Running, eating and sipping wine – the folks at runDisney surely had me in mind when they came up with the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Ahem. The event takes place this weekend, November 9-10, 2012. It’s the last weekend of the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase.
Entry for this night race includes access to the exclusive after-hours party at the festival which features nearly 30 international food and beverage marketplaces; signature dining experiences with celebrated chefs; Party for the Senses—a spectacular tribute to the sensory arts; culinary demonstrations and wine seminars; The Eat to the Beat concert series, with nightly musical performances from popular hit-makers; and much more.
I haven’t done this race yet (I’m planning on it for next year), but I did have the opportunity to visit the Food & Wine Festival two weeks ago during a trip to check out the new Fantasyland (more on that fun in an upcoming post). Here are three tips for those planning to run and get your wine & dine on afterwards:
Check a Change of Clothes. Once you finish the race you’ll already be at Epcot so there’s no need to go back to your resort and change. Bring some baby wipes and a fresh shirt so you can join the fun quickly. As I’m writing this the forecast for the race is 75/64 (F) but keep in mind it’s nighttime and you might want a light jacket after cooling down from your run.
Use and Reload Your Disney Gift Card. Runners get a $10 Disney gift card with their race registration which you can wear on your wrist and reload at any of the vendors for easy wine & dining. Each time you use the card your receipt will let you know how much you have left so you can plan accordingly. I went through about $45 dollars in one evening by myself – I ate well, sipped a few drinks, and even had dessert. The prices are reasonable. They also have Market Place Discovery Passports available for you to keep track of what you ate and drank. Each vendor has a unique stamp so you can hang on to it as a fun keepsake.
Pace Yourself. I’m not talking about the race, I’m talking about eating your way around the world. There’s an awesome amount of food and drink for you to indulge in – you can’t possibly have everything. Look at the guide so you know what’s available and map out what you’d like to try first. Think about tasting with friends so you get a little more variety. Eat, stroll and take your time. The event is open until 4 a.m.
My Favorites – the Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun from China made me smile; and the Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush (Vodka Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice) in France was simply delightful.
Until next time, I’m off and running …
Lorraine Robertson is an author, nationally published freelance writer and creator of the site RunWifeyRun.com. After two marathons, ten half marathons and countless smaller races she’s still packing her running shoes and looking for her next great race. Lorraine was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Great Cruises: Why Not The Mediterranean?” television show and her life-changing wedding appeared on TLC’s “A Wedding Story.” She lives in the metro Atlanta area with her husband, Napoleon and their kids, Miles, 11, and Milan, 9.
Disclosure: My travel and accommodations to Walt Disney World Resort and the festival were a part of a media trip. As always my thoughts and opinions are all my own.
Photo Credit: The wine and the running pictures are courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort and runDisney respectively.