This was just the kick in the butt I needed to get a new series of posts started. There was a long period on this blog where I wasn't actually blogging, but was running lots of races. I've been wanting for a while to do a series where I share my memories/stories/whatever I can remember from those races. I'm really doing this because I want to remember these races in the future, but hopefully you'll enjoy these trips down memory lane as well!
Since my first Wine and Dine was 4 years ago today (and I'll be in Disney this weekend for Tower of Terror), I thought it was appropriate to start with this race. The first year it was held at the beginning of the Festival but was moved to the end when they added the Tower of Terror 10M.
As I mentioned, this was the inaugural race and while it was fun, I do remember there being some kinks! It was actually Kasey's idea to run this race and we decided to do the relay. I remember you had to have a team name. In honor of the theme of the race, we named our team Wine-O and Dine-O (which is how I have my Wine-O shirt).
The race started at ESPN Zone (as it does now). I remember us having to wait forever for a bus to the start, which was very annoying. By the time we got there, we had to split almost immediately so Kasey could head to the transition point (I was running the first leg). I don't remember the specific split of mileage, but it was something along 5 and 8.
Since I was running the shorter leg, I had decided to run with my camera to take pictures (this was before the time of decent camera phones). I think this is where my obsessions with race photo's began =).
The race start was similar to any Disney race and Chef Mickey and Minnie are on site to send us off! I happen to love those costumes, so it made me happy to see them!
The course (as much as I can remember) is the same for the first part. I do know they changed the second half as I remember Kasey finished ride outside Epcot at Friendship Gate and it was a total sh*t show (not enough space for all the people). They have since changed it to how it is now.
There were several of characters out on the course and I enjoyed stopping for them all! I also got (what is now a traditionally photo) right outside the gates of Animal Kingdom. Must remember to get the same one this year!
|Fancy Chip and Dale|
|The ladies from Fantasia|
I do remember Kasey telling me a funny story from while she was waiting. There was a women in her section of bibs that insisted on being right at the front of the waiting area because "her friend is super fast and she'll be one of the first to come through". Kasey said she kept repeating this any time anyone someone tried to move to the front.
I obviously didn't know this, but Kasey said she almost burst out laughing when I was one of the first people to come through and she got to move past the girl to switch with me. I believe she told me she said something to the girl along the lines of "there's my friend before yours". We are so mature. I wasn't racing it or anything, but I thought it was funny. I wonder how long she waited?
This is the part I remember not going so well. After finishing, I picked up my medal, bag and snack box and headed to a bus to go back to Epcot to the after party. But no one seemed to have planned it properly and the buses where trapped in between runners heading into Animal Kingdom and runners heading out of Animal Kingdom. We were on a bus, but had to wait at least 30 minutes before we could move. It was really annoying!
Eventually, we got going and made it to Epcot. We got dropped off behind the scenes at American Adventure and got to see a little of the backstage area before heading into World Showcase. This was the first year and they didn't have any of the rides open, just the Food and Wine booths (they have definitely made this better in recent years!).
Kasey and I had made a plan to meet in front of Italy (Kasey had a bunch of other friends running as well) so I waited for her in the vicinity tasting some food and enjoying a few drinks =) Not a bad way to kill some time!
I also snagged a picture with Gepetto!
After regrouping with Kasey, we took our celebratory photo and one with the group! Then it was on to enjoy the rest of the after party!
|Team Wine-O and Dine-O|
|The whole gang of runners!|
There were definitely some kinks in this first race and after year 2, they nixed the relay (which was kinda sad because it was fun) but they've definitely made improvements as it has gone on. I can't wait to do it in a few weeks for the 5th Anniversary!
Anyone else do the Inaugural Wine and Dine?
|Celebrating the next day at the Food & Wine Festival!|