Happy Thursday, everyone! I can’t believe it has already been almost a week since I headed off to Florida, so this race recap is a couple of days overdue, but no problem!
On Friday late afternoon, Lacey, my new friend Tina, and I, drove off to Lake Buena Vista for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend! Once we got there, we met up with our last friend Amanda and headed off to the race expo inside Disney World’s ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex. Since we got there pretty late, we quickly got our bibs, bags, shirts, bought some Gu, and Lacey and I bought our matching shirts for race day (…night?).
Ready to wine and dine! … and run!
After eating a delicious pasta dinner at Mama Romano’s in Orlando, it was bedtime. The four of us woke up pretty early the next morning, used the time time to eat, explore the Disney World Resort (which is a whole other ball game, Southern Californians, let me just tell you), squeeze a nap in before the 10 PM race.
This race was kind of uncomfortable for me at the start–I’m not going to lie. Before the race, I mentioned that I was going to take it easy and focus on running with my best friend rather than focusing on my time. Well, let’s just say I completely forgot how competitive I am. I honestly thought it would be no big deal to “take it easy.” No biggie, no problem. Boy, was I wrong. Once I was a part of the race atmosphere, I had to constantly remind myself that this time was to be spent with my best friend, not for a PR. I wanted so badly to head off to Corral B, start strong, run fast, finish fast, and feel that sense of accomplishment that comes with having a really great race.
But I didn’t. I stuck to what I said, and I ran the entire race with my best friend, and I am so glad I did. Lacey has cheered me on, sent me text messages, congratulated me, etc. for every single race I have ever run and it was so special to be able to finally run with her.
The race was a ton of fun, as we scampered off through Walt Disney World service roads, ran through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. Since I have never even been to Disney World before, looking at everything around me was a huge distraction. It was awesome to finally see the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios, and Spaceship Earth at Epcot–all attractions I have seen on TV or photos but never in person until now.
One thing that really did disappoint me when it comes to this race was the spectators and entertainment. Maybe I am just so used to Disneyland races and the fantastic support. There are cheerleaders, dancers, families, friends, and tons of people cheering you on and supporting you while running. I have never felt like there was a lack of entertainment at Disneyland races. However at the Wine and Dine, not much was going on. There were DJs, characters inside of the parks, some people cheering you on at the BoardWalk, and definitely a lot of people once we got closer to the finish line. I am assuming it was because it was a night race because Tina mentioned that when she ran the Princess Half Marathon, the spectators were plentiful–but who knows. Just something I noticed.
Regardless, I had a blast. Hence the number of selfies I took. No shame.
Left: Selfie #1 inside the disco tunnel (with blurry Lace behind me) Right: Selfie #2 The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
More Disney World views during the course. I believe this is a view of the BoardWalk, but I have a feeling I’m wrong. Oh well. Still pretty.
I high fived Minnie, crossed the finish line with Lacey, and received my Wine and Dine Half medal and my first Coast to Coast medal! Woot woot! Both medals are absolutely gorgeous.
We did it!
The race was a great time, we had an option for beer or wine after crossing the finish (I opted for some refreshing beer), then we changed out of our sweaty clothes so that we could partake in the Finish Line Party, which came as a part of our race registration.
Big hug and thanks to Lacey, Tina, and Amanda for a fun time at all of the race activities. What a blast. Huge thanks to RunDisney for yet another great event!