My "gateway" race!

My "gateway" race!
My "gateway" race!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Disney World Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon

Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon
November 9, 2013

Last year was my first experience with the Walt Disney World Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon. My husband and I made a trip out of it with no kids, just us!! All my friends were like, "You're going to Disney World alone?" YES!!! 

Being at Disney World with no kids was great, except we found ourselves saying, “The kids would really like this!” So, while we were there, we decided that we would definitely come back next year for the race and bring the kids. 

A year in planning and the excitement was full throughout the year. I couldn’t wait to get back to Disney World for the Wine & Dine ½ marathon, but also to experience the parks with our kids. We actually had a countdown going on our Disney trip website, which was fun to watch.  Each race I completed this year only led me one month closer to Disney World. Even though I’m a die hard Disneyland person, Disney World was great. They both have their pros and cons and my favorite is still Disneyland!

We found out before we arrived that Disney World was doing something a little different with their park tickets, room keys, and Magical Express bus and because we were participating in the half marathon, we got to participate in the test group testing out the new Magic Bands. I was able to link all of our reservations to the bands and even customize the color of each person’s band. The Magic Bands ended up being awesome! Great idea Disney!! 

We arrived in Orlando and headed to the Magical Express bus. I was so excited and so were the kids. My youngest had woke up that morning not feeling well, so she was fighting hard to stay awake and watch as we arrived at the hotel. It had already been a long day of traveling. At the hotel, we discovered that after multiple phone calls and requests, everyone in our party was spread out in different buildings over the resort. After 90 minutes at check in, when we were already pre-checked in, we finally were able to get all rooms in the same building and same floor. We made it to our room, unpacked and then headed out for dinner. During dinner, we planned out the next day. It was decided we were going to the Magic Kingdom. We spent about eight hours there, before we headed off on a side adventure. We went to see the Cirque Du Soleil show La Nouba in downtown Disney courtesy of a dear friend.

The next day we divided our time between Animal Kingdom and Epcot, after heading to ESPN Zone to pick up our race packets and bibs. It was only the first day of the expo and most of the merchandise was sold out! Disney should get a hint and order a ton more! It’s all going to be sold! It sells out every year. I’m lucky there was nothing I needed, since I pre-ordered my commemorative pin!

This year, I decided to create a costume for the Wine & Dine, since last year I didn’t. After seeing so many cute and creative costumes, I had to. Thank God my husband is such a good sport! I made the costume simple enough so he couldn’t object even if he wanted to. We were going to be chefs! Super easy, white shirts, black bottoms, white aprons, and chefs’ hats which I personalized (see photo)! My hubby even added his own idea while we were getting ready, he added a small washcloth to his apron. It really finished off the costume.

We were off to the start line!!I couldn’t wait!! I knew immediately upon arriving that I would head straight for the picture line with Mickey. He was so cute dressed as a chef. We were completing this race with a few friends this year, so there were six of us. While we waited in line, we took several group shots with each other and even got a couple shots of other people dressed up as characters. My one friend was dying to get a photo with a very furry, very skimpy dressed Woody from Toy Story. I obliged and jumped in the photo with her. Great fun! After waiting in line for two hours for Mickey, we were about ten people away when they shut the line down and Mickey left. Devastated does not even explain how I felt!! Mickey had to get to the start line which meant it was time to get in our corrals. 
Furry guy!

There were so many people this year that there were a few more corrals than last year. I heard that Disney was trying to create smaller corrals which is why there were more. Of course, I was not in any of the corrals with my group of friends. They were allowed to come back to my corral but I couldn’t go up to their corral. There was no sneaking into corrals this year, as there was strict enforcement at each corral. So, I told my friends to go and I’ll see them at the finish. My hubby and good friend, Trish, did not want me to be alone, so they stayed with me in my corral. I told them I’ll see you at the finish. I got my usual kiss from my hubby as the race started.

This year I ran with no music, I just wanted to take in the sites! I really love this race. Each corral that starts gets fireworks when they are released. Last year, we froze our buns off. So this year, I thought I was prepared. Ha ha, I packed long sleeve and should have packed short sleeve. When the year before, I packed short sleeve and should have packed long sleeve. I’ll be covered next year, I’m packing both!! Just after the first mile, my long sleeve shirt was off and tucked into my apron. Hey, that thing served a dual purpose! Awesome!

This race was amazing again. The racers were great, the on course support was great, and the entertainment was awesome! My only complaint that seems to be consistent with every race is the slow runners/walkers, PLEASE move to the right!! Doesn’t anyone read the race etiquette? Apparently not! I’m not fast at all, but I know when to get out of someone’s way!  I didn’t stop and take any photos until I hit mile 12. I always try to snap a picture at mile 12, not because this is my favorite mile, but because 12 has always been my favorite number! Throughout the race, I saw my friends as we passed by each other we gave high fives and yelled words of encouragement.

I made it to the finish line. It was set up a little different this time, which was kind of a bummer because my husband, Jason, wasn’t able to be right there when I crossed the finish line. I love looking ahead and seeing his smiling face! It was very crowded and congested as I tried to make my way out to our group. There we hugged and got some more group photos, this time with our medals and our coast to coast bonus medals. Half of our group was tired and headed back to the hotel, while the rest of us headed into Epcot to enjoy the International Food & Wine festival. We headed straight to Canada for their delicious cheesy soup!! We rode a few rides and enjoyed Epcot until they closed the place down at 4 in the morning.  


 Already making my plans for the 2014 Wine & Dine ½ Marathon!!! I can’t wait!! This race has become my favorite race, sorry Tink!!

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