Posted by Jamie Collins on 12:10 PM //
The inaugural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is quickly approaching. To mark the beginning of the 15th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend will take place October 1 -2, 2010.
Previously the Disney Endurance Series event that was linked to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival was the Race For The Taste 10K. With the popularity of the longer races, 2010 brings the inaugural running of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.
I am not only reporting about this for Only WDWorld, but will be running this race as well!
The special medal pictured above on the is what awaits all finishers of the Half Marathon, while another special medal is awarded to those who are running the half marathon as a 2 person relay. Either will be a treasured momento of the event.
New Half Marathon Course
This new race also features a new Half Marathon Course at Disney World. Instead of using the one seen during the Disney Marathon Weekend, this new course actually goes through 3 Disney World Theme Parks ( Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.)
Disney'sWine & Dine Half Marathon is a night race starting at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at 10:00 pm then heading to Disney's Animal Kingdom. Here we will get to run inside the park after closing travelling through each of the lands before exiting. This is always one of the highlights of running a race at Disney World.
After exiting Animal Kingdom we head back towards Disney's Hollywood Studios. That 4 mile stretch between Animal Kingdom and Hollywoood Studios is what I anticipate to be the toughest part of the race. Once we enter Hollywood Studios, again we get to cover most of the areas of the park after closing. It is a neat feeling to see the almost empty park with the mostly quiet sounds of shoes hitting the pavement.
Whether you are a runner or not, this again is a reason to participate in one of the Disney Endurance Events. You can't get this experience from a normal park visit.
After exiting Hollywood Studios it is a short distance (relatively) to get to Epcot. Here we fight exhaustion with the knowledge that we have almost reached our goal. It is a beautiful stretch when you get to the Boardwalk Area, and it will all be lit up as we approach the International Gateway of Epcot.
Finally we reach the Finish Line as we enter Epcot and are rewarded by an exclusive after party that extends until 3:00 am in Epcot. Non-runner and family and friends can purchase tickets to the after race party to meet their runners and enjoy the party.
What a way to kick off the Food & Wine Festival!
Entire Weekend Of Activities
Like most of the Disney Endurance Series Events, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is truly an entire weekend of events.
On Saturday morning (Oct 2nd), there will be Mickey's Halloween 5K that will include a course that runs through the Magic Kingdom. The participants will receive not only the medal pictured above, but only get a ticket to the Oct. 3rd Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP.)
There will also be shorter kids races and a Health & Fitness Expo to round out the event.
Weekend Filled With Firsts and Excitement
The October 1 - 2 Weekend will be an exciting time to be at Disney World. Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend will be the first:
Night Half Marathon At Disney World
Half Marathon to run through 3 Disney World Theme Parks
Half Marathon to have its own 4 1/2 hour after race party.
5 K run through the Magic Kingdom
I am excited and looking forward to this weekend and hope to meet many of you during this event. Please add a comment if you are running, so I know to look for you.