After leaving ESPN's Wide World of Sports (they were blasting the ESPN theme music as we left that area--so fun!), we headed toward Animal Kingdom. I ran for about 7 minutes at the start of the race to let the crowd thin out and the course to widen before starting my 3/1 run/walk intervals.
The first 5K was kind of a boring stretch, as we just ran along Osceola Parkway toward Animal Kingdom. They did have a DJ with a sweet light-up car along the way, and there was a character stop with the Country Bears (though they walked away as I was running by). I'm sure the rain changed the plans for the entertainment along the way, so that wasn't really anything Disney could control.
After reaching the 5K mark, we made our way in to Animal Kingdom! I have never actually been to this park, so I was really excited to run through it.
Leaving AK (about the 10K mark), we headed back down Osceola Parkway toward Hollywood Studios. Another boring stretch of race, but again, I know the rain probably changed some of the planned entertainment along the course.
Around mile 8, they had the Toy Soldier from Toy Story there encouraging the runners. It was the perfect spot, as we were running up an overpass and right about the point where most of us hit a wall. He did the same thing during Princess, so the encouragement was welcomed!
|From this year's Princess Half|
Some final thoughts about the Wine and Dine Half:
- The course was GREAT! I loved running through 3 parks instead of just 2 at the Princess Half.
- It's hard to prep for a nighttime race--I had to stop at the porta-potties 3 different times during this race. I didn't know how much water to drink throughout the day, and I'm sure being pregnant didn't help that situation!
- I was so thankful that I brought my short-sleeved tech shirt and a hat to wear to keep myself warm and dry. The hat (which I brought thanks to recommendations from the Team #runDisney Facebook group) kept the rain out of my eyes and helped hold some of my heat in, and the tech shirt kept me warm by keeping dry (for the most part) the tank top I was wearing underneath. The other clutch rain gear: non-cotton socks. I wore the Feetures! I received at the ZOOMA Chicago Half expo, and they kept my feet dry despite running through puddles the whole race!
- I'm sure it was just the rain, but the finish line was a mess. Normally, Disney has the logistics down pat, but it took forever to get my checked gear bag! Plus, when I got it, the jeans I brought to change in to were wet. I know there were a lot of us, but the Princess Half finish was much more smooth (and there were about 12,000 more runners at Princess!). Also, I didn't even mess with the free beverage area! I was going to get my free drink and give it to Joe, but it was such a mob scene, that I just left to go ahead and get in to my (semi) dry clothes.
Question for you: Have you ever run a race in the rain? Or a night race? What Disney character would you have to stop for if you saw them along the course?