Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

DSC_0096I had the privilege of attending runDisney’s 1st nighttime Wine and Dine Half Meetup on Thursday, November 7th.  It was also my 1st runDisney meetup and I wasn’t too sure what to expect.  We were told to arrive at Epcot between 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm to check in and receive our official runDisney meet up tech shirt.   Upon check-in I quickly said hello to some of my runDisney social media friends and changed into my shirt.  We received entry into Epcot theme part and a FASTPASS to TestTrack.  We decided to ride together as a big  runDisney Meet Up group.

20131116-175032.jpgThen my new friend, Jessica A., and I decided to grab a quick bite to eat at the International Food & Wine Festival.  We went to the Brazil booth per her recommendation.  I had the Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado & Cilantro.  It was excellent!


There were so many other yummy choices like Australia’s Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto, Mexico’s Shrimp Taco with Purple Cabbage and Hops & Barley’s Griddled Lobster Tail with Garlic Herb Butter.  The smells of the different cuisines were intoxicating, but we weren’t there to eat, we were there to run!


The meet up gathered in a private VIP viewing area near the Mexican Pavilion to watch Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth and to mingle and pose for photos with each other.   It was so much fun to meet people face-to-face that we only know via their blogs, Twitter and Facebook.


Then it was time for Illuminations!  We had a front row view of the show.  There’s nothing like a nighttime Disney Parks spectacular to put you in a festive mood!


After the show we headed over to the American Pavilion to check our bags, grab a bite to eat and pose with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy!


Then it was on to the main runDisney presentation.  Here we learned that New Balance is retiring the 2013 runDisney shoes at the Wine & Dine Expo and that new New Balance runDisney shoes will be released at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!  Charms and special inserts that are themed around the runDisney events will also be available for purchase.


Next up were Jeff Galloway and Tara Gidus!  They offered tips for running a nighttime race including what to eat and how to rest prior to the race.


Soon it was time to break into running groups – run/walk/runners and runners.  I follow the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run program so soon I was off running 40:40 intervals behind Jeff.  We lapped the World Showcase twice and then ran to the Innovation Fountain to take group photos.


Soon it was time to say good-bye.  We ran to the front of Spaceship Earth where Faron Kelley, runDisney Director Marketing & Communications, toasted the meet up and Wine & Dine Weekend!  What a fitting end of the 1st nighttime runDisney Meet Up!


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