Disney’s 2011 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

10 Oct

Did you like how I surprised you with my race announcement? Yeah, I surprised myself too. I never thought I’d be able to enter a half-marathon on a whim! I knew the Wednesday before the race that I was running it, so I started carb loading then. It was pasta and bagels all the way! Well, I was broke anyway, so that’s all I had.

I was super stoked because my friend Holly from home was flying in for the race!

Running a race that starts at 10pm is so strange. I got up at a normal time, had a normal-ish, carby breakfast, had a Starbucks protein plate for lunch, took a nap in the late afternoon, and met up with Holly around 6 at her resort. I packed a bagel with peanut butter to eat at 7:00.

We parked at Epcot a little after 6, and the buses were already running to take runners over to the Wide World of Sports. The race information said buses would start at 7. I also have to add that the weather was hovering around 70 degrees that evening. Perfect running weather!

wine and dine welcome

I’m glad we got there early, because we were one of the first people in line to see Minnie Mouse!

wine and dine minnie

Since we were there over 3 hours before the race was to begin, we plopped right down in the grassy field and people-watched!

wine and dine field

I happened to look up and see my good friend Bethany and her running buddies.

wine and dine bethany

Around 9:30, we all headed to our respective corrals. I ended up with B but made a wrong turn and ended up in C, which was fine because I had no business being in B.

The guns and fireworks went off promptly at 10:00, but my corral didn’t pass the Start line until 10:15 or so. For the first few miles, it was a congested mess. My plan was to do the Galloway Method and do 2/1 intervals (run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute). I wanted to take my first walk interval after 2 minutes, but I didn’t want to piss anyone off and stop right in front of them while there were still so many people close to one another. I did end up taking the walk break after 3 minutes because I saw some other people doing the same thing. Once the crowd had thinned out, I moved to the right side of the road and took walk breaks every 2 minutes. I feel like other run/walkers need to be told before a race that stopping in the middle of the road with 4 of your friends is not acceptable. Move to the side, please.

Even though the total time spent on this course was almost 3 hours, I honestly felt like it went by really fast. I don’t remember anything memorable on the course. There were only several characters, and I’m not the type to stop and take a picture with one while running. Even though I may be slow and Disney races aren’t exactly “serious”, I still don’t like to take up time taking pictures.

I also don’t remember a moment when I thought I hit a wall or felt any pain.

I think they could have done a better job lighting the road coming out of Animal Kingdom. It was pitch dark! When there were lights on the road, they were shining directly at the runners. Fun times.

The run through the Studios seemed never-ending and really boring. Only parts of it were through the on-stage areas. The Osbourne Christmas Lights were a nice touch with holiday music playing, even though they were only half-completed this year.

It wasn’t until the final mile when I started doing shorter run intervals. I was just out of energy but not completely feeling like I hit a wall. I didn’t know until a few days before the race that I would be running it, so I wasn’t all that prepared. My longest run recently was an 8-miler, so I’m excited I lasted until Miles 11/12 before zonking out.

wine and dine splits

I wanted to keep up with a 12:30 mile pace, so I think I did alright, considering my lack of training.

The finish line was really strange. I’m not sure why it wasn’t set up with bleachers like they do for the marathon. The spectators we knew said there were so many people crowded around the small finish line area that fights were about to break out because everyone wanted to see their finisher.

wine and dine clock

wine and dine map

I did hear that they made significant improvements to last year’s finish line. It was a long walk around the area to get your medal, a bottle of water, a bottle of Powerade, and some snacks. Once I figured out where I was going after that, I made my way to the alcoholic beverages since my race bib came with a “drink voucher”. Upon discovering that all they had was Bud and Bud Light, I opted for a Coke. If I wanted to drink my own urine, I would. That’s how I feel about Bud and Bud Light. I don’t know what I was thinking expecting them to have something with some flavor.

So I drank my Coke and sat down to stretch inside Epcot where they were having the After Party. I got to the fountains just beyond Spaceship Earth and quickly realized I was about to faint and throw up on myself. I texted Holly with “can’t move”, and she quickly responded with “I’ll come find you!” I was feeling perfectly fine until I got into Epcot and was over-stimulated with all of the lights on the ground. I got dizzy, and that’s not something you want to happen right after running 13.1 miles. I quickly sat down, put my head between my knees, thought happy thoughts, and breathed deeply. I grabbed the mushy banana in my bag and started to feel better. What an awful feeling though to feel like you might pass out, and there’s no one you know around you.

I met up with Holly, who ROCKED the crap out of this race with a 1:56!!! I’ve got serious pace envy!

Since she had finished an hour before me, she had already walked all the way around the After Party and just wanted to go back to her hotel room. Since I was feeling a bit dizzy still, I agreed. It was so nice to leave a race and go back to my own bed. I was asleep by 3am, but I was up at 7 for one of my “shadow shifts” at lululemon. Then, I babysat that night. I’m still tired!

wine and dine finish CHUBBBBB! (I’m not normally self-deprecating. Sorry!)

Seriously, I MUST lose weight before the marathon! Or in lulu terms… “I WILL lose 25 pounds by January 8th, 2012!”



My favorite medal yet!


Despite my criticisms of a few things, I think it was a great race! I felt like I did my best considering my training. I felt strong and capable almost the whole time. I think I’d definitely run it next year if I’m still living in the area. I don’t think I’d make a special trip to Florida for it if I’m living out-of-state next year. It just wasn’t as special as the marathon or the Princess Half.

If you ran the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, tell me what you thought of it. Loved it? Hated it? Would you do it again?


21 Responses to “Disney’s 2011 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap”

  1. beth October 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Congrats! You did 4 minutes better than me!!

    I was also disappointed at the post-race beverage selection – especially considering they had said in writing at one point that wine would be an option. (As I’ve said, it’s not called the “Beer and Dine” Half Marathon.)

    I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. The nighttime thing is just too rough. I was near or in tears a lot of the last few miles and bottom line is I was just wiped. I don’t think nighttime races are for me. (Now…if it falls on a school break weekend again…we’ll see. But I don’t think so.)

    • runeatdatesleep October 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      Congrats on your finish! I agree that there should have been wine!

  2. Sarah October 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Great medal! Congrats on your finish 🙂
    I’m so with you about bud lite. Why do people drink that garbage! And epcot should have better offerings at an event billed wine & dine, no?

  3. Emily October 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Congrats!! Love the medal!!

    I’ve been thinking about doing this race so it was great to hear what you thought about it. I was a little concerned with it being a night time race.

  4. Sara@Runninginpinkproject October 11, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    You know I loved/hated it last year. 🙂 Id never do this one again because running at night had me all out of sorts but Im glad I experienced it once. Way to go finishing a race on a whim like that. You inspire me!

    • runeatdatesleep October 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      Awww, thank you, sweetie 🙂 We’ll do Princess and ROCK IT!

  5. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) October 11, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    That sounds like such a fun half. I want to do it sometime. Why they have the finisher photos right near the end baffles my mind. Anyways-awesome job girl! That medal is pretty sweet too!

  6. Casey October 11, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Great Job! I may do the Wine and Dne, but the late run makes me a little scared 🙂

    • runeatdatesleep October 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      Thank you!! The late run isn’t too bad if you take a nap during the day so you’re well-rested at the start.

  7. Eat: Watch: Run October 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Sounds like the race was the same as when I ran it last year. Dark between the parks, lights shining in your face, and shoulder to shoulder for the first few miles. At least they fixed the finish line a little bit. Oh, and I LOVE drinking my own urine. Six packs of it.

    • runeatdatesleep October 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

      I’m glad I read your recap of it last year because I totally knew to have low expectations going into it.

  8. Eat: Watch: Run October 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh, and I meant to say also…very nice job on finishing! Sounds like you rocked it!

  9. Lisa Fine October 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Great recap. I agree that there were some thing I didn’t love about the race, but since it was my first half marathon, I didn’t have anything to compare it too.

    I wish there were more characters, definitely, but really enjoyed running through Hollywood Studios for so long. It made the last few miles of the race much more manageable.

    Good luck with your training for the full in January! I’m probably going to register for the half! 🙂

  10. Adam October 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    I really enjoy reading your blog as well as your race recaps I also ran the wine and dine would gave like to meet you before the race unfortunately my race was not as good as your my speed was not what it should have been so I got swept but I made it halfway so I guess that’s okay I’ll get em in January

  11. monique October 12, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    Sounds like it was a great race. It’s on my runDisney wish list.

  12. Susan October 12, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Congrats on finishing with a sub 3-hour time! Fantastic!

    Scary though about the feeling dizzy and almost passing out part…same thing happened to me when I finished the 10 Miler I did in July. My husband wanted to get the car so I wouldn’t have to walk to it, but I was afraid I’d pass out and no one I knew would be around if it happened. We made it back to the house just in time where, thankfully, I did not faint, but made it to the toilet just in time. Even though I hydrated before the race and at every water stop, we later figured out I probably had heat exhaustion because the heat and humidity were less than ideal that day. I would have rather had pouring rain than what we had.

    I’m hoping to attempt the Providence half-marathon in May and finish in around three hours or less. You definitely inspire me!

  13. Victoria @ Running Peanut October 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Sorry I’m so late reading this! I’ve heard good and bad things about this race. I wanted to run it, but it was the same day as AL/FL so that for sure wasn’t going to happen.

    I agree with the Bud Light assessment – so true! Also, glad you are OK – getting dizzy is not fun at all. 😦

    PS – I love your picture! I think it’s very cute! 🙂

  14. Army Amy October 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    The medal is super cute! Congrats on a good race!*

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