Well, I guess if I get this post out before the 2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon, I am ahead of the game. Yipee!!
You have probably heard a lot about this race, it caused quite a stir in the running community. But here is my rendition of what went down. Even with all of the issues, it was still a fun race and most of the people running had a great time! Some people aren’t calling this the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, but the Whine & Dine Half Half Marathon.
Now on to the day of the big event! I am so used to getting up at some ungodly hour and catching the bus for other runDisney events. But this race was different. Since this is a night race, I laid all of my race gear out before I took a nap. Once I woke from my nap, I got dressed and ready for the race.
I walked out to the bus stop to catch the race day bus, but they just keep going past us full. Hopefully, this is something that runDisney works on fixing in the future. We all waited at the stop for over an hour while bus after bus kept going past us full. Looking back, I should have had the hubby drive me over there after about 20 minutes. But I love meeting people on the buses and while waiting in line. I think there were plenty of buses for the resort but they should have assigned them per stop. Luckily we made it to the race on time… not that it made all that much of a difference.
We checked our bags and then stretched and made our initial potty breaks. They were about to open the corrals when all of sudden the wind really started to pick up. I was looking forward to the wind because Florida had been under a heat advisory all day. It was still in the 90’s as we were about to start the race. But then we got the announcement over the loud speakers that we were being relocated. They moved us inside to the Wide World of Sports arena due to severe weather in the area.
We spent about an hour holed up in the Field House or Champions Stadium waiting for the storms to pass over. Finally, they announced that the bad weather had passed and was told to return to the Staging Area. At this point, people were talking about how the race was going to be significantly shortened. But at this point, no one knew exactly. I made it to my corral and waited and waited. An announcement was made that the race was definitely on, but that it was going to be shortened by about 6 miles. Because of my recent sinus infection, I was actually relieved. Trust me there were a lot of people upset…especially the ones that this was their first half marathon. Thank goodness I had already crossed off that off my bucket list.
I was bummed about the new course. The shortened course meant we didn’t run through Animal Kingdom at all. At this point in all of my races, I had only run through Epcot and Magic Kingdom. So I was looking forward to the other two parks. But at least I signed up for the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon in April so I eventually got to run through Animal Kingdom, just not this night.
One of the highlights of the race was running through the Osborne Lights at Hollywood Studios. I had not had the chance to see them on any of our previous trips so this was a treat. Especially since this was the last time you were able to view them. Disney removed the lights after the race and has done away with this little treat.
As you can tell by my face in the picture it was still hot when I ran through Hollywood Studios. But I was determined to finish and make it to the after party at Epcot.
After running through Hollywood Studios it wasn’t much further to the finish line at Epcot. But by the time I ran around the Epcot ball and across the finish line, I was DONE! Physically and mentally done. I never really had any labored breathing on the course but it took every little bit of energy I had to finish all 6.72 miles (actually my Garmin watch said 7.2 miles) of this race. When I crossed the finish line, I immediately looked for the hubby. We both agreed that neither of us wanted to fight the crowds at the after party so we just headed back to the room.
All in all, I enjoyed the race and would have loved to do it again at night. But runDisney has now turned this race into a regular runDisney event. The 2016 half marathon will now be on Sunday morning just like all of their other races and I have decided to sit this one out since I am signed up for the 2017 Walt Disney Half Marathon in January. Are you running the 2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon??
To read about our behind the scenes (where we stayed and where we ate), click here!