Race Recap: 2017 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

8:27 PM

I'm finally a runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge finisher!

Back in January, I ran the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon in Disneyland. If I were to run a half marathon in Walt Disney World in the same calendar year of 2017, I would get my Coast to Coast medal. This is something I've always wanted to do, but always found a reason not to.

Running these runDisney races is expensive and takes a time commitment. From training to travel to choosing your running outfit, the planning involved is endless. Not to mention, you have to register VERY far in advance! I hardly know what I'm eating for dinner at night let alone if I'll be able to run 13.1 miles 7 months from now across the country.

But I made it a point to make it happen because it is a goal I've had for a very long time. I am SO happy I did it! I'd never run the Wine and Dine Half before, though I've enjoyed the festival in Epcot, so it was a whole new race for me. Luckily, I was able to run it with my friend Sam who also ran the Star Wars half in Disneyland with me, which made it even more special.

We got up nice and early the morning of the race and the minute I walked out the door at 3:45am, I knew it was going to be HUMID. You could feel the thickness of vapor in the air - not the best conditions for running - but there was no way around it. We got on the bus and headed to the start line where the pre-race fun at already started. The DJ was playing music and people in their running outfits looked amazing. I love seeing all the different costumes!

After making our way to our corrals, the races began with Mickey and Minnie setting off the first fireworks that marked the start of the run. When it was finally our turn, we set off towards Animal Kingdom. Races at WDW end up happening mostly on the backroads between the parks. This race took us through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and finished up in Epcot.

There were plenty of amazing photo ops and I had a blast running it despite some knee pain and general exhaustion. Note to self: don't plan to run a half marathon after 5 non-stop Disney Park days. Still, I made it through and got some great pictures out of it! Yes, it was humid the entire time and I don't think I have ever been SO sweaty during a run in my life, but it was also overcast which was perfect.

I absolutely love running through the Disney parks. Even though the races start super early, but the time the later corals run through, park goers are out. But that can make it even more fun! Empty parks have a certain quiet magic about them, and there are always cast members there to cheer you on. Once vacationers are in the parks, it adds even greater numbers to the fans giving you the encouragement to keep going.

At the end of it all, I crossed the finish line and received my Coast to Coast medal. I am so happy I decided to just go for it this year, as all 2018 Disneyland races have been cancelled. Just another reason why you should never put off your dreams!!!!

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