Race Recaps runDisney

2015 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Originally posted at laurabowers.net on March 28, 2016. I’m updating my author website by moving all older runDisney content here!

Sigh. This recap will be bittersweet for me now that runDisney has changed next year’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon to a morning race. But hey, if 2015’s was the last night race, at least we did it right by having an amazing weekend, evacuation and all!

More on that mess later. Let’s get to the good stuff. A recap for the 2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

Picking up with my Jingle Jungle 5k recap, I met up with everyone at Magic Kingdom where we had a blast hitting the rides, getting character photos, and adding scenes to our Videostar video, a tradition Jackey started this weekend.

Yep, that’s me in the bra. What can I say, Disney brings out my crazy.


Speaking of videos, here’s my Wine & Dine Half Marathon recap!

Throughout the day, we kept checking our multiple weather apps. Possible thunderstorms had been a very popular topic on various Facebook groups that week but I didn’t join in any of the “man, another year of rain would suck” conversations out of a growing fear that pecked at the back of my mind.

What if a runDisney race is cancelled??

And yep, I know, it’s awfully convenient saying I had a bad feeling now in hindsight, but seriously. Rain, I could handle. A race being cancelled is what would truly suck.

At the time, there wasn’t anything troubling on radar, so we headed back to Beach Club at around 2:30 so I could take a much-need nap. (By this point, I was running on about three hours total sleep since Wednesday.) This meant missing our group dinner at Big River Grille, but I really needed to sleep, if only for a little bit, which is what I ended up getting, about 20 minutes.

Oh well, #suckitupbuttercup and all, so we got dressed early and made it on the very first bus. Good thing we did, because many of our other friends were held up in traffic or the driver got lost. Yikes. Always. Leave. Early.


Once we made it there, we checked our gEAR bags and met up with our running group. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again … I’m so grateful to have met such amazing friends! My life has truly changed for the better having known them. Oh, and this is the first time I’ve ever done a group costume with others! It was really fun!

Long wait for Chef Mickey, but well worth it!
Long wait for Chef Mickey, but well worth it!
Had to give Chef Pluto some love, too!
Had to give Chef Pluto some love, too!

There were some sprinkles and it certainly was humid and windy … so much so that I took off my crown. But we weren’t overly concerned since there was lots of chatting, dancing, and laughing to do … a little too much chatting, dancing, and laughing since we didn’t hear the announcements about race officials keeping an eye on the weather. Instead, we soon headed toward the corrals. Rob, Linda and I were in B, but for some reason, runners were stopped at the corral gate. Huh. We soon found out why. Because of nearby storms, they evacuated us to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Center

Oh no.

That nagging fear slapped me right in the face.


With thousands of runners going to different buildings, I did not think it was possible for us to run into our friends, but by some miracle, we found them clustered near a trash can outside of the stadium. Still shocked about that. We found a nice place to wait out the verdict … would we run or not?


After about an hour, we noticed runners heading back to the starting area. Hallelujah!! Rob, Linda, and I made it to our corral only to find out that race directors decided to shorten the race to 7.1 miles. This announcement brought on tons of grumbles and complaints, but seriously, I was too happy it wasn’t cancelled to care! And later, it was revealed that the storms brought down many branches in Animal Kingdom, making it unsafe. RunDisney absolutely made the right call.

Besides. We’d only get to the after party sooner. 🙂


This was Rob’s very first runDisney race and we had similar paces, so we decided to run together … after I explained my love for lots and lots of character photos and mile marker pictures. He’s super laid back and chill, so that was fine with him!

Pretty soon, we were FINALLY on our way!


Now, I was running a 8.5 to 9 back in November and I usually take my first mile easy, but between the evacuation and sitting around, we both opened up and hit it hard, running most of the race at between 7.5 to 8. We were just too edgy to pace!

Rob's first race character photo. Everybody say awwww!
Rob’s first race character photo. Everybody say awwww!

(By the way, my husband advised me to upgrade my iPhone before this trip. I was feeling cheap and didn’t listen. Shoulda listened because some of my photos turned out crappy.)

After the first mile, the shortened course had us veering to the right towards Hollywood Studios instead of heading straight to Animal Kingdom. I was bummed on Rob’s behalf, since this was his very first runDisney half and Wine & Dine experience, but like I said, he’s super chill and wasn’t bothered. No sense in being agitated over something out of our control anyway!


It was VERY weird seeing Mile 8 so soon!

Rob was seriously getting the hang of things by this point.
Rob was seriously getting the hang of things by this point.

There was a bit of a line for Buzz and Woody, but come on … we had to stop for Buzz and Woody!


Now. About the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.


By far the best part of the course … and this was the very last time we’d be able to run through them. Gotta say. There were some tears mixed in with my sweat when we rounded the corner and saw them.


Rob and I slowed to a walk, taking our sweet ole’ time, really enjoying this final moment and taking lots of video. Until my camera told me it was out of memory, that is. Nooooo!!! I frantically deleted as many apps as possible, getting enough room for a few more shots.

Goodbye, Osborne Lights, you'll be missed!
Goodbye, Osborne Lights, you’ll be missed!

After at least ten to fifteen minutes, we finally left with a heavy heart and me, a very full camera. Rob kept watch, making sure I didn’t run into anything or anybody while deleted more apps and photos. Yep, Bob was right. I shoulda got a new phone!


I forgot to warn Rob how I like to get photos of great spectator signs. Almost wiped him out to get this one!


Before we knew it, we came upon this sight and our 7.1 half marathon adventure was over!


Not until we got a picture with this guy, though.

Oh, yeah.
Oh, yeah.

We lingered with our beers, watching runners approach the finish line while Rob called his wife, Lauren. The chills soon kicked in full force, though, so we headed to Epcot to change and hang out until the rest of our gang arrived.

Woo-HOO, now for the after party!

First thing on our agenda? A ride on Soarin!
First thing on our agenda? A ride on Soarin!
Followed by Test Track!
Followed by Test Track!

We then met up with the rest of our running pals at World Showcase’s United Kingdom area.

Rose and Crown was PACKED!
Rose and Crown was PACKED!
Pear beer. Yummy.
Pear beer with James. Yes, please!

Last year, Leslie and I braved the chilly rain to get photos with all the characters so us ladies decided to do the same, even though we were quickly running out of time. Better hurry!


(Tip: Know that clothes with reflectors will glow in night and early morning pictures.)

With only one more to go, we sprinted like crazy to Mexico for a picture with Donald, but even though it was 3:55, they closed his line. Bummer. Instead, we lollygagged and chatted some more until it was time to go. (Well, it was past the time we were supposed to go.)

I was BEYOND exhausted and running on fumes, but instead of crashing, we decided to hit the hot tub until around 6:30 am. Just because. And the next morning? We were back at the parks by 11:00am. What can I say. We’re die-hards.

Monday called for more Magic Kingdom time!

All in all, I had the most amazing, fantastic, sleep-deprived trip and if this was, indeed, the last runDisney night race … well, then we did it right and made the most out of every single second.

And if there ever is another night race, you best believe I’m signing up!

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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