The Inaugural runDisney Wine & Dine 10K happened Saturday, November 5th 2016. The Wine & Dine half marathon weekend coincides with the ending week of the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. What better way to reward yourself after exercise than with some great food & beverage?
This was an exciting weekend trip for me. I ran my first 10K and beat my personal goal! I had no one to run with since my friends weren’t quick enough to register but my trusty Garmin GPS watch and MapMyRun kept me on track to ensure I stayed motivated throughout the race…. not to mention the prospect of breakfast at The Wave afterwards.
The 10K Course
The Wine & Dine 10K started and ended at Epcot. The start was towards the rear of the parking lot with Chef Remy from Ratatouille counting us down. We ran out past the entrance gates of Epcot before making a U-turn back along Epcot Center Drive. Just before the 3-mile mark, we headed right back towards Epcot and made our way through a back entrance near Mexico to run around the World Showcase Lagoon. Between France & England we detoured out of the park to make the loop around Crescent Lake between the Boardwalk, Yacht, & Beach Club resorts before making the climb and descent towards the back entrance of Epcot. The course sneaks you through backstage so you re-enter the World Showcase just before Canada. The final trek was towards Future World, underneath the iconic Epcot ball, and back into the parking lot for an exciting finish.
The Character Stops
As with any RunDisney race you’ll have optional character stops along the race course. At the Inaugural Wine & Dine 10K there were 5 official character stops with Photopass along with a few other entertaining stops. At Mile 1, Mary Poppins and the penguins greeted following by Flik & Anna from Bug’s Life. Inside the World Showcase Geppetto & Pinocchio said Hallo from Germany and tourist styled Genie was in Morocco. In front of ESPN Zone at the Boardwalk Chip & Dale cheered on runners in their athletic gear. Sebastian & the guys on stilts were also out on the course to add to the fun.
Running in Disney is a race experience like no other. If you are not a very competitive runner you’ll be thrilled to see the character stops along the way… a planned catch-your-breath break! There was music and video at various points of the course such as scenes from Ratatouille and old-school Disney cartoons plus stimulating mile markers. For the Wine & Dine 10k, these were food and beverage lit signs playing music from the country showcased.
Throughout the entire course there are Disney cast members there to cheer you on. Since we exited the park there were many hotel guests out early with signs cheering, waving, and encouraging you on the course.
My 10K Highlights
Some of my favorite points of the race were the very enthusiastic Italians high-fiving in Italy, the DJ near Mouse Gear pumping runners up for the end of the race, and the volunteers & cast members with cowbells under the Epcot ball. The echo and their cheers were so exciting to hear near the very end of the course.
As I neared the finish line there was grandstands of supporters, thumping music, and the announcer was shouting out names – I even heard mine! The best part of finishing a Run Disney race is getting the shiny medal, which was a nice big silver plate with Remy from Ratatouille. If you’re really proud of yourself like I was, you can even wear your medal into the parks all day!
Thinking of signing up for a runDisney race? Let me know when you’re running!