I had the pleasure of participating in a special event November 7 put on by runDisney before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. These are special social media events that are posted on the Disney Parks Blog and Tweeted about. Once you see the tweet, you send out your email and hope you’re one of the lucky ones to get in. If you’re interested in getting into a meet up, check out my post here to find out how to get into one.
I got to Orlando around 6pm and headed to meet one of my fellow runners I was rooming with for the night. I threw my stuff in the room and we headed out to Epcot. Since I’m a runDisney newbie, I didn’t really know anyone who was going to be at the meet up. There were a couple of ladies from one of my running groups that got into the meet up too, so I would get to meet them for the first time. We headed into the park to find a few people before we could check into the meet up. Once it was time to check in we went out front of Epcot and got our special runDisney meet up shirts and a bag to hold our items while we were on the run portion.
We also received a park ticket for the night and a fastpass for Test Track. A group of us headed over to Test Track first. It was nice to get to ride the new version, since I haven’t rode it in a couple years. After that we headed to Mexico and a few of us grabbed something to eat. A few others ended up joining our group and I met a few nice people that I spent the night talking with.
We headed over to our reserved meeting spot for Illuminations. Before it started, I got to meet up with some of my fellow Princess runners.
We watched Illuminations and then headed over to the American Gardens Theater. There was food, wine, and water for us for the night. We got a welcome and speeches by Darrel Fry, the head of Disney Sports PR, and Faron Kelley, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Disney Sports.
They also did some awesome giveaways including some runDisney bags and a few entries into future runDisney races.
Next up was former Olympic marathoner Jeff Galloway and runDisney’s nutritionist. They had some great tips for running at night and fueling for a race. They were followed up by a Disney sommelier and two executive chefs to tell us about some of the food and beverage offerings at the festival, including the vegan food and wine options they had for us.
Next up was the New Balance group. We go to here from the women’s mile record holder Jenny Simpson and then we got to hear a little bit about the new runDisney New Balance shoes.
Do you spy that new branded runDisney shoe box?
They are letting out bits and pieces of information over the following months before the big reveal. They did let us in on the custom shoe inserts that are race specific and the charms for your shoe laces.
We had a little time for some pictures before we set out on our run, so of course I had to get a picture with the main mouse and Jeff Galloway!
We set out on our run in two groups. There was a run, walk, run group led by Jeff Galloway. I joined that group because how often do you get to run with Jeff?? We did a :20/:20 interval, which was weird being that it was such short intervals, but I never really felt like I was running. I’m going to have to try out those short intervals on a longer run. The other group was a straight run group and I was told they did between 8mm-10mm.
We took a group picture for the run, walk, run group and then a large group picture with everyone.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Source: runDisney[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="351"] Source: runDisney[/caption]
After the pictures, we finished a short run to the front of Spaceship Earth where we had a champagne toast!
What a great way to end a fun night!
As we claimed our bags, we were handed a bag with some goodies from Clif and New Balance.
So if you never knew that they did these special meet ups, it might be worth it to try for one. Such a unique experience and I can’t wait to hopefully get into another one!
Enjoy Your Adventure, Samantha