Minnie jumps for joy at the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Finish. (Photo: runDisney)
The fourth annual Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon on November 9, 2013 at Walt Disney World in Florida was a record-breaking run. I attended the race on a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the entire race day experience including:
- Running in Costume
- The Course
- The Start
- The On-Course Entertainment
- The Finish Line Experience
- The Finish Line Party
- My own race experience
- And a slideshow of photos from the event
Men’s winner Justin Scheid. (Photo: runDisney)
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
Justin Scheid, 27, of Sparta, N.J. was the top man, breaking the course record by more than 90 seconds in 1:11:47. He won the race easily, breaking away from the lead pack near the halfway mark and running solo to the finish.
Kristen Tenaglia, 29, of Seminole, Fla. obliterated the women’s course record by nearly 3 minutes, finishing in 1:23:37. Appropriately, she’s a tech rep for New Balance, runDisney’s official shoe partner.
Women winner Kristen Tenaglia. (Photo: runDisney)
We mere mortals also helped break a record at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon too: 12,134 runners finished the race, the most in the event’s four-year history.
The race weekend also included the Health and Fitness Expo, Disney Jingle Jungle 5K and Kids’ Races, all at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
It’s no secret that Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon is a favorite among the 60 races I’ve run. My husband proposed at the Finish Line Party in 2011, and it was my first runDisney race. The Finish Line Party also happens to be the best post-race party, bar none, of any race I’ve done.
So when New Balance and runDisney invited me to be their guest for the race, I returned in 2013 with high expectations, but also trepidation. Would it be as much fun as I remembered? Could 2013 possibly live up to the magic that was 2011? Could I really run a half marathon in harem pants? Yes, yes and yes.
Running as Aladdin and Jasmine (Photo: Marathon Foto)
Running in Costume
It helped that my husband, Phil, and I dressed as Aladdin and Jasmine. As I learned a few Disney races ago, running in costume is always more fun.
We got cheers the entire race from other runners, Disney employees in the parks, volunteers at fluid stations, spectators along the course, you name it. Barely a minute passed without us hearing shouts like:
“Look! It’s Aladdin and Jasmine!”
“Go Aladdin and Jasmine!”
“Why don’t you just take your magic carpet? That would be a lot faster!”
“You’re in a whole new world now!”
It motivated me to keep going and made the whole experience more fun. As usual, a post on how I put those costumes together is yet to come. Read the rest of this entry →