Running with the Mouse

About the Column

Disney travel experts agree on one thing: relax, take your time. But when it comes to Disney's marathons and other running events, they're wrong. In a race, you can't take your time. And you also can't show up with just your two feet expecting to win - or even finish! Preparing for a Disney marathon requires discipline, hard work, and good advice. We can't help you with the discipline or the hard work. But Robert Mathis, owner of DisneyRunning and one of the few people designated by Disney as 'Perfectly Goofy' for his frequent participation in their running events (since 1996!), has lots of good advice. So relax, take your time, and read his weekly column.

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FROM: Running with the Mouse Published As Needed

WDW Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Robert goes over some last minute tips and tricks before running the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon this weekend.



Is it time to party yet? For those of you doing the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Night Half Marathon, it almost is! That includes me!

We are now counting down to the final week before the race. You probably are checking your packing list making sure you don’t forget any of your running gear. You are probably starting to get a little nervous about the race. This is an unusual race in that it starts when some people might be heading to bed at 10 pm. You have been cutting back on your mileage as you try to be as strong as possible for the race. Some of us have already started to do a slow recovery from the Disneyland Half Marathon a few weeks earlier.

Over 10,000 of our fellow runners and walkers are about to make the trek during Saturday and possibly into Sunday morning. The fun thing is that there is a post race party in Epcot featuring food booths from the International Food and Wine Festival. Runners can enjoy the great food and beverages while discussing the adventure they just completed. The entry into the party is free to the runners but $59-$79(depending on when you purchase) for friends and family members. Besides the entry, everyone gets a $10 gift card to use towards you purchase of items at the party. There are also a limited number of attractions open throughout Epcot.

This night race brings up plenty of challenges along the way before you start the race.


Here are a few suggestions on how to get ready for this race:

1. Transportation: This race is unlike the January Disney World Marathon Weekend in that Disney only offers transportation to the Race Expo and the start of the race from a select Disney World Resorts. If you aren’t staying there, you will have to set up alternatives if you are without a car (or don’t want to drive). You can get a taxi to either for around $10-$15 from all resorts. Just check in with the front desk of the resort. If you are driving, you can drive to Epcot and Disney will shuttle you to the starting line. Parking is free after 7:00 pm.

2. Pick up your packet early on day before the race. This will allow you to get first choice of great one of a kind race merchandise. These items are limited and sell out quickly. Once you get this done, you can get back to the having fun in the parks!

3. Make sure you save energy to stay up late into the next morning. Remember that the party continues until 3 am. Don't over-exert yourself at the parks before the race. This is especially true with this race as it is hard to do with the race being at the end of the day at Disney World. Standing in lines and walking can take a toll on your legs and performance. Try to do attractions where you can sit and use Fast Passes whenever you can.

4. Pre-race meal: I recommend eating a good sized breakfast. This will give you a good base of energy for the long day and night ahead. Also make sure you eat a good light and simple meal early in the afternoon. A good protein meal will give you the energy to help fuel you the night and into the early hours of the next morning. The good thing being at Disney is there are many restaurants to choose from.

5. Lay your running clothes out the morning of the race. Reduce stress by preparing in advance everything you need for the race. This will allow you to have breakfast and do some parks before coming back to your room later in the evening to get ready for the race.

6. Put your B-Tag timing chip (attached to your bib) on your clothes race morning. Be careful not to fold your bib and damage the bars of the B-Tag! You want to make sure you are an "official finisher"!

7. If you're at the race alone, use bag check so you'll have some dry clothes to wear after the race. It is going to be hot and you will want to change out of your running clothes and get into something you can wear at the post race party!

8. Stay calm and enjoy the experience. There are not too many night races around so have fun with it. Keep your pace under control as it is easy to get caught up in with the crowd to start running faster than you intend.

9. Stay hydrated. It will be warm and humid so make sure you drink lots of water and some PowerAde, too. It will improve your performance and make you feel better!

10. Arrive early (like you have a say in that)! Leave time to relax and visit the porta-potties before heading to the corrals!

11. Bring a camera even though it is a night race! During the race, characters will be available for photographs in the parks. There may be some lines, but the time lost is worth the priceless memories!

12. After the race, make sure you wear your medal (or two medals if you are a Coast to Coast Finisher) proudly in the parks the next day! You earned it and people will congratulate you all day!

Have a great race! Maybe I will see you in the corrals or on the course!

2011 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Map