Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wine n Dine Half Half Marathon Recap

A couple weeks ago, amidst all the craziness that is our epic adventure of preparing to move to South Carolina, I hopped aboard a Jet Blue airplane with my friend Shannon, and met up with my other friend Colleen so.that we could all run the Wine n Dine half marathon together.
There was much eating and drinking, and I even got up to run the 5k....

It was hot and sticky mess, but I managed to finish it in a decent amount of time and collect my cute rubber medal. I got back to the hotel, showered, and chilled while I waited for my roomies to wake up. 
Colleen and I hit the Animal Kingdom to ride the Dinosaur ride and Shannon met up with her dad for the day. Colleen and I napped a bit, Shannon did not. She is my hero. We got dressed and got on the bus, only to see lightening off in the distance. Another runner told us to have no fear, no storms in the forecast, we would be fine.
We ditched our bags, hit the potties, and then chilled on the tarmac until go time.
Except the storm did come. Sort of.
It got very windy, and stuff was blowing everywhere. A little smattering of rain and then we were told to walk to WWOS to take cover.
Ummmmmm really?
So we all trudged over there. 

On the way over, I dropped almost $50 on the ground when I took my phone out of my Running Buddy. I panicked and started asking loufly.if anyone found money. A few others repeated it, and someone came over with my money! Holy heck, whoever you are, I still love you!
So we waited about an hour, in the not so air conditioned builong where the expo was held, and then they said we could run. Well, now we are tired and hot, and not really wanting to run. We trudged back to the start. Peed again. Gir to our corral. Now it's about 11:00 and we are tired. And hot. 
We start plotting how we will run 5 or 6 miles and just get swept if we are too tired. And then and angel gives us the news.
They have cut out Animal Kingdom and the race will be about 7 miles.
This would have been my 40th half but I didn't care. I would finish now, and that was all that mattered!

The race itself was lovely. The course support was spot on, the characters were out in full force, the Green Army Man yelled at Shannon for walking. The Osborne Lights were amazing and I just loved running through them when it wasn't pouring! 
Overall we had an amazing time. It was super hot and humid, so we took a lot of breaks and brought our own water, although we didn't really need to. The course was well marked and the volunteers and cast members were so supportive. 
I somehow lost my girls before I hit the lights. I tried walking, but they were pretty far behind, which made me sad. I have no idea how it happened. I ended up finishing about 6 minutes ahead of them, so I got my stuff and waited for them to finish. After I changed, we all walked to the free wine area together.

We hit the after party and I can honestly say we stayed until closing. Full disclosure? Wewe're walking so slow that we had no choice! We hit England and had chips and soda and then we walked back to the busses and headed back to the hotel.
I am definitely too old to stay out all night. It took me a week to recover. 
So now I will tell you how I feel about Disney's decisions. We all signed waivers, we all know that you can't run a race if there is lightening. All the moaners and groaners need to pull up their big kid pants and own up to the fact that sometimes life sucks. Last year I ran this race in a monsoon. It sucked. This year there was a storm. That sucked. Once you delay for awhile, things change. Roads need to be reopened, and therefore courses need to change. At that point, a shortened course was perfect for us. Disney had to keep thousands of people safe.  And not just the runners. They had volunteers and cast members out there as well. Medical tents blew over. Things blew away. People could have gotten hurt. They made the right call. 
I had a great time with my girls that weekend and now we can say that we ran the only course Disney ever shortened. So here's the the half half marathon. The Shake n Bake. The magical evacuation. Raise your glasses high and toast!
Will I ever do Wine n Dine again? No. A monsoon and a delay added to my old old body, and I know that I won't do it again. But I still see a Star Wars race in my future, and I'm training for the WDW half and Tinkerbell even as you're reading this.
All hail the Run Disney races!

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