Race Recaps

2014 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon: The Expo

Originally posted at laurabowers.net on August 4, 2015. I’m updating my author website by moving all older runDisney and running content here!

Ah, the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon, otherwise known as Splash & Dash. What a race that was! Pouring down rain. Pour. Ing. On a chilly night. My toes prune just thinking about it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First there was the expo on Friday! Bob joined me for this trip and I was so excited about running another night race since Tower of Terror was awesome! Plus we have never experienced the Food & Wine Festival together nor have we seen Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Short vacation, but lots of awesomeness!

Now, before leaving, folks in many Facebook running groups were abuzz over the predicted forecast of rain, rain, and more rain. But it was all good, I wasn’t too worried since I thought I had packed accordingly.

*Emphasis on THOUGHT.*

Look at those blue skies in Baltimore! Surely they’ll follow us to Orlando. Hehe.

As usual, we took the earliest flight to Orlando and arrived at around nine in time for our traditional Mickey Mouse photo at MCO! I wasn’t feeling this super huge rush to get to the expo, so we enjoyed a relaxing Magic Express ride to All Stars Sports. Staying at deluxes with friends has been fantastic, but with two kids in college, I’m a value girl at heart and really, I think they’re pretty awesome! The new food court at Sports was great. Bob got a great steak dinner one night for around $12.00. Can’t beat that, folks.


We checked in and headed over to the ESPN Sports Complex. Since I was with my hubby, I tried to stay away from social media but oh my gosh … the growing concern over the weather was hard to ignore. Many folks were panicking. Other folks were chiding those folks for panicking. Some gave suggestions on how to duct tape shoes. (Don’t.) A few worried about the race being cancelled. All this got me to wondering if I should have brought my cold gear leggings and long-sleeve, the ones I was thisclose to throwing in my suitcase at the last minute.

But no, I didn’t want to panic or let my anxiety go sky-high. Worry and anxiety has robbed much of my life so I forced myself to enjoy Bob’s company and just. Go. With. It.

This is me. Just going with it. In pink shorts.
This is me. Just going with it. In pink shorts.
Besides, look at that gorgeous blue sky! Surely it followed us from Baltimore.
Besides, look at that gorgeous blue sky! Surely it followed us from Baltimore.

Like Tower of Terror, I really loved how relaxed this expo was. Nothing against the Princess Half Marathon – that race is still has my heart and soul, but the Fit for a Princess Expo always gives me a MUST FOLLOW TO-DO LIST AND CONQUER vibe. Wine & Dine’s was very chill and lackadaisical in comparison. We headed to the Disney merchandise area first and bought a magnet, pin, and very awesome jacket that I wear all the time!

Afterwards, we went to the Field House to get my bib. They also were asking folks to take a picture holding their bibs, which we now know was a test for future runDisney challenge races to make sure the same person completes each run.

Speaking of photos, they had lots of fun opportunities for these:

Hey! Bob finally sees something at a running festival that he wants! #donotscratchit
Hey! Bob finally sees something at a running festival that he wants! #donotscratchit

Somewhere among all this, we grabbed a bite at the Sports Grill, something Bob said he could skip next time. Sorry, but yeah, those burgers just weren’t good. We then went back to All Stars to stash my bib and for me … check the weather for the thousandth time that day. The forecast? Still horrible. Rain and lots of it. But there was no need to panic, right? RIGHT?!?

<<don’t panic, it’s all good, Laura>>

Our initial plan was to go to Hollywood Studios, but since it was the first night for the Osborne Family Lights we worried about it being super crowded and headed to Epcot instead. But first, we had to straighten out an issue with Bob’s annual pass where a lovely CM gave us EXCELLENT NEWS that saved us a lot of money. You can see the joy on my face as we headed to the Food & Wine Festival, feeling pretty amazing:

EPCOT_BACKSIDE 4_7089653984

A few minutes later, however, we got a phone call from one of our sons with some not so excellent news, one that would cost us lots of money. Sigh. There goes some of our elation, but such is life.


I’m not going to get into our first Food & Wine Festival experience since that’s a post for another day, but in short, we did have a blast dipping our toes into feasting around the world. And how cool, David Cook was performing and he was AMAZING! Too bad the weather had turned seriously chilly, though, or we would have stayed for the entire show. Instead, we headed back to the resort and watched a movie on TV until late since I wasn’t running the 5k the next morning.

(Decided to conserve my energy for the half. So not doing that for 2015’s, I’m running both, baby!)

During the commercials, though, I kept checking multiple weather apps. Again. And again. Still lots of rain forecasting, which made me later wake at 4:30 the next morning with a nice ole’ panic attack, which is where I’ll pick up in my next post!

Thanks for reading!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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