This race was my third Disney race and first time doing the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I was well trained and looking forward to a great race. I was running with a group of girls so there were lots of laughs to be had during the weekend.
The Disney Expo was amazing. It was crowded, but definitely manageable. If you get there right when they open, be prepared to wait. I like to go around lunch time, so I don't have to deal with any lines. One perk of the Wine and Dine expo was they were offering champagne (for purchase of course). Packet pick up was easy. A nice bonus was a Disney Gift card in each of our race bags. Nice job runDisney!
I was super excited about the expo because I was there for one specific thing....the Beer Run shirt from Raw Threads that I had seen during the Tower of Terror Expo. After I got my shirt, I also picked up a cute 13.1 polka dot magnet and some Jelly Belly sports beans. After the Expo, we took a detour to the outlets and then to our hotel for lunch. After some great food and a cold beer, it was time to try and take a nap.
A few hours later it was go time....the Wine and Dine Half Marathon was here! We arrived before 7:00, so parking at Epcot was not an issue. We planned on using the car as our "bag check" and it was the best decision ever. That way when you finish at Epcot, your car is right there in the lot.
Hanging out in the corral isn't the most fun part, but looking around at all the costumes and outfits certainly is. After some people watching and a trip to the long port-a-potty line, it was time to head to the starting line. If you don't hit the bathroom before you head off for your corral, don't worry. There will be more along the route to your corral.
We were lined up in Corral C. The music was pumping and everyone was so excited. The energy was everywhere! Then before we knew it, we were off with a magical, Disney send off. We got a countdown and then fireworks. A runDisney start wouldn't be complete without the fireworks.
The race itself was good. This race runs through three out of four Disney parks and it was so much fun to see them all. I didn't stop for water until around mile 4. Going through Disney's Animal Kingdom was the most exciting part for me because I have never been to this park before. I will admit though...there were some "tight" areas that had to be walked because the number of runners exceeded the passable space.
After Animal Kingdom, runners head to Hollywood Studios. At mile 10 of the race, you round the corner and see the Osborne Lights. This display of Christmas lights is breathtaking! So breathtaking that I didn't even snap a pic...epic fail on my part!
As we headed back and were approaching Epcot it was crazy to see all the spectators and to see them all with BEER. The Food and Wine after party was in full effect!
When we hit Epcot, I could smell food and beer (I swear I could). I ran faster and faster. The energy from the crowd is addicting. I get goosebumps every time. Before I knew it, I was finished. I ran through the chute and had an amazing runDisney medal around my neck. It doesn't get better than that!
Right after the race, my only BIG let down was that I didn't have my id on me for the free drink. I held that free drink ticket for 13.1 miles. I imagined what the beer would taste like the minute I finished. And what did I do...walked right by the beer because I didn't have my id on me. Big mistake.
The runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon wasn't a PR for, but that's okay because I had a good time with friends. After the race, we ended up going back to the hotel. I know...BIG bummer that we missed out on the after party. But don't worry....I'll be back in the future for the after party.