Wine & Dine Half Marathon
After an awesome time running the Jingle Jungle 5k, I headed back to my room for a quick shower and then a trip to Port Orleans French Quarter for a delightful brunch (more on that later!), a few rides at Hollywood Studios, and then back to Saratoga Springs for a nap before the race.
For this race I was dressed as Jose Carioca from the Three Caballeros and Nathan was Donald Duck. We had to quickly modify our outfits because of the impending rain, but I still happened to look fabulous. And let’s just say, I was glad I had this wide brimmed hat!
We got to the bus area at the hotel and stood in a very very very very long line to get on the bus. We were a few busses back, but finally made it to the Wide World of Sports where the start line was. We checked our bags and then got in another long line for the port-o-potties before heading to our corrals. On our way there I was lucky to spot my family who was also going to be running the race and we had a quick chat before heading to our corrals.
I ended up in Corral G so I said good-bye to everyone else and went and found a spot to sit on the curb while waiting for the race to start. I was trying to conserve my energy and was weary about the raindrops that started to fall from the sky. I have raced in the rain before (and actually PR’ing by a lot!), but I don’t find it pleasant when it is a cold rain! Finally, the race started and eventually it was my turn to run! My goal for this half marathon was to finish ahead of the balloon ladies and to have a good time with as many picture stops as possible.
I started out the race wearing long sleeves under my short sleeved shirt and a poncho. Before the first mile though, I pulled over to the side of the road and pulled off my long sleeved shirt. It was way too hot inside of my poncho! Mile two came and I was now soaked. With a poncho! Forget it, I pulled it off since I was wet anyway.
It rained for pretty much the entire race. At some points it was coming down pretty hard, so I couldn’t take my phone out for pictures 🙁 So, here are the mile markers that I quickly took a picture of without risking too much water damage. Miles 4 through 8 were the worst for the rain. And, funny enough, this was the time of the race where we weren’t in a park, but just running on the road in between parks. I guess it mostly worked out then, picture wise.
The characters were out as much as they could be in the rain. There were a few sets that I ran by where there was no character, but I did get to see a lot of them.And, lucky for me, not many people wanted to stop in the rain so the lines weren’t that long!
I got to hang out with the Country Bears:
And some fairies! (This is a great pictures because you can see all of the rain!)
Right before Animal Kingdom, Heidi, Ryan, and Marty caught up with me. Unfortunately, Marty got separated from us and we didn’t see him again until the end of the race (he beat us all!). I stayed with Heidi until Hollywood Studios, and then she went ahead because I wanted to stop for too many pictures.
I got to hang out with Pluto at Animal Kingdom!
The parking lot at Animal Kingdom was full of huge puddles that I happened to keep running in (oops!). Wet feet. Yuck! But it was ok, because there were some light up floats to cheer us up!
I got to see Flik.
And finally it dried up to a soft drizzle just as I got to Hollywood Studios. I took a quick-ish trip to the bathroom before heading in to see all the fun stuff! (By the way, it is absolutely AWFUL trying to pull up wet spandex!)
I stopped for some pictures with the hat, which will soon be gone 🙁
And hung out with Buzz and Woody.
And showed off my super duper running a half marathon in the rain super powers with the Incredibles!
And finally, the part of the race that made everything worth it. This was the best part. This is why I run Disney. Running through the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was truly magical. (Not that I really ran through this part, I was more of awe-inspired walking…!) I have seen this show before, but it really was awesome being there after running 10 miles. There weren’t masses of people so I could really enjoy the magic of the lights. I must have stayed in this area for a good 10-minutes, taking it all in (and looking for some Hidden Mickeys!).
See what I mean? It was beautiful! I know everyone else in my family just ran through this because they were ready to finish the race, but to me, this was the finish! Everything else was just extra. <3
Finally, I knew it was time to head on out and make my way to Epcot. I did take a quick detour, though, to see Darth Vader.
After Hollywood, we ran by the canal that connects Hollywood to Epcot and then ran backstage at Epcot, around Spaceship Earth, and ended up in the parking lot of Epcot. By this time I was soaked to the bone, running with water in my shoes, and ready to be finished.
I got my medal, my picture, and headed to the bag check where I would wait for Nathan. While there I saw Marty, and he and I stood there with hurting feet while waiting for the others. The bottom of my feet were starting to hurt so bad (like they did at the Marathon) and I needed to sit down. Unfortunately, because of the rain, there was no where to sit. Dislike! And here comes the worst part of this entire race: the cool-down. I will just say this: cooling down when it is rainy, windy, and cold is no fun. Seriously. No fun. I lost feeling in three of my fingers from the cold and didn’t get it back until I was showered and in my hotel room. (There was no way I could stay for the After-party. I was too tired, wet, and exhausted!)
I know a lot of people complained about the rain during this race. Honestly, the rain wasn’t that bad. Once you are wet, you kind of forget about it. It was still a very good race despite the weather. The amount of characters for the circumstance was great, the crowd support from the soaking wet and cold volunteers was awesome (thank you!!!), and I had a fun time running through Disney at night! I would certainly love to do this race again!
I can certainly say that I definitely EARNED this medal! This will be one race that I never forget!
It’s Mickey Monday!!!
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