Well ya’ll here is part 2 of the Disney Wine & Dine “Half Marathon”. Be sure to check out Part 1 of the race recap here. My apologies in advance for no race pictures. It was dark, there wasn’t much to look at and I shot everything on my Go Pro camera. I will be putting together a video recap of the race soon.
For being a glorified 10K the race felt incredibly long. The entire race was spent running around others, dodging walkers and asking people to move out of the way. I know that makes me sound like an incredibly rude person, I promise I’m not. I don’t mind walkers when I’m racing and have walked before in a race, but you learn quickly that it is polite to stay on the right side of the street if you intend on walking. I don’t think anyone in this race got the memo. The entire race course seemed incredible narrow given the volume of participants and folks walked 4-5 abreast the entire race. It may seem like I’m being dramatic, but I’m being honest.
The Mr. and I ran and dodged walkers right and left. We were professional maze runners by the end of the race. Since the first 6 miles were cut from the race, we did not run through Animal Kingdom. I was pretty bummed about that. I really wanted to see the tree of life all lit up. There was quite a bit of highway included in the course as well as lots of parking garages and back lots. My biggest problem with the course was that many of the areas were not well lit at all. I felt like I was straining to see where I was going.
Also, about three miles of the course was on sidewalks. Yes, sidewalks. Disney, you have to do better than sidewalks. I was thankful we made it through the sidewalk stretch without any injuries. There were so many runners up the steep hills next to the sidewalks because they were so crowded. It was miserable. With the exception of the characters, the Osborne family lights in Hollywood Studios and some strobe lights in a couple tunnels there wasn’t much to look at. I know that’s to be expected, but this race doesn’t compare the course for the Princess Half Marathon.
The Mr. and I wanted to use the race as speed work since the distance was cut, but it didn’t happen. To be honest we were lucky to make it out injury free. As we crossed the finish line we were both so happy to be done. I have never felt like that in a race before. I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t injured. I was just annoyed.
After the race we headed down the shoot for the usual banana and runDisney snack box. There snack boxes are the best by far. I actually look forward to them. The most interesting thing that they did was separate the men and women after the shoot before sending us down the shoot for out complementary beverage. It was pure chaos. We were told to split up and then meet up on the other side of the tent before going down the shoot for the drinks. It made so sense and there were so many people forced into this tiny space. The Mr. and I made a meeting point on the other side so we could find each other, but when we got to the meet up spot we didn’t realize it was gated off. I was incredibly frustrated and overwhelmed. I nearly cried because I couldn’t find him and there were so many people it seemed like I never would. We finally found each other and went through the shoot then walked the 25 minutes (or so it seemed) to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
I loved the set up of the Food and Wine Festival. The lines moved fairly fast considering the amount of people in each line, but we were so tired from the whole day that we couldn’t really enjoy it. We ate a couple things and had a couple drinks before heading back to our resort around 3am. The after party closed at 4am so we both knew we didn’t want to be in the bus line at that time.
We got back to the hotel room and crashed. I took a shower and slept like a little baby. This race was quite the experience and I can say we will probably never do it again. I wasn’t impressed with the course and didn’t really care for the night time start but the disorganization of the entire race was by far the worst part.
We were frustrated even before the race started and Disney still has a long way to go with their corralling process. I think they need more corrals and really need to evaluate the proof of time process that they are currently using. I think a lot of the problem is that folks sign up for the Disney races thinking it may not be as difficult as other races because it is Disney, but I think these races are actually harder for runners who have done other races. Everyone I talked to during this race was disappointed and won’t be coming back. I still love runDisney, but I think we need to break up for a while. Well, at least until January for the Disney World Marathon.
Every race teaches you something new about the sport and about yourself. I think this race helped me appreciate all the other races I’ve done that were well organized. This race was a rough experience, but that just means that I’ve got a bad race out of the way. Getting this bad race out of the way means the likelihood of having another bad race in the near future is a little less. I think I’ll take it.
What races have taught you the most?
Have you ever had a similar experience?