Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wine & Dine Half Marathon -- the West Coast Advantage

Runners from the West Coast tend to have a bit of a disadvantage at most runDisney events at Walt Disney World. It's not the long travel time -- plenty of East Coasters have a long journey. It's the time difference… and the early morning starts.

But West Coasters have a definite advantage when it comes to the Wine & Dine Half Marathon -- my new favorite race at Walt Disney World. If you're running it in 2014, here's three examples of why your internal body clock gives you an advantage over your East Coast running buddies.

1. Pre-race food. Let's face it, it's pretty hard to feel like eating at 3am (midnight, to you), and that dinner you had the previous night was a long time ago. A late lunch and then an early evening snack before the race is a lot easier to stomach. Pun intended. We ate lunch at 2pm, then ate a bagel with cheese at 7:30pm en route to the start.

We ate our lunch at Tony's Town Square, less for the pasta menu than for the inspiration in this photo:

our version … clearly fettuccine rather than spaghetti
2. The start time. A 10pm start may seem late to some folks, but, hey, 7pm is when you probably do some of your training runs, right? I often start a morning run feeling a little achy or a little stiff, and have to work to silence the voice in my head that tells me that I "just don't have it today". But at Wine & Dine 2013, we'd spent the early part of the day walking around the Magic Kingdom and then taken a short nap before going to the start. As a result, my legs felt great -- like I'd been gently warming them up all day. (BTW, I don't recommend a hardcore parks day -- but think of spending a few hours in the parks that morning as your day-before-the-race shakeout run… especially if you spent all day the day before on a plane.

3. The post-race party! I saw people commenting online that it was ridiculous to keep the post-race party open till 4am -- that no one would want to stay out that late after running. I -- and my West-Coast brethren -- beg to differ! That's only 1am to our body clocks, or a not particularly late Saturday night. Once we made our way to the party, at around 12:30am, we refueled with delicious food options from around the festival. As a bonus, all that walking around meant we didn't have any soreness in our legs the next day!

We LOVED running the Wine & Dine Half Marathon last year (read all about it here), and are a teensy bit sad not to be making the trip this year. That's one reason why I'm excited to be participating in this Virtual Blog Hop hosted by Didi at DISTherapy. Reading the other bloggers leading up to the race makes us feel like we're there!

On your way to Wine & Dine? Let us know how you're preparing for the race! Click the image to see all the blog posts:

Virtual Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop


  1. I would love to take part in a Half Marathon at Disney. We did a 5K at the Princess Weekend as I didn't get my entry in for the half marathon in time. Unfortunately, travelling from the UK puts us at a distinct disadvantage for both WDW and DL - we lose 5 hours to WDW and 8 hours for DL - but I do think that an evening race would work better for us as we tend to stay for 2 weeks and do manage to get ourselves acclimatised within a couple of days.

    I'll get there one day, when my son finishes his education and we are able to do a trip during the school year. I'm not allowed holidays during Easter or Summer holidays otherwise I'd do whichever one is on at the end of August.

  2. Ah, but Fi -- for a morning race, then you don't have to be on the shuttles until "8am", the race doesn't start until "11am", etc!

    The rumor mill is buzzing, however, that there's going to be a race at Disneyland Paris next autumn. That's just a hop, skip, and a jump for you!

  3. I never considered the advantages for the West Coasters! That must be why I didn't win the ToT last year. There is no other reasonable explaination. Anyway, love the tips and the Lady and the Tramp photo! :)

  4. I am so looking forward to this! I am hoping to get enough sleep to feel awake so hopefully my body will cooperate.

  5. Tricia, I am absolutely sure that the early morning at the WDW Marathon is why I didn't win. :) Um, no, I don't know why I didn't win W&D last year...

  6. Juliana, I'm so jealous! I'm not sure how much sleep we managed to get during our nap, but even just relaxing by the pool is restful. Have fun in WDW!

  7. Our first WDW race was the Princess Half and I remember thinking that it was disgusting that we were waking up when most of our friends back home hadn't even gone to bed yet, LOL And the time flew by during the ToT after party! Definitely no problem staying out til 4 for these West Coasters! :D

  8. Sunny- you make a solid case for more West Coasters to travel to WDW for their two night races. Likewise,I always feel (slightly) guilty when I run at Disneyland; those early starts don't seem so early to this EST gal. Maybe THAT'S why I chose Avengers and Star Wars this year! ;) Thank you so much for joining this hop- we loved "meeting" you!!

  9. Can't believe it's taken me so long to get back to this post/comment thread. A race at DLP? That would be fab! At least I'd get a Disney race in again before my son finishes his education.