Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon

It's right around the corner: the 2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon! I'm bummed I won't be going this year--it's one of my favorite runDisney events and favorite time to go to WDW. I knew it wouldn't be worth it, though, since I'd be running slow and not able to enjoy the BEST part of the weekend-the wine!

For those of you going, here's a Throwback Thursday for you: My 2nd time running, and the race that became comically known as the "splash and dash".  A little rain never hurt anyone, right???

Original Post: 12/22/14

Race Report: 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon

I hope I can remember this race!  Yes, it's been way too long and I should have recapped sooner.  I got sucked into the holiday rush and too much work at work.  Here goes nothing!
My Dole Whip Costume...Dry :)
We spent the day at the parks, and returned to our hotel room around 5 to get ready for the race.  We were able to lay down for about half an hour before getting ready, which was great since we planned to shut down the after party.  We, along with everyone else running, were looking at the gloomy forecast with sad eyes.  There was no avoiding it.  It was going to rain.  We got ready, not changing much of our plans for costumes and attire.  We were sure to pack some ponchos for afterwards, and just figured we'd suck it up and have fun.  Even as I write this, I'm still not back to where I was with speed, so it was no big deal to just take it slow.
The last dry pic of the night
We headed out of the hotel around 7:30 and took a cab to Saratoga Springs.  We stayed off property at the Hilton near Downtown Disney, so this seemed like the best option.  Boarding the bus was easy and we were on our way to meet up with the Mickey Milers.  This race is fun to be at early--everyone is awake and buzzing with excitement.  We had ponchos to keep dry before we started.  Of course, us being totally inexperienced with rain, threw them away because it had stopped raining.  UGH!  How dumb are we?  Once the corrals opened, we stopped one last time for the bathrooms and the lines just weren't moving!  It was the worst we'd seen!  And then it started raining.  Cold, wet rain.  A very nice fellow runner managed to get an extra garbage bag and gave it to me.  I love runners!  They are the best strangers! 
We had to rush to the corrals, even missed the National Anthem.  I felt super rushed.  Not sure what the difference was, but I don't remember this last year.  By the way, it was still raining.  I lined up at the back of corral C, knowing I'm slower now than I was when I registered.  I got all my electronics up and running, and soon we were off.  Yep, still raining.  I tossed my garbage bag right before the start.  I guess this was going to be a new experience for me! 
I started and stuck to my intervals of 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking.  And it continued to rain.  Luckily it really wasn't that cold, so my tank and pants were perfect.  Thinking about it, it's probably better to run in less in the rain.  I had no choice but to be cautious running.  I'm already cautious--it's amazing what a huge fall will do to your confidence.  This race, though, was even more cautious than I usually am.  I was very careful about my footing and not running too fast.  Then I saw someone fall and it was all over for me.  I was not going to take the chance of injury.  I kept it slow.
As for the course, we went through Animal Kingdom first, then Hollywood Studios, then Epcot.  I didn't bring my phone or camera with me.  They would have both died had I brought them out in that rain.  I did notice a lack of characters.  Not sure what they could have done with the downpour, but we all knew it was going to rain--they should have planned for it.  I think my favorite part was running through the costume tunnel in Hollywood Studios.  Just for a few minutes, we were dry.  It felt amazing.  Oh, and those Osbourne Lights!!!!!  This year I decided to walk through.  It never gets old.  Just absolutely beautiful!!!!!  The rain really started to come down at the last mile.  I was glad I was almost done and could change into dry clothes.  That last bend before the finish line is great at Wine and Dine--they have lights and blasting music that really captures the party feel.  Round the corner and I was done.  I made it in 2:31, not lightning speed, but with the weather, I thought it was pretty great.  I collected my medal, fuel, and was off to the bag check.
I was one of the lucky ones whose medal did not break (there were many that were broken with the spinner).  I was not, though, lucky when it came to the bag check.  I'm not sure if they were short volunteers or what, but I waited over half an hour in the freezing cold rain after running a half marathon to get my dry clothes.  It was awful!  This was the most unorganized I've ever seen it.  This is my #1 complaint about this race (last year was nothing like this, so I'm going to be optimistic and assume it was a fluke).  Not only was it cold, but as each minute ticked away, it was time ticking away from my party time!  It took over 30 minutes to get my bag.  Once I did, I felt instant relief.  I made my way to a real bathroom and changed.  I know they have tents, but tonight it was just too cold and I was too wet to bother with a sweaty, hot tent.  It felt amazing to be in dry clothes.  I really wished, though, that I had packed flip flops or some other wet-proof shoe.  I had to put my sloshy wet sneakers back on after changing.  Very little time went by and Bill was ready to meet up.  We finished freshening up in front of Epcot, then we were off to the party.
A little rain didn't stop us from partying!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, it was pouring rain there too.  If you remember, my goal was to shut down the after party.  I was not going to miss it again!  We put on ponchos and started drinking! 
Honestly, I can see how this is a favorite race for so many runners.  I loved the after party, even though we were soaking and freezing.  Because of the rain, not as many rides were open and the vibe was a little low-key.  I joked to Bill that this means we have to come back AGAIN next year.  Don't think that will happen, but I'm sure we'll be Wine-ing and Dine-ing again in the future.  Overall, it was a great race with bad weather, and we loved every minute!  

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