I had such a great weekend down in Florida for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon! I can’t wait to tell you all about the race itself, but first up was the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Meet-Up on Thursday night!
I was 1 of 125 people chosen to participate in this exclusive event (entry was on a first come first serve basis in response to a Disney Parks Blog post a few weeks beforehand).
Participants checked in at Epcot around 7pm and received a runDisney shirt, a park ticket and a FastPass for Test Track. We had some free time in the park until we needed to meet up at 8:45pm to enter our special viewing area for Illuminations, Epcot’s nighttime fireworks show.
Jenn and I managed to snag a spot right upfront by the railing, so we had a great view!
After the fireworks we headed over to the American Gardens Theatre where there was some light snacks including fruit, veggie platters, cookies and a sample from the Terra booth (vegan) at the Food & Wine Festival.
Once we were all seated they started with a short presentation including a welcome from runDisney staff Darell Frye and Farron Kelley who gave away some runDisney prizes, including a few free race entries! runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus and official training consultant Jeff Galloway also came up and offered a few tips on running and fueling for a night race.
And since this was the Wine & Dine Half Marathon we got to hear from a few of the great chefs who worked on the Epcot Food & Wine Festival to share some information on the offerings around the festival!
Lastly New Balance representatives came up to give a quick update on the partnership between New Balance and runDisney. 2013 was the first year New Balance offered a Disney themed sneaker available only at the runDisney event expos and they said the interest in the shoe completely took them by surprise (knowing Disney fans, I’m not surprised by it at all!), and they’re looking forward to revealing the 2014 edition.
New Balance had also invited a group of military (one from each branch) to participate in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon since the event was over Veteran’s Day weekend.
After the presentation was over it was time for my favorite part of the runDisney Meet-Ups, the run! We’d be running around World Showcase one and a half times and then heading towards the front of the park for a champagne toast under Spaceship Earth!
I always love meeting new people at the runDisney events, but I have to admit I was especially excited to finally meet Karla from RunKarlaRun! I’ve been reading her blog for awhile and I really enjoyed watching her On the Run coverage of the New York City Marathon, so it was about time we finally met! We got to chat a bit while we ran and she was just as sweet as she comes across on her blog! Funny that we both live in New york, but we had to go all the way to Florida to meet! Hopefully we’ll be able to coordinate getting together in New York sometime!
We finished up the night with a champagne toast under Spaceship Earth which was pretty cool when I think about it. I’ve been coming to Epcot since I was a kid and who’d of thought years later I’d be at a private event having a midnight champagne toast!