Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

Wine Dine Half Marathon Title

2014’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon is definitely an experience I’ll never forget! Up until we arrived at WDW, I really hadn’t paid close attention to the weather. To be honest, checking the weather repetitively kind of makes me nervous and I don’t like to think about it. I knew that rain was in the forecast, so I made sure to pack accordingly.

On Saturday morning, we completed Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K (beautiful weather…of course), then showered/changed and returned to Epcot for a little park time. Our friends Kelli and Darren had never been to WDW and had three day park hoppers, so we wanted to make the most of their time in the parks. After lunch with the princesses in Norway, we took a ride on Spaceship Earth, then returned to our rooms to nap and get ready for the race.

My number one problem that afternoon was a pounding headache. The song “All About That Base” kept going over and over and over in my head. Every time I hear that song from now on, I will always think of the Wine & Dine Half Weekend – they played it everywhere! Don’t get me wrong, I like the song…I just heard it a lot that weekend.

Part of my headache problem came from the fact that I didn’t drink coffee like I should have that morning, so it was catching up to me. I took some medication and dozed in and out of sleep for two hours. I felt much better after I woke up!

Despite the rainy forecast, I still decided to keep my race outfit/costume the same – Lilo from Lilo and Stitch.

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Kelli was also running this race, so we hopped on a bus from the Wilderness Lodge around 7:30 p.m. (I think) and were met by a ton of traffic trying to file into Wide World of Sports. It took a while, but we finally made it. My first task was to find my friend Jen. She was dressed like Stitch, so we planned on taking a picture together!

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Found her! Aren’t we cute?! :)

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My friend Kelli and I in a huge field at Wide World of Sports, waiting on the race to begin.

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a different course from other runDisney events and doesn’t begin at the same area. Basically, runners are taken to a giant field where they stand/sit around and wait for the race to begin.

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After saying hi to a few people, Kelli and I began the (much shorter) walk to our corrals. Bonus points for the Wine & Dine Half!

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We were in Corral D – this is the view in front of us….

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…and the view behind us!

As we made our way closer to the start line, we were finally able to see Carissa and Rudy!

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One thing I felt this race lacked was a few giant TV screens near each corral like Marathon Weekend or Princess. Those would be a great addition, in my opinion!

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I loved their “Epcot/Wine & Dine” themed costumes!  I took this picture, hoping you could see the steady rain dripping off their tent. Isn’t that crazy?

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After only a few short minutes, we saw fireworks, then we we were off!

It rained pretty much the entire race for me – from start to finish…so some of my pictures are horrible. Like…really bad. I’m sorry in advance!

Also, I pretty much ran this entire race in a poncho. Fun fun.

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The Wine & Dine Half Marathon took runners out of the Wide World of Sports and on the path towards Animal Kingdom.

I made a decision from the very start to stop for every character I saw, because I didn’t know when they were going to go back into hiding (from the rain).

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Country Bears

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Light Parade fairies

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runDisney’s answer to the rain – hey, at least we still had plenty of music on the course!

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Look who I found on my way into Animal Kingdom! Isn’t he cute? :)

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We rounded the corner into Animal Kingdom and this is when the rain REALLY picked up. My shoes officially became water logged here – around mile 3.5.

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Rafiki was hiding out under the ticket counter, but we still managed to snag a picture together!

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A very nice lady was trying to take a selfie here, so I helped her out and she reciprocated! I like nice runners! :)

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The path into Animal Kingdom led us through these red lights which were really neat!

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Sat times for this picture – I kept in in here just to show you how wet and gross things were!

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And the rain rain rain came down down down…

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Rafiki was hanging out in a dry spot in Africa, so I stopped to say hi. I also paused here to call Jason and tell him where I was at on the course. At the time, he was trying to make his way to Epcot and the finish line.

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Love the tree of life!

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A few more character stops in AK

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Loved AK all lit up at night – I don’t get to see this often!

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Outside of Animal Kingdom, I encountered a few pirates – they were nice pirates though, thankfully!

The road to Hollywood Studios seemed to take forever, but I think it’s because I was mostly ready for a change of scenery. I also saw Lilo and Stitch’s location, but was incredibly sad because they were no where to be found. Whomp whomp. I did have a few friends who saw them out for pictures later but unfortunately, they weren’t out when I passed. Sad times. I would have waited had I known – but I assumed they weren’t coming out because of the rain. There were several stops like that along the course – you could tell it was set up for a character, but no one was in sight.

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Finally at Hollywood Studios!

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I also met up with Kelli here. I stopped a lot during the race and she didn’t, so we continued through Hollywood Studios together for a while.

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The nice CM taking pictures with Buzz and Woody had a towel to dry off cameras and phones but as you can tell, even her towel was wet!

After several turns, we were finally at my favorite part of this entire race – the Osborne Lights!!

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I’m also glad that Kelli and I were here together because we were able to take each other’s pictures!

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So incredibly beautiful. I absolutely love it here!!

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I spent a good bit of time here taking pictures and enjoying the sights. To be honest, I didn’t want this part of the race to end!

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Another favorite part of this course was when we ran through the old tunnel for the Backlot Tour. A lot of the windows were boarded up, but the costume room was still open for all to see!

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Before long, we were out of Hollywood Studios and onto the road that let around the Yacht/Beach Club.

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Everyone kept telling us to be careful because the Boardwalk was wet. I was quite confused because I didn’t think we actually ran in front of the Boardwalk resort for this race…I finally realized they meant the boardwalk area in front of the Yacht Club!

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A little live course music! :)

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As we passed the International Gateway, we saw these guys – Lumiere and The Genie (not pictured here).

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You know I had to get my traditional picture with the Mile 12 sign!

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We ran through Epcot before finally passing Spaceship Earth, the Castmember break area, then the parking lot and on to the finish line. As much as I enjoyed this race, I was kind of happy it was over. I finished around 3 hours (around 1 a.m.). By this point, I was soaked, cold, and ready to change my clothes. I didn’t wait in line for anything after the finish line – thankfully, Jason had a bag of dry clothes for me…the bag check  line was INSANE.

After debating on using the changing rooms at the finish line (that’s how cold and delirious I was), I instead decided to enter Epcot and use the restrooms under Spaceship Earth. My friend Randy was also about to finish his very first Half Marathon, so I also wanted to cheer him on as he rounded Spaceship Earth. Thankfully, we got to see him and he was so excited that we were all there! 

Did we stay for the after party? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

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A WELL earned medal!

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My newest motto from the Wine & Dine Half – When life hands you rain, play in it!

Have you ever run a race in the rain? Did you still manage to have fun despite the circumstances?


  1. O wow! I didn't realize the rain was coming down in buckets! You had the right attitude though. It probably wasn't safe to really run hard so you might as well just have fun with it! How did you keep your camera/phone dry each time you took it out?

    I have yet to run a race in rain or in any conditions that were too terrible but if I had I am sure it would be a memorable experience!

    Congrats on a well earned medal ~ M

  2. I did a 5K in the rain, but I've never had serious rain in a long race. I don't mind the wet, but once I get cold, it's all over for me! That looks like it would be a fun route with all the lights on a dry night, though!

  3. Wow, you certainly made lemonade out of lemons.....what tough race conditions. How fun that you got to run with your friend on her first trip to WDW! Hopefully you did get to enjoy the after party for a little while! Congrats on your finish!

  4. I'm so impressed that your character photso are as good as they are! I know that someday I'll have to do a race in heavy rain, but knock on wood, I haven't had that experience quite yet. I've heard people put duct tape on their shoes to try to keep them dry. No idea if it works but maybe for next time...or let's hope there is no next time! :) -Christine

  5. Ugh! I don't think there's anything worse than wet shoes and socks. I've had to trudge around soccer games completely soaked. It was great when I got home and could take off my cleats and socks and let them dry.

  6. Wow at all that rain! Crazy! It looks like you still had a great race and there were still a lot of characters out! Congrats!

  7. UGGGG I HATE running in wet shoes. Props to you!
    Your pictures are awesome all things considered.
    Thanks for the fun race report!


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