Wednesday, March 25, 2015

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2014

I like to call the 2014 runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon the "splash and dash" half marathon.  The day of the race, the weather was perfect.  All day, I keep reading Facebook posts about how a huge rain storm was coming straight for Orlando.  It's ETA--10 PM, the exact time the race was set to begin.  Oh no, here we go!

I started the day by running the runDisney Jingle Jungle 5k with my son Nathan.  My family spent some time in the parks for the day.  I ate a quick dinner, then it was time to get dressed up for the race!  My running friend, Heather, and I dresses as Anna and Else for the race.

As we hoped off the bus at the race start, it started to drizzle.  My thoughts were immediately--oh no, here we go!  I can handle a lot of crappy situations, but I hate to be wet!  I tried to make the best of it though.  Heather and I walked to our corrals at the start line.  As the race got closer, the rain came harder.  By the time the race started, I was already soaked!  My shoes, my Raw Threads top--already dripping wet.

 We started the race in good spirits.  By the time we hit the first mile marker, I was already miserable! Heather and I love to stop for character pictures at runDisney events.  The only picture we stopped for the entire race was with the Country Bears.

Mile four rolled around as we entered Animal Kingdom.  By this time, I was totally and completely done with this race!  Running through Animal Kingdom was the highlight of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon for me--I really love that park.  As we exited the park, there were several buses parked.  Many of them were loaded with people who decided to call it a day and quit the race.  At the time, I so longed to be one of those people, warm on the bus.  It was raining so hard that my shoes were heavy as bricks. The rain on the road was several inches deep.  My feet were so blistered, they were bleeding.  My arms were chaffing and raw from my shirt being soaked and rubbing.  I was so cold that I could not feel my fingers.

Thankfully, I had Heather to talk me out of quitting.  She was earning her Coast to Coast medal!  She would not have earned the medal if we did not cross the finish line--so we had to finish.  Up next for us was three miles of highway, on to Hollywood Studios.  I was looking forward to running through the Osborne Lights.  We took the race mile by mile.  It was tough, but we kept going.  After Hollywood Studios, we hit the home stretch.  We ran through the Disney Boardwalk (one of my favorite places in Walt Disney World) and entered the back gate at Epcot.  All I could think about by this time was finished and getting into warm, dry clothes.

After thirteen cold, soaking wet miles--we made it!  We crossed the finish line! We got our medals, an adult beverage and headed straight to bag check.  I was never so happy to see my old sneakers and red hoodie.  Putting on warm, dry socks felt better than crossing the finish line.

The best part of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is the after party.  Epcot is open till four AM for runners to celebrate their accomplishment.  All of the food stands for the Food and Wine Fest are open.  After all that running, I was hungry!  I got lobster mac and cheese at American and some amazing desserts at France.  And a Coke!  The only time drink real Coke is after a half marathon.

After fresh clothes and some yummy food, I was rejuvenated and ready to party.  Heather and I closed down the party at four AM.  We stumbled onto the bus to the resort and rolled into bed around five AM.  What a night!  It was by far my toughest race ever, but I am glad I finished.  I can't wait to do it again.

A dream is a wish...


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