The 2022 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Digital Event Guide has been published and the course maps that everyone has been clamoring for have finally been unveiled. My initial reaction was “Wow, that’s a whole lot of highway.” I am trusting that our event planners have been hard at work to keep their promise that “every mile is magic.” We’re going to need some magic between miles 6.5 and 11 on the half marathon course. It looks like 5-6 miles of desert to me, right about when we’re all going to hit the wall.
Unfortunately the maps published aren’t high-res, and they don’t blow up very well. The digital event guide does have a link to an interactive map, which might be more useful for study. I’ve scrutinized them, and I’ll try to describe what I am seeing for those of you who don’t have the eyesight or the patience to zoom in to a grainy picture.
Our 5K course starts at the back of the Epcot parking lot and wraps around the parking lot to the access road that orbits the park. We hit mile 1 just before entering the World Showcase near Mexico (sorry, too early for margaritas). Then it’s a lap around the World Showcase with a quick jog behind the International Gateway and the back side of United Kingdom.
We return to the lagoon to complete the loop and head into Future World. The we will take a right at the big pit and head into World Discovery and exit the park between Test Track and Mission Space. We run through no-mans-land behind
The Wonders of Life and The Wonders of Xandar (Cosmic Rewind) to finish at the edge of the parking lot. I’m not sure what’s going on with that finish line experience. Perhaps it’s due to construction, but it feels rather anti climactic not to finish under Spaceship Earth.
For the 10K, we will head out from the parking lot in the opposite direction, do a funny curleyque and run on the highway for a few miles till we get to the back entrance of the Hollywood Studios. We’ll head down Sunset Boulevard past the Tower of Terror and then a left to head out the main entrance. From there we take a left along the waterway towards the Boardwalk and finally to the International Gateway a to finish in Epcot pretty much the same as the 5K course.
Here’s where I may get a little whiney. For the Half Marathon we start somewhere outside the parking lot (which I imagine means roads will be closed earlier – get there early!) There’s a bit of back-and-forth around the parking lot. Its past mile 3 before we even get into the park. After a swing aroung the lagoon, with a jog behind France, we exit and head through the Boardwalk towards the Studios.
We get to see just about everything in the Studios, including Galaxy’s Edge, before exiting to possibly the longest 6 miles in history. After the euphoria of the Studios, we face nothing to look forward to, at about the time it starts getting really tough physically and mentally.
If we survive this torture, it’s back through the parking lot to Future World, around the pit and the same basic finish as the other races.
I’m sure it will all seem much more entertaining when we’re in the moment, and that beautiful Half Marathon and possible Challenge medal will take the pain away when we cross the finish line. Here’s to some magical races, everyone!