Last Thursday, I participated in the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon meet up.
This was a special meet up, because it was the first one being held at night! We checked in at the front of Epcot and were given very comfy shirts that matched the Wine and Dine theme.
We aren’t too good at selfies.
We were given a park ticket for that night, as well as a fastpass for Test Track. We headed over immediately, then met up with Jen.
Soon after I got a text from Kelly who had arrived with Kristin, who I was so excited to meet. It was wonderful to see Kelly again as well, too!
We headed over to a special viewing area reserved just for meet up attendees to view Illuminations.
Me and Linzie.
I was also excited to see Julie again, and finally meet Sara. We chatted about how much we missed our dogs, and I knew they would understand.
After the fireworks, we were brought over to the American Adventure pavilion where were were served what else…food and wine!
After some eating and mingling, it was time for the presentation to begin. Darrell Fry, sports media director, opened the show. We had no idea who was coming to speak and what information we would be given. Things were kicked off by Faron Kelley who gave away some raffle items like runDisney duffle bags and race entries!
Next Jeff Galloway and nutritionist Tara Gidus took the stage to talk a bit about race day strategies and nutrition. They just gave a little bit of info and encouraged us to come hear them speak at the expo to learn more. One key thing they DID say however was to hydrate hydrate hydrate!
We also got to hear from a couple of chefs who work at Disney who told us a little about some of the new food offerings and booths at the food and wine festival. We were also told about wine, and how one glass of red wine a day and two for men can have health benefits. Just what we needed to hear. Hehe.
The next guest was very exciting. We got to hear from Ali about the new 2014 runDisney and New Balance limited edition shoe! We didn’t actually get to see the show, but they showed us a short video and told us that the whole shoe buying “experience” would be new and exciting, and I can’t wait to learn more! We were shown the new shoe box which looks awesome, and were told you could buy race specific inserts and charms for your shoe laces. How cool! You can see a couple of the inserts pictured below, as well as the box.
The next guest was a special surprise, Jenny Simpson! This girl is a beast. She holds the 2013 women’s record for the mile in 4:19. WOW! She is an Olympian as well, and has a long, long list of accolades. She seemed so down to earth and spoke of her childhood Disney memories.
After the presentation closed out, it was time to run! I was actually glad (even though it was WAY past my bedtime) because I was starting to get chilly. First, it was time for a few more photos with friends. Me and Tara.
No meet up is complete with a picture with some friends with character.
We broke into a straight run group and a run/walk/run group and ran around World Showcase 1.5 times. It was a fun run, and I got to chat with some friends along the way.
Was happy to see this girl again, even though her jacket tried to blind me.
We finished up the run with a group photo, then a group straight run photo. Can you find me?
Spaceship earth was gorgeous, even at midnight.
As we walked toward the exit to leave, we had one more special surprise, a champagne toast!
Faron sent us off with a beautiful toast and best wishes for the race, and we all said goodbye.
But not before a photo with some #TeamrunDisney friends!
runDisney has outdone themselves again, and I loved that this meet up was different from all the other ones being at night, watching Illuminations, etc. I think the element of surprise is part of the fun, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next! I am so glad my husband and I got to attend, we had a blast!
QOTD: if you could plan the meet up, what is something different you would do?
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Melanie A says
I was there and it was my first one! I thought the night was flawless! So much fun!
Glad you had fun!
meranda@ fairytalesandfitness says
How fun! it was nice seeing some gals I actually know in your photos! I met a a few of them at the Runner’s World event back in October! ~M
Kathryn @ Dancing to Running says
The meetup looked like a fantastic time as I followed you and others along on Twitter, and your recap only confirmed it! I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get into the Marathon Weekend meetup – hopefully my wishes will come true!
I sadly didn’t get to do the meet up but I had so much fun at the Wine and Dine Half. I can’t wait for next year.
So glad you had fun!
Mindy @ Road Runner Girl says
Looks like so much fun!!! I love the color of the shirts!
Good to see you at the meet-up! I have to admit I sort of thought the speakers/ presentation part left something to be desired, but running around Epcot after park close and a champagne toast under Spaceship Earth made it well worth it!
Champagne was awesome! Admittedly they didn’t have as many special guess as normal or give out as much info.
It was such a fun night!
Adorable new shirts! Looks FABULOUS!
How do the meet-ups work? Do you register or you have to be a blogger or random draw? Just learning about runDisney and thinking about running my first half in 2014 and want to learn about it all!
You have to be on social media, it’s a social media meet up. A couple weeks prior tot he event they will post a post on the disney parks blog and you have to be one of the first 100 or 125 or so people to respond via email to the post to get in.:)
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
OMG that looks like so much fun!!! I think everyone should drink a bottle of wine and then run a 1/2 marathon… and then eat! LOL!!!!! Wine is healthy, right?? 😉
Karla @ Run, Karla, Run! says
Haha, sorry my jacket tried to blind you! It was doing that to everyone 🙂 Great to see you again!
Thank you for the recap Heather. I’m going to my first meet up on Saturday here in Atlanta and have been wondering what to expect generally. I’m hopeful that some champagne will be in order — at 6 in at the morning! LOL.
Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com says
Wine & Dine is still on my to-do list… so glad you posted this, I feel like I got my “fix” for now lurking through your runDisney posts. Until next time doll! 🙂
I missed the meet up by a day 🙁 Maybe next time I will get to go. It was my first half and my first runDisney race! It was so much fun and I can’t wait to sign up for my next one! I was hoping to see you so I could have introduced myself, maybe next time!! I love reading all your posts, you are such an inspiration!
Megan @ I Run For Wine says
Im so sad we didn’t get a photo together this night! BOO 🙁 It was such a fun event, so different than waking up at 4am to go to a meetup! Double bonus that it ended with champagne 🙂