When Being Whipped Is A Good Thing: Wine and Dine 10k Recap

The 10k was the perfect appetizer to the Wine and Dine Half-Marathon weekend. While the 5k was technically the first course, the earliest I could travel to the East Coast was Friday evening, leaving my running to commence Saturday!

I arrived at the expo to pick up my bib on Friday afternoon and a lot had changed from previously attended race weekends. For this race, bib pickup was moved to the upper level of the HP Field House and the whole lower level was dedicated to substantial aisles and walls of weekend merchandise. Here, any runner could find pins to collect, shirts, jackets and numerous “I did it!” items to celebrate awaiting victories.

After collecting my bib and doing a quick walk through, I walked to a neighboring building, the J Center, to collect my race shirts and browse the exhibitors. While the complex seemed busy, Disney’s decision in expo placement provided a stress-free flow.

10k Start Line

Race Morning

With an all yellow garb, red parasol in hand, this Dole Whip was ready to run! I stayed at All-Star Music and was pretty impressed to see a bus waiting to take me to the start! When I ran Princess earlier this year and Wine and Dine last year, I remember waiting in a line just watching buses pass because they were full.

A quick trip to the Magic Kingdom parking lot, had me in my corral at 4 a.m. with an hour and a half until go time! Luckily, the DJ ate his Wheaties and started a lip sync battle between the corrals to see which group of runners could demonstrate the most spunk and ultimately be named, “The Party Corral.”

Lip syncing and dancing to the beat of the music was definitely a fun way to pass the time and get a gentle warm up in before crossing the start line!


I was slightly apprehensive to write this review as so many people stating how much they loved this course, while I felt differently. I had run two other WDW 10k’s and the course was the same which went around Epcot and bordering hotels. Disney went overboard on the whole “going green” recycling act. While this year’s 10k race was a change of scenery, it worked it’s way from the MK parking lot through long stretches of construction. The first character stop were the Three LittlePigs, 2 miles into the course.

Just before mile 4, runners entered Hollywood Studios park, just behind the infamous Tower of Terror. Oswald greeted runners as they pounded down Sunset Boulevard. The short stretch was adorned with eager holiday lights and I could swear I could hear Christmas carols leaking from the speakers. A left turn onto Hollywood Boulevard whisked runners out of the park and onto a narrow stretch leading to the Boardwalk resort.

Dole Whip in her natural habitat

Runners soon hit the wood planks and were greeted by the benevolent Genie dressed in his vacation attire consisting of a Hawaiian shirt and Goofy hat! While he could not grant me any wishes, I pushed towards the back entrance of Epcot.

Runners entered just behind the United Kingdom, with Kenai and Koda from Brother Bear to cheer runners on toward the approaching finish line. I ran past Canada and made a straight shot for Spaceship Earth. The tremendous sphere was still radiating hues of purple and orange before the sun would rob the icon of it’s light.

Finally I was running into the parking lot and across the finish to accept my first medal of the weekend.

Crossing the Finish


After collecting my medal, I drank some water and accepted a snack box from a volunteer. The lack of character stops and course left me undernourished. Four in the course of just over six miles is not very impressive. I have raced Disney 5k’s with more stops! I had heard a lot of people praising this course but the long stretches which were littered with construction is not something I can rave about. The good news was that the 10k race left me enlivened for the half course the next morning, promising three parks and more entertainment.


See ya real soon!

The Runologist

Will Hoof It for Cowbell: Urban Cow Half-Marathon Recap

27 minutes until the start!

Cow bells are commonly seen at races, luring runners toward the finish. The cow bell is a symbol for greatness, as it is not seen on every animal in the herd, but it is reserved for the fastest and strongest animal who will lead the others. As the sound causes a desire to move ahead or run faster than the others, I always welcome the empowering jangle to move my feet just a pinch faster.

I don’t run for bling and this is one of two lies I told myself when registering for the Urban Cow Half Marathon. I saw the blue cow bell medal featured on social media outlets along with a kooky slogan of, “A Race Like No Udder,” so I obviously had to register. How could I deny myself a medal that  symbolizes so much? They also promised a flat and fast course so I told myself to just have fun and not push it, (Lie #2) as I had already ran and PR’ed 19.3 of the 22.4 miles I had run the weekend prior.

Living about two hours south of Sacramento, I booked one night in a downtown hotel and spent Saturday afternoon exploring the city after picking up my bib.


Fleet Feet Sports dedicated hours both Friday and Saturday to participants picking up bibs. Located on one end of a shop and restaurant filled street, I was happy to see ample parking along all sides of their block, as well as a few spots in a lot just steps from their back door.

Pick up was a breeze as I collected my number, beer wristband and shirt. Urban Cow had a small merchandise area, teasing shirts, hats and even cow print compression socks. I also paid a quick trip inside because would I even be a runner if I didn’t gander? The store was offering some discounts for runners on specific brands such as New Balance, which was nice of them!

Race Day

Pre-race Twinning!

I decided to Uber a few miles to the start the morning of the race. The race offered parking at a nearby college with a shuttle but since I did not know the area, I decided not to add any stress to the morning.

Urban Cow had a nice setup in the William Land Regional Park. With vendor tents, a bag check and even bicycle parking for the eco-friendly commuters. Event staff even had rented a cow themed bounce house for the little ones!

The race started promptly after an anthem with two waves releasing the half-marathon runners first, followed by the 5k. Shade from lofty trees provided some cooler temps for the first mile as we weaved through the park.

I felt like Pac Man as I made my way through sinuous neighborhood streets. Local high school volunteers were out every couple miles with water, keeping us well hydrated.

I finally came across the first of many bands on course which was a trio singing country. We made our way through an industrial district making our way towards Downtown Sacramento. Ukes of Earl were playing around the  mile 4 mark, inviting a lovely taste of the tropics as runners went by. I kept checking in with my body and my watch, surprising myself with a comfortable yet decent pace.

Grand arched signs in green and black with gold lettering dictated our nearing arrival in Old Sacramento. An underpass brought us to a street that resembled an old western town. A small collection of stores, saloons and museums present a facade from an older era.

I caught a glimpse of the yellow Sacramento bridge and followed the bike path along the river towards the midway point. Urban Cow offers a two person relay, giving a pair of runners to split the distance of the half. This transition could have been a little better organized to avoid runners stopping right in front of those not participating in the relay exchange.


Continuing another half mile on the path, we entered Miller Park where  a couple more bands would grace our ear drums. At this point in the race,  the tribute rock bands were much appreciated, giving runners an energizing tempo to match our running pace to.

Miles 8-10 parallel the Sacramento River, presenting participants with scenery and a nice breeze. During this portion of the course, Urban Cow provided motivational signs expressing admiration of our feat thus far. Towards the end of this stretch, a Chinese drum band tapped runners in the direction of the finish.

A sharp lefthand turn, takes runners from the bike path onto Riverside Blvd. I saw the tips of trees and knew the park was close, my legs trying to keep pace with my heart. Volunteers and spectators were complimenting my cow hat and encouraging me to hoof it the final two miles.

Finally we turned into William Land Regional and runners just ahead ushered me back along what was the first mile of the course. Finally the finish line was in sight but the road curved into a giant U, still putting some distance between our current location and the tape. With the clock looming, my feet felt light and fast and before I knew it, my arms were up in the air and I was celebrating a five minute PR from the weekend before!

Beyond the Finish

Finish Line Feels! 🙂

I was one with the herd. While everyone around me was “bearing their bell,” I was too, in the sense, “to take the first place.” Of course I did not break the tape, but taking first place in my mind and heart with my shiny new PR!

With my medal clanging, I continued down the finish chute towards water and food. Volunteers passed out mini Lara bars, Clover greek yogurt, chocolate milk, trays of strawberries, and glazed donut holes (I was ecstatic about this last provision).

Race Provisions

I headed to the beer garden to mingle and discover Lagunitas offering two varieties of brew. Volunteers even were filling paper food trays with salty Kettle Chips! This race thought of everything! While I know I’m supposed to replenish my muscles with protein, sometimes my soul is just too loud, so I indulge on carbs and fat.

I traveled to this race thinking it would be a fun, local event. Urban Cow turned out to be one of my favorite events this year! The half was very well organized with quality shirts and medals, providing runners with about ten local bands on course! I HIGHLY recommend this event to anyone who finds themselves in the Sacramento area next fall!

I hope to see you out moo’ving on the roads and trails!

The Runologist