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Monday, November 16, 2015

2015 Wine and Dine Half-Marathon Race Recap

2014: Wine and Dine Half-Marathon aka  Splash and Dash

2015: Wine and Dine Half-Marathon   Quarter Marathon

2016: ......TBD...

If you are a Disney runner then you have heard all the fun of the evacuation, race delay, and course shortening, but before we get to all that drama lets look back at the fun bits.

Sara and I had an early flight out of DC, but luckily we found coffee.
Someone's homemade ears didn't quite make it...
Arriving around 9:00am meant that we had time to EXPO early....and that our hotel room wasn't ready yet.
Brilliant ear fix...and more caffeinated!

We were able to quickly find a bus to the Expo and high tailed it to pick up our bibs. Last year we missed out on the wine glasses, so this year we snagged the glasses and then waited in line for 30 mins to check out.

Around this time my friend Rene arrived and hung out with us as we stood in line. This was his first Wine and Dine. We headed over to the vendor Expo so Sara could get her Sparkle Skirt order and I could find some Nuun and a new handheld water bottle (rookie mistake...I forgot mine).

I should mention that at this point every sign we saw about the race was warning us about the high- humidity and an above average temperature. Well- it can't be worse than the 13.1 mile cold swim that was last year right??

I spoke too soon.

That evening we goofed off in our hotel, grabbed pizza and a few drinks, and settled in to watch Inside Out with the rest of our resort.

Sara chose to run the Jingle Jungle 5k bright and early so we were up early. I chose to chill in the hotel room while she raced through the heat. (Watch out for her recap of the morning race on Wednesday!)

We showered and then went back to the Expo as I wanted to purchase a Cool Towel (best choice I made). We then went to Downtown Disney Disney Springs for a nice breakfast and to score some new shades.
One more photo op!
After a little pool time and a nap, it was time to prep for the race, Sara proving once again that she is the MASTER OF HAIR.

For giggles we ran as Timon and Pumbaa right as they are trying to escape the hyenas.

You know... this scene:

Spitting image, right?
Make sure to check out our Instagram for a tribute video that'll have you laughing your hula skirt off.

We arrived to the start line early so we could snag a character photo or two. They had more Disney friends at the Start Line than last year - separate lines for Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip & Dale. We opted to wait in line to say hello to Goofy and met some new Canadian friends who we would see 3 more times throughout the evening.

Soon it was time to gear check the bag when we noticed the wind suddenly pick up along with the lightening...and a drizzle of rain... and then we heard the notice to evacuate....

Count me not happy.
So off we all ambled to ESPN, trying to get in touch with my friend Rene as we landed in the Field house. Not easy when all 15,000 runners and their spectator friends are trying to use their cell phones at the same time!

No one was saying anything and rumors were spreading. We hung out with Rene as we waited for news. I eventually went outside to get fresh air as I noticed everyone moving back to the corrals. It seems were were cleared to race.

This guy. He rocks. Everyone needs a Rene in their lives!
We moved back to the corrals as we heard news of a 10:45pm start time. As people began to worry about time limits, I pondered if they might just cut Animal Kingdom out entirely.... Twitter confirmed moments later.

After a bunch of waiting to get into the corrals, we finally made it into place, trying to figure out how long we would actually be running. Turns out we'd be following the Marathon course out of ESPN WWoS, making the usual left onto Osceola Pkwy, but then taking the almost immediate right turn up World Drive to Hollywood Studios, instead of staying on Osceola down to Animal Kingdom.

Soon after 11pm our corral took off and while usually in Disney Races the crowds have a chance to thin out a bit on the highway stretches...nope.  We were all sandwiched together. I often ended up running behind Sara since I couldn't fit beside her.

The first mile came quickly and I was DRENCHED in sweat. At the first water stop I just doused the Cool Towel I had on me.

The nice thing about the shortened course was we cut out a lot of the highway time so the race seemed to fly by.  Sara and I decided that if we saw a character stop that we HAD TO HAVE we would stop.

We fit right in with these guys!
Hollywood Studios always gets me because I forget how large that park is. It was sad not to see the Sorcerer's Apprentice Hat, but I appreciated that the Costume Tunnel was not insanely loud like it was last year. They did have the curtains closed this year, so who knows what secret magic they're cooking up in there!

Soon we arrived at the Osborne Family lights and took our time enjoying the sites and taking insane photos.

Due to the shorter course, the heat, or people walking the course never thinned out. By the time we hit the narrow walkway between Hollywood Studios and the Boardwalk, we had to go at the pace of the crowd around us.

At this point I realized that my clothes were drenched in sweat, but that towel was turning that sweat into a nice cold towel around my neck. Gross, but effective.

Epcot came up shortly and after running around we found the Finish Line. Sara stopped for a Selfie with Chef Mickey..

I was not paying attention so I missed the fun.

We were able to quickly grab our bag of gear (they ran it as a walk through this year, instead of something resembling counter service, which worked BEAUTIFULLY), and begin the adventure to the after party. The lack of rain made the security line much shorter.

After a quick change we made our way through the festivites.

I had a 7am flight with a 4:15am hotel pick-up, so the night didn't last as long as last year, but we got our fill and even snagged our Photo with Dopey:

We'll see you in January, sir!
One last quick selfie on the way out of Epcot, and the night was done. Another Disney racecation had come to an end.

We will be back in January for the Dopey Challenge, and we will come back for Wine and Dine because WHAT COULD GO WRONG IN THE 3RD YEAR?