Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wine & Dine Half runDisney Meet-Up

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I recall my first runDisney meet-up?

Last Thursday night around seven o'clock, myself and 124 other runDisney fanatics gathered at the entrance of Epcot to start the first ever nighttime meet-up. We were greeted by a table of friendly runDisney staff members, that happily handed out official runDisney tech shirt, a ticket into the park and a fast pass for Test Track to each of us. We had an hour an a half to hang out and play in the park before our special viewing of Illuminations, so off a group of us went to put those fast passes to use!

Laura, Adrienne & Jen ready to ride Test Track!

After meeting up with some more friends we all took a 65 mile-an-hour spin around Test Track and then made our way to our special viewing area behind the Duffy gift shop to watch Illuminations.

As always, the show was spectacular and afterwards everyone just hung around the viewing area talking, taking pictures, tweeting and meeting people only known by their twitter names. It was so good to see old friends, make some new friends and finally put a few faces with names.
 About an hour later, an escort was sent to gather us all up and walk us down to the American Gardens Theater. When we arrived we were offered a wonderful spread of food and vegan wine (who know there was such a thing?). Mickey and Minnie were there to take pictures and we got to hear some great speakers. There was Jeff Galloway and Tara Gidus to give us some great running and nutritional advice. Plus, New Balance reps were on hand to give a sneak peak of the extras that will be coming with the new 2014' runDisney shoes. No, they wouldn't give us a sneak peak of the shoes themselves, but instead they did give-a-ways a few pairs of New Balance shoes. I just happen to be one of the lucky winners and I even scored a new running jacket too!
My favorite mouse!

Tara Gidus & Jeff Galloway

The 2014' redesigned box for the New Balance runDisney shoes.
Olympian Jenny Simpson drawling my name for a new pair of
 New Balance shoes & that cool jacket she is wearing.
Yes, I was a picture happy at this meet-up & this photo proves it!

 After the speakers, we were all separated into two groups to run two laps (about two miles) around a deserted Epcot. I decided I would take Jeff Galloway's run/walk group so I could enjoy all the sights and sounds of the evening and I am so glad that I did. It was really exciting talking with Jeff while we ran around the countries about how he and his wife have been using a 20sec run/ 20sec walk for their marathons. He also said he finds a lot more people can make longer distances with this specific pace. I honestly thought it was a little hard on the knees and shins with all the starting and stopping, especially with the hilly terrain in Epcot but who am I to argue with an Olympian.

I love this picture, the expressions say it all! Although you can't see me,
 I am right there, behind Nina and next to my friend Jen with the blue shoes!

After the run we gathered again at the front of Epcot, took a couple of group pictures and celebrated an awesome night with a toast of champagne given my Faron Kelly, Director of Marketing for runDisney & ESPN WW of Sports.

Members of Team Run Disney

Farwell Toast

 I feel truly blessed to have make it into this one-of-a-kind event and I can only hope there are many more in my future. Have you been to a runDisney meet-up? What is your favorite part?


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