Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: The Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2016

Trip report time! I'll be covering my November 2016 trip. You can read all posts in the trip report here. Onward!

Despite my near panic attack the night before, I woke up exactly with my phone wake-up call. But: NEW PANIC ATTACK. Due to the time change, my bedside clock read 4am, the exact time the buses to the start STOP RUNNING. Okay, no worries - the clock needed changing. I could deal with that. What I could NOT deal with was the fact that my phone said 4am too.

Naturally I freaked out, because as a rule I have found phones to take care of themselves where time changes are concerned. Perilously close to a true tailspin of fear, I did the only thing I could do to quiet my mind: call the front desk. I asked the CM who answered for the time, he was like: Uh, it's 3:09? I turned my phone off and on and lo and behold, it said 3:09am too. And just like that, the day was saved.

Now decidedly less shaky, I was able to prep for the race with a light heart. I hit the bus line just after 3:30am and arrived at the ESPN Wide World of Sports just before 4.

There wasn't a ton to do - I made my obligatory bathroom break and then milled around a little. I took up an early position outside of corral D and filed in as soon as I was permitted to take a prime seat at the front. I passed the time by watching some sort of television spot being recorded in corral C.

It was just after 5am when I had a terrible feeling: I needed to pee again. CURSES. I briefly considered just holding it until the end of the race before rejecting this obviously stupid idea in favor of the pragmatic but annoying reality that I needed to give up my front-of-corral position and hit a port-a-potty. The corrals were right next to the start area for this race, so the only option was to go back from whence I came.

Naturally at this late hour it took foreeeeever to power through a bathroom line. Corral A was being sent off as I finished, and as I power-walked back to the corral area I stripped my top layer and affixed my earphones so as to shave off as much prep time as possible. I assumed by that point my corral must've moved up, but as I requested entry from a volunteer he told me I was ahead of my group. Rather than send me back, however, this beautiful man let me wait around a minute for corral D to move forward one spot before letting me in. Good sir, I salute you.

Two corrals later and we were off! Being only one week removed from running a full marathon, I wasn't sure how the race would go, really. Upon starting I found my legs were not what I would call fresh, but they were willing. I plodded along at a steady pace that was nonetheless faster on average than my MCM pace. >.<

Nothing remarkable marked the first few miles of this race. Entering Animal Kingdom and subsequently running through it is of course a major highlight. They had the Tree of Life Awakenings lights going but no animals out that I saw.

Most of the lines for characters were pretty long, but I of course HAD to stop for the Festival of the Lion King stiltwalkers. They were very gracious about my crazed yelling over how much I love their show.

By that point I was out of DAK and running along a rather unremarkable road; this verisimilitude was broken only briefly by a photo op with Meeko, who I haven't seen much in the parks so I figured what the hell. Then more roads, during which it finally dawned on me: oh, right, the Studios isn't part of the course during construction. That's why you're not there yet!

Now for the high point of my race! I was running toward a turn when I saw a Launchpad McQuack character stop. Should I get a picture? I mused. Pat's a Ducktales fan, but there's a line, so...



I have been trying to get a photo with Darkwing Duck for so long. YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.

Riding my Darkwing high, I stopped for a quick picture with Lilo and Stitch.

Then I took off down the road. And guys, I mean took off. The minor fatigue of earlier somehow faded away. Check these split times:

Clearly I meandered through the first half and more before BEASTING the last few miles. My GPS watch clocked mile 13 at 8:54, which is insane for me under the best of circumstances let alone in the final mile of a half I did not taper properly for. And I DON'T KNOW WHY. The magic of Disney? General delirium? One question remains: WHERE WAS THIS DURING THE MARINE CORPS MARATHON, BODY??????

Anyway, I blasted through the final mile or so before sprinting under the finish with a time of 2:15:22, anywhere from 5 to 10 to even 15 minutes faster than I would've expected in a post-marathon context. And that's with a full four character stops, probably costing me a solid three minutes at least. Hell, during my first W&D Half, I had an extra week of recovery time and came in about five minutes slower. I was pretty thrilled.


Next up: day two in the parks. Let's get exhausted!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!


  1. Okay. Same stilt walker dude had the same look in my pic too. I wonder if we had errant zebra poop on our heads....

    1. The regular kind, or the chocolate kind they had for a hot second?