Thursday, November 13, 2014

Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap Part 1: Expo and Pre-Race Activities

As I began typing up my recap, I realized putting it all together in one post was going to make for one EXTREMELY long post.  So, I'm going to make this a 2-part post.  Today's recap will cover the race expo and everything leading up to the start of the race.  Tomorrow, I'll recap the race itself and the post-race party in Epcot!  Enjoy!

We'll start by talking about the Expo, one of the things I LOVE about runDisney events.  The Expo was held at ESPN's Wide World of Sports, and as you walk up, they had banners of each race's medals for photo ops.  I had to stop on the way in, of course!
Step One: pick up race bib and packet.  On the way in to the packet pick-up, I noticed these fun champagne bottle and glass cut-outs all around.  Perfect for the theme of the race!
It was super easy to pick up my bib, and then it was on to the main expo for my t-shirt and checking out the exhibits.
We stopped by the official merchandise first because I wanted a little baby outfit commemorating the race.  They had these for Princess Half, but no Wine and Dine baby outfits :(  Oh well!  I did pick up a Wine and Dine medal for my runDisney Vinylmation Mickey Mouse!
We walked around, stopping at booths that caught our eyes, but I had two I definitely wanted to stop at: the New Balance booth and The Stick booth.  I had success at both places, purchasing the Minnie Mouse New Balanace shoes, as well as The Stick for rolling out muscles!  Overall, we came back with a pretty good haul of all planned purchases (except for some sunglasses for Joe).
The hard thing about the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is that it starts at 10pm!  It was hard to figure out what to eat, drink, and do during the day until the race started.  I figured I'd have a hearty lunch of pasta and a light dinner (we picked up Subway sandwiches).  I drank water throughout the day and took a 1.5 hour nap between watching football games.  I also constantly checked the weather, since it was supposed to rain starting in the evening.  I wanted to make sure I'd be prepared both mentally and physically for my first real run in the rain!

Around 6:30, I started getting ready for the race.  I've planned my outfit for a long time, and I was excited to dress up as Minnie Mouse--my first real put-together race costume!
I used this tutorial (thanks, Pinterest!) to create my Minnie Mouse ears.  I should have put them a little bit further apart, but the process of making them was quick and easy!
This was my original planned outfit I planned, but due to the rain, I added a short-sleeved tech shirt and a hat to keep myself warm and a little dry during the rain.  I'm SO GLAD I did!  More on that tomorrow :)

Around 6:45, it was time to leave for the parking lot at Epcot.  Joe went on in to Epcot with his Post-Race Party ticket, and I caught the bus to the start at ESPN's Wide World of Sports.  The one downside to staying off Disney property was how early I got to the start.  While I had plenty of time to check my gEAR bag, use the porta-potties twice, and eat a quick snack, I was there for over two hours.  With the threat of rain, I was kind of dreading the 2-hour wait!

Since I was there with plenty of time, I was able to check the Team #runDisney meet up with other people that are a part of the Facebook group!  There weren't many us of there (probably because it was about to rain), but we had a good time pumping each other up and meeting!
Then, it was time to head to the corrals.  Right about then is when it started to rain.  Luckily, a nice woman had an extra trash bag, and I made a make-shift poncho to keep on until the race began.

At the Princess Half Marathon, you can see the starting line no matter what corral you're in.  The corrals are along a straight road and they have large screens set up to show the action.  Well, not this race!  I was around a bend and didn't get to see the official start with Micky and Minnie.  Bummer!  I still got to see fireworks for some of the corrals before me.
They didn't leave too much time between corrals, so before long, I was on my way to run 13.1 magically rainy miles through the Disney parks!

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow, when I'll talk about how the race and the post-race party went!

Question for you: What's your favorite thing to do at a race expo?  How do you prepare for a rainy race?
I need all the tips I can get, since this was really the first time I ran in the rain!

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