Wine and Dine Half – or How I Met the Balloon Ladies and Survived!

14 Nov

So it was finally here! My Magical journey that started back in January was coming to an end. When I crossed the finish line, I will have completed 126.4 Magical Miles at seven runDisney events. 1 Full marathon, 1 10-Miler, 5 half-marathons, and 5 5K’s. I participated in all but 2 of the 5K’s offered (at Tinkerbell and at the Disneyland Half) – someone might need to check my math/event count!

The Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend was my last big event for the year. And since it was taking place the weekend before my birthday I invited a few friends along to help celebrate! I was really pleased when two of them signed up to run the half marathon and one ran the Jingle Jungle 5K with me!

The morning of the races, Jennifer and I finished up the 5K and went back to the villa to prepare for a long day of … laying by the pool 🙂 I tried to nap since I’d been up REALLY early (Jingle Jungle 5K) but that was pretty pointless. Mid-afternoon or so, we went to grab some dinner to bring to the room while getting ready. Of course, once we did that, time started FLYING!

Earlier in the weekend, one of my half marathon running friends decided to not run, so Kathy and I headed for the buses pretty early (again, photo ops!) – and got to the starting area pretty early. And hopped right in line to get a picture with my pal Goofy!


Goofy has a very special place in my heart these days 🙂

Then we checked bags and hung out, dancing of course, until it was time to wait in line to potty before going to the corrals.


Potty lines…

I met an amazing woman in my corral when I noticed her testing her blood sugar with the smallest meter I’ve ever seen! I learned that not only was she diabetic but she had also had heart surgery in September and was running her first half marathon! Dang. I really do feel like a slacker sometimes!!

We slowly made our way to the start line, waiting for our turn at the fireworks and the big send-off. My plan was to stick to my intervals as much as possible and stop for pictures when so moved! Almost immediately I realized that as long as I was moving, even at a light jog, my glute/hamstring/entire freakin’ leg didn’t hurt so much. So I was definitely motivated to walk less – the transition from walking to running was really painful.


One of the great things about runDisney — each corral is special!


And…we’re off!!

I was really concerned that I wouldn’t make it to the finish – and I’ve never felt that in any race. But I was motivated thinking of all the people who couldn’t even walk 10 feet. And, honestly, I was motivated by the bling – I couldn’t imagine coming this far to not add the last medal to my collection for the year!


Just waiting for the final additions for the year….

I made some stops for character pictures – I was far enough back that there were few lines! I got some that I haven’t gotten before and missed out on a few favorites just because I knew that I couldn’t afford the wait in line!


Me with King Louis


My first time with both Lilo AND Stitch!


Hard to pass up these best friends!


Wishing for some Incredible assistance to the end!!

After making my last stop, with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible I hit the road again. Coming out of the Osborne Christmas Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Hollywood studios I heard a voice I’d never heard – but have heard plenty about! “There’s a pickup outside of the park and if you’re behind us you WILL get picked up!!”


Such a pretty sight!

O.M.G.!! There they were. The infamous “balloon ladies” of runDisney fame!!

That’ll sure light a fire under the slow! And, even while I was a little concerned, I couldn’t help but start laughing at the reactions around me – you would’ve thought Godzilla was approaching our tiny village!! Slower runners yelling at the walkers to “Speed up or get out of the way!” and furtive glances backwards! When we exited the park the buses were just lined up, waiting to take away the unfortunate.

When we made it to the path towards EPCOT, the ladies continued to provide motivation “You can’t get picked up now but you still want to FINISH!!!”

Running into EPCOT the crowds were definitely picking up – runners and spectators everywhere! I knew that my friends were in there somewhere but I never saw them.

As I exited EPCOT I can honestly say I have NEVER so much wanted to see a finish line so much!! And I gathered everything I had left in me because I was NOT walking across that line!! A quick glance at the clock told me that I had just finished my Worst Half-Marathon ever!! Time-wise that is. But that didn’t matter – I finished under my own steam and really felt like I earned every single medal I took home this year in those last few steps!


All mine!

Post-race meeting up with people was difficult as usual – this was only my second time this year that I was meeting people and my patience was pretty much non-existent! I grabbed an adult beverage that was offered to me, hugged a few strangers and started tracking down all my peeps! We eventually managed to hook up and made the decision to skip the after party as the crowd getting into the park looked pretty daunting. Along with a lot of other people we headed out to the bus and back to showers and sleep!

2014 brings the 5th Anniversary of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and I’m thinking I need to go back to redeem myself!!

6 Responses to “Wine and Dine Half – or How I Met the Balloon Ladies and Survived!”

  1. April Shuping November 15, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Great recap and congratulations on finishing with some awesome photo stops!

  2. Suzanne Prevost November 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Love the recap! Great job for getting past the balloon ladies too. Hope you have an amazing birthday weekend. 🙂

  3. Julie @RunWalkFASTPASS November 14, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    My worst time every too considering no pics…ok, 2 pics LOL. But still fun. I was far enough ahead to not see those ladies, but I did see them on PHM when I was lollygaggin in my photo glory! Great recap and dude, congrats on ALL your races this year!


  1. Wine and Dine? Yes Please! | outrunningthefork - March 4, 2014

    […] ran this one last year and really need to just redeem […]

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