Last night, the 2012 Walt Disney World Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon finally happened. If you remember, I’ve only been looking forward to running this race for months now.
Finally, the patience paid off and the race was run. But I’ll get to that in a second.
First though, a look at the events leading up to the race.
I went and picked up my race info and goodie bag at the race expo on Friday after work. Disney does a great job of organizing and streamlining the packet pickup and expo experience, and when you’ve got 14,000 people running the race that’s a very good thing. The goodie bags are a different story.
This is the 6th time I’ve participated in a runDisney event, and every goodie bag has been worse than the previous one. The first race I ran was in 2010, and it was by far the best. The bag was a nice drawstring backpack with the race logo on it. There were lots of promotions for other races and events in it, as well as a few sample products.
Fast forward to this race, and the goodie bag is a clear plastic bag with nothing in it besides the race shirt and race specific information. No promos. No samples. No nothing. It was a little deflating to say the least.
While the bag was disappointing, the race was pretty awesome. The course had some minor changes compared to previous years, but overall it was pretty straightforward. As per usual with any race this big, there were absolutely a few places where the course got really congested and crowded. But after the first few miles, the runners started to spread out a little bit, which made the flow quite a bit better.
And it’s so much fun running through the Disney parks!
What makes a Disney race worth its price tag is the on course entertainment. Whenever you’re running through the parks, not only are all of the Disney cast members clapping and cheering for the runners, but they also have a lot of the characters and other elements of the shows and parades out to distract you from the run. And the performers do such a great job of expressing their encouragement to the runners, that I couldn’t help but run faster every time I was in one of the parks.
But enough about the race in general. Now it’s time for me to brag a little bit on how I did.
Ever since I set my running goal for the year, I’ve been planning this race as an opportunity to set a new personal record for the 1/2 marathon.
And that’s exactly what happened.
When I ran a different Disney half in January, I set a new PR of 2:19, and I was fully confident that I would best that last night. In fact, my goal for the night was to blow it out of the water by running a sub-2:00 time. After a slow and crowded first mile, I was a little worried about my chances. But I stuck with my plan, and made up the time I lost early by the mid-way point of the race. When I crossed the finish line, my watch read 1:57:14, which kind of blew my mind.
I took 22 minutes off of my prior PR, which is a huge improvement! But it just goes to show what you’re capable of doing if you set your mind to it, and really make succeeding a priority.
After the race, I headed in to Epcot to experience the after party for a little bit, but didn’t stay for very long since I had to drive home after. But I hung out long enough to take a flight on Soarin’, which is way more fun after midnight than it is in the afternoon.
All in all, it was obviously another great race experience, and I’m so glad I ran again this year. Next year, the race will be on the 9th of November, and I’m planning to be there again.
Anyone want to run it with me?
- 2012 Wine and Dine is Almost Here! (dkfitsolutions.com)