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Recap of the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon MeetUp in Epcot

chef mickey amanda tinney rundisney wine dine half meetupIt’s been a whirlwind of a weekend out at Walt Disney World for the 2012 Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I have lots of fun stuff to share with you and I’m gonna start with a recap of the Wine and Dine Half MeetUp that took place in Epcot this past Friday.

Darrell Fry put the call out on the Disney Parks Blog earlier this month and 40ish applicants were selected for an exclusive 2 mile run thru Epcot before park opening.  I was there to cover the event and was able to make the run around the park with my favorite runner girl, Sarah of RunningatDisney.com Go check out her site! Wait! Read this post first.

and it goes like this…

This past Friday, Sarah and I had a ‘butt-crack-of-dawn’ alarm set in our room at the Disney Boardwalk Inn.  We hopped out of bed, threw on our running gear and made our way over to the Epcot parking lot just as the sun was starting to come up.

Epcot sunrise disney

We made our way from the parking lot to the bag check staging area where everyone started checking in.  The group was outfitted with matching runDisney tech shirts so we could all get our swag on in the group photos and many of us took turns recognizing each other from Facebook and Twitter.

epcot wine dine half meetup rundisney

Apparently I “Will Call” so call me maybe…

sarah mcgovern amanda tinney disney rundisney

RunningatDisney and I

Here’s some of the team that keeps runDisney going strong! If it weren’t for these guys, opportunities like these would be non-existent! Show em some Disney love by giving them a follow over on Facebook and Twitter.

disney rundisney team at epcot

Our challenge that morning was to make it from the front of the park, thru Future World and then loop around World Showcase 1.5 times ending in Germany without stopping for schoolbread…or Tipsy Ducks in Love… or a shot from La Cava.

Runners had to pick their poison. A Run-Walk-Run with the “Official runDisney training Consultant” Jeff Galloway or a Run-Run-Run with the ‘now’ three-time-winner of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Anton Van Zyl. I chose the Run-Walk-Run method cause it was with an official and I officially wanted to make this run official. If you’re not familiar with it, check out the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run Training Tips at runDisney.

Look at us all on the move! Running like it’s “rope drop”.

epcot rundisney wine and dine meetup tweetup

We ran into the big cheese near the Fountain of Nations. He must have been out for his morning run as well and was gracious enough to stop for a picture with us!

mickey mouse sports disney rundisney epcot

Daniel Wanderman gives Mickey a high four!

Daniel Wanderman mickey rundisney epcot

The walk portion of the Run-Walk-Run or as the Disney Nerd in me likes to call it… Truck-on-Stage. See… this is another reason you fellow Disney nerds need to come down to WDW for a runDisney race… never-before-seen and backstage access!

epcot disney china wine dine rundisney meetup

I also have to throw in this “official” Disney photo taken by an official Yellow Shoes Disney photographer to make it official.

wine dine marathon meetup epcot china disney amanda tinney

Here’s a shot of the Run-Run-Run’ners in Mexico…

rundisney meetup epcot

Right to Left (RunningwithSass, Anton Van Zyl, Eat Sleep Run Disney and “nice Twitter friend” that I can’t remember the name of because I’m such a doofus)

Jeff Galloway Group epcot wine dine half meetup

After both pace groups had arrived safely in Germany Bob Hitchcock told us “we didn’t have to go home but we couldn’t stay here.”

bob hitchcock rundisney disney germany

I jest. He invited us in to the Biergarten restaurant for more surprises!

But first….a #TeamRunDisney Facebook Group photo. #Represent

Team Run Disney Group epcot wine dine half meetup

Once the group had grabbed a muffin and beverage and seated themselves we were treated to a few expert talks. My fave was the talk given by reigning Wine and Dine Half Marathon Winner Anton Van Zyl who told us that he likes to eat soda and potato chips in the latter part of a marathon.

Anton Van Zyl disney wine dine meetup champion epcot

His talk was followed up by official runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus, who dropped some runner foodie knowledge on us.  You can see “Tara’s Top 20 Nutrition Tips” over on my other blog iGetSkinny.com

official runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus chef mickey

That’s Tara above with Chef Mickey and Chef Steff the “Sports Chef”. He made us some kicked up spaghetti pie!

spaghetti pie from the sports chef

More treats were given out at the end of the MeetUp which included a runDisney sports bottle and a 1-Day ticket to return to Epcot to experience the International Food and Wine Festival, along with a $10 Disney Gift Card!  What? Such VIP service…I didn’t want this MeetUp to end!!!  But like all good things…it did. Here’s our group shot before leaving the park and heading over to Kouzzina’s for breakfast…

2012 disney wine dine meetup epcot rundisney

Were you at the runDisney Wine and Dine Half MeetUp? If you were leave me a link to your recap or photos in the comments section. I’d love your take on it! If you weren’t at the MeetUp, does this sound like something you’d like to do? Where would you like to see the next MeetUp held?

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