that I did at the Disneyland Half (although to a much lesser extent). I had to stop to walk after each mile (it’s a good idea to walk through the water stops btw because it’s hard to drink whilst running).

From mile 9 to the end I also had to run a lot slower. Up until Mile 9 we were running around 11-minute miles. Because of all the walking that I had to do, Mile 13 apparently took me around 20 minutes, but I was so exhausted and in so much pain that there was no way I could have done any better. All I was shooting for was to get under 3 hours, which I did!

Official Time: 2:58:05

WineDine Race Results Me and Kinner

Thanks for sticking with us and happy running!

08 W&D_Medals

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