Friday, November 8, 2013

RunDisney’s #WineDineHalfMeetUp

by Meghann on November 8, 2013

Last night I had the honor of attending RunDisney’s FIRST night time TweetUp for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

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I also got to meet Chef Mickey! Score!

In case you’re unfamiliar with the RunDisney TweetUps, they’re FREE TweetUps that usually occur a couple of days before RunDisney Races (though, they are starting to organize them at test locations around the country). RunDisney usually hints about the TweetUp on Twitter in the weeks or days leading up to the event, then – SURPRISE! – open it up to RunDisney fans via the DisneyParks Blog. Once it’s open, the first X amount of runners who respond are in! I LOVE these events because they cater to the hardcore fans and are always full of so many fun surprises.

I was lucky enough to attend the Princess Half Marathon TweetUp back in 2012 and then the Disneyland Half Marathon TweetUp last September. Each TweetUp has had it’s own surprises and twists that keeps this RunDisney fan coming back for more.

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The Wine and Dine Half Marathon TweetUp had one big twist to it – instead of the usual super-early run before the park opens, this TweetUp was at night. I got really excited when I saw this because not only did it mean not waking up ridiculously early, but it also meant I could actually attend since I could drive to Epcot after work. Double score!

So I headed to Disney after work on Thursday to have a little fun with the RunDisney crew.

I arrived early and met up with my Twitter (now real life) friend Megan. We picked up our adorable new RunDisney shirts (LOVE the maroon color) and hopped on Test Track for a quick ride before getting our run on.

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I’ve ridden TestTrack at least a dozen times since the remodel, but I’ve always gone the singles route and skipped the part where you design the vehicle. This time I actually had a chance to go through the design process and I have to say that I think Megan and I created a pretty kick ass pink truck.

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Our goal was to make the truck as ridiculous as possible. Goal – succeeded! Surprisingly it didn’t do to bad either – we placed second out of our vehicle for best overall design. Not bad. Not bad.

We left Test Track and headed to the private viewing area RunDisney had reserved for Illuminations. I’d never seen Illuminations VIP style!

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The show was so much fun to watch from the private viewing area. We were so close we could feel the heat from the fireworks.

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It was also fun to mingle and meet fellow bloggers and RunDisney nerds.

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After Illuminations we were escorted the the American Theater for a photo opt with characters, light snacks, and a little pre-run chardonnay (what? chardonnay doesn’t count as pre-run fuel to you?!).

I also got to reunite with these lovely ladies.

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Monica, Tina, and Julie! I’ve been lucky enough to call these girls friends for as along as I’ve been blogging. So fun to have them all on my home turf!

Once we were settled in the theater, Farron Kelley and Darell Frye of RunDisney kicked the evening off with some raffle prizes (they gave away three free race entries to any Disney race!).

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New Balance even gave us a sneak peek of the 2014 Special Edition RunDisney New Balance shoes. Check out the customized RunDisney box!!

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AND customizable sock liners that feature the RunDisney races.

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Man, New Balance knows their crowd. Disney fans are OBSESSED with limited collectibles and these sock liners are right up their alley. Okay, they’re right up my alley, too. Man, I want special race sock liners

Check out this video for more:

We wrapped up the evening with a little discussion of wine and food (obviously), then it was time to run!

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This TweetUp was a little different than the other ones since you usually start with the run and end with the food and RunDisney peeps. However, it was fun to do it all backwards. It made for a longer TweetUp as well, we didn’t get out of there until after midnight – whoa!

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The group split in two groups – the “fast” group and the run/walk group – then went for two laps around the world, which came to approximately 2 miles. I went with the faster group and worked up a sweat maintaining an 8:30ish pace. This was my first post-Ironman run and everything felt fine. There wasn’t any pain, but I can guarantee I won’t be setting any PRs on the course tomorrow. Not even close.

We ended with a group shot. There were over 125 of us there – the largest RunDisney TweetUp yet!

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And just the faster group. Let’s play “Where’s Meghann”

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And toasted each other with a glass of champagne.

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Loved the champagne touch. They weren’t being light handed with those pours either. Extra love for that.

Thank you RunDisney for another great event! Now I’m EXTRA pumped for race day!!!!

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