The Casual Runner

CR Mailbag: August 2016

Greetings Casual Runners! We are sad to say it, but summer is winding down way too quickly for our liking. Even though this means that Fall race season is right around the corner, we nonetheless are in no hurry to say goodbye to summer.

Before we turn the page on the calendar and everyone’s thoughts turn to barbecues and long weekends, lets take a moment to open up the Casual Runner Mailbag!

Click here to check out past editions of the Casual Runner Mailbag.


Wine & Dine Recommendations. 

Renee, reached out to us via Facebook:

“Hey Casual Runner! Just wondering if you could maybe provide me with a little info on the post-race party for the wine and dine. Do you find the post part worth the extra $79 for family members to attend? Do you recall what rides are opened during the race? If there are big line ups for them. In the past did you receive a free drink with the purchase of the ticket? Do Epcot still have their nightly firework display? I am asking because I am finding it hard to get information on the event, and I want to make sure it’s something my family wants to take part in before I spend the extra $ to bring them in with me.”


Hi Renee, this is an interesting question, especially given that runDisney completely revamped the schedule and after party for this year’s Wine and Dine race weekend. Going on previous year’s events, we would say the price is absolutely worth it, but this year may be less so.

The party officially runs from 10pm to 1pm (remember, the half marathon is a morning race this year, NOT a night race, we know, we are bummed too). Party ticket holders can enter Epcot as early as 8pm (you will need valid theme park admission if you want to get in earlier), which means you can catch Illuminations (Epcot’s nighttime fireworks) at 9pm that night. After the fireworks, we expect the day guests will be asked to leave the park with the party officially starting at 10pm.

Not every ride will be open during the party, but you can count on signature attractions such as Soarin, Test Track, and Spaceship Earth being open. Those rides will most likely be walk-on with little to no waiting. We are guessing that Frozen will be open, however, keep in mind, that it only has a capacity of 900-1000 guests per hour (when it is working properly), so if that is the only reason you are going, you may end up spending your entire party time waiting in line for just the one attraction.


The big draw of the party will be the Epcot Food and Wine Festival kiosks. In past years, weather permitting, most of the kiosks were open during the party, but the lines are not necessarily shorter than they are on a normal evening during the Festival. All of the food and drinks are available for purchase. In past years each runner received one free beer or wine immediately after finishing the race, but that was when it was a night race. Runners also receive a $15 Disney gift card with their race entry that can be used for, well, really anything, but from our experience tend to be used for adult beverages at the Food & Wine Festival!

There are also special character meet and greets throughout the park that night, but runDisney does not usually announce them in advance, so it is fun to try and hunt them out on your own during the party.

In short (we know, too late!) there is a ton of fun to be had at the party. However, since it will only last 3 hours this year, $79 may be too high of a price to pay for many people as the value may not be there.

Runners are Special People

Mike Reviewed the 2016 Rock Hall Half Marathon in Cleveland, Ohio, and shared how some participants went out of their way to help a fellow runner in need. Jason Markus also ran the Rock Hall Half Marathon and reached out to us via Twitter to share his own experience:

had a fellow runner slap my back when I was chocking on water & not leave til I was OK.Good times, good people.”
We are so glad to hear you are OK Jason, and thank you for sharing your story. While we never want to see runners in distress, we do love how awesome the running community is and how it always rises to the occasion.
 Travel Considerations:

The Washington Post interviewed Mike for its article on Zika warnings and those planning vacations to Florida, and specifically Walt Disney World. This is a subject that we previously addressed, before more information became available.

Michelle ‏reached out to us via Twitter to ask:

“I have been thinking about this a lot as I am registered for the Princess Half Marathon. Is it worth it?”

Hi Michelle. This really is a personal choice. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and make the best decision for you. Drew Harwell at the Washington Post really did a great job of laying out the facts so people can be informed. We can tell you that we continue to travel to Florida, but that is because we decided that it is the right decision for us. Everyone can and should make the best informed decision for them and their family, regardless of the travel destination.


Well, that is going to have to do it for this installment of the Casual Runner mailbag. We have a great lineup of articles coming your way in September, so be sure to stay tuned, and, don’t worry, we will be back next month with another edition of the Casual Runner Mailbag.

Click here to check out past editions of the Casual Runner Mailbag.

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!