Posts Tagged by Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K Race Recap

Today my friend Sarah Norris (hey…awesome name!) of Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free in WDW recaps the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K which took place over the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  This is Sarah’s 2nd 5K and it has been amazing to see her progress over the past few months.  She is a fellow sufferer of IBD and I just love hearing positive experiences for those of us that often struggle.  She’s defying the odds and I’m so proud to call her my friend and follow her running journey.  I know you will to!  Take it away Sarah!  

It’s hard to believe that not that long ago, I had my first runDisney race. I ran the Happy Haunted 5K (which was my first race ever). In that race, I was quite nervous as a first-time racer but with one race under my belt, I was feeling very excited for the Jingle Jungle 5K. This race was held during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and was held at the Animal Kingdom Theme Park. The race was scheduled for 7 a.m.

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I knew going in this race was going to be a lot bigger, so I made sure to get to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex early on Friday. This expo opened up earlier than the Tower of Terror Ten Miler Weekend race, opening at 10 a.m. instead of noon. I like getting my bib & packet pick-up first so that I’m not feeling stressed and can walk the expo more. This time packet pick-up was in the HP Field House. The crowds seemed lower to me, and I’m not sure if it was just time of day or if the separation of the pick-up & expo made the crowds seem lower. I also thought it was a nice touch that they had an official merchandise station both in the HP Field House and the Jostens Center. (2012 Wine & Dine Health & Fitness Expo Recap)

I was a little concerned my corral placement would be further back in this race because my race bib number was higher this time. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see I was placed in corral B. Once I got my bib, I headed to the Jostens Center for some retail therapy and to pick up my race shirt. I liked the Jingle Jungle 5K shirt better than the Halloween one, but I’m also partial to the holidays. Overall, I’ve liked both shirts I’ve been given so far.

02 JJ5K_Jing_Jungle_Shirts

I picked up a few last minute race costume additions. In my first race, I didn’t wear a costume and for this race I really wanted to wear something fun. I chose a sparkle skirt from Sparkle Athletic and a sparkly headband from Sparkly Soul. Yes, I sparkled from head to toe!

03 JJ5K_Jiingle_Jungle_Running_Outfit

The first thing I noticed was that the expo was definitely bigger this time with a lot more booths. There were also a lot of vendors who were not present at the previous expo. I particularly liked the Chiquita booth where you could play Chiquita banana plinko. So much fun. Many of the vendors & booths gave out nice freebies and samples. I even lucked out and scored a gift card to Fit2Run, which is a local Florida fitness store chain (with a location that opened at Downtown Disney during Wine & Dine weekend). I also ran into some friends at this race, including my friend Jen from Travel Girl on the Run! She is also a fellow runner with Crohn’s disease, and it’s really nice that we can all share our experiences with one another, especially IBD nutrition and running.

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This time, I made sure to relax and unwind before my race. I was staying conveniently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, which is so close to the Animal Kingdom Park. It made for an easy drive in the morning before the race. That evening, my family and I enjoyed a low-key meal at Kouzzina. And then, of course, early bedtime. To me, early bedtime is crucial. Because of my Crohn’s disease, I’m prone to chronic fatigue and I need to make sure I get sleep.

Once the 5 a.m. wakeup came, I was ready to go. I changed into my race outfit and also got my bib on. I then made sure to drink a protein shake. One of the biggest struggles I had the last time was nutrition, so I wanted to support myself as much as possible. I prefer the Plant Fusion chocolate raspberry shake with water. Bring a portable shaker, and you’re good to go! I also packed myself a Gu, which I normally wouldn’t consume on my short runs but because I have Crohn’s and often lose a lot of salt (plus I drink a lot) I found I really needed something to replace my body with after my run the last time. I also tend to push myself in these races so it was extra crucial. Gu’s are gluten free & dairy free so it was great to have on hand.

05 JJ5K_Gu

Once we got to the Animal Kingdom parking lot, one of the big differences I noticed was that the corral setup was very different. It seemed a lot more compact and also a little bit more crowded. The lines for the character and holiday photos were huge, so I didn’t get a chance to officially pose in them. I did however get an unofficial one by standing off to the side. The neatest thing at this race was the fake snow. Yes, you read that right—snow! They use soap bubbles to create snow effects, and it’s really cool. Along with occasional holiday music, this put me in the holiday spirit and was so fitting for this race. I will say they didn’t play as many holiday songs as I would have thought. It was way more dance music. Dance music is just not my thing at 5:30 a.m.

06 JJ5K_Sarah_Holiday

I finally made it to my corral and made sure to stick to the side. I don’t know why, but I like the sides. Plus, I get to chat with my family too! They surprised me with a sign to give me motivation to run harder. It was really nice of them to be there to cheer me on so early.

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Before I knew it, it was time to run! This race didn’t have quite as much fanfare as the Happy Haunted 5K did, and I was a little disappointed in that. It just seemed like it was rather rushed and not quite as much anticipation/build-up. But I will say that the race inside the park made up for that.

The first mile or so was in the parking lot. That was pretty boring! It was cool because there were a lot of folks around chatting and having fun, but as far as decor, there wasn’t really anything. You could hear mostly just the announcers & music from the start of the race. Then when you got into the park, things got way more magical!

I will just say that I adore the Animal Kingdom and this was such a great place for a race. There were many character spots, and I personally wanted to try to get a least one photo. I skipped most of them primarily due to long lines & lack of theming. I like many of the characters but I was hoping more of them would be dressed in holiday costumes. The park had lots of holiday music playing and it was just neat to run past the Tree of Life and Expedition Everest.

08 JJ5K_Sarah_EE

Another good tip is to make sure you hit all of the water stations, even if you don’t think you need to. It was much cooler than the Happy Haunted 5K but still a good idea to hydrate whenever possible. And thank those amazing volunteers who are helping out! They rock!

The one character spot I missed but really regretted was with Chip & Dale. I love those chipmunks and they were so cute in holiday garb. But the line was really long. I was glad I was able to meet up with Donald later in the race. Because it was closer to the end of the race, and I felt that my pace was good, I decided to stop for the holiday photo with Donald. And I’m so glad I did because it’s one of my most favorite photos from the race.

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Before I knew it the race was over! It was definitely a really awesome race. Not only was the theming great, but I also felt more confident as a runner (pushed it this time and set a 13:52 mile pace throughout the entire race). My race time was 45:51 though I paused my app when I met with Donald making my actual time in the race 49 minutes! That was definitely a huge jump, and gave me even more confidence to keep training hard for the upcoming Marathon weekend 5K.

After the race, my family and I went back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to celebrate with breakfast at Boma. There were tons of Jingle Jungle 5K racers at the breakfast, as you could see a lot of “race bling” throughout the restaurant. Overall, I really enjoyed this race. I’m even more excited now for the next race which will be the Family Fun Run 5K at Marathon weekend.

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July 2013 runDisney Update


Last week, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon sold out in less than 2 days…crazy!  This leaves the Disney Princess Half Marathon as the only available runDisney half marathon available to still register for in the next year.  But it won’t be available for long because it’s already 94% full!

Some of the 5Ks, 10Ks and Kids Races are still available, along with the WDW Marathon, but they are filling up fast.  Here’s where the capacities are at:

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

  • All events SOLD OUT

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler – SOLD OUT
  • Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run – 87% Full
  • Kids Races – 55% Full

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

  • Wine & Dine Half Marathon – SOLD OUT
  • Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K – 82% Full
  • Kid’s Races – 53% Full
  • Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste – 87% Full

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

  • Walt Disney World Marathon – 96% Full
  • Walt Disney World Half Marathon – SOLD OUT
  • Walt Disney World 10K – SOLD OUT
  • Disney Family Fun Run 5K – SOLD OUT
  • Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – 85% Full
  • Dopey Challenge – SOLD OUT
  • Pasta in the Park Party – 51% Full

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend

  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon – SOLD OUT
  • Tinker Bell 10k – 54% Full
  • Never Land Family Fun Run 5K – 64% Full
  • Kids Races – SOLD OUT

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

  • Disney Princess Half Marathon – 94% Full
  • Disney Enchanted 10K – SOLD OUT
  • Glass Slipper Challenge – SOLD OUT

Expedition Everest Challenge

  • Date to be announced

The next race to sell out will most likely be the Walt Disney World Marathon, as it is now 96% full.  I’ve decided to not run the full marathon this year, as once was enough for me and I’m just happy that I crossed marathon off my bucket-list.  But there will be over 25,000 of you out there and I will definitely be cheering you on!

What runDisney race is on your bucket list?

June 2013 runDisney Race Update

Well these new runDisney challenges have proven to be quite popular!!  First the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, then the Dopey Challenge and now the Glass Slipper Challenge.  All have sold out in record time and we runDisney fanatics can get enough!

GSC Castle

Because of the popularity increase, most races are now sold out for the upcoming runDisney race season.  Here’s how each weekend is playing out:

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

  • All events SOLD OUT

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler – SOLD OUT
  • Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run – 68% Full
  • Kids Races – 52% Full

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

  • Wine & Dine Half Marathon – SOLD OUT
  • Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K – 64% Full

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

  • Walt Disney World Marathon – 83% Full
  • Walt Disney World Half Marathon – SOLD OUT
  • Walt Disney World 10K – SOLD OUT
  • Disney Family Fun Run 5K – SOLD OUT
  • Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – 79% Full
  • Dopey Challenge – SOLD OUT

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend

  • On Sale July 9, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

  • Disney Princess Half Marathon – 65% Full
  • Disney Enchanted 10K – SOLD OUT
  • Glass Slipper Challenge – SOLD OUT

As you can see, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend on-sale is coming up soon and is sure to sell out in record time.  So if you are interested in participating, make sure to set your alarms for noon EST on July 9th to get in!  This race is on my runDisney bucket list, but sadly I think I’m going to have to wait until 2015 to run it.

What race are you most looking forward to in this runDisney race season??

RAD Reads and Weekly Review: March 31, 2013

This week I registered for both the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  I also had to take a 2nd mortgage out on the house because of it, but it’s so worth it 😉  I wasn’t going to run the 10-Miler this year because I really didn’t love the race last year.  The course wasn’t my favorite, but really the heat is what the big problem was.  I thought about it and figured I’d try it again.  runDisney seems to make improvements to their races every year so I’m hoping this will be the same.  Plus, since I did the inaugural race, I kind of feel obligated to do it again.  That’s not silly right????

This week I also signed up for the Kick Ass 5K on April 9th!  This is a virtual 5K hosted by Abby at Run Stronger Every Day and is benefiting one of my favorite organizations, Team Challenge and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).  Abby’s story is quite inspiring.  She has been running for over 20 years and a few years ago was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), which was quickly attacking her colon.  After having no luck with medication (strong medications!), she made the choice to have her colon removed.   I’ve also been suffering from UC for about 10 years now and getting to the point of having my colon removed is a fear I live with everyday.


Last year, I ran with Team Challenge at the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon and raised money for CCFA to help find a cure for these horrible diseases.  We tend to suffer silently, but people like Abby are helping to raise awareness and also give others, like me, the strength to talk about it as well.  Every little bit helps, so please consider donating as little as $15 and join us in running this Kick Ass 5K!

It’s been a different kind of week for me over on RAD…less fitness, more personal stories.  Just trying to mix it up a bit 😉  So in case you missed it:

There have also been some great RAD Reads out there in the blogosphere…check these out:

Running & Fitness Posts
Carrots ‘n’ Cake has some great tips on how to stick to your meal plan.

We Run Disney shares great tips on how to train for numerous races at once.

Live, Run Grow recaps her killer PR at the New York 13.1 Marathon…go girl!!!

Disney Posts
Studios Central has a preview of some of the 2013 Star Wars Weekend merchandise.

Da Mouse shows how the hills of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are coming alive.  I can’t wait for this attraction!

The Disney Food Blog has a recap of Marc Davis Centennial Dinner INSIDE the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.  This is just beyond amazing!

Disney Avenue takes a look at Walt Disney’s plane…pretty cool history.

Weekly Review
FINALLY I had a good week!  I got a good run in, 3 days of CrossFit and I had a wonderful week of meals.  Here’s my week and a always you can see my full WODs on my page on dailymile.

Sunday: 5 mile run
Monday: CrossFit: Power Cleans & Box Jumps
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: CrossFit: Pullups, Jump Rope, Row & Running
Thursday: CrossFit: Power Snatches, KB Swings, Box Jumps & AD
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

I hit some big PRs in CrossFit this week.  I had my first clean over 100#!  It wasn’t pretty and I actually strained my lower back a bit while doing it (yikes!), but I finished the clean and I’m pretty psyched about it!

What did you accomplish this week?

2012 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Photos!

Just a few memories from the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend…Enjoy!!

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos and shared your memories from Wine & Dine Weekend!

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