The Casual Runner

2016 runDisney Wine & Dine 10k – Inaugural

Event: 2016 runDisney Wine & Dine 10k & Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge 
Event Date: November 6, 2016
Event Location: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida

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The Lumiere Two Course Challenge is a 2-race challenge that takes place at runDisney’s Walt Disney World’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend in Orlando, Florida. We will have full coverage of both events that make up this Challenge AND Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival:

The 2016 runDisney Wine and Dine 10K – Race Review
The 2016 runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon – Race Review
Final Thoughts: The 2016 runDisney Wine and Dine Hits & Misses
2016 runDisney Kids Races
The 2016 runDisney Wine and Dine Weekend Preview & Tips
When Course Design Goes Wrong
Epcot Food & Wine Festival: Best Kiosks
Epcot Food & Wine Festival: Best Desserts
Epcot Food & Wine Festival: Best Entrees
Epcot Food & Wine Festival: Best Drinks

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Why I Decided to Run This Race

So, I am kind of reaching the point where I am over race challenges, or at least I do not need to run so many. BUT when there is a new runDisney race offered, visions of SMOs immediately start dancing in my head. When runDisney announced Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge with an inaugural 10k race, of course I was going to run it!

Shortly after Candace and I decided to take on this new challenge, the whole family decided to join and make a week-long family vacation in Walt Disney World (I’m sure that pleases Walt Disney World marketing).

Getting There/the Lead-up to the Race & The Race Expo

As my nephews were signed up to run the Kids Races on Friday, we decided to commit Thursday (Day 1 of the expo), as a full theme park day, and we were glad that we did. We heard from several readers who said that the opening of the expo was, in a word, insane. Think of Black Friday lines, crowds, and intensity.  To make matters worse, runDisney had to pull ALL of the 10k merchandise as the word “inaugural” was misspelled on them. This disappointed many runners who covet merch from inaugural events.

Check out our tips for surviving a runDisney race expo.

As for the rest of the expo? Well, to be honest, if you have been to one WDW runDisney Expo, you have been to them all. I was not impressed and was all too happy to move on and get to Epcot for some Food & Wine Festival goodness.

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Swag Review

As for the swag, the shirts are nice, they are the standard long-sleeve Champion tech shirts with great event-specific graphics. However, and I have said this before, for those who run several runDisney events each year, the long sleeve shirts are overkill. Short sleeve shirts are much more useful in Florida at most times a year and would be preferable as race swag. If you want to make everyone happy, perhaps switching up and splitting the events within the same race weekend – making events some short sleeve and others long sleeve – would be the way to go. A mix would be nice.

The Gear

Candace commanded, and I complied. For this race, we would COSTUME UP! Candace found a chef’s jacket and hat for me that would allow me to magically transform into Chef Linguine from Ratatouille. To match, Candace ran as Remy himself (she is the star!).

Underneath my costume I wore wearing standard running gear: a Reebok running singlet, Spibelt, iPhone 5S, Brooks headphones, Adidas Climalite Compression Shorts, Steigen running socks, and New Balance Vazee running shoes. I also wore a pair of generic white running shorts recycled from the Donald Duck costume I wore for the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon.

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The Pre-Race

I have been to enough runDisney races to know that I do not enjoy standing around in a parking lot for hours for the race to start. I also know that I love sleep even more. So we slept in a little later than normal, and walked out of our hotel a little after 4 am and walked right onto an awaiting bus – no lines! It was amazing as runDisney race day experiences go.  To make things even better, traffic was also light at this time of morning (most runners were already at the pre-race area).

We sailed through security and met up with some friends to chat. Disney set up a food truck, but as we were standing there, they announced their machines were down and they could only process cash payments. Honestly, who runs races with cash in their pockets? This disappointed a lot of runners who needed their carb and caffeine fixes.

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We heard the call to the corrals and made our way over. We loaded into Corral B, and hung out near the back. Candace and I would be spending the entire race together and Helene said that she would hang with us for a while and just go with the flow. So we were set with our respective race plans.

Along the Course

If you read Candace’s Race Preview, you know that this course was a retread of past WDW 10k events. We started off on Epcot Center Drive and made our way towards the Epcot toll booths. There is not a whole lot to report for the first 5k of this race. The only noteworthy course features is that there are some gentle hills and climbs (by Florida standards) to account for the highway overpasses.  The nice thing about these roads is that we had sufficient room to spread out, so the field was busy, but not overly-crowded where we were. The lack of characters and bathroom stops in the first half of the race are definitely areas of focus where this race can be improved upon. Character stops on this stretch included the Penguins from Mary Poppins and Fineas and Ferb.

We entered a Cast Member entrance near Test Track and made our way around the backstage areas of Epcot, before entering World Showcase between the Norway and China Pavillions. I love running World Showcase in the dark, with the pavilions all aglow and the Illuminations torches burning brightly.  We turned left and made our way over the bridge towards the Outpost.

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There were some characters in World Showcase: Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Genie, with a bonus photo op at France (though there was no PhotoPass photographer for the last one). We exited Epcot from the International Gateway entrance and made our way towards the Epcot Area Resorts and turned left over the bridge heading towards the Boardwalk, where we found the sole character meet and greet, Chip and Dale. We ran past the Yacht and Beach Clubs and made our way past a Sebastian Puppet before entering the backstage area of Epcot behind the UK Pavilion.

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We re-emerged into World Showcase next to the UK Pavillion, which began a stretch of the course that I particularly enjoyed. We ran through Canada and into Future World, treated to a spectacular view of Spaceship Earth in the early morning light. We passed Spaceship Earth on the left, and then ran around the entrance fountain, and again passed Spaceship Earth so we could exit into a backstage area that led to the finisher chute. Now it was a mere .2 mile sprint to the finish!

The SMOpinion

For a 10k, this medal was NICE. In fact, it is bigger and nicer than many half marathon medals I’ve earned. I was very impressed by everything about this medal and lanyard, especially the quality and the intricate designs. Definitely one of the best 10k medals I’ve received.

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The Post-Race Experience

There is not much to report here. We gathered our drinks and runDisney pre-packaged snack boxes, but the hardest part about any race is trying to carry everything. I would definitely prefer bags to boxes, but we made do. Since we did not check any bags, we skipped the rest of the finish area and went straight to the event busses to return to our resort so we could show and head off to spend the day with the family at the Magic Kingdom.

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Playlist Peak

Did I listen to anything? Well, sort of. I had a heavy Disney music mix, but honestly, Candace and I chatted the entire time I hardly noticed my music, especially when we were inside of Epcot and at the few character meet and greets. That being said, I would never run a race without music as, if nothing else, I appreciate having the background noise as silence would drive me nuts.

Looking Back Now

Will I run this race again? Probably not. The course is the same as Minnie’s 10k which is a part of the Dopey Challenge, and I really did not think that there was anything to set this race apart to put on the list of ones that I must run again. That being said, if you are looking for a 10k runDisney race at Walt Disney World, this is, literally, just as good as any other one.

img_0783Enjoy 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!

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