runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Changes

A lot of people have been wondering why runDisney has been waiting so long to announce prices and more registration information for this fall’s runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon weekend. You may have even seen over the past few days that some people found an active link that mentioned a 10k as well as the expo dates shifting over. It turns out, there is good reason for the delay, as there are some significant changes coming to this years race weekend. Read below to get the scoop:

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Addition of a 10K: runDisney runners have been begging for this to happen, and it finally is! The 10k will be run on Saturday morning.

Addition of a challenge: Following along historically, runDisney has also added a challenge for those that complete the 10k as well as the half marathon. Looks like tradition remains intact as you can now earn a challenge medal for 2016. The name of the challenge will be “Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge”. Adorable!

Time change of the half marathon: This one is probably the biggest shocker of them all. The half marathon will NOT be run at night as in previous years, but instead will be held on Sunday morning. This is not the fault of runDisney, but with all of the construction going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this was the only way to make it happen.

Time change for the after party: Because the half marathon is being run on Sunday morning, the after party will not be held until Sunday night (8:00 pm-1:00 am). Frankly, I am happy about this, because let’s be honest. Hobbling around EPCOT all sweaty in the freezing cold, while you are half asleep is not always a ton of fun. This way, everyone will be able to go back to their hotel, shower, nap, and then come back later to party refreshed and ready for some fun. Works for me!

Course Change: Again, due to the construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the course has been altered to avoid the park all together. I am actually interested and excited to see a different course!

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Don’t forget those of you with an annual pass can register a week early on March 22 at noon EST, and everyone else can register the following week (29th). Be sure to check out runDisney.com for more information.

Entry Fees

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

  • $190

Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge

  • $330

Disney Wine & Dine 10K

  • $120

Mickey’s Holiday 5K

  • $70

runDisney Kids’ Races presented by GoGo squeeZ® Applesauce on the Go

  • $20

runDisney 1-Mile Run

  • $30

Post Race Party Tickets

  • $79

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QOTD: What are your thoughts on these changes?

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo 2013

I love race expos. The excitement of the race, like minded people all together in one big room, and of course shopping.

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They are a great way to kick off a race weekend, and runDisney expos are no exception. Tons of exhibitors, cute official merchandise, and friendly cast members were abounding at the Wide World of Sports Complex.

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Me and Jen

We were stuck in a HUGE line and mass of people when we tried to get to the Tower of Terror expo right at opening, so this time we tried a different approach and went at 1:00, hoping the first wave of people would be gone and the expo wouldn’t be so crowded.

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We were right! I was so excited. Oh, and thanks for blinking in EVERY PICTURE we took with the champagne, Bobby.

There are always plenty of people giving directions, and signage to help you know where to go.

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We first went to pick up our bibs. Luckily we had printed out our waivers at home, so we went straight to the booth that corresponded with our bib numbers and were done in a flash.

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We then headed over to the expo floor to get our t-shirts and do some shopping.

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Hello no lines! I have NEVER seen the official merchandise area with no line! While walking down to get our shirts, I ran into these lovely ladies and we chatted for a bit.

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We got our shirts then headed straight to the official merchandise.

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I ended up with an I Did it shirt, a Wine and Dine headband, and a wine glass. There was more types of merchandise than normal, but I still think it is a huge untapped market and if there was even more to choose from, people would buy it!

We went over to the runDisney booth and I got my usual picture with my friend Carissa. Poor girl lost her voice!

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We said hello to Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara, and took a free adorable photo. You just have to show proof that you follow runDisney on Instagram and they email you the photo. Nice!

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We walked around a little bit and I stopped at a few different booths run by people I know and said hello. Then it was time to check out some medals. I was so excited to see the Princess weekend medals in person.

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Also, the Tinkerbell medal!

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Cannot wait for all of these!

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Bling bling!

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We were ready to get off our feet, so we headed out shortly after.

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For those of you stressed out about the crowds, I would consider waiting until 2-3 hours after the expo opens to go over there. It was MUCH more enjoyable this way! great job runDisney, can’t wait for the next one. Dopey here we come!

Interested in running a runDisney race? Check out their website for more information!

QOTD: Do you like to get to an expo right when it opens?

Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2013 Race Recap

About a week ago, I ran in my third runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon.

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Last year I was having some medical issues, so this year I wanted to have FUN and be illness free for the race, and I did just that! Let’s back up a bit.

Originally, I was going to run with Jen who is pregnant. She was nervous about finishing and being too slow, so I told her I would run with her and we would go in matching character outfits. A few days before the race, her doctor told her she needed to run as fast as possible to get off her feet…well, her fast as possible is faster than my fast as possible, so sadly we were not able to run together. My sweet husband didn’t want me to run alone so he joined in the costumed fun! Even though we didn’t race together, we still got some great pics.

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Why yes, my KT Tape even matched.

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Rawr!

We decided to drive our car to EPCOT and take the shuttle. Two years ago when I went out from EPCOT after the party to get on a bus, I had to wait in line for 30 minutes….at 3:00 am…it was not fun. So, we decided being able to hop in our car when we were ready to go would be a good move. (Please note we later found out bus waits were not bad, so glad that was improved upon!)

We  arrived at 7:40 ish and waited in line at EPCOT to get on a bus, but it moved very quickly and we were so excited and busy looking at costumes I didn’t notice. *Last buses left EPCOT at 8:00. We made it to Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, and went straight to bag check. *Bag check closed at 9:00 so we wanted to go ahead and get that done with.

We then went straight to the port-o-potties, and NO LINE! It was awesome. Then it was just time to relax. We had an hour until it was time to get in our corrals, so we took a seat in the grass and people watched.

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At 9:00 we met up with some friends for a #TeamrunDisney photo. I love how big this group has gotten, and I love seeing familiar faces at the race start.

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It was time to go to our corrals, and I was spotted by these lovelies. So glad I got to see them before the race!

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Meghann, Megan, me, and Kristin.

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One of my favorite things about this race is not having to walk 1,000,000,000 miles to get to the corrals. They are just RIGHT THERE. Bliss. We immediately sat down upon getting into our corral, as we still had 45 minutes until the race started. *The race program said to be in your corral by 9:15, but we (along with a ton of other people) were still walking to them at this point.

I was glad I had Jen to chat with in the corral, it made the time go by much faster. There were many more corrals this year than in years past to help with course crowding, and I can honestly say the only time I felt crowded was on the Boardwalk, so I think it was a positive change! Soon the race started and our corral took off at 10:04.

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I am SUCH an early bird, I couldn’t believe I was running a half marathon this late at night…again. It admittedly took me over two miles to really warm up, I think my body was very confused. I needed to use the bathroom, but told myself to wait until mile four when we got to the “real” ones at Animal Kingdom.

It was definitely warm out, but nothing crazy. Yes, I realize I live in the south and yes I run in heat most of the year, but trust me, it doesn’t really get “easier” you just learn that is the way it is. About mile three my foot/toe started bugging me. I have had issues with a stress fracture AND Morton’s Neuroma, and honestly I have no idea which is plaguing me now. It hurt but not enough to quit, so I kept an eye out for a medical tent to get some Tylenol.

I soon saw a familiar figure up ahead, and finally caught up to my buddy marathon Joe. We chatted for a bit, I am sure I made a fool of myself on air, and it was the fun little boost I needed to get me to Animal Kingdom.

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Right before going into the park, I spotted heaven….er…a med tent. I asked for Tylenol, was given one, had my bib number written down, and then was given the black mark of death. Ok, so really it was just a big “X” with a sharpie, but it felt like I was being marked for having the plague or something. No joke, that marker would not come off. Check out this from the next day:

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Also my awesome blue “Sulley” nails I painted for the race are on display.

Once in the park, I high tailed it to the bathroom. I felt much better after, and was ready to take some character pictures. We didn’t stop at EVERY photo, and I was also bummed to see 2-3 spots for a character, photographer ready to go, and NO character out! Sad times. This guy brightened my day…uh…night though!

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I have a picture with Pluto in this spot all three years. Love it. Except for the evil eyes. I have the horns to go with them though right?

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We wound our way through Animal Kingdom, and I was careful where I was stepping due to some uneven footing. There were a lot of Cast members out cheering us on which I so appreciate. Heading out of the park, I knew I wanted to stop for these guys even though the line was long. I am so glad I did, it’s my favorite character picture of the night.

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I knew the next few miles would be a little more boring, and that we wouldn’t hit Hollywood Studios till about mile nine, and we were near mile 6. I figured, three miles on the roads, I can totally do that, so I broke the race up into segments and just wanted to make it to Hollywood Studios. I heard a familiar, bossy voice up ahead and charged my way up the hill to get a picture with this guy.

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At about 8.5, we were given Clif shots. I was looking forward to this because I am obsessed with the vanilla flavor, but something was weird with the consistency. It was very thick and hard and I basically had to chew it. Did anyone else feel this way? I was a little bummed out and yes I am aware you have a sad life when you get excited about clif shots at a race.

We made it to 9, and I knew the rest of the race would be fine because there were distractions the rest of the way. You run through this park for a long time, then across the boardwalk and into EPCOT. We ran into these guys first, and I am bummed my photo came out like this:

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We kept moving and ran into this duo, again, boo for dark photos.

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I was getting excited, we were coming up to my favorite part of the race. I LOVE the Osbourne Lights, and running through them is so, so magical and special.

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I knew we weren’t gong to have time to come back and look a them before our trip was over, so I soaked them in as much as I could as we ran though.

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Bobby’s favorite character was next. Bobby said he wanted to force choke Darth, and I asked him what I was supposed to do and he said “I don’t know, smile?” Sssooo…I did. How original.

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We made it out the front of Hollywood Studios and down to the Boardwalk. The only bad part about this is it’s quite narrow, and hard to pass people (especially when they are walking 2-3 across, come on people!) But we weaved our way through, and around by the Yacht and Beach Club. By this time my toe/foot was throbbing, but I knew I was almost done. There were a lot of spectators out, and people kept yelling “MIKE WAZOWSKI!” and I kept saying “I’M HERE TOO!” some people would say “oh, and there’s Sulley” but some said nothing at all. Bobby found this quite comical that all he did was last minute throw on a shirt and he gets all the love, while I carefully plan out my costume, and NOTHING! So it became our big joke that everyone was cheering for him and not me.

Finally we were in EPCOT, and we pushed the pace the last mile. The course was wall to wall screaming spectators, and that really helped me to run faster and push the last mile. We rounded those last couple of corners, and I could hear the announcers, we were almost there!!! We crossed the finish line side by side, and collected our newest bling. Bathroom stop + character photos = 2:31.

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I was quite sweaty, and happy to be done.

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We found Jen who wasn’t feeling up to the party so we took a quick picture before she headed to the busses.

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We made it into EPCOT, and one thing that REALLY needs to be fixed is the crosswalk. If you were there you know what I mean. There is ONE spot where you an cross over the race course to get to the World Showcase, and we literally stood there 15 minutes waiting to go, group by group. I’m not sure what the solution is (a temporary bridge that goes over it maybe?) But exhausted runners don’t want to stand and wait that long to get food in them. There was a girl in front of me about to pass out and couldn’t even stand up anymore, but ha to wait to cross. it was kind of a mess. Also, I was FREEZING by this point. We decided to change in the bathrooms in EPCOT hoping for shorter lines, but we were wrong, so the plan was to change in World Showcase. We finally made it across, stood in more lines for the bathroom, and THEN it was time to eat and party!

I love that all the cast members were having so much fun. Singing, dancing, etc. The torches were lit, the music was blaring trough the park, and everyone was having a good time. They even had a conga line!

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As I was taking pictures of the conga line, I spotted some friends!

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We chatted for a bit before they headed out, and then Bobby and I got some food and found a bench. I needed to sit. I had wine to drink!

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We made our way around the World Showcase stopping at booths along the way, but I was getting VERY tired, cold, and sore. Bobby was somehow unaffected and was super hyper and having a good time. I felt bad I didn’t share his feelings, but it was 2:30 in the morning. We made it to America when we decided it was time to go. Of COURSE we would be at the farthest point away from the exit. Of course.

Cast members dancing, oh yes.

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We walked the rest of the way around the “world” and out the exit to the car by 3:00. We were showered and in bed by 3:45 am, and I got a kick out of the fact that the sun would be coming up in a couple hours.

All in all, we had an absolute blast and I am so glad I had a better experience with my health than last year (Foot update: it is still bothering me, I have only run once or twice since the race. Not sure what my next course of action is). I love this race and course way more than I ever though I would, and hope to come back again and again. runDisney seems to make minor adjustments and improvements every year, so I can’t wait to see what’s next!

QOTD: Have you ever run a night race? 

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet Up 2013

Last Thursday, I participated in the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon meet up.

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This was a special meet up, because it was the first one being held at night! We checked in at the front of Epcot and were given very comfy shirts that matched the Wine and Dine theme.

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We aren’t too good at selfies.

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We were given a park ticket for that night, as well as a fastpass for Test Track. We headed over immediately, then met up with Jen.

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Soon after I got a text from Kelly who had arrived with Kristin, who I was so excited to meet. It was wonderful to see Kelly again as well, too!

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We headed over to a special viewing area reserved just for meet up attendees to view Illuminations.

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Me and Linzie.

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I was also excited to see Julie again, and finally meet Sara. We chatted about how much we missed our dogs, and I knew they would understand.

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After the fireworks, we were brought over to the American Adventure pavilion where were were served what else…food and wine!

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After some eating and mingling, it was time for the presentation to begin. Darrell Fry, sports media director, opened the show. We had no idea who was coming to speak and what information we would be given. Things were kicked off by Faron Kelley who gave away some raffle items like runDisney duffle bags and race entries!

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Next Jeff Galloway and nutritionist Tara Gidus took the stage to talk a bit about race day strategies and nutrition. They just gave a little bit of info and encouraged us to come hear them speak at the expo to learn more. One key thing they DID say however was to hydrate hydrate hydrate!

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We also got to hear from a couple of chefs who work at Disney who told us a little about some of the new food offerings and booths at the food and wine festival. We were also told about wine, and how one glass of red wine a day and two for men can have health benefits. Just what we needed to hear. Hehe.

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The next guest was very exciting. We got to hear from Ali about the new 2014 runDisney and New Balance limited edition shoe! We didn’t actually get to see the show, but they showed us a short video and told us that the whole shoe buying “experience” would be new and exciting, and I can’t wait to learn more! We were shown the new shoe box which looks awesome, and were told you could buy race specific inserts and charms for your shoe laces. How cool! You can see a couple of the inserts pictured below, as well as the box.

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The next guest was a special surprise, Jenny Simpson! This girl is a beast. She holds the 2013 women’s record for the mile in 4:19. WOW! She is an Olympian as well, and has a long, long list of accolades. She seemed so down to earth and spoke of her childhood Disney memories.

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After the presentation closed out, it was time to run! I was actually glad (even though it was WAY past my bedtime) because I was starting to get chilly. First, it was time for a few more photos with friends. Me and Tara.

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No meet up is complete with a picture with some friends with character.

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We broke into a straight run group and a run/walk/run group and ran around World Showcase 1.5 times. It was a fun run, and I got to chat with some friends along the way.

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Was happy to see this girl again, even though her jacket tried to blind me.

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We finished up the run with a group photo, then a group straight run photo. Can you find me?

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Spaceship earth was gorgeous, even at midnight.

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As we walked toward the exit to leave, we had one more special surprise, a champagne toast!

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Faron sent us off with a beautiful toast and best wishes for the race, and we all said goodbye.

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But not before a photo with some #TeamrunDisney friends!

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runDisney has outdone themselves again, and I loved that this meet up was different from all the other ones being at night, watching Illuminations, etc. I think the element of surprise is part of the fun, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next! I am so glad my husband and I got to attend, we had a blast!

QOTD: if you could plan the meet up, what is something different you would do?

Want more info on runDisney? Visit their website to sign up for events, get the latest news, and more!

Tips for Running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon

The runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon is in four days!

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This will be my third time running this race, and my fourth night race total (I ran the Tower of Terror Ten Miler last month which is also at night).

Not going to lie, I don’t enjoy running at night. I am more of a “wake up and get your run over with” kind of person, and I also don’t like to stay up late, so without proper preparation this could be a recipe for disaster. Luckily, after running several night races I think I have learned enough to be successful! Here are my best tips for running the Wine and Dine half marathon.

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1.) Relax! Sleep in on Saturday, and relax at your resort. Read a book in your room, go to the pool (but not in the sun!) or something else that doesn’t involve tons of walking. Try not to run around the parks all day! Your legs will thank you later. Also, I will try to make myself stay up late Thursday and Friday if possible to help prepare me for Saturday. I will also most likely take a nap Saturday afternoon.

2.) Prepare for before and after the race: If you plan to stay at the after party (which I recommend!) You will want to check a bag. It is usually chilly after the race, especially after being sweaty, so a change of clothes and sweatshirt are always in my checked bag. Also don’t forget your room key and some extra money to purchase food at the Food and Wine booths! There will be changing tents at the finish line for your convenience. Also, there is a good amount of time between when the busses bring you to the start to when you will actually get into your corral, so you may want to bring a garbage bag to sit on in the grass while you wait.

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3.) Watch your footing: runDisney does a great job of lighting up the roads, but there is at least one bump you will go over and need to be mindful of. Also, running through Animal Kingdom will be tight, and has some uneven pavement so pay extra attention running through that park.

4.) Watch your food intake: Do not eat any news foods the day of the race. I know the unique foods at the Food and Wine festival are tempting, but save it for after the race! I usually get up late and eat a big breakfast/lunch then small snack type meals as needed (like a clif bar and banana) until about 6:30 or so. If it will be warm and humid, I will start sipping on Gatorade after lunch until I get on the bus.

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5.) Read the official race program: Be sure you know the course, where the aid stations are, and what time to get on a bus. Be sure you get to the race in enough time to go to the bathroom and check your bag (there will be a time cut off for checking bags). A good reason to know the course: real bathrooms! You will be running through the parks, so I always try to take a bathroom break if needed in a “real” bathroom. There is also a map showing you the set up of the pre race area and where to go to get in your corral.

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To get excited about the race, be sure to check out my past two Wine and Dine race recaps from 2011 and 2012! Hope to see you there. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and maybe we will run into each other this weekend!

QOTD: Will you be running this weekend? Do you have any tips to add?

Looking for more info on runDisney races? be sure to check out their website for more information!

Peer Pressure

I think this tweet sums it up:

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It’s official. I will be running the runDisney Wine and Dine Half marathon again! Everyone on Twitter pushed me over the edge with their darn peer pressure. Ok, so many it didn’t take much convincing, but still.  I really wanted a redemption run. I was so sick last year I didn’t enjoy the race and had to leave the after party right as I had changed clothes to go out and enjoy it. Not so fun. Since we will have just been in Disney for the Tower of Terror 10 miler, we are only staying 4-5 days and will be staying at a new-to-me resort, Port Orleans French Quarter!

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No offense to the resort, but being from New Orleans, I was never thrilled about staying here, but in an effort to stay at as many different resorts as possible, I thought I would give it a shot. I did spend some time over there on this past trip taking photos and I went on a run through the property, so I am kind of excited. I love how you can make a Disney trip “new” every time by staying at a different resort.

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If you are on the fence for Wine and Dine, consider this your nudge to the other side. Hurry, this race probably won’t last through the weekend. Register now!

QOTD: Have you ever stayed at a hotel themed like your hometown? Thoughts?

St. Patrick’s Day 5k: Take 3

Good morning! Having a bit of a repeat of last weekend today…Bobby and I are running another 5k this weekend! Don’t judge, it’s already starting to get hot here so we have to take advantage while we can. We are running the St. Patrick’s Day 5k down by the beach. Honestly, I am a bit leery of this race. It’s our third year running it,  (2011, 2012) and last year it was a disaster! Ran out of water, started late, it was HOT, ran out of shirts for people who pre paid…I was not a happy girl. However, since we don’t have that many races to pick from, I decided to give this race another shot and hope they rectified the situation from last year. I will let you know how it goes. If I don’t die of dehydration that is. At least I won’t get pinched in my green running outfit.

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Not a happy girl after last year’s event. This year, I am bringing my own water!

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and good times will be had by all.

I also wanted to mention that not only can you now register for the runDisney Tower of Terror ten miler, but for the Wine and Dine half marathon as well. The Tower of Terror is already about 50% full, so don’t miss out on your chance! Both are going to be super fun. I am already signed up for ToT, but haven’t pulled the trigger on Wine and Dine…yet. I really want a re-do on Wine and Dine since I was so sick last year, and hopefully I can make it happen. I have fallen in love with the food and wine festival and that time of year in Disney World! Amazing weather, great food, a half marathon, what more could a Disney loving girl want?

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Speaking of Tower of Terror, Check out this message I got from reader Elizabeth:

“I know you love runDisney and I am running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler with my mom because the beneficiary is Autism Speaks and my niece has autism. We are also looking for people to sponsor our run, so that we can help out their family with all the medical expenses that come with autism therapy.
I blogged about this here: http://www.g0ss.com/2013/03/run-for-sophia.html and created a donation site for Run for Sophia here:http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/qq22/runforsophia.” Be sure to check it out if you are able!

 

QOTD: Have you ever been to a race or other sporting event where they ran out of water or didn’t start on time?

runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Expo

 

You may have already read the recap I wrote about the Wine and Dine half marathon, but today i want to talk a little bit about the expo. I LOVE runDisney race expos. Not only have I worked them as a vendor, but hey, I love to shop for running gear!

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We took the bus from our host resort, the Boardwalk Inn, and made it to the Wide World of Sports Complex.

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It was a gorgeous day, and excitement was in the air! We followed the signs telling us to go pick up our packet first before heading into the actual expo. There were plenty of workers and volunteers ready to answer any questions!

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We had our printed out race waivers and ID’s, and headed to our packet pickup booth based on our coral numbers. We stood in line then handed over our info in exchange for our packets, and Bobby got his coast to coast bracelet. Them we walked over to another building where we would pick up our shirts and then do some shopping.

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We walked to the back and easily picked up our shirts then headed to the front to get our official race merchandise. When we went to the expo for the Disneyland half they were sold out of Coast to Coast dri fit shirts and I wanted to make sure we got some, which we did (I got the last one in my size!) We then decided to do some shopping, and I bumped into my pal Carissa who does race announcing for runDisney.

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We chatted for a few minutes before she had to get back to work. I visited some of my other friends who were working booths at the expo, we did a little shopping, and then headed out. As much as I would have loved to stay longer, we had lunch reservations at the Magic Kingdom. We passed the stage where speakers such as Jeff Galloway give presentations all during the day.

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We passed an area where you can sign up for runner tracking on our way out as well.

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Everything was very well organized and there were plenty of signs and I never felt confused or lost. It did get crowded, but hey, it’s a Disney expo it’s going to be crowded. We still had a great time and I can’t wait for marathon weekend when I can go to another one!

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QOTD: What aspects of a race expo make them great for you? Good vendors? Organization? Something else?

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2012

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sorry for the blurry photos. Between not feeling well and it being dark I didn’t focus too much on them.

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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.

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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!

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Then, the race began, and corral A took off, and we moved up to the start.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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We wound through the studios and found some more friends.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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??

runDisney Wine and Dine Meet Up/Tweet Up 2012

 

Good morning! I wrote this post out last night, because I am probably asleep right now after being out so late for the Wine and Dine half marathon! (recap to come soon!)

But lets back up to Friday and the amazing runDisney meet up I was so lucky enough to be able to attend. My alarm went off at five am which would normally make me groan, but not this morning! I made it to EPCOT for the Wine and Dine half meet up/tweet up and was ready for some fun.

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We were welcomed to EPCOT and the meet up, and then the running began! There were two running groups, one was the run/walk group led by the awesome Jeff Galloway, and the other was a straight run group led by Bob of runDisney and the reigning Wine and Dine Champion, Anton Van Zyl, who I got to run with, way cool.

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We finished a near two mile run around Epcot, which was absolutely beautiful at sunrise, and then cheered on the group who ran with Jeff Galloway as they came in.

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After everyone was together, we walked into the Germany Pavilion for breakfast and a presentation. As usual, runDisney gave amazing information and also a great element of fun! We were given coffee, juice, and muffins before we sat down.

Anton talked to us about race day, keeping with a plan, but also having fun. he has completed four ironman races, including the Kona race in Hawaii this year!

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Jeff, the man who needs no introduction, also gave some words of wisdom and encouragement for the runners, and told s to come out to the expo to hear him speak more about running your best race.

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The amazing Tara who is a nutritionist for the Orlando Magic and now is working with runDisney gave some great nutrition tips. Running a night race is so different than what most people are used to, so proper fueling and nutrition the day of is so crucial.

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Speaking of nutrition, we were treated to an awesome dish by Chef Steff and we even got to take home the recipe, sweet!

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Then, another “chef” made a grand appearance, and was greeted by a roaring round of applause!

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We were then thanked for coming, and were given a one day Disney park ticket to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival, as well as a $10 Food and Wine gift card so we could “eat around the world” and a runDisney water bottle, so generous of them!

Don’t worry, I tweeted through the whole event, as did everyone else! (check out #WineDineHalfMeetUp to see!)

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#Team RunDisney also took a quick photo.

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We were then led outside where we got to take individual photos with Jeff Galloway and Chef Mickey.

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We then, of course, had to take a group shot!

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A huge thank you to runDisney for being so gracious in allowing this group of runners into EPCOT before the park opens to learn more about the sport and have some fun, too! I truly enjoyed myself, made some new friends, reconnected with the old, and got pumped for the Wine and Dine half marathon! Thanks runDisney!

*There is still time to sign up for the 5th anniversary runDisney Princess half marathon in February 2013! Don’t miss out on the fun!

**Thank you to runDisney for providing some of the images for this blog post.

QOTD: Have you ever met an Olympian like Jeff Galloway? Who is ready to runDisney?