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Wine and Dine Half Marathon Archives

November 15, 2016

2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, Part 2, Half Marathon and Post Race Party

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Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Sunday, November 6 - Half Marathon

Saturday night was the time change - and we got to "fall back" an hour. That was very nice, since it meant that we got to sleep for an extra hour on what was already a short night! But it didn't make it a whole lot easier to get up at 2:30. That's one of the other things I liked about the half marathon being at night - the three hour time difference between the east coast and west coast actually worked FOR us for the nighttime race.

The half marathon started at ESPN Wide World of Sports, which meant that we needed to take a bus to the start line. No cars are allowed to park there. If you want to drive your own car you can drive to Epcot and park, then take a bus to the start line from there.

The buses started running at 3:00, and we caught one at 3:15. It wasn't all the way full, and there were more buses waiting behind it at our resort. I had a friend who was at Pop Century who said the bus lines were longer there, and she had more of a wait than we did.

The area that used to be the race staging area is now the construction zone for the new arena so we were in a different place this year. I thought it was closer to the actual corrals, though.

There were the same four character photo locations that we'd seen for the 10K, and we didn't wait in any of the lines. We had an even larger Team AllEars reunion than we did for the 10K!

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

It seemed like there were plenty of porta-potties. One set near bag check, and one set closer to the corral entrances. Still, I thought the lines seemed longer than usual. There were less than 15,000 runners in the half marathon. This particular half still has the smallest field of any of the Disney World half marathons.

Lee, Stan, and I were all planning to run together, so we headed out to corral E. There were fireworks for the start of each corral. We started about 12 minutes after the official start of the race. We'd all run the 10K hard the day before so were planning to take it easy for the half marathon. (If you've never done back-to-back races before then I do not recommend running the first race hard. Yes, this would be a case of "Do as I say, not as I do." I have enough experience to know how my body will respond to doing that. And while I would run a 10K hard with a half the next day, I would not run a half hard with a marathon the next day!)

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

I mentioned previously that there was a new course for the race this year. The Studios portion was cut out completely - my theory is that it's due to a combination of construction and no Osborne Lights. The first part of the race was the same as in previous years - we headed out on Osceola Parkway to Animal Kingdom. Most of this route is nice and wide so there's lots of room. We didn't feel too crowded after the first half mile or so.

The temperature was a little cooler than the day before - 65 at the start - but it was still very humid. Over 90% at the start of the race. Still, since the temperature was under 70 it wasn't too bad. The Country Bears were near the mile 1 sign, but we didn't stop. At several places along the course there were huge video screens showing scenes from various Disney movies - one of those was on the overpass near mile 2.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We arrived in Animal Kingdom when it was just about sunrise. The Tree of Life looked nice.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We ran through a lot of Animal Kingdom - Harambe Village, Dino Land, and Asia. There was some beautiful light over Expedition Everest. I saw a few character stops: Baloo, Timon, Chip and Dale, but the lines were a little long.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Eventually we went backstage at Animal Kingdom. I had to take a photo of Stan and Lee by the mile 5 sign. :-) Only 8.1 miles to go until they could get a beer!

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

There was a short line for Meeko, so we stopped...but as we came to the head of the line he had to go for a biscuit break. It was only a couple of minutes, though. He was pretty cute when he came back.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

I tried to interest him in my shiny running watch but he was much more intrigued by my tiara! :-)

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

It was a fun stop - worth the extra few minutes.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

And then it was on to the the really boring miles. This part of the course was the reverse of part of the marathon course from Animal Kingdom back to World Drive. Several miles of trees, recycling plant, and more trees. There was a Mike and Sulley character stop (long line) and a pair of Streetmosphere characters dressed as tacky tourists.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Somewhere after mile 8 there was another big screen that was showing a video of the Food and Wine Festival - including some of the food booths with cast members cheering us on. I haven't decided yet if that was encouraging or just cruel.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

By mile 9 we had turned onto World Drive and were headed for Epcot. This part of the course was quite familiar to us since it's the same as most of the other WDW half marathons.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

There were a couple of character stops - Darkwing Duck and Launchpad McQuack were at the turn onto World Drive, and later we saw Lilo and Stitch. The line for them wasn't too long, but they pulled both of them for a break just after we got in line. I was surprised - normally they stagger them so that one is always out. We didn't want to wait this time, so went on.

We found our cheer squad just past the mile 12 sign near the entrance to Epcot. So wonderful to see these smiling faces!

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow were backstage at Epcot, and there was no line.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Homes for our Troops was the charity for this race, and most of the volunteers were wearing those shirts.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We saw Phineas and Ferb at the Future World bridge but didn't stop, though we did stop for a photo with Spaceship Earth in the background. This one was taken by one of Disney's PhotoPass photographers, who were the official race photographers again. They took some pretty good photos of us, and since we are annual passholders the downloads are free. That's a nice benefit.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Yay! The gospel choir was in their usual .2 miles to the finish location! It's always so wonderful to see them.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

And...we finished! 2:37:03. Not bad. Though it was still under 70 degrees it felt warmer because the sun was out. There was a slight breeze, though. Volunteers handed us wet Dr. Kool towels after we finished.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We received our new challenge medals. The volunteers handing out the challenge medals (Hi, Michele!) had a lot to keep track of - in addition to the Lumiere's Challenge medal they were giving out Coast-to-Coast medals and Castle-to-Chateau medals! I saw a couple of people who had received the Castle-to-Chateau medals. (Which reminds me that I saw NO Castle-to-Chateau merchandise at the Expo.)

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

After exiting the finish area our first stop was the beverage trucks. The guys wanted beer and I wanted champagne! I was pleasantly surprised that the lines weren't long.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We waited for the rest of our group to finish...while we did we ate some of the contents of our runDisney snack boxes. It was the usual selection - tortilla chips, cheese dip, Craisins, applesauce, Oreo cookie, and icky energy bar. At least the contents have improved somewhat over what was originally in these boxes when they first started distributing them. The applesauce and chips tasted good after the race.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

After everyone had finished we took our respective buses back to our resorts. The bus lines weren't too bad, and our timing was excellent and we walked right onto our bus.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

One thing I discovered about the Lumiere medal is that the flames on the candlesticks glow in the dark!

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

That night we went to the post-race party. It started at 10:00 and went until 1:00 a.m. We didn't arrive until about 11:00. As we walked into the park from the International Gateway we saw quite a few people already leaving. I was interested in how well attended it might be, since from among my sample set of 10 runners, Lee and I were the only ones who were going.

We used our ticket to get in, and then received a wristband, though no one ever checked it.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We stopped for a selfie with the Eiffel Tower, since we'd seen the real thing about six weeks ago.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

There were a lot of character photo ops during the party, and those lines were huge. This one was Abu, Aladdin, and Jasmine.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

There were short/no lines at the food booths. We had just come from a delicious dinner at Flying Fish so we weren't very hungry, and just wandered around.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

A performance of American Music Machine was just starting in the America Gardens Theater and we stopped to see that. I felt badly for the performers since there were maybe 50 people in the audience. That seemed to me to be an odd choice of entertainment for the party - it's such a large venue.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We walked by some more character stops - Tiana, Naveen, and Louis, Pinocchio and Geppetto, Snow White and Dopey, Mulan and Mushu. All with long lines. Frozen Ever After was open, but had a 60 minute standby line. No thanks. Donald Duck was out in Mexico, and the Mariachi Trio was also performing there.

There was a DJ on the stage at the Fountain of Nations. Playing lots of pop music that was broadcast all over Epcot. There were a few people dancing at the stage. The food booths were really not busy by this time, and the cast members were dancing and having a good time, too. That was fun to watch.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Soarin', Test Track, and Spaceship Earth were all open in Future World but we didn't check them out.

As I mentioned, we weren't really hungry, but we stopped at the Refreshment Outpost to get their Dole Whip with Coconut Rum Festival offering. Yummy.

The Alberta Bound group was also performing during the party, though we didn't see them. It was after midnight and the park was pretty quiet. It had been a very long day for us and we were tired so we headed out the International Gateway. I was surprised to see that there were still a few people entering the park at that time!

Final Thoughts

I still think that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is the best value of any of the Disney races. It doesn't cost any more than the other half marathons but it includes the post-race party and the $15 gift card.

Still, I preferred the "old" Wine and Dine format with the half marathon at night and the party right afterwards. I don't think the race in the morning and the party that night worked very well. Attending the party just after finishing the race meant that we were hyped up and hungry and ready to party - but this time we were just tired. And so many runners didn't end up going to the party at all. Maybe if we hadn't had a big dinner I would have felt differently, and would have been able to enjoy the short lines a the booths. Certainly there were people there who were obviously having a very good time. And I have several other friends who attended and had a lot of fun. They are much younger than I am, though. :-)

I am hoping that this new half marathon course is only temporary, and that the Studios will be included again eventually.

I'd like to thank those of you I met over the weekend who took the time to come over and tell me that you enjoy my blogs - that means a lot to me!

Thanks for reading!








November 14, 2016

2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, Part 1, Expo and 10K

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Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

The Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon is a race we have enjoyed participating in for several years. It was very different from other race weekends because it was a night race, starting at 10:00. It included a big finish line party at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. All of the food booths and some attractions were open, and the party went until 4:00 a.m.

It also was quite different because the 5K and half marathon both took place on Saturday - the 5K in the morning and the half at night. There were only those two events for adults. The Kids Races were usually split between Friday and Saturday.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

The last couple of years the nighttime race aspect has brought weather challenges. 2014 was what we called "Splash and Dash", because it rained for the entire race and much of the after party. In 2015 was the "Quarter Marathon". The start was delayed an hour because of lightning in the area. Disney was rightly concerned for the safety of volunteers, spectators and runners and evacuated all of us to the shelter of buildings at the start line at ESPN Wide World of Sports. As a result of the delay the course was shortened, and we ran not quite 7 miles rather than 13.1. Everyone still received their medals, though!

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

This year when the race was announced runDisney added a new 10K race, and with that came a new 10K/half marathon challenge as well. It also meant that it turned into a more traditional runDisney race weekend, with all races held in the morning: 5K on Friday, 10K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. The after party at Epcot was still scheduled, but it was held Sunday night instead of Saturday night.

As you might imagine, the changes were met with some consternation in the runDisney community. I'll admit that I wasn't very happy about it. While I understand the weather being a problem in recent years, there was something very special about Wine and Dine being
a nighttime event. It was unique in that it was at night - and getting to go straight from the race to the party was a terrific way to finish the event. These changes made it just about like any
other runDisney race weekend. Runners who make more of a long weekend of the event were dismayed because if they wanted to experience the party they could no longer return home on Sunday afternoon.

Even before the changes were announced we'd already planned to run the race again this year, so this didn't really affect our plans. And with two pieces of Inaugural bling (the Wine and Dine 10K and Lumiere's Two Course Challenge), of course I had to be there. :-)

Of late, many of the runDisney half marathons have not been selling out quickly, but this one did. Just hours after registration opened all events were sold out. And then we had to wait months for additional information on the events - like what the race courses were going to be like, and how the after party would work.

Eventually we learned that the 10K course was going to be the same old boring 10K course that most of the other races use. Starting and ending at Epcot, with over half the race on roads outside the park. Whoopee.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

But the half marathon course was new. It still started at ESPN Wide World of Sports and ended at Epcot, but the Studios portion was completely eliminated. Instead of going to Animal Kingdom and back to the Studios, the half marathon course went to Animal Kingdom and then took back roads to World Drive near the Car Care Center. This is essentially a reversal of part of the marathon course. From there it went to Epcot - that last 4+ miles is the same course most of the other Walt Disney World half marathons take. I was not very excited about this course, either - I knew there was going to be lots of miles on boring roads. And instead of visiting three theme parks as we did before, it was only two.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

For admission to the party we were mailed an actual ticket, along with a letter telling us the ticket was required, and that our bibs would not get us into the party. We know some runners that didn't receive their tickets before they left home, though.

Race entry also includes a $15 gift card that can be used for food and beverage, or really anything else you can purchase with a Disney gift card. Our gift cards were sent to us via email - the bar code could be scanned and used that way.

Thursday, November 3 - Expo

We arrived at the Expo on Thursday afternoon around 4:00 - it had opened at 10:00 that morning. We were surprised to see the construction of a new arena at Wide World of Sports was well underway.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

The banners for the different races were out - those are always really nice photo ops.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

The Expo wasn't crowded, and we didn't wait long to pick up our packets.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

There was a meet and greet location with Lumiere, and the line was pretty short so we did that. We were running his challenge, after all!

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

There was a merchandise area in the packet pick-up building, and we checked that out. There still seemed to be quite a bit left.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Lots of shirts, and some nice artwork.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend
There was quite a bit of Lumiere's Challenge merchandise, though as Lee pointed out, most of it was for women and not men. There were a number of shirts as well as a jacket.
Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

I thought the 5K shirts were really cute - I was sorry that I wasn't running the 5K! (But getting up early three mornings in a row just wasn't appealing.)

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Shirt pick-up for the Challenge was in the Milk House - the rest was over in the Josten's Center. The shirt designs are really cute, but I don't understand why they still insist on giving us long-sleeve shirts for Wine and Dine, when it's still pretty warm at that time of year in Florida.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

And what is it with Disney and gray shirts? Way too many of those lately.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

The other issue we've noticed with the shirts is that the graphic on the front has become much larger and more elaborate over the years. But since it's a rubbery-iron on, that part of the shirt doesn't breathe at all. So it makes the shirts a lot warmer and they are not very comfortable to actually run in. I wish they'd go back to a simpler and smaller graphic.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

As usual the main expo was over in Josten's Center.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

There was even more official merchandise over there. I was able to get the mini medal pins that I wanted.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

They had all of the "I Did It" shirts, too, though we didn't buy any of them.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

But other than the I Did It shirt and the mini medal pin there was NO 10K merchandise - we were told that it wasn't until they put it out that someone finally realized that "Inaugural" was spelled incorrectly. So at the last minute they pulled it all. Wow. I'm not sure how they can go through as many approval levels as this stuff must have to go through without anyone noticing the mis-spelling. Disney needs to hire some proofreaders. I'd be happy to volunteer my services. Believe me, I know how to spell "Inaugural." :-)

The rest of the Expo seemed to be the typical merchandise and vendors. We weren't around for any of the presentations.

There was no printed event guide this time at all. And the on-line event guide was a weird interactive magazine format, so it wasn't anything that you could download easily for yourself! I really didn't like it. There was a one-page event guide available, which a volunteer found for us. I was surprised that wasn't included in our packet pickup. Another thing that wasn't included in our pickup was the sticker with our bib number on it to be used if we checked
a bag before the race. Instead, volunteers had to handwrite one for anyone who checked a bag.

Here's what I came back with from the Expo. I need another race shirt like I need a hole in the head, but I liked the purple Remy shirt and bought it - got lots of compliments on it, too!

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Friday, November 4 - Mickey's Holiday 5K

This 5K is held at Animal Kingdom, and has a holiday theme. We didn't run it but we have a number of friends who did. It always looks like a lot of fun, and I'm sorry we missed it this year. But as I mentioned earlier, the idea of yet another early morning convinced us otherwise.

The race medal is one of the new metal medals, rather than the rubber version that's been distributed in the past. Really cute.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Saturday, November 5 - Inaugural Wine and Dine 10K

Another 5:30 race start. Since the half marathon starts at ESPN Wide World of Sports and ends at Epcot I was hoping that the 10K might do that, too, but no. It was the same 10K course that's used for the Marathon and Princess weekend 10Ks. After the disaster that was the Star Wars Dark Side 10K in April, which went from Epcot to Wide World of Sports, I can perhaps understand their reluctance to simply reverse that route, but I still hoped for something
different. They could have done a variation of the "quarter marathon" course that we did last year, which would have let us experience the Studios.

Since the start was at Epcot we opted to drive our rental car rather than take the bus. We left about 3:45 and had pretty minimal traffic.

We were very happy to see that there were four character photo stations set up in the pre-race area. The lines were very long, though, so we hoped to get some photos after the race instead.

Before the race we met up with some former members of Team AllEars - it was great to see them again! Many of us have kept in touch via Facebook, but it's always nice to get together in person.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

One nice thing about the 10K race is that the start line is right next to the pre-race area and we didn't have a long walk to the start line like we do for the half marathon and marathon. I was in
corral A, but not very close to the front, so my photos aren't very good.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

It was great to see Rudy Novotny back as a race announcer. For some reason he's no longer doing the runDisney events in California, but he's still working the Florida events.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

I was hoping to get another personal best on this course, so I was running for time, and didn't take any photos. My friend Stan, who is faster than I am, ran with me. He did his best to keep me on track for a PR, but I just didn't quite have it in me. It was about 68 degrees and humid for the race, and that was a little too warm for me to do my best. I finished in 58:12, which is still a good time, but almost a minute slower than my best 10K time.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

This 10K course is BORING. The first three miles took us through the Epcot parking lot and out onto World Drive. We went backstage at Epcot and finally into Epcot's World Showcase at Norway at about mile 4. Then we ran counterclockwise all the way past France and out the International Gateway, and ran around Crescent Lake and past the Boardwalk, Yacht Club, and Beach Club resorts. We went back towards the International Gateway again but turned left and ran backtage behind the UK and Canada and out into Future World. We ran around Spaceship Earth and then out to the finish line.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

I hoped that runDisney would learn some character lessons from their counterparts in Paris, but no. There were just five character stops, plus one stop with stiltwalkers and another with a large
Sebastian puppet. The penguins from Mary Poppins were just past mile 1 (that seemed like a very odd choice) and Flik and Atta were around mile 2. Geppetto was at the Italy pavilion and Genie was at the Morocco pavilion. Chip and Dale were outside the ESPN Club on the Boardwalk.

But as I mentioned, there were characters in the pre-race area. And since we'd finished early, the lines weren't too bad. I was finally able to get my photo taken with Remy and Emile - which I hadn't been able to get at Disneyland Paris.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

We also saw Mickey and Minnie.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Goofy and Donald were dancing to the DJ's music ("Happy") when we went up to see them.

Wine and Dine half marathon weekend

Lumiere was also there, but since we'd gotten our photo with him at the Expo we didn't wait in line.

It was still dark when we'd finished with the characters. Even though it was relatively warm, we were sweaty and soaked and getting a little chilled just standing around, so we headed back to our resort.

Later I checked the results. There were 9,260 finishers, which is pretty good for a 10K with about 10,000 entries. I finished 7th in my division, and I was very happy about that.

Next up: The Wine and Dine Half Marathon







November 18, 2015

2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

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Wine and Dine Half Marathon

The Wine and Dine Half Marathon is my favorite half marathon at Walt Disney World. It's the only nighttime half marathon. It starts at ESPN Wide World of Sports and ends at Epcot, where there's an after-party that goes until 4:00 a.m. The Food and Wine Festival booths are open as are some attractions, and there's also entertainment and character meet and greets. Party admission is included with race registration, though you still have to pay at the food booths. As we did last year, our plan was to run the race Saturday night, then take a four-night Disney cruise starting on Monday. Oh, and then return to California on Friday to run the Inaugural Infinity Gauntlet Challenge at Disneyland on Saturday and Sunday!

We arrived late Wednesday night, and spent a couple of days enjoying the parks and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The race expo opened on Friday morning at the usual ESPN Wide World of Sports location. We headed over late Friday afternoon. This race is not as big as most of the others, so not all of the Disney resorts are "host" resorts where transportation to race events is provided. The Boardwalk is one of those resorts, and we took the bus to/from the Expo.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo

Packet pickup was easy - no line. Included in our race registration was a $15 Disney gift card intended to be used at the party after the race, though it could be used any where. Instead of picking those up with our packet as in past years, Disney mailed them to us at home before the race.

The shirts are a very dark blue, and long sleeve. It's a nice shirt but I have too many long-sleeve shirts - we don't need them very often in San Diego!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon shirt

There was a decent selection of official merchandise for the race. The item that seemed to be in the most demand was the wine glass - and I heard someone in line to check out say that she had gotten the last one. We actually did not buy anything this time! I have the magnet and mini-medal pin from last year, and although this year was slightly different, it wasn't significant enough that I wanted a new one.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo

Since the race is at night we tried to stay more on west coast time, though it was more difficult this year since we arrived Wednesday and not Friday like we did the previous two times we'd run this race.

I'm always concerned with weather conditions for race day. Last year during the Wine and Dine Half Marathon we had rain for the entire race. This year it looked like it was going to be unseasonably warm and humid...and as of Thursday there were thunderstorms in the forecast for Saturday afternoon/night. Sigh.

Saturday we "prepared" for the race by wandering around Animal Kingdom in the morning. We spent much of the afternoon relaxing in our room out of the heat. We split a turkey sandwich from the Boardwalk Bakery around 5:00, and we both took bagels with us to eat before the race.

It was supposed to be 75 degrees and 80% humidity at the start of the race at 10:00, and 72 and 90% humidity at midnight. Because of that I did a slight last-minute modification to my Belle costume - instead of running in my blue skirt, which has compression shorts, I just ran in my regular lightweight black running shorts. With the apron over the shorts it still looked fine.

We got in line for the bus to the start of the race (ESPN Wide World of Sports complex) at 7:00. I think we were on the second bus. There was a fair bit of traffic getting there, but we still arrived by 7:30 for a race that started at 10:00.

There were a lot of characters out for photos, and it was early enough that the lines weren't too bad, so we had our photo taken with Chip and Dale.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Chip & Dale

We found friends to hang out with while waiting, including our friend Jack from our amazing Hong Kong and Tokyo Disneyland trip.

It was still warm and humid, but whether we expected any rain depended on which weather forecast you looked at - and when.

At about 9:00 we were in the Porta-pottie line, anticipating that they would be sending us to our corrals soon. Suddenly the race announcer came on asking for our attention and telling us that we all needed to immediately evacuate to the nearby stadium because of lightning in the area. We were at the front of the line so we used the pottie, but when we got out they were telling all of us we needed to leave.

There were about 13,000 runners and lots of volunteers, so this exodus didn't happen very quickly. But it was orderly and no one was panicked, nor did I really hear a lot of grumbling. We could see lots of lightning flashes, and there was a little bit of light drizzle. In that we were fortunate, because it poured rain in some nearby areas.

They ran out of room in the stadium, and we ended up on the floor of the Field House instead. That was pretty comfortable and we could even stretch out. But we didn't get much information about what was going on - the cell service was overwhelmed and it was very hard to get any data. There was a DJ in the arena but he didn't have any information.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

  
Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Rumors abounded...that the storm wouldn't pass until 11:45, that Disney would have to cancel the race if we didn't start by 11:00, that it was raining leopards and hyenas at Animal Kingdom, etc. We sat there until about 10:30, and then everyone started to get up and leave! No announcement, but we could see volunteers and race personnel waving us out. Yay!

It had not rained very much, if at all, and the ground was dry. It took much less time to get us back to the staging area than it did to move us into shelter. We hit the porta-pottie again. They still weren't quite sending us to our corrals yet. Race announcer Rudy Novotny told us that the course had been modified, one reason being that there was a chance of additional storms later. At that point they didn't say how it had been modified, but it turned out that it was shortened by over six miles. We did not go out to Animal Kingdom at all. (Apparently they were still rounding up all of those leopards and hyenas. ;-) )

Once they started letting us go to the corrals, it was a very short time before the race started. Just after we made it to corral D was the national anthem, followed very shortly by the start of the race. There were still fireworks for all of the corrals, though!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon fireworks

We started about 12 minutes after the official start. I was hoping that the storm would have cooled things off and reduced the humidity but no - it was still 75 and VERY humid. At that point we'd been told that the race was at least six miles shorter. And I have to say that I was pretty happy about that: less time in the heat, and more time to enjoy the Epcot party at the end.

I was pretty impressed with how Disney handled the situation. I felt they made the correct decisions to keep all of us safe AND make the appropriate adjustments that would still allow us to enjoy as much of the event as possible. As this particular race is largely about the party after the race I thought that shortening the course allowed those who finished towards the back to still have some time to experience the party, too. And keep in mind that it wasn't just the runners they had to keep safe - there were all of the volunteers and spectators and entertainment out on the course to consider as well.

The first part of the race followed the usual course on Osceola Parkway.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Mile 1

At about 1.3 miles instead of continuing out to Animal Kingdom we turned right toward the Studios.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

There was a photo stop there.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Not too far after that was the mile 8 sign. Fastest 8 miles I ever ran! :-) The rest of the race followed the original course.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Mile 8

We stopped for most of the characters, though we skipped a few that had long lines. Because of the shortened course we ran faster than we would have in a longer race. And because the character stops were relatively close together we ended up not doing run-walk: the photo waits ended up being our rest interval. Given the heat I thought we did pretty well.

We had planned to run this race with a couple of friends, but we weren't able to connect with them after the evacuation. Elizabeth caught up to us anyway - she's speedy, and even starting two corrals behind us she still caught us! :-) We ran about the last half of the race together and had a good time.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Genie

One of the best parts of this race is running through the Osborne Lights. I'm really sad that this is the final year for that, but glad that we were able to do it one last time. We walked through them instead of running.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Osborne Lights

Because the race was shorter the runners hadn't gotten spread out on the course as much as usual, and the section from Studios along the canal behind the Boardwalk was more congested than usual. Not terrible - we just needed to be a little patient. But we were happy we were more towards the front where it wasn't as busy.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Sebastian

We finished the modified course, which was about 6.75 miles long, in 1:20:35. I'm calling it a quarter marathon, though it was just a bit longer than that.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon medal

From previous experience I knew we did not want to linger in the finish area, which is in the Epcot parking lot, so that we could maximize our party time. To get to the party we had to get through bag check at the entrance to Epcot, and then we needed to get across the race course itself where it crosses Future World. We picked up the bags that we had checked (I was looking forward to dry clothes!), and left the finish area. Bag check was no problem for us (though the lines were very long later), but it took some time to cross the course. Disney sets up a designated crossing area where they re-route the runners to create an island for those crossing, but it's not a very quick process.

After that we found a restroom so we could change clothes. Ahhh...dry clothes feel so good! And then it was time for some food! Since we had finished relatively early the lines at the food booths were pretty short. We had pork sliders from Hawaii and a lobster pie and cheese plate from Ireland. After that we went and hung out with friends who had a table near Germany. It was after 1:30 by then.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

We ended up not getting any more food, but I watched the lines at Germany get longer and longer. Still, I was really shocked when we left Germany at about 3:15 and saw how crowded it was and how long the lines were! Many of the food booths had lines 30-50 people deep. It looked like a busy weekend day! Disney really oversold tickets to this event. I felt badly for the runners who finished late and had to contend with those lines. I know some who simply gave up and didn't get anything to eat/drink at the party. :-(

All things considered, Lee and I had a pretty good experience. We were quite happy to run fewer miles and have time to enjoy the party after the race. Since we finished in the top 40% we were also able to take advantage of the shorter lines for food and beverages. But I hope that next year Disney will reduce the number of party tickets available to non-runners - the crowds were pretty awful as the night went on.

It seems as though Mother Nature has taken a dislike to this race. Last year was the "Splash and Dash" (or "Wet and Drenched"), and this year we had the thunderstorm that necessitated evacuating everyone. I know there are a lot of people who are very disappointed that the race was shortened, especially those for whom this was their first half marathon. They trained hard for this race and then they didn't have the opportunity to go the distance. I understand their frustration and I'm very sorry they didn't get that experience. I think it was different for those of us who have run this race, or other races, before, and perhaps easier for us to embrace the changes. If this applies to you then I hope that you will sign up for another half marathon. And I hope you realize all that you accomplished in completing the training and making it to the start line. To the best of my knowledge Disney has never had to shorten a race before, so if nothing else, at least you were part of something historic...


Next stop for us was a four-night cruise on the Disney Dream, including the Castaway Cay 5K, but the next blogs will be about Avengers Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland.


N.B. As I was finishing up this blog entry, I received this email message from runDisney that went out to all Wine and Dine Half Marathon participants:

Thank you for participating in the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. We heard that some of our runners had questions about the race, which was delayed and shortened because of inclement weather and lightning in the area. As a race team, we had been monitoring weather conditions continuously on Saturday and due to conditions in the area we modified the course for the safety of our runners and spectators.

We appreciate the effort you put into preparing for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. While we are equally disappointed in not being able to provide a complete half marathon experience, we are thankful our runners were able to complete the modified course safely.

All Coast to Coast Challenge participants are eligible to receive their medals, and all runners' proof of time will count toward a 10K distance option for other runDisney events.

Our runDisney team has a passion for putting on magical running events where participants can make their dreams come true and achieve their personal best. While weather is out of our control, we take necessary precautions to keep our runners and Guests safe. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you and hope you will consider running with us again.

Sincerely,

Maribeth Bisienere
SVP, ESPN Wide World of Sports and Disney Springs

Jon Hughes
runDisney Race Director, East Coast





April 13, 2015

Trip Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

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In response to one of my recent half marathon blogs, Kristyn sent this comment:

Enjoy your RunDisney posts. I am looking for recommendations on two topics if you can help me, Laura. I am doing my first event this fall at Wine and Dine. Can you do a blog on how you prepare for a nighttime race as most of us are used to the early morning runs. Also, not sure if it has ever been covered, but how to plan on where to stay and how to get to to packet pickup and the event if you don't have a rental car. Would love some advice on how to plan for a RunDisney trip. Thanks.

I'm hoping there are others of you that are interested in this information, too. So here are some of my thoughts on how to plan a trip for a runDisney race.


7-9 months in advance

Choose a race weekend and a race or races.

The first decision you have to make is which race weekend you're going to attend, and which events are you going to participate in. This could be influenced by a number of factors, including work/school schedules, potential weather conditions, and race theme.

As I write this, runDisney offers seven different race weekends in Florida and California, with most race weekends including 5K, 10K, and half marathon races. (There's no 10K for Wine and Dine Weekend; and WDW Marathon Weekend also features the WDW Marathon, which is the granddaddy of them all!)

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

So, what's it going to be? Decisions, decisions. WDW Marathon Weekend in early January offers all four race distances, in addition to the Goofy Challenge and the Dopey Challenge. This is also the largest runDisney race weekend and has the most participants.

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

Is The Force with you? Then you might want to choose Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland, which is also in January, a week after Marathon Weekend. There are 5K, 10K, and half marathon races, as well as the Rebel Challenge, where runners do both the 10K and the half marathon. Races at Disneyland have smaller fields since the resort is smaller - this tends to make for a more pleasant race experience, but it also means they often sell out faster.

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

Are you looking for a "Girls' Getaway"? Then you might be interested in Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World or Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland. Both of these race weekends are women-focused. That doesn't mean that men are not allowed, but in the last few years women have outnumbered men by about 11:1 in the half marathons. Both race weekends offer 5K, 10K, and half marathon races, as well as a 10K/half marathon challenge. Princess Half Marathon Weekend takes place at the end of February.

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

This year Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend has been moved from January to Mother's Day Weekend in May. We'll see how that works out - many of us (myself included) think that's a poor choice for a race weekend, especially one focused on women. Getting up really early to run a half marathon is not the kind of pampering that most moms are looking for on Mother's Day!

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is held over Labor Day weekend, and also offers 5K, 10K, and half marathon races, and includes the Dumbo Double Dare 10K/half marathon challenge. It's pretty warm in Anaheim at this time of year, but a race weekend is a great excuse to visit Disneyland, if you haven't been out here before. The City of Anaheim really comes out in support of this one, with lots of high school bands, cheerleaders, Boy and Girl Scouts, and community dance groups. And then there's the classic cars!

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

Do you want to run a race and party afterward? Then the WDW Wine and Dine Half Marathon might be for you. This is my favorite WDW race: it's at night, it's a different course that goes through three theme parks, and there's an after-race party in Epcot until 4:00 a.m. The Food and Wine Festival food booths are open, as well as some attractions, and there's also special entertainment. The race weekend takes place in early November. There's no 10K for this one, just the 5K (which takes place the same day as the half marathon - but early in the morning), and the half marathon. But the 5K is also slightly different, since it's held at Animal Kingdom and not at Epcot like the others. This half is also a smaller field than the other WDW races.

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

If you want to bring out your inner super hero, then how about the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland? In addition to having the longest name, this is the last runDisney event of the year, and takes place the week after Wine and Dine. There are 5K, 10K (new this year), and half marathon races. With the introduction of the 10K, there's the new Infinity Gauntlet Challenge. Weather-wise, this is a terrific time for a race in California.* In addition, the parks are fully decorated for the holidays. making it a special time of year for a visit to the Disneyland Resort.

*Last year's wind event during the half marathon was an anomaly.

Now that you've decided on a race...

Race registration opens 7-9 months in advance, (you can visit the runDisney web site to sign up for a reminder email) and many of the races sell out quickly (sometimes in under 30 minutes!). I highly recommend that you be prepared to register the minute that race registration opens (typically at 12:00 eastern time) so that you don't get shut out. The 10Ks and race challenges are usually the earliest to sell out, because they allow fewer participants. If you are an Annual Pass Holder or DVC member, there will be a pre-registration opportunity about two weeks before regular registration opens. A limited number of registrations are available during this time, and they also tend to go quickly. The good news is that if you qualify for this you get two shots at registering, and if you don't get in via pre-registration, you can try again during open registration. (In the past pre-registration was also available to Disney Visa card holders, but I do not know if this is still the case.)

RunDisney uses active.com as their registration site. If you don't already have an active.com account, then it's a good idea to set one up in advance. It doesn't help with pre-registration, but during open registration it will speed the process if you have an active.com account you can log into.


So you're registered...what's next?

Time to make some additional decisions about the race weekend. Are you going to turn it into a vacation, and add on some days before and/or after the race? Where are you going to stay? How are you going to get around? Some of these considerations are slightly different depending on whether the race is at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, so I'll address them separately.

Since most of us travel to WDW or Disneyland we want to spend some extra time there apart from the races to give some added value to the trip. I personally recommend adding more of the time on after the race and not before. You'll still want to arrive at least a day or two before the race so that you have time to visit the Race Expo and pick up your race bib and shirt, etc., but once the race is over it's nice to have some time to relax and enjoy the parks.

At Walt Disney World, if you are staying on-site at a WDW resort, then race transportation and where to stay are kind of all rolled together. For each race weekend, there are multiple Walt Disney World resorts that are designated "host resorts". Race transportation is provided for runners staying at these hotels - this includes free transportation to/from the Expo in addition to transportation to/from the races. So, between using Disney's Magical Express for airport transportation and normal Disney transportation to the parks, then if you're staying at a host resort you probably don't need a rental car. For Marathon and Princess weekends, all WDW resorts are considered host resorts and offer race transportation. For Wine and Dine, the resort choices are more limited. You can visit the runDisney web site and go to Travel->Walt Disney World and then select the race weekend you are interested in for more information on the host resorts.

At Disneyland everything is much more compact, so from any of the Disney hotels and from many of the hotels in the surrounding area you simply walk to/from any race weekend events. The Expos are held in the convention center at the Disneyland Hotel, and the races all start/end near either the Disneyland Hotel or the Paradise Pier Hotel. (This makes the race morning logistics a WHOLE lot easier than at WDW - no bus ride required!). There are some designated host hotels that are further away which do offer Expo and race transportation, so that's also an option.

One thing to keep in mind is that there's no "Magical Express" equivalent at Disneyland, though there are a number of reputable shuttle services that provide airport transportation to all area hotels. You'll have to pay for it, but balance that off against the price of a car rental. Also, most hotels (including the Disney hotels) charge a fee for parking, so that's another thing to keep in mind. The two most popular airports to fly into are John Wayne (SNA) and Los Angeles International (LAX). SNA is a whole lot closer to Disneyland, but doesn't have as many flights. Long Beach (LGB) is another airport option, but it's very small, and few airlines fly there.

There are only three Disney-owned hotels at Disneyland, and they are all high-end, so Disney depends on their "Good Neighbor" hotels to provide the more moderate and budget-priced options. You won't get the Disney theming, but the accommodations are just fine, especially if your biggest requirement is a place to sleep and shower.

And did I mention that a lot of them are walking distance to the race events and the parks? :-) i can not stress enough what a huge benefit that is when running a race at Disneyland. You can find some additional information, including links to the hotel web sites, on our Good Neighbor Hotel FAQ


2-7 months in advance

Train for your race(s). I'm not going to say too much about this, since everyone has their own strategy, and what works best for them. But I will address Kristyn's question about Wine and Dine, and how to prepare for a nighttime race: I personally don't do anything differently in my training. I typically run one evening a week, but the first time I ran Wine and Dine I wasn't doing that, and it didn't make a difference in my performance. I think that if you've done your training, then your body knows what it needs to do, and time of day doesn't matter. If anything, I find it a little easier to run at night because it's dark and I don't have the sun beating down on me.

This is also the time period where you'll be able to submit your "Proof of Time". This is a race result from some other race you've participated in during the past couple of years, which runDisney will use in determining your placement in a start corral. This is done via a web page. You can use another runDisney race, but most of us don't have our best times in a runDisney race. :-) You'll need to have the race information, including the name of the race, date, location, distance, your time, AND a URL where runDisney can find the race results. If you run a different race and get a better time, you can go in and modify it. But you will not be able to modify your proof of time within about 3 months of the Disney race date - the cutoff date will be posted on the page. You are not required to submit a proof of time, but if you don't have one runDisney will assign you to one of the later corrals.

For WDW races, starting 6 months in advance you can make your Priority Seating arrangements for dining. So if it's important to you to eat a particular kind of food - or at a particular place - before a race, it's something to consider far in advance. And of course there's probably other restaurants you'd like to enjoy after the race - we often have a celebratory dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on Sunday night of race weekend.


60 days in advance

At Disneyland it's time to make your Priority Seating, though this isn't nearly as critical as it is at WDW. The exceptions would be for a special dining package, such as Fantasmic! viewing, or if you're booking for a large party.

For WDW you can make your Fastpass+ selections, if you are staying at a WDW resort.


1-4 weeks in advance

Race waivers will be available on the runDisney web site. You must complete a race waiver and present photo id to pick up your bib at the race Expo. While there are print stations at the Expo, it's a lot easier and faster if you print the waiver in advance and bring it with you. This is also how you find out your bib number, and you can determine your corral placement from that - otherwise you'll have to wait until you pick up your bib, as the corral will be printed on that.

Make a packing list. Don't forget things like gels, running belts, and throwaway clothes. If you use a particular nutrition product bring it with you - don't count on being able to purchase it at the Expo. If you're planning to run in costume, make sure you list all of the pieces. If you can do a test run in the costume to make sure it's going to work that's great, but I'm sure most of us (myself included) don't do that.


The week before

Obsessively stalk the weather channel. Ok, maybe that's just me. :-) But honestly, you want to know what to expect so that you can bring the appropriate clothing, both for running and park touring. And be aware that the weather can change drastically, even a day or two before the race (though this is more often an issue in Florida than California). Predicted starting temps in the 60s can suddenly turn into the 40s (or 30s!), or 50s can turn into high 60s, with finishing temps in the 80s. And rain is always a possibility. I've had experience with all of those, and they all have their own challenges. If it's chilly, the worst part is all the waiting around before the race. In that case, those little chemical hand warmer packets and some cheap throwaway gloves will go a long way to keeping you more comfortable. I ALWAYS pack a LARGE trash bag in my suitcase - it comes down past my knees and really helps me retain body heat while waiting.
Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend


Race Weekend

Yay! You've made it to your destination, with your running gear and waiver in hand. Next up is the race Expo. If you want first chance at the race merchandise, then you need to arrive EARLY on the day the Expo opens and be prepared to wait in line. This is the one situation where it's easier if you have a car since the buses don't start running until 30 minutes or so before the Expo starts. Also, remember that bib pickup and merchandise are in separate areas - you can choose to go to merchandise first and later pick up your bib or vice versa. If you don't want to wait in a lot of lines and are willing to take your chances on merchandise, then I would suggest visiting the Expo sometime after 2:00 in the afternoon. I've never encountered much in the way of lines at that point in time.
Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

Be a little cautious about trying the samples that are available at the Expo. That energy bar might contain some ingredient that doesn't agree with you - and stomach issues are not something you want to deal with on race day.


The day before the race

It's really difficult to stay off your feet when you're at Disney, but it's a good idea the day before a race, especially if you're running the marathon. Even with a half marathon, being on your feet for hours the day before will tire you out to some extent. We try to do some limited touring in the morning, and then take an extended break back in our room in the afternoon, before venturing out in the early evening for dinner. And you should be drinking water throughout the day - not drowning yourself, but if you're running a half or the marathon then you want to be well-hydrated.

When you're out and about, pick up whatever it is you're going to want to eat in the few hours before the race. This might be a bagel or a banana, or yogurt - or maybe it's an energy bar that you brought with you. Your choices the morning of the race will be very limited, so if you already have what you need that's one less thing to worry about in the morning.

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

When it comes to dinner the night before, just about everyone has their own idea of what works best for them. Some want pasta, others pizza, and some swear by Chinese food. At this point, you should have done enough long training runs to know what you need to fuel yourself for the next day. You definitely do NOT want to gorge yourself the night before, but you should eat a good dinner, with some carbs and protein. I like chicken and rice, with some vegetables or a salad, though my go-to meal the night before a Disneyland half marathon is four cheese ravioli from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

For the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, since it's a night race, we do things slightly differently. We still do some touring in the morning, and then we'll try to have our big meal of the day around 1:00-2:00 in the afternoon. And by "big meal", I don't mean gorging on an all-you-can-eat buffet - I mean your largest meal of that particular day. I recommend something similar to what you would eat for dinner the night before a morning race. Then around 6:00 have a light (and I do mean light) meal or snack.

In the couple of hours before the race, whether it's in the morning or the evening, you'll want to have something to eat. Again, from your training, you should be familiar with what works for you. You may want to eat in your room, or you may want to take something with you to the start area.

The Disney resorts usually have some kind of quick service option that's open very early on race mornings where you can get coffee and light fare such as fruit and bagels. At Disneyland several locations in Downtown Disney are open early on half marathon mornings, like Starbucks and Jamba Juice.


Race Day

Planning for a runDisney Race Weekend

And...you've made it to race day! Get out to the start line and have a great time on the course!


What about the rest of you? What are your suggestion on planning for a runDisney trip?

Learn more about runDisney from Laura on this episode of AllEarsNet TV



November 15, 2014

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

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The Wine and Dine Half Marathon is almost my favorite Disney half marathon - second only to Tinker Bell. We first ran it in 2012, and had a wonderful experience. We decided to run it again this year - it was only after we signed up that I found out it was the 5th anniversary, and that there would be special bling. :-)

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

W&D is Disney's only nighttime half marathon. It's a terrific course that starts at Wide World of Sports and goes through three theme parks: Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. One of the highlights is running through the Osborne Lights. And after finishing at Epcot there's a post-race party until 4:00 a.m.! The food and wine booths are all open, as are some attractions, and there's entertainment as well. The post-race party is included in the registration fee; tickets are also available to the public, and it sells out every year. I have to admit I'm a little envious of those who are just party goers - they get to start at 10:00, whereas the runners have to complete a half marathon first!

This is a much smaller and more compressed event than the other Disney half marathon weekends. The Expo only runs on Friday and Saturday. The Jingle Jungle 5K and Kids Races take place on Saturday morning (at Animal Kingdom and Wide World of Sports, respectively), and then the half marathon starts at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday night. There are also many fewer runners - whereas the WDW and Princess Half Marathons typically have over 25,000 entrants, the W&D Half has less than 13,000 - it was 12,300 this year. I wonder if this is partially due to the logistics of having the start at Wide World of Sports and the finish at Epcot.

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Whatever the reason for the smaller field - I like it. :-) It makes for a much more pleasant running experience. This course has a few narrow areas too, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as the Epcot->Magic Kingdom->Epcot half marathon course used for the WDW and Princess half marathon. Having fewer runners makes a big difference, too.

Since the race was Saturday night, we chose to arrive on Friday night, since we could get to the Expo to pick up our race bibs and shirts the next day. We had a great dinner at Sanaa with our friends Mike and Christine that evening - we were having so much fun talking that we were the last people in the restaurant! :-) But it was a rush to get there for our 8:45 ADR - thanks, Mike, for driving us to/from dinner!

Another thing I love about Wine and Dine - it's one of the only Disney races where being from the west coast is an advantage! The 10:00 start time is only 7:00 to us. :-) We consciously make the decision to try to stay on west coast time until after the race is over. Of course this year that wasn't much of a problem, since we arrived on Friday, and only had one night before the race. Still, Friday night we made sure the curtains were closed and attempted to sleep until 8:30-9:00 on Saturday.

After breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery we headed to the race Expo, at Wide World of Sports. The Boardwalk is one of the "host hotels" for W&D, so there were buses to all race events. Those buses load in front of the Convention Center rather than at the regular bus stop, though. We had to wait about 15 minutes before a bus arrived, though in the meantime we saw a couple of buses return to drop off people who had run the Jingle Jungle 5K that morning. One of these years I want to do that one - it looks like a lot of fun. The course is all at Animal Kingdom, and it sounds like there were a lot of characters out for it - including Santa Goofy!

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

A lot of people had picked up their race materials the day before and the Expo wasn't crowded at all. I walked right up to the counter to pick up my race packet. In addition to my race bib, there was a cork drink coaster shaped like Mickey's hand, a Clif bar, the official race program, my wrist band for post-race party admission, and a Disney gift card with $10 on it. The idea is that the card was to be used at the party, but it can be used any time. I chose not to take it for the race - between my running watch, Magic Band, and Coast-to-Coast and party wristbands, I already had enough on my arms!

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

There was a runDisney backdrop in the pick-up area, and photographers there, but no one told us that we should get our photo taken. It turned out that if you were Coast-to-Coast, you were supposed to get your picture taken while holding your bib number (your runDisney mug shot, apparently). Then at the end of the half marathon they were verifying that the bib number matched the photo. We didn't know, so we didn't do this, but fortunately we didn't have any problems getting our Coast-to-Coast medals - the cast member told us that it was a new program they were trying out, but since we had our wristbands we were ok.

As usual, packet pickup was in the Field House and the shirt pickup and vendors were in the Josten's Center. I like this year's shirt - and again, can I say that I'm VERY happy that they are now offering a women's cut race shirt???

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

There seemed to still be plenty of merchandise left, though it wasn't as large a selection as I see for Marathon or Princess weekends. But of course it's also a much smaller race. It was nice to see that there were even a few items for the 5K - like a pin and some kid's Mickey ears. The 5Ks are usually left out of the merchandise game.

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

At the runDisney booth we admired the medals they will be giving out for Star Wars Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland in January (another Inaugural race). We're both very excited about that one.

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

We chatted with a friend of ours who works for RunningSkirts. She said the Expo was super busy on Friday, but had been quiet so far on Saturday. Makes sense, as anyone who ran the 5K needed to pick up their packets on Friday, and lots of people like to visit the Expo the first day, too.

We didn't stay at the Expo very long - wanted to get back in time for the Team AllEars meet at noon! We didn't have much of a wait for the bus on the trip back, which was very nice.

It was great to reconnect with Team AllEars people!

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One of the very different things about a nighttime race is figuring out how you are going to fuel your body during the day. You want to eat enough, but not too much, and definitely not too much of the wrong things. The temptations of the Food and Wine Festival make it much more difficult. :-) We try to eat a good lunch, and then snack a little bit in the afternoon, and have a light meal, like a sandwich or something, around 6:00. And of course hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Speaking of hydration...unfortunately it looked like we were facing the possibility of a lot of external hydration for this race. The weather, which had looked GREAT all week, suddenly had rain showers predicted from 8:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m., and 100% chance of rain at 11:00. Ugh. It didn't really change what we did, except that we bought a poncho for Lee (I always bring a trusty trash bag from home, just in case).

We tried to stay off our feet, but we took a turn through Epcot in the late afternoon. It was Saturday of the final weekend of the Festival, so it was very crowded. Maybe that was a good thing, since it made us want to get out of there and back to our room. :-)

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

The race starts at Wide World of Sports. No one is allowed to park there, so everyone has to take the bus. The buses only run from 7:00 to 8:00, so even though the race doesn't start until 10:00, you still have to get there early and wait around for quite a while before the start. They have to get the traffic off the roads, though, including the bus traffic.

From past experience we've learned to catch the bus as soon as possible, even though technically we should have enough time as long as we arrive before the cutoff. We arrived at the bus stop about 6:45, and there were already 40-50 people in front of us. The first bus did not arrive until 7:10, and there was a huge line behind us by then. But there was a second bus that pulled up right after that, so it looked like things were starting to get moving.

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Around 7:30 we arrived at the Wide World of Sports complex - it wasn't too crowded yet. There was a security bag check that we all had to go through, and fortunately those lines weren't long. We also had to check gear bags to pick up after the race - for this race we had a full change of clothes in them, since we knew we'd want warmer (not to mention dry) clothes after the race. Since the race was ending at Epcot, Disney had to transport our bags to Epcot, but that worked just fine.

We met up with friends and hung out while waiting until we could move to our start corrals. There were character greeting areas set up, but the lines were really long. There was also a DJ and musical entertainment. The start corrals didn't open until less than an hour before the race start.

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

We'd had occasional drizzle, but no real rain thus far - we were grateful that we hadn't had to wait around in the rain. It started to rain lightly after we got into our start corral, about 15 minutes before the race started. We donned our poncho and trash bag, so that we could stay dry for as long as possible. The race started on time, with a burst of fireworks for each corral. The earlier corrals, A-G, went off at about 3 minute intervals. We were in Corral E, so we started about 12 minutes after the official start.

The course leaves Wide World of Sports and then turns left onto Osceola Parkway to head to Animal Kingdom. It was a little crowded until we made the turn, but after that it widened and we were able to spread out a bit. The stricter controls that runDisney has implemented for submitting "Proof of Time" have really helped - the people around us were running about the same pace that we were. So we didn't have (too many) really fast people darting by us, nor really slow people traveling in packs that we had to try to pass.

Before we started we took off our rain gear and rolled it up to carry with us, just in case we had really heavy rain. It wasn't too bad for the first mile, but then it started raining harder, and by mile 3 we were soaked. It rained steadily for the entire race - never a downpour, fortunately, but it never stopped, either. So I'm afraid I have no race pictures at all, since I didn't want to mess with pulling out the camera...and I also didn't want to take the time to stop.

There were fewer character stops, since a lot of them got pulled in because of the rain. In Animal Kingdom where there were some covered areas, they had a few of them. In open areas out on the course we saw a number of empty stages. Sarge was still out on the overpass at mile 9.5, though - those Green Army Men are tough, and not about to let a little rain deter them!

When we first did this race two years ago I was concerned about what the lighting would be like along the course. For the most part it's pretty good. Animal Kingdom is the darkest, and it's also one of the narrower parts of the course, so that was a place I was intentionally much more conscious of my footing.

I really like this course so much more than the half marathon course they use for the WDW and Princess half marathons. It visits three theme parks instead of just two, and it doesn't have all of the narrow parts near the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian. For this course the approach into Animal Kingdom, and the paths inside Animal Kingdom are probably the most constricted, but it's not bad and doesn't go on for that long.

I have to give a huge shout-out to all of the volunteers and Disney cast members who worked this race. They were out there even longer than the runners were, and were just as cold and wet as we were, but I have never seen volunteers who were more enthusiastic and supportive. Their smiles and encouragement really helped keep us going. Thank you all so very much!

By mile 10 we were at the Studios. I was SO ready to be done at this point. Once we entered near the Tower of Terror we knew the Osborne Lights were coming up, but we really took the long way around and through the Studios until we were finally at the end of the street! The lights were beautiful, and we walked down the street rather than running. (Thank you to Charlie Gessner for allowing me to use his photos, since I didn't take any.)

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

The mile 11 sign was just outside the Studios. I quickened my pace - have I mentioned that I really wanted to just be done? We ran along the waterway between the Studios and Swan/Dolphin, and as we neared the bridge that goes across to the Yacht Club there were several cast members cautioning us to slow down, as the surface was slick where we switched from cement to boardwalk.

There were still some people out cheering along that section, despite the rain - wasn't much fun for them, either. The course didn't take us much inside Epcot - we were backstage until we ran from the gate next to the Imagination Pavilion, past Innoventions West and then past Innoventions East and backstage again out toward the parking lot. And then there was finally the finish line!!! I was very happy to see it. My time was 2:16:13 which is my personal best for a Disney race, and only four minutes off my best half marathon time. I finished 2053 out of 11,941. Disney assigns bib numbers based mostly on estimated finish time, and I think this is the first time my bib number (3256) has ever been higher than my finishing place. So despite the rain it was a pretty good race for me.

2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Volunteers were handing out mylar sheets and of course our special 5 year Wine and Dine Half Marathon spinner medals. It's a really nice one. We also went to get our Coast-to-Coast medals, where they told us that it was ok that we hadn't had our photo taken, and we got our medals anyway.

Next we went to pick up the bags that we had checked. The lines for this were longer than I'd seen before, but they moved quickly. As we exited the "runners only" area, we had the opportunity to exchange the drink coupons at the bottom of our bibs for a beer or wine. There were several kinds of beer, and a chardonnay in a special sealed plastic glass. I chose the chardonnay, but ended up not actually drinking it, so I can't offer any review on that.

The rain had slowed to a drizzle by this time, so we hoped that it would stop for the party. We started making our way towards the entrance to Epcot - we had to go through bag check again. The lines weren't bad when we went through, but we heard that later they were very long.

Once we were inside we looked for a restroom so we could change clothes! I was starting to get cold, even with the mylar blanket, now that I was no longer running. And I was SO ready to put on some dry clothes! There were changing tents in the finish area, but I didn't see them, and we heard the line were long. We stopped at the first restroom inside Epcot. There was a line, but it moved pretty fast. I can't even tell you how wonderful it felt to pull on a dry shirt and pants. I'd brought dry socks, but not shoes - dry socks were at least a little more comfortable than the wet socks, though.

After that we were ready to hit the food booths and find some FOOD!!! But first we had to get across the race course to go back to World Showcase. Disney cast members were creating the usual "island" crosswalks. This time they set up where they had a pretty wide area to do it, so the process went much more quickly than it has in the past.

Because we'd finished pretty early, there weren't too many people back in World Showcase, and no lines at the food booths. A number of the cast members were dancing to the music - it was fun to watch them. We went to Hawaii first, and we both had the pork slider with tropical slaw. I was starving and wolfed it down without noticing much about it except that it was FOOD. :-) We hit a couple more booths, but by then it was starting to rain again. We met up with some friends and hung out in the Odyssey where they have the craft beers. Just sitting on the floor where it was dry felt pretty good.

It was still raining at 2:45 when we decided it was time to head back to our room. We were amazed at the number of people who were still outside at the food booths - the lines were 10-20 deep! And it appeared as though a lot of people hadn't changed out of their running clothes - though at least they were wearing ponchos.

Once we arrived back at the Boardwalk we dumped all our wet clothes in the tub and took a nice hot shower - that felt great. (Our clothes were still soaked the next morning. I was so happy that we had a one bedroom villa with a washer and dryer!)

So...it was kind of a miserable running experience, but we survived. But I can't complain too much - some of my running friends have recently endured marathons and half marathons in even more challenging conditions, and then there was the 2010 WDW Half Marathon in rain and sleet that I know a lot of you did.

The race itself I still really enjoy, and we plan to run it next year - though I hope we'll have better weather. By Disney standards I think you actually get a lot for your registration dollars with this one, since in addition to the race there's the party afterwards - and don't forget that $10 gift card. :-)

Now we're off for a few days of rest and relaxation aboard the Disney Dream. Then next weekend we'll be back in California where we'll run the Inaugural (there's my favorite word again!) Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland.


November 13, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend - Part 2

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To start this blog I'm going to skip to the end - here we are after the race with our medals! We had a good run, and finished in 2:26:40, including some photo stops. I was especially happy to finish this one, since it completes my set - I have medals from all of the Disney half marathons and marathon now.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Saturday was race day...er...night. It was different preparing for a night race instead of an early morning race...I have to say that I liked it a LOT better. :-) I felt like I had a lot more time to prepare and I wasn't in such a rush to have to get moving so early in the day. Though we did find it strange on Saturday morning that we WEREN'T in a hurry to get up at 0-dark-30 and go somewhere! We'd tried to stay on west coast time, and that helped a lot - it was 7:00 for us at the start and not 10:00!

We ate our "big" meal around 3:00, and opted for Katsura Grill in Japan - the rice bowls were appealing to get some easily digestible carbs. After that we went back to our room to rest, stopping at the little store at the Boardwalk to pick up some yogurt, pretzels, and gummy candies to eat later. I like to snack on the pretzels and gummy candies the day before a race (or in this case, in the hours prior to), and I usually have yogurt on race morning, so that was my pre-race food.

We had time to take a nap, though I have to admit that I was nervous and didn't sleep well. But I'm always nervous before a race. :-) We'd gotten everything laid out and ready - runDisney had given us a checklist which included items like our race bib, wristband for the finish line party, gift card (we'd all received a mini gift card with wristband pre-loaded with $10), ID if we wanted our free beer at the end of the race, and the plastic bag and numbered sticker to be used for bag check. In addition we'd set out our running clothes, race belts, GU, GPS watches, iPhones, camera, and post-race clothing.

The race started at Wide World of Sports and ended at Epcot. No parking was allowed at WWoS, so runners needed to catch a bus from the host resorts or Epcot. The buses started running at 7:00 - we got to ours about 7:30 and the line stretched from the convention center to halfway up the ramp to the Boardwalk lobby! We waited 30 minutes before we were on a bus. We had plenty of time so we weren't worried about getting to the start, but it meant that we missed the Team AllEars meet at 8:15. :-(

It was really a beautiful night for the run - low 60s and not too humid or windy. We checked a bag since we knew we'd want something warmer after the race if we were going to enjoy the finish line party at Epcot, where it gets chilly around World Showcase Lagoon.

Getting to the start corrals was a WHOLE lot easier than it is for the races that start at Epcot. For one thing, it wasn't a half mile walk along a dark and narrow road! From the pre-race area there were different entrances depending on what corral you were in, so not everyone had to funnel through the same area. They also didn't start sending us to the corrals until about an hour before the race, so we didn't have such a long wait in a crowded corral. It was really well-done. Kudos to runDisney.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We were in Corral B - once inside we met up with Eve, a fellow Team AllEars member, and chatting with her made the time pass very quickly!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Corral A went off right at 10:00 with a shower of fireworks - each corral had their own fireworks burst, so that was really nice.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

At 10:05 it was our turn, and we were on our way! (We could hear the fireworks as the remaining corrals started.)

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

I was a little concerned about lighting along the course, but for the most part there was plenty of light - just a few places where it was hard to see. Usually at the start of a race it's a little narrow and hard to run with people so bunched together, but we had several lanes of road at the start, and that made it easier to get spread out and into a comfortable pace.

Since it was a night race they had brought out a number of floats and characters from the SpectroMagic parade. Goofy was just past mile 1, and the line was short so we took time for a photo.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

The course took us over to Animal Kingdom first. We were about two-and-a-half miles into the race when we saw the lead runners coming BACK on the other side of the road - and they were coming up on mile 7!!!

The course was pretty narrow on the approach to the park entrance, and we got a bit bottled up - fortunately not to the point that we had to walk, though. Once inside they had these lighted tusks along the path, and I thought they looked cool!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We ran all over Animal Kingdom - past the Tree of Life, to Harambe Village, then over to Asia past Expedition Everest and into Dino-rama, then backstage. They had several of the puppets from the Jingle Jungle Parade out in the park, and a few characters, but we didn't stop.

We came back into the parking lot and there was another Spectro float, with Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Not too long after that was the Mile 6 sign - almost halfway there! I didn't take photos of all the mile signs this time, but they were all themed representing different countries from the Food and Wine Festival. There was themed music playing at some of them.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

There were a couple more characters with a different Spectro float...I think this chick should have been running the race with us - she has the legs for it. :-)

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

And Lee danced with this one...

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

About 5 miles of the race were along Osceola Parkway as we ran to/from Animal Kingdom. This is about the toughest part of the marathon course, but for this race they had given us some bands, DJs, and multiple character opportunities, so it wasn't too bad. There weren't very many people out cheering for us, though, nor the cheerleaders and high school bands and other groups that we are used to seeing in other races. It was a long time before we heard the welcome sound of cow bells, and they were pretty few and far between. Disney had given the people who purchased the "Cheer" package kazoos and horns, though, so we heard a fair number of those.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We entered the Studios at about mile 9. There was a short line for Wreck-It Ralph, and next to Star Tours a very long line for Darth Vader.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We snaked back and forth and on-stage and off-stage so much in the Studios that I lost track of where we were until we came out into the Streets of America and the Osborne Lights. It was so pretty - we walked down the street instead of running so we could enjoy it.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We were in the Studios for almost two miles, and just outside was the mile 11 sign! Only 2.1 to go - piece of cake. The path narrowed again as we ran along the canal between the Studios and the Epcot resorts. We both noticed that the path was more congested than it is during the marathon, since the runners weren't as spread out as we would have been over 24 miles.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

There were more people to cheer us on as we ran along the path and then in front of the Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts, and that was most welcome at that point. I was still feeling really good, though I was looking forward to the finish!

We ran mostly backstage at Epcot, entering the park next to the Imagination Pavilion, and then exiting near Innoventions east. Mike, one of our Team AllEars runners, had finished earlier (personal record for him - yay, Mike!) and was in Future World to cheer us on.

As we neared the finish we had to make a left turn, and at the corner were these lasers in the sky. It looked really cool!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We sprinted the last quarter mile or so, and Mickey was standing just in front of the finish line - we ran on either side of him and gave him a high-five (or high-four, in his case). Our time was 2:26:40, which is pretty good for us in a Disney race with photo stops.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We got our medals and picked up bottles of water, but passed on the silly boxes that they were giving out in lieu of REAL food. They did that at the Disneyland Half and Tower of Terror runs, too. I don't like that practice at all - we pay a lot of money for these races, and they should provide us with something more substantial. Though at least this time they had some bananas available at the finish. Lee says there were bagels, too, but I didn't see them - or I would've grabbed one!

We had heard that bag retrieval had been an issue last year, with long lines and disorganized bags, but it was no problem this year. Disney also recognized that because of the party runners would probably want to change into different clothes, and had provided men's and women's changing rooms. Nicely done.

We had a tear-off drink coupon on the bottom of our bibs - there was a pass-through area where could turn in the coupon and grab a small beer or sangria out of one of the tubs. No line for that, so that also worked well.

The finish was in the Epcot parking lot - we didn't stick around very long since there was a party going on inside the park! We still had to go through the silly bag check at the entrance, though at least since all most of us were carrying was our clear plastic bags, it was easy for the guards to check them. For entrance to the park we showed our pink Wine and Dine wristbands.

Once we were in the park we had to cross the race course to get back to World Showcase. That was a pain, though they had established a crosswalk and tried to handle it about as well as they could - short of building a temporary bridge across I'm not sure what else they could have done. It took us at least 5 minutes to cross, though.

They had cast members in the cranberry bog, which was surprising - but I guess they were there to make sure that guests *didn't* decide to go for a swim...At least the guys in the bog seemed to be enjoying themselves. :-)

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Team AllEars had established a meeting point back at Germany, and that's where we went. All of the food booths were open, as well as some of the regular food/beverage kiosks, and a few of the counter service restaurants. (Though we were very disappointed that the funnel cake stand was closed - while the Kaki Gori stand was open!) They had also established several additional temporary bars around the lagoon. Some attractions were open, like Soarin', Spaceship Earth, Mission Space, Maelstrom and Gran Fiesta tour. There was a DJ on park-wide audio and a band in the America Gardens theater. In addition, Off Kilter, British Revolution, and Mo'Rockin were performing sets at their usual venues.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

There were already a lot of people (lots of non-runners, too) enjoying the party, and the lines for the food booths were longer than I expected - like a regular busy day at the Food and Wine Festival, though not totally packed.

We hung out with the Team until about 2:45 - despite my jacket I was starting to get chilled, and we had to get up in the morning to go to Sweet Sundays. I wanted to get a little bit of sleep!

It was really interesting how quiet the Boardwalk was - ALL of the restaurants were closed, though we saw some of the bakers at work in the Bakery. Other than that we only saw a few other people returning after the party. A hot shower felt good, and we went to bed about 3:30 (after putting in a wake-up call for the next morning - I can't remember when I've ever done a wake-up call for 9:00!!!)

All-in-all this was really a terrific race - I really enjoyed running at night, and it was a lot easier for me than I expected. Of course it helped that the weather was just about optimal running conditions for me. The whole start line experience was so much easier than most of the other Disney World races I've done - after this I'm really not looking forward to the "start line shuffle" in January. Ugh.

I enjoyed the course, and the opportunity to run through three of the four theme parks. I think the highlight for me was the Osborne Lights in the Studios. For the most part the lighting on the course was pretty good, though there were a few places (mostly in Animal Kingdom and other backstage areas) were it was uneven, narrow, and not as well-lighted as I would've liked.

I didn't think there were as many characters out on the course in this race. Though it was interesting that people didn't seem as interested in getting their photos taken, either - the longest line we saw was for Darth Vader in the Studios. Most lines were 6 deep or less, I think the longest we waited in was Chip and Dale, where we had about 8 people in front of us.

The volunteers were terrific and we really appreciated all of the cast members who were in the parks to cheer us on - since spectators weren't allowed in those areas it was very nice that the cast was there to encourage us.

The finish line party was fun - between attractions and entertainment and characters and food there was a lot to do! If we hadn't had Sweet Sundays the next morning we would've stayed longer. For those who were not running the race and had a lot more time to enjoy the park (they could use their ticket to enter at 7:00) I think it was a pretty good deal - I'm sure it wasn't too crowded between 10:00 and midnight!

It was a really fun experience, and I'd definitely run this one again!

November 10, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend - Part 1

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We are back in Florida again - this time we're running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon as well as enjoying Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, which is one of our favorite annual events.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

It's the final weekend of the Food and Wine Festival - it ends on Monday. I'll have a lot more to say about what we tried and what we did later, but for now I'll be writing more about the events associated with the race. I've been tweeting, though, so you can follow along with @AllEarsLaura.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

This is a nighttime race - it starts Saturday at 10:00 p.m at Disney's Wide World of Sports. It goes through three of the four theme parks: Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, then ends at Epcot. Following the race there's a party in World Showcase, where we'll be able to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival booths until 4:00 a.m.! (Though I don't expect we will be there that long!)

For once being from the west coast works in our favor, since it's only 7:00 p.m. for us, and we're trying to stay on west coast time in the days leading up to the race.

Our first "race event" was a short training run with our fellow Team AllEars member Mike on Thursday night. We started from the lobby of the Beach Club around 9:30 and ran towards the Studios. There was a special fireworks show going on at the Studios, and we were able to watch it as we were running! It was really cool! Thanks Mike for suggesting the run, and also for this photo.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Friday morning we went to the Expo at Wide World of Sports to pick up our race registration packets. We arrived before they opened, so there was a pretty long line of people waiting to get in the building. Once they opened things moved along pretty well.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

There's usually some fun photo ops at the Expo...Lee seems pretty unconcerned about the fire-breathing dragon behind him...

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

As usual, packet pickup was in one building, and the race expo was in another. More photo ops... :-)

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Most of the usual expo-type vendors - apparel, running gear, nutrition, etc. I thought Disney had a nice selection of official merchandise, though there were more choices for women than men.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We picked up our "goodie bags" and running shirts. In the interest of saving paper most races have gone to a "virtual" goodie bag these days where the various coupons and flyers are available on-line instead of put in the bag. But I miss the free samples of energy bars and other things that used to be in the bags...This year's shirt is long-sleeved and green, which seemed an odd choice to me. And I don't know why Disney insists on giving us long-sleeve shirts - these are also the heavier weight tech fabric that I don't care for. Oh well.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

We met up with a few of the members of Team AllEars, too!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

One of the best parts of the Expo was signing up for the Princess Half Marathon next year! This will be the 5th one, and there's a new medal. I did the Inaugural with my Evil Twin in 2009, and I really wanted to do the 5th one but Lee wasn't so sure he could get away from work. But I talked him into it, and I think my Evil Twin is going to run it with me again, too! The medal is sooooo pretty! (And you all know how much I love bling!) By signing up at the Expo I got a nice runDisney bag, too. You can see that HERE.

We've been having fun - I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow night!

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About Wine and Dine Half Marathon

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

WDW Marathon Relay is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.