Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Race Recap: Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Wine and Dine Half Marathon
November, 9, 2013

State: Florida (repeat)
Lifetime Half: #40

Oh god, this post is so overdue.  Sorry guys.  November was just not my month for blogging!  Anyway, better late then never, right?

Let's start with the Expo.  Pam and I arrived Friday morning and after changing and storing our stuff at the hotel, we headed straight to the expo.  After the craziness of the Disneyland Half expo, I wasn't sure what to expect.  The line to pick up was quick and the actual expo was pretty empty!  We went to the merch first and then made our way to the race shirt pickup.  The merch was not completely picked over yet (although the jacket Pam wanted was already sold out in her size).  Unsurprisingly, I got an "I did it" shirt and a sweaty band (it had the globe from Epcot on it, I could not resist!).  I also picked up a Wine and Dine Half magnet for my fridge.  I don't really know why, it was calling my name for some reason.

After we made our purchases, we headed back to the race shirt pick up.  I cannot wait until they have the Women's specific shirts for races.  The unisex (i.e. Men's) are way to big for me.  After picking up our shirts, we did a little bit of wondering before heading back to the hotel.  Pam took a nap and I headed to Epcot for some Food & Wine festival (Pam joined me after her nap).  It was still an early night for us though, we need to get our sleep for Saturday night.

We slept in on race morning and spent the day at Hollywood Studios.  We picked rides and attractions that required sitting so we could stay off our feet.  Last year we made the mistake of being busy all day and heading straight to the race and as they would say on How I Met Your Mother - we choose poorly.  This year, we tried to stay off them as much as possible and spent a couple of hours relaxing at the hotel in the late afternoon/early evening.

After resting, we got ready and made our way to the buses.  They had tons waiting in the parking lot and the line was moving very quickly (although it wasn't long.  We stayed at Port Orleans, French Quarter if you are wondering).  Pretty quickly, we were at the race.  Unsurprisingly, there was security to enter the waiting area (I think this will be a new standard moving forward), but it went quickly.

The race starts outside of Disney's Wide World of Sports so there was lots of space to hang out.  Characters were there taking photo's but the lines were insane so we passed.  We killed time people watching and checking out costume ideas.  Around 9, we checked out bags and then sat around some more.  Lots of time to kill at this one folks.  I do have to say, there was water in the runners only area and lots of porta potties which nice.  Around 9:30, Pam and I parted ways and headed to our corrals.

I was in corral B and they were definitely smaller then in past years.  The DJ and announcers did a great job of keeping us entertained (although, if I never hear the "what the fox says" song again, I'll be good).  Before I knew it, it was time to start.

The corrals definitely moved faster this time around.  I liked the quicker corral starts.  I never felt like it was crowded when I was running.  I was using this run as a long run and had no desire to push it.  While I was a little cold while waiting to start, once I started running it was hot.  Nothing too bad, but definitely a little humid.

I wasn't racing, but I also didn't want to stand around and wait in lines for characters.  My motto was if there was a good character and no line, I would stop.  End result, not a lot of photos, but I'm okay with that.

The course starts heading towards Disney's Animal Kingdom.  It's your standard Disney highway, so nothing special there.  But they had some entertainment out (more then I remember last year) which was nice.  Heading in to Animal Kingdom, I stopped to take a photo with Rafiki.  I have one from all 3 years I have done the race with him in the same spot, so I think I will continue to do that each year.  Nice to have a tradition, right?

Anyone else see the partially hidden Mickey in the background?
The loop at Animal Kingdom can be a little tricky as it's a little darker, but I felt like they had more lights then last year.  I still get excited running through Animal Kingdom at night since it's usually closed.

After Animal Kingdom, we made our way to Hollywood Studios.  I wasn't dying or anything, but for some reason, my easy pace was feeling harder then usual so I really was making sure not too push it.  I did stop for a photo with Captain Jack and Captain Barbossa along the route to Hollywood Studios.

Hey Captain Jack, you looking at me?
Finally we arrived at Hollywood Studios, which I always feel is the home stretch of this race.  We ran in near the Tower of Terror, down the main street and past the Ear Hat before heading past Midway Mania.  I did stop and take a photo with Buzz and Woody, but it is extremely unflattering of me and I am definitely not sharing with the internet (have to draw the line somewhere, right?).

We then headed out through the Backlot tour route and through the tunnel that goes past the costume windows.  This part of the route was definitely a little different then in 2012 and I was not a fan of the change.  The tunnel had strobe lights going and was full of fog.  I felt like the fog was trapped in the tunnel and I couldn't breathe.  I def speed up a little to get out of there.

Once we escaped the tunnel of fog (I just saw Catching Fire and am having fog nightmares), we headed into the Osborne light spectacular.  I love all things Christmas and this section just makes me happy.  I snapped a few picks and off I went.

So pretty... how big do we think that electric bill is?
After the lights, we headed past Star Tours (I may have tried to recreate my amazing Disneyland Half storm trooper photo but it did not come out as well, tear).

Following Star Tours, we headed out of Hollywood Studios and on to the walkway to Epcot.  This section is tough because it's a really narrow path and I can imagine it gets pretty crowded.  It wasn't too bad when I was there, but I can imagine in some of the later corrals it was.  There were some great spectators out by the hotel which was great.

Following the hotels, we headed into Epcot.  Only a small portion is in Epcot, so don't blink or you'll miss it.  After a quick jaunt past the ball we headed to the finish line.  It was set up with lots of lights (and some more fog).  It didn't bother me this time (more air so it wasn't suffocating), plus I was so happy to be done!

Once I got my medal, box of food, free wine (which was gross, next year I will take the beer) and changed, I head into the after party.  I didn't do a full change (I can't imagine putting real, clean clothing on when I am that gross) just a clean shirt and flip flops.  I also used some Nathan Power Shower Wipes to "freshen" up.  Obviously not as good as actually showering, but they made me feel human again.  I had some beers and got some food while making a lap of the World Showcase.  I did get some good photo's with the characters, but think I'll post those another time (if at all) to save you all.

This race continues to be one of my favorite Disney races.  I love the change up of the nighttime race, it's smaller and a different course then the half and Princess (which are the same).  Plus, the Food and Wine Festival is going on!  Running a half gives you a great excuse to stuff your face all weekend.

Official: 13.1 mi, 2:10:11, 9:56 pace
Garmin: 13.34 mi, 2:10:11, 9:45 pace

Celebrating with a water bottle full of margarita's


  1. YaY!! How were the crowds post-race? Im nervous about the crowds I heard about.

    1. At the after party? Not too bad at all! The food booths were minimal (significantly less then the actual F&W festival) and most character lines were short. The cast members were great as well - they were playing dance music and they were leading conga lines and having limbo contests. Lots of fun!