Posts Tagged ‘wine & dine’

Race Report: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2013

2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, 2013 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

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
2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

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.

2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

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.

2013 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

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 →


11 2013

Wine Run? Here Are 18 U.S. Races For Wine Lovers

wine run, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Chef Mickey and Minnie greeted runners at the finish of Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Nov. 9, 2013. (Photo: runDisney)

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on November 9, 2013 may be over, but if you like a good wine run, there’s always next year. Many races around the U.S. cater to grape guzzling runners.

In my column at The Washington Times Communities, I looked at races—from 5ks to marathons—in 11 states and one Canadian province aimed to please the wine connoisseur inside you. Many of them sell-out early, so put them on your calendar for next year.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

November 2014 in Florida

This nighttime half marathon with a 10 p.m. start runs through Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom theme parks before finishing at Epcot, but the real draw is the Finish Line Party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Epcot stays open to 4 a.m. for runners, with music, Disney characters, and, of course, food and wine. Friends and family can buy tickets to the party too.

Race swag includes a technical shirt, $10 Disney gift card, a glass of beer, wine or soda, one of runDisney’s iconic finisher medals, and entrance to the Finish Line Party. The weekend also includes a 5K fun run and kids races.

Harvest Stompede

wine run, Harvest Stompede

The Harvest Stompede takes runners through vineyards in Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. (Photo:

September 2014 in Michigan

Perhaps the most creatively named, this weekend of races includes a 7-mile run, 5K run and 5K walk through the vineyard rows of Michigan’s Leelanau peninsula.

Following whichever wine run you choose, runners can opt into the Harvest Stompede Wine Tour, a self-guided outing among the 23 Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association member wineries, pairing local foods with their wines. Tastes range from bratwurst and sauerkraut paired with Riesling to strawberry shortcake paired with Pinot Noir.

Race registration and wine tour tickets are sold separately. Read the rest of this entry →


11 2013

Our Wine & Dine Half Disney Running Costumes Are…

Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Disney running costumes

Cinderella, my dog, models Aladdin’s hat. (Photo:

Aladdin and Jasmine!

It’s Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon time, and what better way to celebrate than wearing Disney running costumes?

It’s been such a busy fall between running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and reporting from the ING New York City Marathon and all of race week, that I’ve barely had time to anticipate my next race.

But here I am at Walt Disney World, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon MeetUp is already behind me, and I’m ready to run a victory lap around Walt Disney World to close out my 2013 running year.

What better way to do that than with Disney running costumes? You know I love a good running costume.

Thankfully, my husband, Phil, does too. We’ve run four Disney races together, with two of them all gussied up.

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon won’t be any different. Read the rest of this entry →


11 2013

Running Races To Remember 6 Years And Counting

running races, Walt Disney World Marathon, Disney running, run Disney, Cinderella in rags, Jacques mouse

The Walt Disney World Marathon (Photo: Marathon Foto)

Last week marked the sixth anniversary of my very first running race back in 2007. Last fall, I chronicled how I went from a person who loathed running to someone who loves it. How much do I love it? Over these last six years, I’ve run 53 running races with number 54, the UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon, in one week and numbers 55, 56 and 57 already on the books.

Looking back at six years of racing, it occurred to me that certain races have a special place in my heart. Every runner has that race they look forward to every year, the race they’ve always dreamed of running, the race that moved them in unexpected ways. These are mine.

So without further ado, here are my “Races to Remember,” the running races that left the biggest impressions on me, culled from my six years out there on the road.

Running Races To Remember Read the rest of this entry →


05 2013

Falling Down the Disney Running Rabbit Hole

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The start of the 2012 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

Nearly 14,000 runners stormed Walt Disney World Saturday night for the third annual Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. The half marathon is unique for it’s 10 p.m. start and a private after-party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that lasts until 4 a.m.

It’s also a race that holds a special place in my heart. It’s the one that started my tumble down the Disney running rabbit hole. Read the rest of this entry →


11 2012

Race Report: Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2011

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Disney half marathon, run Disney

Photo courtesy of runDisney.

8,268 finishers. 13.1 miles. Three theme parks. And one magical race. This self-proclaimed Disney girl—my dog’s name is Cinderella after all—finally did it. I ran my first runDisney race. The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Oct. 1 did not disappoint. It was everything the little girl in me hoped it would be.

Leading up to the race, I’d taken my training rather seriously; running a personal best was definitely on my mind. But other runners who had done Disney races warned me otherwise. Disney races are too much fun, they said. You’ll want to stop and have your photo taken with characters, they said. You’ll be too taken-in by the music and spirit on the course, they said.

Well, they were right. Read the rest of this entry →


10 2011

Disney Wine & Dine Run Makes My Tumbly Rumbly

Runners feast at the 2010 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. Photo courtesy of runDisney.

Ask Miles of Runner’s World recently posed an age old question: Is it better to run a lot but eat poorly, or eat healthy and not exercise at all? Dr. Bill Roberts, RW’s “Ask the Sports Doc” blogger, answered: “I would think that heavy exercise will compensate better for a poor diet than a perfect diet will compensate for no exercise.” Phew!

I run because I love to eat. Sure there are other nobler reasons why I run—because I can, because it keeps me fit, blah blah blah—but I’m not going to lie: eating is probably top three. And eating healthy while training for a race is important. But what if the race has “Wine & Dine” in the title? While training for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Oct. 1, I’m finding that eating healthy is easier said than done. Read the rest of this entry →


08 2011

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