Wine and Dine’s Official runDisney Meet Up

So as most of you know, I like Disney stuff. And, I like running. And, I like running Disney. So imagine how excited I got when I was one of the lucky people to attend one of runDisney‘s official race weekend meet ups. Let me explain really quick. Each race weekend that runDisney puts on, not only consists of the various races, but something a little more special. Something a little more intimate. They are called meet ups. A select few individuals are afforded the opportunity to meet, socialize, and RUN with the people who make runDisney happen. I got to be one of these people for the 2013 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. I may have been more excited about this meet up than I was about the race… Okay maybe not quite that excited, but it was really close. Here’s what I knew about these meet ups prior to getting lucky enough to be apart of this one:

-You get to go on a short run with a small group of passionate people along side the top names of runDisney like the one and only, Jeff Galloway.
-You get the experience of first hand interaction with professional runners, athletes, health and fitness experts, etc. with the opportunity to ask
question on the subject matter.
-Basically, it’s a VIP treatment to the race weekend.

This meet up began at 7am on Friday morning. We had to be there by 630, which meant I had to be awake around 545. Not too bad right? Well it wouldn’t have been, but we didn’t arrive at our hotel until around 1am and I didn’t get to sleep until after 2. Still, it’s going to be worth it. And it was. Upon arriving at Epcot, we all gathered just outside the turnstiles and waited anxiously. We were all given official runDisney shirts and we getting ready to run. During the wait, I “officially” met a few people who I have been communicating with for a while, some almost two years. Tony, Stacey, Katherine, Jennifer, and Marci, just to name a few. It was really nice to put faces to facebook pages and twitter accounts.

Tony and me

After a few words from the runDisney folks we were off on our run. We split into two groups, one was led by Anton Van Zyl (the two-time defending winner of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon), and the other was led by the legendary Jeff Galloway. With no offense to Anton, I chose to run with the Galloway group. We did the famous, “run/walk/run” Galloway method for one and a half laps around World Showcase. It just might have been my favorite easy morning run ever. Okay, it was definitely my favorite easy morning run ever.

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Photo courtesy of runDisney

After the run, we all met in “Germany” for some breakfast (most importantly to me was the coffee) and to listen to some really good advice from “the experts.” Jeff Galloway once again provided some great encouragement and insight on finishing the race, Anton gave us great ideas on how to stay motivated and enjoy the experience. And the runDisney gave us something new. Tara Gidus, a sports Dietitian spoke with us at length about the certain types of foods to eat when preparing for long runs, and how to plan our diets around our training.  It was some amazing information that I will certainly use.  I like to eat.  Especially when I’m training.  But I learned a few tips to help give me that extra boost.

I’m sure you’re thinking that this an awesome event and you want to try to be a part of the next one.  We’ll get to that later.  Later, because, this meet up is not over.  We got to meet The Sports Chef.  Chef Steff is awesome.  He’s a former Marine, sports lover, and chef…like I said, he’s awesome.  He made us what he called “Spaghetti Pie.”  I lost the recipe card we got, but this stuff was good!

Tara Gidus, Chef Steff, and Chef Mickey

This whole experience is something that I will never ever forget. It pretty much ruined easy early morning runs for me. I can’t think of a more relaxing run that my favorite Disney park. Now you may be thinking, “How does one get to participate in one of these meet ups?” I’m not going to share any secrets, but it’s actually very simple. My first piece of advice, get into running. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore style of running, but at least do a little bit of research on the sport, its major events, etc. Secondly, log onto twitter and follow @runDisney, and get on facebook and “Like” runDisney.

Me and Jeff Galloway

I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to take part in this meet up. I’m glad I got to meet new friends and share my love of running and Disney. I hope to see you all, and some new faces, at the next runDisney event.

Full race recap and more pics coming soon!

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About Mickey

Adventurer, runner, travel, thrill seeker...I'm a pretty cool guy.

Posted on November 14, 2012, in Disney, runDisney, running, sports, travel, Uncategorized, Wine and Dine Half Marathon and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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