If you ran the Wine and Dine Half Marathon last year, you know that this race was a nightmare in 2014.
Friends lovingly call it the Splash and Dash.
Heavy rains and cold weather created a mess of a race for the runDisney participants last year.
This year? Things weren’t much better.
Lightning forced a race delay and runners evacuated to the Wide World of Sports buildings.
Pictures from friends at the scene:
Even the Balloon Ladies were stuck inside!
Hang in there, ladies.
After some time and some social media reports from those on the scene, the official word was sent out by runDisney.
Okay- so they delayed due to weather. Runners can appreciate the concern for safety. Absolutely.
But they also shortened the course due to the delay.
This is NOT making some runners happy.
I’ve seen athletes share their frustrations that they did not pay $200 for a 10K. If it’s safe enough for a 10K, it should be safe enough to plan for the half logically.
Some are expressing the concern that they planned on using the half distance as a proof of time race.
And the coast to coast runners are still eligible- even though they are not finishing a half or longer race.
Just a lot of frustration over the situation.
ETA 11.8.15: There are a lot of thoughts on what went down. The prevailing sentiment is that the roads had to be opened within a particular time per contracts that Disney was bound to uphold. This meant the race officials had to run a short course or do hard sweeps under the 16-minute pace. The other point to consider was the Animal Kingdom Park. It saw a severe storm roll through, leaving the already slippery pathways slick with rain and debris. Volunteers stationed in the park stated they were slipping just walking around. Imagine 13,000 runners heading through there? Might have been in the best interest of safety for everyone to cancel that part of the race.
This email was sent to the runDisney participants.
Thank you for participating in the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. We heard that some of our runners had questions about the race, which was delayed and shortened because of inclement weather and lightning in the area. As a race team, we had been monitoring weather conditions continuously on Saturday and due to conditions in the area we modified the course for the safety of our runners and spectators.
We appreciate the effort you put into preparing for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. While we are equally disappointed in not being able to provide a complete half marathon experience, we are thankful our runners were able to complete the modified course safely.
All Coast to Coast Challenge participants are eligible to receive their medals, and all runners’ proof of time will count toward a 10K distance option for other runDisney events.
Our runDisney team has a passion for putting on magical running events where participants can make their dreams come true and achieve their personal best. While weather is out of our control, we take necessary precautions to keep our runners and Guests safe. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you and hope you will consider running with us again.
SVP, ESPN Wide World of Sports and Disney Springs
runDisney Race Director, East Coast
I’m curious how you feel about the issue. Is there a perfect solution when the weather goes bad that you’d like to see? Do you think runDisney handled this in the best way possible?
Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguilttravel.com and noguiltfangirl.com