Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2011


Good morning friends! Just had to brag, I FINALLY qualify for half fanatics! You can bet I will be signing up soon. That’s right, I ran half marathons on back to back weekends, and well, I can now say that is NOT an easy thing to do (especially after working the expos at both races!) The Gulf Coast Half went well yesterday, lots of stories to share, but before I get ahead of myself, I need to recap the Wine and Dine half from last weekend.

Just a reminder, I got up that Saturday morning at 5 after working all day Friday at the expo. I ran the 5k, then worked the expo again all day, and then tore down the booth, packed the boxes, etc. Then, I got on a bus at 7:45 pm to go run the Wine and Dine half! It was really strange getting on the race bus by myself.  I kept thinking “I have to run over 13 miles now?!” We got to the start area, which was already full of people.



I was meeting up with my skirt helper Brandi and her husband, and with our friend Dave (all three of us were wearing matching running skirts, so I kept looking for my twin!) After a while they arrived and then the fun began!


We also met up with a friend of Dave’s from work, and all 5 of us sort of decided to run together. After some dancing fun and more picture taking…



We headed to our corrals. We made it into one, and slowly started moving up towards the start.


There were of course fireworks and the regular Disney fanfare, and pretty soon we were off! We had decided to run this race slow and for fun, and stop and take as many pictures as we could with characters, landmarks, etc. So, that is exactly what we did! The first two miles were really annoying. They were very congested and it was impossible to bust through groups of people running four across or walking. We had five people and never ran more than two across, but we kind of figured out our own way to make sure everyone was still with us. Whoever was in the front would yell to the back to make sure we were all still there. It was a fun thing to do along the way and I think everyone around us thought we had lost our minds. (There may or may not have been a lot of singing, jumping, running in circles, etc.)

As promised, we hit every.single. character. Which, by the way, there were not as many as I thought there should have been, or compared to other Disney races I have run.



After a long stretch of well, nothingness, we finally made it into Animal Kingdom (did anyone else REALLY smell the animals? It was either that or someone forgot to shower…)




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We made it out of Animal Kingdom (I was having SERIOUS deja vu from running the 5k there that morning!) We stopped for a potty break, and then headed back out onto the road.


we were commanded to sprint up the hill


and we finally made it into Hollywood Studios




where we ran into some friends

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Then we finally hit what I was looking forward to, the Osborne Lights! We literally stopped running and just wandered around for a good five minutes (on the course, of course!) It was so beautiful and cool to run through! They were playing Christmas music as well.

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We spend a lot of time in DHS, and then headed out the front and towards the Boardwalk. We hit the boardwalk and there were a few spectators cheering us on home. We picked up the pace as we headed towards Epcot, knowing that we were so close! Right in front of the finish line, we saw Minnie and Mickey!


The finish was kind of anti climactic. It’s not like marathon weekend where there is a big grandstand of people, it was this weird twist and turn, and no spectators were allowed over there. Honestly I didn’t even realize we had crossed and that it was RIGHT by our Minnie/Mickey picture!



We did it! Half number 7, in the books! We finished in around 2:50, with hitting all the characters, and a potty stop. Definitely my slowest half, but my most fun!


It was so much fun running with my new friends and having no pressure to run fast. I think Disney races are so expensive, that we did it the way they should be run! I did not enjoy running that late at night, and I was disappointed in the amount of characters, but I still had a great time. It threw my sleep schedule very much out of whack, but I was leaving that day so it was alright!

I will do a separate post about the after party, so stay tuned!

QOTD: Have you ever run a night race? thoughts?

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  1. Might not have been a lot of characters but you got some good ones! Darth Vader, dancing hippo, Rafiki, Dug. You just needed Stitch and you would have had most of my favourites.

  2. Loved your recap, and your photos.

    I completely agree about the smell entering Animal Kingdom. Blech. Good thing that was early in the race, since I think there would have been a lot of sick runners had we gone through AK at the end.

    This was my first Disney race, and many people have remarked on the scarcity of characters. Hopefully they’ll get more of them in future races.

  3. Love your race recaps! I really want to do a Disney Half now!

    The only night race I’ve done was a 5K at the end of July at Run-N-Tri. It was still so hot and humid, but do-able. I don’t know if I could do a longer race at night though. I wouldn’t know what to do all day long to make sure I still had enough energy left to finish the race.

    Congrats on the back-to-back 1/2s! You Rock!!

    • I thought about doing that one but wasn’t crazy about the heat factor! there is a night race coming up end of october TNT is sponsoring, a halloween race, in florence gardens. I can e mail you info!

  4. Loved your recap of this race! It looks like so much fun!!! I also love your running attire!! Yellow is so cute!!! 🙂 Yay for another half in the books!!

  5. You look so cute! Great job for finishing with a smile on your face after such a hectic few days! I cannot wait to do a non-pressure Disney race one day. Looks like SO much fun 🙂

  6. Wow!! I’m still so impressed you did back-to-back races and then throw in the back-to-back expos! Looks like a really fun race!! I’m thinking about doing it next year…

  7. Another Disney race under your belt! I don’t know if I would like running so late at night – but I love that you got to run through the Osborne Lights! And Dug – he better be around in February! 😉

  8. super fun!

  9. Love this and can’t wait for next year when my wife and I run it!

  10. Amanda @ Running On Waffles says

    Wow…there were so many more characters out when you went through than when we did! We stopped at all of the ones we saw except Pluto because he was on the other side and we had no way of getting over without totally blocking everyone. I wish we’d seen Rafiki! Was he by the entrance to Animal Kingdom because he might’ve switched with Terk I guess.
    I agree, though, there were SOOOO many more characters out for the Princess Half, and I was also a bit disappointed by the lack of characters. The weather was a lot better this year, though, and the after party was a lot easier to navigate, too. There is still room for improvement, but RunDisney made leaps and bounds over last year’s race! I’m glad you survived! You looked exhausted when we saw you at the start line!

    • yes rafiki was at the entrance to AK.
      haha I looked that bad when you saw me at the start eh? I felt pretty crummy!
      I hope princess has more characters!

      • Amanda @ Running On Waffles says

        You just looked like it had already been a long day. I think you and your Running Skirts coworker walked by a line I was standing in at the party in Epcot later, and you were looking much more awake, though.
        I wonder if they have different characters at different parts of the course that alternate. Princess DEFINITELY had a lot more. They had all of the princes together at one point, a bunch of Alice in Wonderland characters, some of the parade floats from Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s carriage with footmen, and so many more. It got to the point where we stopped taking photos because we didn’t even recognize some of the characters! My mom did the 5K that weekend through Epcot and said there were a ton of characters out for that, too. Kind of weird that there were so few for this 5K and half.

  11. Congrats again on the race! Looks like you had a TON of fun!
    I wanna be a Half Fanatic, too! :0)

  12. Great race recap. I just added your link to my post today! 🙂

  13. Stopping by from TWINS RUN- Just love your skirts and the kick line. How did I miss that?! Hope to see it this November…

Mentioned elsewhere:

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    […] Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2011 (via Running with Sass) […]

  2. […] signed Bobby and I up for Disney’s Wine and Dine half marathon! If you will remember, I ran this race last year and worked the expo for Running Skirts. I had a blast the whole weekend, and I also ran the […]

  3. My Running Story « Fit Approach says:

    […] Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon […]

  4. […] get excited about the race, be sure to check out my past two Wine and Dine race recaps from 2011 and 2012! Hope to see you there. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and maybe […]

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