Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2012

This year I ran the Wine&Dine Half Marathon for the 3rd time.  This is one of those races that so far I have hated to love.  It is my favorite race course on Disney propery.  There are many miles on the road but they are nicely broken up by park time.  In the end you actually step foot onto three different parks in the 13.1 miles.  However the 2010 and 2011 races have been some of my most painful racing miles.  Bad formulas of too many park hours, not enough rest and bad hydration lead to some really hard races.  I went into this years race deciding I was going to give night races just one more try and I am happy that I did.

Steve and I started the day off lazy.  Watching some tv and fiddling around with Farmville 2 as we continually sipped water from our Mr. and Mrs. Tervis Tumblers.  We had a few small plans during the day to pass the time till the race start.  We showered and were off to G’s first basketball game.  Few things are as adorable as a bunch of 5 and 6 year old chasing basketballs around a court.  From there we decided to go get my car detailed.  That took longer than planned as there was no wax left on my car.  Then we hit up a local BBQ joint, Four Rivers, for some lunch.  That place is worthy of a blog post of its own, lol.  From there we went home for some quick naps before getting ready for the race.  After about a half hour of napping I snapped awake as one does from a power nap.  I decided not to fight to try to get back to sleep for fear that I would make myself even sleepier.  I slipped into my Sparkle Skirt, ROTE bondi band and shirt and we were on our way.

We arrived at the parking lot at EPCOT just before 7 and had little to no trouble getting a spot and then hopping on a bus to the start line area.  When we got there we quickly ran into Todd from ROTE and chatted as we made our way towards our usual meeting spot int he middle of the field.

It was fun as always catching up with all the ROTErs in attendance.  We waited till around 9 PM then headed into a port-a-potty line.  This is where I first started to notice the crowding.  These were the longest lines I have waited in at a Disney race since the inaugural Minnie Marathon.  We headed to our corral and hung out with a few ROTErs.

The time flew by as it always seems the corrals were off one by one to their own private fireworks.

 

The crowding in the first few miles really had me nervous for when we entered the parks.  We certainly didn’t have the roads free up like they usually do. In fact I think I spent the entire race having people passing in the grass to my right as I tried to go in and out of my intervals.  I was so nervous that I was going to see someone go down hard.  Especially since everyone was distracted by the beautiful Christmas decorations that were up in all the parks. In addition to the Osbourne lights we usually see there were wreaths, garland, trees, lights…everywhere!

The course never did clear up, but I have become used to that after running the half in January and Princess so many times.  The time and miles were flying by.  As we passed certain milestones like exiting the Animal Kingdom parking lot and going back stage at Hollywood Studios where you usually see Doug (this year it was Wreck it Ralph!) I kept noting to Steve how great I felt compared to years past.  After we passed Doug I felt lost.  I must have felt so awful in these areas that I lose familiarity with the course, lol.  We ended up picking up the pace and running a negative split in the last 5K.  It was fun and felt oh so great!

The finish line was spectacular.  I didn’t even try to catch it on my phone.  As we passed the 13 mile marker fog machines were set up and they had a lasor light show projected through the fog.  It was beautiful.  We crossed the finish line and grabbed our bling.  It almost sucked for us to both feel so good because we couldn’t stay for the party.  We grabbed our water, Powerade and food and tried to find an exit.  Only we found ourselves stuck.  It was crowded and we found ourselves having to walk away from our car past the changing area and the drink voucher redemption section before we could find a way out.  I think it added about 1/4 mile to our walk back to the car which was annoying with it being so late.

That being said about the walk to the car, besides that and the crowding I didn’t have much to complain about and this race renewed my hope for me and nighttime races.  I plan to try to follow the formula we did for this race for next year’s Tower of Terror and Wine&Dine and then I will decide if my love affair with nighttime races is over.

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