Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon – After Thoughts

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                I’m like you. I love Disney World. I must confess that I am motivated to run Disney events. If I have a bias, it’s seeing all things Disney World with rose colored glasses.   Last week I ran in the Inaugural Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon.  Parts of it were great and parts of it were not. 

                Before the race started I met my friends Mike Scopa and Len Testa — my running gurus.   I also got to meet some wonderful people that were with them.  They helped the 2+ hours prior to the start pass more quickly. While I came to the event without a family member or running buddy, I did have a wonderful group of Disney friends that were cheering for me at the finish line.  Thank you.  You have no idea how much you meant to me!

                I want every Disney running event to be awesome.  I’ll confess right here, I need it for motivation.  I want to run more Disney events, but I want them to truly reflect Disney’s level of excellence.

Below is my list for improvement opportunities:

-          The cheering family and friends on the sidelines were truly missed.  I can’t begin to tell you what a positive role they play.  You have no idea how meaningful it is for another person to yell out, “You can do it. Keep going.”  Sometimes the cheering crowd on the side even shouts out your name on your bib.  Disney, please don’t minimize their importance.  Running 13.1 miles is a long way.  Sometimes all it takes is the kindness of strangers to get you to your goal.  They cost you nothing and add  hugely to the  atmosphere.

-          Where were the distractions on the side of the course?  While the men on stilts were nice, there needed to be more and more often.

-          If we are going to run on the highway – fine.  Please give us something to look at.  You did an excellent job at the Princess ½ marathon in March. 

-          The Bands.  Where were they?  Please, please bring them back.  They were great in March.

-          In general the course was boring.  I needed inspiration. For over $100 to participate I was counting on course inspiration.

-          When the race was over we were corralled like cattle off to the slaughter.  We could hardly move, the air was thick, our legs were cramping up.  We didn’t need to stand still.  Exiting the race and entering the party was a mess.

-          The After party.  While great in theory, there were too many people.  Standing in line again after 13.1 miles with the lactic acid buildup in my legs didn’t help.  I felt bad for my friends that bought tickets to the event just to be there with me.  It was hard for  us to use the vouchers for food and beverage because the lines were so long.  Remember those friends I meet up with before the race?  I couldn’t find them afterward because it was so crowded. 

Things that went well:

-          I loved the “Tusks of Fire” in the Animal Kingdom.  Great

-          The highlight of the entire course was the Osborne lights in Hollywood Studios.  A thrill.  I loved it. 

-          The fireworks at the beginning

-          Mickey and Minnie at the finish line

-          The Finisher Medals – Fancy – Very Nice

 Will I run at night at Disney again?  I don’t know?    Will you?  What was your take on the Inaugural Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon?

I will be on a Disney mission for the next 2 weeks.  You can follow me on Twitter @Caroline251

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Posted on October 12, 2010

9 Responses to “Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon – After Thoughts”

  • I ran the Everest Challenge back in June. It was supposed to be a 5K/obstacle course. I was really looking forward to it. My workouts are Crossfit workouts and just plain old running feels boring to me. I figured a 5K and obstacle course would be a blast. I was really disappointed. Now mind you, I was not expecting a SEAL training course, but the challenges were very weak. They consisted of a balance beam about two feet off the ground, some tires that you had to high step through,a small hay bail to jump over, and finally a net to craw/walk under. These were located at four different points along the course.
    Now I understand that it’s Disney and their main fear in life is lawyers..but come on. How about a rope swing? Maybe even some monkey bars or rings? I think with the smart creative people in that company they could do a really cool family friendly (read:easier) version of the warrior dash.
    My second complaint was the water. This run was done in June. It was very warm. The water coolers set up around the start had to have been sitting there all day. The water was hot enough to make tea! Same with the cups of water along the route. Only at the end was the water and powerade chilled.

    From what I’ve seen and read lately I doubt I’ll be entering any Disney races in the near future. At least not until they start giving a bit more for they money a person puts down to be a race.

    On a more positive note, I want to give a shout out to MouseAdventures. A couple of coworkers and I formed a team and entered the one they just put on at Animal Kingdom. It was a blast, and very, very difficult. You may not be as physically tired after doing a MA challenge as you are after a marathon (but you will be tired!) but your brain will have felt like it took the SAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT and bar exam by the end of the day. And believe me, you don’t know squat about a park until you try to find the answers to solve a MA puzzle.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on October 14, 2010, at 10:16 am EDT

      Hi Neil,
      Thank you so much for your detailed experience. You have lots of excellent points. The event they put on at the AK sounds awesome. I think it would be good for my brain and body. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  • Great article, Caroline. I had totally forgotten how cool the starting fireworks were. Thanks for the reminder! The race really was a mixed bag of good and bad. I’m hoping it was just a case of “first time” syndrome for Disney Sports on this one and it will improve like the Tower of Terror did.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on October 14, 2010, at 10:12 am EDT

      Hi Laurel,
      You truly are my inspiration. You are a running machine. I will always give Disney another try. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  • I am thinking of attempting my first marathon next year – I am hoping it will motivate me to lose my baby weight and what better than with a Disney marathon!?!?! :-) Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • by Caroline Baggerly on October 14, 2010, at 10:13 am EDT

      Hi Beth,
      Good for you. Running a Disney 1/2 marathon is great incentive to lose weight and get fit. Happy training. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

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