I'm Just Sad

An Open Letter to runDisney: Why Did You Ruin Wine & Dine?

Dear runDisney,

Why?

Why did you do it?

You had something special with the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, you really did.

You had something that was completely unmatched by any other runDisney event with the PM start time, a completely unique course, and the ability to hang out in Epcot after the race to eat, drink, and be merry.

And now, that’s all gone.

Why?

From my outside perspective, it has to boil down to one of two reasons: either you’re afraid of the weather or it’s a straight up money grab. Read more

Lilo and Stitch at the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

The 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon aka The Wine and Dine “Little More Than a 10k”

I’ve made no secret of my fondness for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon held each fall at Walt Disney World.

2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Logo

2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

If nothing else, the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon will go down in history as the race that was but wasn’t.

And for those of us that were there, I doubt many of us will ever forget the happenings of the evening.

What Happened at the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon?

You’ve got to love Florida weather.

Even in November, when the crazy weather is supposed to have calmed down.

Here is a recap of the events leading up to the start of the race as I witnessed them:

I left the house with rumbling thunder and some rain, but according to the weather apps the Disney area was staying dry until about 2 AM.

I really wasn’t worried about the weather since isolated storms in Florida are pretty common, and just because there was a storm cell between the house and Disney it certainly didn’t mean there was a storm pushing across the state.

After parking at Epcot and riding the shuttle over to the Wide World of Sports complex, I found my friend Bill (who was spectating, not running) and we started chatting/catching up.

At about 9 PM (one hour before race time) the wind picked up like it does before a storm is about to blow in. There was a little bit of misty rain in the air, and the runDisney folks made an announcement that severe weather was in the area and that all runners and spectators needed to head to the buildings and take shelter.

So we did.

But that severe weather that looked to be in the area never showed up.

That said, if you looked at the radar it sure looked like we were about to get HAMMERED by all kinds of nastiness, but the skies never opened up and I never saw a bolt of lightning or heard any thunder.

Damn Florida weather…

The Race is Back On!

Wine and Dine Start

Wine and Dine Start

After about an hour, they made the announcement that we could head back toward the corrals and that the race would be starting soon.

People were obviously excited as we were still going to get to run. I mean, better late than never right?

Except for one thing: we were no longer going to be running a half marathon.

Due to the delay at the start, the decision was made that the race needed to be cut short by a little over 6 miles.

Needless to say, this wasn’t a popular decision.

My emotions ran the gamut from being pissed to being despondent to not even wanting to run anymore to just kind of feeling meh about the whole thing.

I trained for a half. I paid for a half. I really wanted to run a half.

Running a 10k+ just didn’t get my juices flowing.

But since I needed to get to Epcot somehow to get the car and head home, I didn’t have much of a choice.

My 2015 Wine and Dine “Little More Than a 10k”

My pity party lasted for about a mile.

I was in Corral A, planning on running hard and pushing for my second big half marathon PR of 2015, but when we were no longer running a half I didn’t feel like racing anymore.

So when the gun went off, everyone else in Corral A took off and I just ran at a comfortable pace listening to some music and trying to stay upset.

It’s funny how hard it is to stay mad when you’re running. It damn near impossible!

Somewhere around the mile mark, I looked ahead and saw the bears from the Country Bear Jamboree out cheering for runners and posing for photos.

At that point, I decided I was going to make the best of this situation and have some fun. So I stopped.

Country Bears at the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Straight Chillin with the Country Bears

I ran up a little farther, singing along to the music in my headphones and stopped for another photo.

Lilo and Stitch at the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Lilo, Stitch, and I

Next up was the Studios and while running through Pixar Place these two guys looked lonely so I stopped to say hi.

Buzz and Woody at the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

My Homies Buzz and Woody

After the Studios, I hit the trail toward the boardwalk which is my favorite place to run at Walt Disney World. I used to run there every day during my lunch breaks when I was working at the Studios, and for whatever reason I still really love running there.

At this point, things were looking up. Sure, I was still bummed but I was enjoying the people out cheering and then I ran past what is now my favorite race sign I’ve ever seen.

It was so good, I literally turned around and went back to get the picture.

Best Race Sign Ever at the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Best. Race Sign. Ever.

From there, all that was left was about a mile and I could shut it down for the night.

But first, I needed to take a detour.

The Things You Can Do When You Don’t Care About Your Time

Riding Soarin During the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

My Mid-Race Detour

When I was talking with Bill during the “severe weather delay”, I was talking about trying to hit a new PR during the race. I told him if I was no longer on pace to PR, I’d probably just run off the course to ride Soarin’ and then I’d finish the race.

Well, since I wasn’t running hard and the time was irrelevant due to the random route we were now running, I decided I was definitely going to have fun and go ride Soarin’ before I finished the race.

So I did.

I got a couple of weird looks when I jumped over the cones marking the course, took a hard left instead of a right, and ran up the hill to enter the Land.

But who cares?

I went in, cooled down, enjoyed my flight over California, and came back out to finish the race.

The Best Thing About the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon

It took about a mile, but I made the decision to let go of the things that I had no control over (the weather and the decision of the race officials) and found a way to still have fun and have a memorable experience during this race.

Was it ideal?

Not hardly, but this race was a necessary reminder that I can only control what I can control and nothing else.

Running is absolutely one of the best teachers I have in my life, and class was definitely in session during the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon!

Do You Have Any Experiences With Last Minute Race Issues That Were 100% Out of Your Control? Share Your Story Below!

ECHO Half Marathon

2015 ECHO Half Marathon: The Good, The Bad, & The Heartbreak

There are two mottos that I tend to live by in life:

  1. Peer pressure is no fun until you give in.
  2. If it’s free, it’s for me!

So when the world allows itself to become aligned such that I’m being peer pressured into something that’s free, it’s nearly impossible for me to resist.

Especially if it involves racing.

When the opportunity arose to run the 2015 ECHO Half Marathon for free, I simply could not resist the temptation.

So I signed up for a half marathon in Central Florida in June.

ECHO Half Marathon

Just Past the 13 Mile Mark at the ECHO Half Marathon

What could go wrong, eh? Read more

Echo Half Marathon

Guess Who Signed Up for the Echo Half Marathon in June?

This guy.

I was planning on getting back into “serious” running later this fall, but when the opportunity to run the Echo Half Marathon popped up I couldn’t resist.

Echo Half Marathon

Echo Half Marathon Logo

And there were plenty of reasons I should have resisted. Among them:

  • A half marathon in June. In Florida. It’s gonna be hot y’all.
  • It’s only like 2 months away! And I’m not even close to race ready.
  • I know people running the race, which means I better get ready or get embarrassed.
  • Did I mention it’ll be hot?

But in all seriousness, it will be a good thing for me to be staring down the barrel of a race.

Like I mentioned when I announced I’d be running an ultra in December, I need the pressure of an official race to help push me to get more serious about my training.

The pressure is now officially on.

And that’s no April Fools joke, either.

Any of You Guys (Besides Bill) Crazy Enough to Even Consider Running a Summer Half in Florida? 

Just a Little Heads Up for my Fellow Winers and Diners

If you’re reading this post, odds are you are a somewhat regular reader of the blog.

And for that, I really want to say thank you.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about potentially offering some kind of group coaching program, and I’ve held off on that for a variety of reason. But that’s about to change.

And I want to give those of you that are subscribed to the blog a little heads up and what I’m doing and give you a chance to get in on the action (if you want) for a super low price.

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I’m super excited about this.

I’m putting together a group training program for one specific race, and it just so happens to be my absolute favorite race at Walt Disney World-the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

You’re going to be hearing a lot more about this program in the coming weeks, but until registration opens on Tuesday, I’ve slashed the price from $97 to $37. So if you’re thinking about running this race, and if you’re thinking you’d like to meet some awesome runners and have a specific program in place, I’d encourage you to jump at this opportunity.

All of the details are available by clicking this link, and I’ll be explaining much more about what I’ll be offering going forward.

But please know, with what I have planned, the regular price for this is a steal. So take advantage.

And if you’re not sure, there is a 30 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee. So grab it for $37, and if you decide to change your mind as you learn more about it, no harm no foul.

But I can pretty much guarantee, you’ll be glad.