After running Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K in the morning, I participated in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Event. The race started at 10 PM, leading to some meticulously structured meals and naps throughout the day.
Jason, Brooke, and I (along with our support team/cheerers Genna and Denise) parked at Epcot (the finish), from which we runners took a bus to the start at the ESPN Sports Complex. I then met up with a crossfit friend Heidi as we were going to run together. While waiting for race start we were able to snag a picture with Minnie Mouse! Other characters were available for photo ops as well, but the long lines forced us to choose a favorite.
If I remember correctly there were approximately 15,000 runners with corrals starting every two minutes. Unfortunately, the rain started as we were in our corral waiting for our turn to start! However, Heidi and I were in good spirits as the warm rain was way better than being in cold Minnesota! Each corral had its very own fireworks for a grand entrance to the race.
Once we were off, we ran on the highway for a few miles before coming to Magic Kingdom. I enjoyed seeing the park in both the daylight and darkness in one day!
As the rain continued to fall, puddles were starting to form, and we were headed out of the park back to the highway. Running became more difficult with slippery pavement and soaked shoes. It felt like a very long stretch on the highway before we finally came to Hollywood Studios. My favorite part of the race, The Spectacle of Dancing Lights, was in this park. Heidi and I had to stop and walk a few blocks just to take in our amazing surroundings and Christmas lights (they weren't dancing, but all on)!
Once out of Hollywood Studios, we ran on a boardwalk/sidewalk along the river to Epcot (a nice break from the highway running). Once inside Epcot the crowds and supporters were cheering loudly. At this point it was around to 1 AM and I was very hungry, ready to be out of the rain, and done running. It was a good thing the finishline was close. Heidi and I finished the race together and received our ginormous and extremely heavy finishers medals. And what a story that medal has to tell!
After the race, we took some time to check out the Wine and Dine after party with food and drinks from all over the world!
State #7 of 50 is officially completed!