Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Disney's Inaugural Wine and Dine Half Marathon - October 2010

So, two weeks after my Philadelphia debut, I decided my sister and I needed a Sisters Only Trip.  What better excuse for another trip to the Mouse than the very first Wine and Dine Half Marathon - during the Food and Wine Festival?!  This race was the 1st Night Half Marathon I had ever heard of and was supposed to end in EPCOT with an amazing after party.

Sisters Only Trip
Penny & Me

We were so excited to be on our own (no kids, hubbies, or work responsibilities) . . . we felt like kids again!  We even had fun at the airport and took off from BWI:

Sunshine, at last!

We got a rental car for this trip and got so excited when we came to "the gates"!

This time we stayed at Penny's DVC Home Resort - Saratoga Springs.  We had a room with a great water view, and were greeted with the traditional Mickey towel sculpture!

A view of Downtown Disney from our balcony:

After we got settled and upacked, first thing was first.  We hit the Expo and Packet Pick Up at Wide World of Sports.

At this point we were starving and stopped at the ESPN Cafe to get some lunch:

Funny thing . . . we pretty much just both got soup - and sick from it!  
It made the Expo a little more exciting!

The Expo was once again a shopping extravaganza.  It was smaller than the Walt Disney race in January, but it was good enough to do some wallet damage!

Then, we made our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge to do something very uncharacteristically me.  I attended a WISH Meet.  I met, live and in person, some cyber-friends I chat with on the DIS Boards about the upcoming races. While my sis and I waited for them to arrive, we checked out the resort.  
Nice place!

After we took some "Meet Pics", the gang met for dinner at Boma and discussed what we thought this inaugural Disney race might bring us!

The next day, we did some park touring - but not too much.  I needed to head back to the room to rest and get ready for my evening race!

Penny dropped me off at the buses that brought us to the Start Line and I waited at the staging area.  The race did not start until 10:00 pm.  
Not more than 5 miles into the race, I was exhausted. The heat and recent park touring had caught up with me.  And once again, my knee was giving me major problems throughout much of the race!  I needed to take Motrin and Tylenol and goop on the Bio Freeze as often as possible.  It was beyond painful at some points.  

I remember running in the pitch black at one point in the race (parts of this race were very poorly lit), not sure if I could go on - I think it was around mile 7.  My iPod started to play "Sunshine on My Shoulders" - a song that was special to my dad and me and one that I played at his funeral.  My eyes started to well up and I felt as if I were alone with him for a while.  He gave me the courage to finish this race and helped get me to that hot and humid Finish Line!

My time was not as successful as my last race, but I was okay with it.  

I was so excited to see my sis at the Finish Line, and as always, she was so proud of me!  I waited for about an hour at bag claim.  It was a nightmare.  Hopefully, they will work this fiasco out for next year!
  Penny and I went to the After Party at EPCOT but didn't stay too long.  Runners were getting sick from the smell of the food, Disney sold WAY too many tickets, and I (along with many) was just ready to call it a night.  Penny readily complied as it was nearly 2:00 am!

The next day, I posed for some pics with my BLING!

We went to the Grand Floridian and had some lunch . . . something we would NEVER do with our kids along!

The rest of the trip was filled with park-hopping, character greeting, and meal-eating!

The sisters had an absolutely wonderful time together re-kindling sisterhood!  I can't wait to do it again with just her!

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