I’ve made no secret of my fondness for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon held each fall at Walt Disney World.
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!
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.
I ran up a little farther, singing along to the music in my headphones and stopped for another photo.
Next up was the Studios and while running through Pixar Place these two guys looked lonely so I stopped to say hi.
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.
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
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!