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!

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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!!

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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!

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 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!

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 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!

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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  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!

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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.

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