On Thursday night after work, I headed over to Epcot for the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet Up. My plan was to get there around 7 pm but I got caught up at work and didn’t arrive until almost 8 pm. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to go on any of the rides or wander around the park. I headed straight over the Test Track to meet up with Megan and Meghann, who were making a crazy car on the ride.
Around 8:30, we headed over to the World Showcase to watch the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show. The Meet Up event kicked off with a viewing of this spectacular show of fireworks, music, lights, and fire!
Once the show was over, we headed over to the theater at the American Pavilion for the next part of the Meet Up. We checked our stuff and grabbed some food. runDisney had a delicious spread of fruits, veggies, and cookies laid out for everyone. They also had the Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice from the Terra Marketplace, which was paired with The Vegan Vine Chardonnay. Once I had something in my stomach, I was ready to see what else was in store for the evening. First, I needed to grab a picture with Chef Mickey!
A little bit later, it was time to here from the guest speakers. Darrell Fry and Faron Kelley from runDisney started the evening with a warm welcome and a brief chat about what runDisney is all about. One of the biggest reasons why I love runDisney so much is that the events are really geared towards everyone. According to Faron, runDisney is all about making every single one of your miles magical!
Then we heard from Tara Gidus, the official runDisney nutritionist, and Jeff Galloway, the official runDisney training training consultant. I always love hearing from these two because they provide great tips that I forget. Jeff recommended saving as much as possible during the first 7 miles so that you can finish the race strong. (That is certainly my goal for the race!)
Next we heard from the Yelitza, a sommelier with Disney, and Chefs Charles and Norman. The chefs talked to us about some of the different offerings available at the International Food and Wine Festival this year. They also made a few recommendations about what to eat after the race. (I may grabbing a piece of the Scottish Salmon after the race. Just saying.) Yelitza told us a little bit about some of the wine pairings at the festival and some of the health benefits of wine. Apparently, one glass of wine a day can help reduce body mass, narrow your waistline, and reduce abdominal fat. Of course, one glass of wine is only 5 ounces!
Then it was time to hear from the folks at New Balance, the official running shoe of runDisney. In January, runDisney and New Balance introduced the very first limited edition runDisney running shoe. These shoes have been a HUGE hit at every single runDisney expo this year. This weekend is the very last chance to get these shoes because they will be introducing the 2014 version at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. We got to see a sneak peek of one the videos being released about the new shoes. (Here is a link to the video that was posted on the runDisney Facebook page.)
The folks at New Balance also gave us some tips about running at night. They showcased some of their new products that are perfect for night time activities. These products included shoes and jackets that have three levels of visibility (the bright color of the fabric, reflective strips, and dots in the fabric that glow in the dark).
Once the speakers were finished, we took a short break and then it was time for the running portion of the meet up. The group was divided into two groups, a run-walk-run group and a run group. I decided to run with the run-walk-run group because that pace is closer to my average pace. We headed off for a short fun run around the Epcot. I love running through the parks without the crowds. There is something so beautiful and peaceful about it.
We finished the run with some group photos in front of Spaceship Earth. Can you find me in the photos? The evening was finished with a midnight toast at the front of the Epcot.
This meet up was such a fun event! I can’t wait to run the race and I can’t wait to see what runDisney has in store for 2014!