Happy Monday! It’s finally here, so sorry for the delay! my runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon race recap! The whole weekend was amazing, but not going to lie, this wasn’t my best race. I have mentioned here and there that I have been having some health problems, and these problems decided to show up loud and clear race day afternoon, and didn’t subside until mile ten of the race, only to start again right after I crossed the finish line. Let me back up and then recap the race!
The day of the race we slept in and then walked to EPCOT for some lunch. We snagged a reservation at Via Napoli, and continued our pre race pizza tradition.
We decided to walk back to the resort and try to take a nap, since the race didn’t start until 10:00 pm and we knew we would be tired. We made it back to the room and soon after I started having really (really!) bad stomach cramps! I took some tylenol, and took a 1.5 hour nap…only to be woken up again by the cramps that were still there. I felt shaky, feverish, and was seriously considering my ability to run tis race. We hung out in the room resting and slowly getting ready for the race.
The pain would come and go, but mostly stuck with me to varying degrees. I took more tylenol, and we walked to the bus at 7:40, to be greeted with a line that stretched from the convention center at the Boardwalk to the lobby. Crap. We stood in line for over 45 minutes, and then were on our way to the start.
We had the worst bus driver, kept jerking the bus stop go, stop go, going up on the curb, etc. This was making me nauseated and not helping my stomach. I was so thankful to get off the bus!
The start already had a ton of people milling about, resting, dancing, and standing in the bathroom lines. We went over to bag drop and stood in line to drop them off, and then headed over to stand in yet another line. We stood in the bathroom line for about 20 minutes and then headed to the corrals as they were announcing over the microphone for everyone to do so.
Sorry for the blurry photos. Between not feeling well and it being dark I didn’t focus too much on them.
We headed to corral B and realized we still had thirty minutes until the start. We sat down to save our legs, but soon had to keep scooting up in the corral to fit more people so the sitting didn’t last long.
Megan was texting me and found us in the crowd and we chatted for a few minutes until the start. I told her about my stomach issues and that I was making a GI doctor appointment for when I got back home!
Then, the race began, and corral A took off, and we moved up to the start.
The beginning was a big blur. I was hoping running would actually make my stomach feel better, but boy was I wrong. From that first jolting step, I realized it was going to be a long race. Every step shook my abdomen and made it cramp even worse. I was leaning/bent over in pain trying to run, it wasn’t pleasant.
Keeping it real, I was angry. Why was this happening to me? and why today? On this night when I wanted to have so much fun? Miles 1-3 were miserable, and there were some tears shed. I felt bad because I wanted this to be special for Bobby because it was his coast to coast race, and I was ruining it. We were pushing the pace because I wanted to see what I could do, but by mile three I knew there was no way I was going to be able to “race” this race. We took a couple walk breaks which was easier on my stomach, and made it to Animal Kingdom.
Bobby had to make a bathroom stop, and I welcomed the break.
At this point we started seeing characters and just decided to see how many characters we could stop and take photos with, and hopefully the breaks standing in line would help my stomach.
Animal Kingdom was really cool to run though but also difficult because it was very dark and crowded, and the ground was uneven so I found myself watching the ground a lot to make sure I didn’t fall.
We came out of Animal Kingdom, and I saw a medical tent. I took two more tylenol, and we kept going, and taking photos with characters.
We kept running out on the road, I loved how many water stops and volunteers there were along the course. I never had to stop or wait at a table to get water and they did a great job of clearing the trash off the roads quickly so the runners didn’t trip or slip.
Sometime a little bit before we made it to Hollywood studios, the pain in my stomach started letting up a bit. It still hurt but not nearly as intense and I was so excited! I was finally able to enjoy the race more, really look around, and soak it all in. In Hollywood studios we saw several characters, I love how long we get to run in this park during the race. The first one we saw this this guy. I haven’t seen the movie yet but still had to have a photo!
We wound through the studios and found some more friends.
Bobby had to stop for another bathroom break, and then we found one of Bobby’s favorites! It had a long line (as did Woody) but this one was a must.
We ran some more and then hit my absolute favorite part of the race, the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights! Bobby asked if we could use this time as a walk break so we could stop and take photos, so of course we did.
This was an emotional part of the race for me. I started thinking about all the issues, illness, and injuries I have had that have hampered my running in one way or another, including the disappointment of that night. I may not be where I want to be, but at that moment, I felt so blessed to be in my favorite place, running through these beautiful Christmas lights, with the physical ability to run. I got a little teary eyed as I said a quick prayer of thanks.
We made it to the front of Hollywood Studios and headed out on the Boardwalk. At this point, my pain was completely gone and I had a huge smile on my face. I was suddenly having a great time and was so thankful to be feeling good. So, we did what any normal person would do right? We started running fast! It was crowded on the skinny boardwalk path so we had to do a lot of weaving, but we were booking it! We made it around to EPOCT and it was interesting to see us winding around a different route. I loved the amount of spectators there were cheering in EPCOT, it was the extra boost I needed to finish strong, which is what I wanted to do. We kept sprinting and passing huge clumps of people.
We could hear the finish, and turned the last corner and it was in sight! I pushed hard and grabbed Bobby’s hand as we crossed the finish line of yet another runDisney race together. We got our medals, and then headed to the Coast to Coast booth where Bobby got his second medal! I am so proud of him.
We got our snacks and bags then headed towards EPCOT to change. I stood in line to change clothes and when I came out, my stomach pain had returned. Ug! Thankful i was able to finish the race pain free, but seriously?!? We made it into the World showcase and we both got a snack and after I ate it, I started feeling even worse. I was so angry because I had been looking forward to enjoying the post race party for a long time, but I could barely stand. I told Bobby to stay and use up our gift cards and that I was walking back to the room. It was so frustrating for me to have to do but I think it was the right decision. Bobby texted me to make sure I made it back, I showered, and collapsed into bed.
Here are my thoughts on the race in a nutshell:
-I really LOVE the idea of this race. It’s at night, it’s different, it’s fun, and who doesn’t like the food and wine festival?
-The post race party is such a good idea, a great way to celebrate and also to close out the food and wine festival
-The volunteers were amazing and plentiful, as were the water stops. Amazing course support.
-The finish line was great, although crowded. It was very difficult to get out of the family reunion area and into EPCOT because spectators were crowding the gate where the runners come out, waiting for their family members I guess.
The “could have been better”:
-Standing in line at the Boardwalk in the cold for over 45 minutes for a bus was not cool. We even got there in plenty of time, 7:40, when they said to be at the bus stop by 8:00. I’m not sure if there weren’t enough busses, or if just people who weren’t actually staying there were trying to get on the busses or what, but this needs to be fixed.
Overall, I loved this race and would love to do it again in a heartbeat, and especially have another chance since I didn’t get to fully enjoy this one. runDisney really knows how to put on a race and a party, and if there were any glitches I didn’t really see them! Thanks runDisney for putting on another great event for everyone to enjoy. If you have any questions about the race I would be happy to answer them for you.
QOTD: Ever been sick on race day and run anyway??