Disney Wine & Dine Weekend 2017 Part 1: Did This Fireside Girl Earn Her Fall Feast 5k Patch?

"Hey Phineas! Whatcha dddooiinn??"

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I'm running the Run Disney Fall Feast 5k today! Are you in?

HELL YEAH!!

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How amazing is the Fireside Girl handbook the wife made? It is made of foam and has a cut out inside the book to hold my GU or phone! She is a genius.

Since the wife wasn't running the 5k, I set out solo at 3:30am from our Pop Century room for the buses.

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The course is all around the Animal Kingdom, which I thoroughly enjoyed in 2016. I was a little sad when I heard the 5k, which used to go by Mickey's Holiday 5k, was getting a theme overhaul to that of "Fall Feast," but I loved Mickey and friends in their farm attire.

Once the buses arrived at the Animal Kingdom parking lot, I headed straight to the character lines. To keep people occupied before the corrals open, Run Disney has 4 character spots (Mickey/Minnie, Donald, Chip/Dale, Goofy) and a live DJ to get our dance on. :) Who doesn't like a little macarena at 4am?

Once the corrals opened at 4:30am, I headed over (once done with my pic with Goofy) to try to scoot myself up in Corral A so I could spot my friend Carissa on the MC stage. Well I must've been slow because the corral was packed when I got there. Thankfully I ran into my friend Ian so I slid through the crowd to move up with him.

As I was stretching in the corral, Carissa came up and actually interviewed me on the big screen!! How fun is that? I was shocked. She gave the wife (who was sleeping in the hotel room) a nice shoutout about her costume making skills and asked my advice for first time racers.

Horrible pic, but it was a cool experience!

Horrible pic, but it was a cool experience!

Thanks again Carissa for the cool opportunity!

I started chatting with the folks around me and one of the women actually followed my blog, which was awesome. :) She was running the race with her grandson, who was running his second 5k. 

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Now the 5ks for Disney are untimed. I don't mind, but some people in my corral were not aware and upset over it. Since I run at Disney for the fun and the pics, I am okay keeping my stats on my Garmin, but I can understand with how much folks spend and if this was my first 5k I'd be sad to not have an official time. My understanding is the 5ks are geared towards families and the fun of the event rather than the time. Now they do time the 5k during marathon weekend to keep track of the #DopeyChallenge participants.

After the National Anthem and the wheelchair athletes were off, it was our time. Rudy set us off with his usual "Runners... Set... Go!" And off we went into the darkness of the Animal Kingdom parking lot. :P 

Now typically the first mile of a Disney race lacks a character stop so it's usually my fastest mile of the race. Don't worry this race was no different. I was sort of bummed to not see Rafiki outside of the Animal Kingdom entrance, but I wonder if he got there after me. Luckily I spotted a character stop just AFTER the mile 1 marker.

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It is fun to see I started about 15 seconds after the race officially started. :) 

Mile 1: 7:41

As I mentioned there was a stop just after the Mile 1 marker. Of course I stopped. I stop for every single character stop during a Disney race... and sometimes I make my own too. ;)

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I should apologize now for my "I am so excited my eyes are bulging" face in all of these pics.

I was a tad bummed to not see a Disney photog in front of the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom. :(

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My iPhone cannot do the display on the tree justice. I snapped a quick pic and continued on to the next character stop. I was stoked to be heading towards the new Pandora world of Animal Kingdom. This would be my first time seeing Pandora (Avatar) addition.

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Can we tell how humid it was by the sweat dripping down my face? Haha.

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Sometimes I hate running alone because I lack a built in photographer, but luckily in Disney cast members are happy to help snap random photos when you ask. :) 

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Mile 2: 9:26

As we made our way to Dinoland, I took a moment to snap a quick video of the Rivers of Light scene since a regular photo couldn't do it justice.

Then I met my BFF again... Meeko from Pocahontas!

I mean aren't we meant to be a team?

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It was hard to part from my BFF, but I knew there had to be another stop before we left Animal Kingdom... and I was right.

I do need to prove to everyone that I do run from one fun pic stop to another!

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Yes I know I am the biggest dork in most of these pics. But I think it really showcases how much fun I have during Run Disney races.

Unfortunately during the final mile it is time to leave Animal Kingdom, BUT we get to see some of the back lot fun.

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This is an out and back where last year they blasted Christmas music, but since this is no longer a "Christmas" race it was just some former Disney star music. :(

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It was nice running into my friend Richard (@blingwhore) during this part of the race so we could swap what the rest of our weekend costumes would look like. ;)

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Mile 3: 10:00

Can you tell that I was ready to hit the Finish?

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Well I had a Finish Line leap in me!

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FINAL TIME: 28:41 (9:15 min/mile pace)

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As soon as I crossed the Finish, I grabbed pics because hey I get them free with my Annual Pass so why not!

Then I was back off to the Character pics for more Mickey and friends fun...

I think it is easy to see I earned my Fall Feast 5k patch and had a TON of fun along the way!

This was the best way to kick off Wine and Dine race weekend. Join me next installment when we get a little spooky and stretchy during the Wine and Dine 10k...