Posts Tagged by wine & dine

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…

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Info

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Five Years Running!  It’s hard to believe that the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is already 5 years old, but I’m happy to say that it has just gotten better with age.  This is definitely one of my favorite courses because you get to run through 3 of the parks that are all lit up with fun nighttime entertainment…can’t get much better than that.  Oh and look at the rad medals you can get!

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Like any runDisney race weekend, there are TONS of details that you need to know to make your race go smoothly.  Well I’ve got all of that for your right here in one place!  Let’s get started…

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, November 7th: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, November 8th: 9:00 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 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.

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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 50 vendors and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.

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Resort Transportation

Bus transportation will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events taking place during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  This includes the Expo, 5K, Kids Races and the half marathon.  Bus service to the Expo will run during the following times:

  • Friday, November 7th: 9:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
  • Saturday, November 8th: 8:30 am – 2:30 am (last bus will leave for the resorts at 3:30 pm)

For the 5K, runners must be on a bus by 5:30 am to make it to the corrals by 6:15 am at the latest.  For Kids Races, families must be on a bus by 9:00 am to make it to the corrals by 9:45 am at the latest.  For the 10-Miler, runners must be on a bus by 8:00 pm to make it to the corrals by 9:15 pm at the latest.  Buses will run until 4:30 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 back to your resort at the end of the night.

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 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 or guest drop-off at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the evening of the race.  Runners will need to park at Epcot and take shuttles to the Sports Complex.  Parking fees for runners and spectators will be waived at Epcot after 6:00 pm on the night of the race.  Runners must be on a shuttle by 8:00 pm, so make sure to leave extra time to park your car and wait in line for a shuttle.  Event transportation will be suspended between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm due to road closures and the start of the race.

Costumes

Costumes are one of the best parts of any Disney race.  It’s amazing to see what some people run in!  For this race you will see a lot of chefs and food themed costumes.  I even saw someone running as a bunch of grapes!

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 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Bags will be available for pick-up in the Epcot Imagine Parking Lot and must be claimed by 2:30 am on the morning of November 9th.

Staging Area & Start Corrals

When you arrive by shuttle to to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex you will be directed to a large staging area.  This is where you will find bag check, water stations, photo ops and most importantly Port-a-Potties.  You can hang out here until about 30 minutes until the start of the race when you will need to be in your corrals.

The corrals will be located in the Touchdown Lot at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  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 9:30 pm. The Wine & Dine Half Marathon will start at 10:00 pm with the wheelchair start at 9:58 pm.

Waiting at the Starting Line!

You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.  I will be in Corral H so please say hi if you see me around!

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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 9 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.  There will be one food station at mile 8.4 that will have Clif Shots available.

Changing Tents

Changing areas will be available in the finish line area of the Epcot Imagine Lot after the race so you can get out of those sweaty clothes to enjoy the Finish Line Party.  But be warned that there is no privacy and the tents can get 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.

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Tip for you: Walk farther into Epcot and use the bathrooms in one of the Innoventions buildings…they are typically empty!

Course Maps

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K

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Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

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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.  Also, Jenn from DISining Memories recently shared some great tips on Prepping for a Night Race vs. a Morning Race if you’re not used to running at night.

I ran this race two years ago and have tips and insights from my experience in my race recaps, plus from my friends who covered it for me last year!  Hopefully you will find some of them useful:

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2012

I really excited to be returning this year to run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  It’s probably my favorite race course and my second favorite race after Princess.  Plus having the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at the finish line is a BIG win in my book!  Speaking of the Food & Wine Festival, make sure to get a copy of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to help you plan out what booth you want to hit after the race to refuel.

Take my advice and head straight to Australia for a lamb chop (protein!) and take it inside Craft Beers to enjoy with an ice cold brew.  You can thank me later 😉

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Hope to see you there!!

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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 🙂

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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!

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runDisney 2013 Wine & Dine Meet Up!

My running buddy Jim DeMarco was one of the lucky few who got into the very first runDisney Meet Up to be held at night over Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  He was awesome enough to recap the whole event for RAD and it looks like it was a blast!  Take it away Jim…  

Well, it was my third Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend, and I was extremely excited (and nervous) as the time got closer.   The week before the race though, something great happened…I was one of only 125 people lucky enough to be chosen for the runDisney Wine & Dine Meet Up!!!   This was my second meet up (first one was in Disneyland in August), but this was also the first nighttime meet up!

The meet up took place the Thursday before the race.   Check in was in front of Epcot at 7:00 pm, where we received a great maroon runDisney shirt, as well as a Fast Pass for Test Track!  Something to do until we had to reconvene at 8:45 pm!   What was at 8:45 pm you may ask?   Exclusive priority viewing for Illuminations!!!!   I haven’t seen Illuminations in years, and boy, did I miss it!  All 125 of us got to mingle for a few minutes before 9:00 pm and the main show took place!

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After Illuminations ended and cleared out, we all marched over to the American Garden Pavilion to have some vegan chicken skewers, cookies and vegan wine (who knew there was vegan wine?  Not me!!!).

After we all got to nosh on some food, we sat down for the main presentation.   Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director at Walt Disney World, acted as MC to introduce the main guests!

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First up was Jeff Galloway and Diet Diva Tara Gidus (Fitness Consultant for runDisney).   They offered some great tips for fitness, and how to have the best run possible!

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After Jeff and Tara, we were treated to a presentation by two of the chefs and a wine connoisseur for Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival!   They talked about their favorite foods and wines, and even guided us on what vegan wine actually was!

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Then came my favorite part – the New Balance folks took the stage to talk about the 2014 runDisney running shoes!   While we didn’t get to actually see the sneakers, we did get to see a video, which showcased new running shoe inserts coming in 2014.  The inserts will commemorate the races of those special weekends!   Even the box that the shoes will come in has been redesigned for 2014, featuring Mickey on the cover!!!  (Get a sneak peak of the new shoe designs here!)

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After the New Balance presentation, we got to have pictures taken with the BIG CHEESE!!!   (here’s one of me and the head honcho!).

06 W&D MeetUp

Now it was officially time to do some running!   We were split into two groups, straight running and the other group was Run/Walk (Jeff Galloway method).   We did one and ½ loops around World Showcase and then headed to the big fountain in Future World for a group photo (BIG GROUP!!!)

07 W&D MeetUp

Well, the clock was about to strike midnight…and what does one do during the Wine & Dine half weekend at midnight?  Have a champagne toast!

08 W&D MeetUp

Overall, it was a great meet up, got to meet some great people and see old friends, and spark the flame for the weekend!    runDisney meet ups are amazing!  If you ever have the lucky opportunity to attend one, get pumped for some fun and surprises!!!    Cheers!

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