Monthly Archives: November 2013

Guest Post: #WineDineHalfMeetup 2013 Recap!

Wow! It’s been almost an entire week since I’ve returned home from the magic that was the 2013 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend! There were so many fun events, people to meet up with, and of course, you cannot go wrong with the hosting location 🙂

Today, I am pleased to share a recap of the FIRST nighttime meetup: the 2013 #WineDineHalfMeetup, brought to you by my friend, Meredith! I was so excited when she agreed to share her recap, and even more happy that I actually got to meet her in person this past weekend 😀

So without further ado…here…we…go!

Part of every RunDisney Half Marathon (or Marathon) weekend, is the meetup.  For Wine & Dine, I participated in my first ever meetup! This was RunDisney’s first ever nighttime event, and biggest with 125 runners!


I had been looking forward to this for weeks, and I couldn’t wait to head over to EPCOT! At check in we received a park ticket, fastpass to Test Track, and best of all, a RunDisney shirt! The past meetup shirts were black with blue writing, but sticking to the Wine & Dine theme, ours were maroon with silver and white writing, and included the race logo. How fun is that?!?

 Our night started with a private viewing area for EPCOT’s nighttime show Illuminations. I was one of the first to arrive and quickly made some new friends!!


The show was better than I remembered! Note to self, make sure to visit each park for the nighttime shows that I haven’t seen in years!

 After the show, we waited for the park to clear out before walking over to the American pavilion where we were treated to food and wine! This is also when I got my picture taken with my favorite chef!


 We settled in for the presentation and raffles! RunDisney head honchos Darrell Fry and Faron Kelley gave away some raffle items like runDisney duffle bags and race entries!


 Next up we heard from Olympian Jeff Galloway and nutritionist Tara Gidus to talk about race day strategies and nutrition. One thing they stressed, was to HYDRATE!


Next on stage were Disney’s Sommelier and Chefs talking about food and wine. My favorite part was hearing them talk about their favorite booths at the festival. I’m a very picky eater, so I wouldn’t eat most of the things they brought up, but it was cool hearing it from their perspective.


 The next announcement is what I had been waiting for! Ali from New Balance told us there will be a new RunDisney shoe for 2014! We weren’t told what the new design will be or if the shoe will change, but we were told that they will be selling customized race inserts and shoe charms! This will be something cool to collect for 2014.


 New Balance also brought up athlete Jenny Simpson. She is an Olympian and holds the 2013 women’s record for a 4:19 mile! Holy cow is that fast! She spoke of growing up in Orlando and her love of Disney.


  They gave even gave out a few of the awesome jackets the New Balance team was sporting! I didn’t win, but totally wanted their raffle basket! How cute is that!?!

The night was nearing the end, and it was time to start running! I went with Jeff Galloway’s group to try the run/walk/run method. Let me just say, Jeff is FAST! I was booking it trying to keep up and was so sweaty when we finished (after pictures do not look that pretty)!!

Waiting for us under Spaceship Earth was champagne! Faron Kelley gave a toast to end a perfect night!


This was such a great experience that I will always remember! I highly recommend to all RunDisney fans to try and get into at least 1 meetup!

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Krissy for letting me share my experience with you! For more about me and my Wine & Dine experience, check out my blog

You can follow Meredith’s twitter adventures here and her awesome recap of the race here.

Thank you.

Another round in the search for new panelist for the Disney Parks Moms Panel has drawn to a close, and for many, it’s a bittersweet time. While it can be difficult to experience disappointment in not advancing, I have found it to be virtually impossible to be upset, because of so many reasons:

  1. Thankfulness – for making it to Round 2 for a third time.
  2. Gratitude – for making even more friends and colleagues along the way.
  3. Excitement – for those buckling up and heading down the windy road to the next stop on this wild ride!

Each year, my reaction has been different, and to be perfectly honest, it is that calm right now that reminds me why I do this in the first place: to connect. I earnestly believe that my time will come, and right now, this is exactly where I need to be: amongst my friends, peers, fellow Disney fans, runners and chEARleaders.

The tweet that told us what time/day the email would reach us!

The tweet that told us what time/day the email would reach us!

And who could deny how much fun we’ve had this year? From Gary’s fun updates on twitter, to the new groups on Facebook, sharing and learning has definitely taught me a lot about myself.

And just for fun, I thought I’d share my Round 2 application video…it’s my favorite that I’ve done so far, so I hope you enjoy! I look forward to starting the fun all over next fall…and until then, you better believe that this page will have even more fun in store!

runDisney True Life Adventures: Tales from Corral D


Ran 13.1, met Mulan – perfect night!

It’s hard to believe, but just three days ago, I toed the starting line of my 8th runDisney event of the year, the 2013 Wine and Dine Half Marathon (recap here), capping off an excellent season of magical miles. While it would be nearly impossible to pick a favorite race of the year (see this page for all my runDisney recaps) this one will definitely stay in my mind for a long time to come – and it’s taking me these past few days to collect my thoughts, and to share just why it was so different, yet just as rewarding…so here goes:

The Mental Game

My very first runDisney event was the 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon – it was also my first 13.1 distance, and though I had stuck to my training plan, and felt good going into it, there were so many unknowns – how would my pacing be? Would I be able to sacrifice time to walk through water stations? On top of it all, I had just gotten over the flu and due to a combination of other reasons, my longest training run had topped out at 8 miles. Still, armed with my CamelBak, and non-technical running clothes (I was a newbie) I managed to run a 2:04 and seriously thought I was one of the last finishers.

Oh, and that was the last time I was in Corral D.

Now, I don’t say this in any way to de-value anyone’s corral placement, but starting in a later corral was definitely a different feeling – I started there in this race because I was pacing my friend J, and in runDisney events, you can always move back, but not move forward. I am always in Corral A (due to times I submit from my ‘faster’ efforts) so I never realized that just being in a later corral – whether that’s Corral B, or Corral J – messes with your mind! Maybe it’s the fact that you associate the Corrals with grades, like in school (can you tell I am a bit of a perfectionist) or that you mentally size yourself up with fellow Corral runners, but being in Corral D this time – I have to admit, it made me realize just how different a race experience can be for the wide spectrum of participants – for better and for worse.

Here’s two examples:

#1 – Mile Markers – I know that this will sound kind of silly, but when I am running, math doesn’t really make sense in my mind (who am I kidding, it often doesn’t – but I digress). Although I was wearing my Garmin and could clearly see my splits, seeing much higher numbers at each Mile Marker was a little trippy.

#2 – Course Support – My weekend race roomie started in the last corral, and placed last in her age group – but she still went out there and ACCOMPLISHED something huge. I was so proud of her! But, I was totally bummed when I found out that after she finished, there were no more free drinks. I realize that there are time parameters in place, but seeing as we all paid the same race registration fee, it was sad to hear that.


I had to sneak in a hashtag, of course (Social Media nerd) but this is one that I just could not get out of my mind – something I like to call “Overheard at runDisney.” You see, before the race, after the race, and even during the race, I relate very closely to Roz from Monster’s Inc:

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 9.29.55 AM


…and along with ALWAYS WATCHING, I am ALWAYS LISTENING. You see, as in most races, runDisney discourages the use of headphones (for safety) but I have to admit, running this event without any musical accompaniment did more than kept my ears open to hearing announcements or warnings from other runners, but it created an atmosphere that wasn’t always the most encouraging.

You see, when we were crossing back toward Hollywood Studios, we could see, on the other side of the roadway, the motorcade, the participants bringing up the rear, and yes, those infamous balloon ladies (see P’s post on them for more). As we proceeded forward, we even saw the busses and vans that would act as “sweepers.” I had never, ever seen any of these elements at a runDisney race before, and personally, it was an educational moment for me, but looking around, I was extremely thankful that most others were wearing headphones when I heard comments like these from people running nearby us:

  • “Ugh, look at those people WALKING! Why would they even try?”
  • “What’s the point? Why don’t those people back there give up?”
  • “Haha! Look who’s about to get picked up.”

I was in disbelief. If I had not been centering all my attention on the well-being and progress of my friend that I was pacing, my bitten tongue would have been lashing out at more than a few people around me. Sure, we might not all be fast runners, but who are we to judge anyone who was out there, working hard to accomplish a goal? We don’t know everyone’s story. Heck, do we always even know our own story?

That Same Feeling

Despite those negative things, for us – in Corral D, anyway – it all came full circle. When we entered Epcot, Sara Barellis’ “Brave” came on, and that, coupled with the swirling lights and roar of the crowds – still brought me to tears. For me, it was the 12th half marathon finish line I was about to cross, and as in each time, it was, at that very moment in time, one hundred thousand emotions all at once.

This wasn’t J’s victory that she had hoped for, but crossing that finish line with her, I couldn’t have been more proud – and that’s what I think brings me back each time. Overcoming adversity, fear, disappointment – they’re all parts of real life – but for one singular moment, we can rise above it all.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 6.54.42 PM

…and  I wouldn’t change that for the world.


Be my guest!

Hiya everyone!

I am packing my bags for #WineDineHalf Weekend and will arrive at Walt Disney World tomorrow – so very excited for this special “Runners Night Out” and all of the fun events that go along with it.

As you may know, tonight marks an exciting event – the first nighttime official runDisney meetup – and so I am looking for a guest poster (or two) to report back about the event to share on the blog 🙂

So, what does that mean?

I am looking for someone to share some pictures, thoughts and a general recap of the event. Something like these:

Basically, I want to share your thoughts and experience with my readers, just as I have shared mine with you!

Sound fun?

If you are interested, please email me at khiguchi at gmail dot com, or tweet me at @krissymmurphy or @outrunmonorail – I’d love to feature your post!