Disclaimer: I totally paid for this trip myself despite my efforts to get runDisney and/or New Balance to pay for me.
I attended no meet-up, and not because I didn’t tweet runDisney that they should invite me to the party since I was in Epcot anyway.
I’m not saying I believe in (showing) desperation but I figured I’d at least get a funny response–JetBlue is always great at tweeting back! RunDisney, unfortunately, was too busy being boring and thinking about branding initiatives.
In theory, the night race is great because it’s followed by a party and who doesn’t want to celebrate after a run? Except that in practice you’re sweaty, disgusting, getting cold, and all you really want to do is shower and possibly go to bed. I mean, I could change my clothes but then I’m just getting them filthy, sweaty, and smelly. The underlying problem of funk and sweat remains. Plus, I tend to sit cuddled in bed in the room beforehand and there’s nothing harder than pulling me out of bed to run. I can’t even get my butt off the couch to run.
Then I had a migraine. I was really pulling out all the stops for this race.
I headed out for the bus at 7:30 because I figured if the expo lines were shorter later, maybe I should take a later bus instead of my usual oh-my-god-I-need-to-be-the-first-person-in-line-or-I’ll-never-get-there. 45 minutes later we got on a bus. Turns out since we were sharing with the Beach/Yacht clubs, the buses were starting over there, filling up completely, and then just never coming to the Boardwalk. Yup. Good planning, Disney.
I bag checked my sweatshirt and one for my sister for after the race. It would be inadequate, seeing as how I’m going through reverse menopause and am suddenly constantly cold. The coral wait went by quite quickly once Katherine came over and we started talking. She gave me all the meet-up details so it felt like I was there except I actually went to bed around 9pm.
There was the usual fireworks for each coral, announcers I kinda sorta tuned out and then I saw it. Every time I’ve gone over the start line, I’ve never actually seen Minnie or Mickey but I always assumed this was just because I missed in due to being “in the zone” and ready to run. No, they were really just not there. After the first two corals started, Mickey and Minnie literally hopped into a van and left. THEY LEFT. I don’t know where the hell they were going or why they refused to send off all the runners, but there they were. LEAVING.
My anger fueled, the race started. Generally speaking with the exception of Animal Kingdom and the stretch between Hollywood Studios and Epcot, the course wasn’t crowded if you were in coral d. I noticed almost none of the characters from last year were out–very few of the Main Street Electrical Parade floats and no Flora, Fauna, or Merryweather. But they’re still trying to push that Wreck It Ralph. Danielle was hands down best on course character.
By the 10k mark I was dying–my knee was in pain, my IT band was hurting, and I was ready to be done and go to bed. The race more or less blended together and I finished with both a medal and a bag of ice. And race photos that make it look like I was having an AWESOME time. I waited around and watched my sister finish about an hour later–she was thrilled to be done but still ready to eat some crispy shrimp taco. Then when she saw the distance from Mexico to the exit for the hotel she was like, “uh, you know what, let’s just go back.” FYI, my mom slept like a baby through the whole entire damn thing. When I called to tell her I finished, turns out I woke her up so she was hands down the best cheerleader ever.
Given that I have the NYC marathon next year the weekend before Wine & Dine, I will most definitely not be doing this race for a third year in a row even if it is the 5 year anniversary. I thought after her first half my sister would already be planning her next so when we saw an ad for traveling in Canada and she said she wanted to see Canada I immediately said, “Vancouver for the Sea Wheeze next year?!” I started planning and thinking, Quebec could be fun too!”
But her response was, “can’t we go on a trip that doesn’t require gym clothes or sneakers?” Um, we could but why would we want to?