Ok, I realize this recap is 6 weeks late. But better late than never, right?
This October I decided to avoid the advice of countless friends and run the Disney Tower of Terror 10 Miler. Despite horrible reports of a poorly organized race the year before, I decided to go for it. It was my birthday weekend so we decided to make a mini vaca of it.
I was glad we did! We checked in at Caribbean Beach Resort (our favorite moderate Disney hotel) and were happy to find out we had been upgraded to one of the special pirate-themed rooms. Gavin was thrilled!
We headed to the expo, which was very well organized and not crowded at all. What a nice surprise to pick up my race packet, peruse the expo and grab my pin and t-shirt at the runDisney merchandise booth in under 30 minutes. A HUGE improvement from Princess expo!
Saturday morning we took Gavin to his runDisney kids race. For the 1-3 yr olds, it was a 100m dash at the track at Wide World of Sports. We were strongly advised to get there real early. And I kind of regret following that advice. As we arrived the 5k was still underway and it was a little bit of organized chaos. We were packed like sardines in the blazing heat waiting to access the track until the last runner had finished running that portion of the 5k route. Between the crowds, noise and heat… Gavin was overwhelmed. The race itself was cute and he was happy with his very own medal. I don’t know if we’ll be doing it again until he’s a few years older, though.
After a brief nap in the room, I headed to grab a bite to eat and then boarded a bus over to the start line. One of the many perks of staying on Disney property is race transportation for host hotels. It was so nice being able to crawl on a bus and be delivered right to the start line instead of braving traffic and parking. It was also nice to feel no guilt about leaving the hubby and son back at the hotel – they were more than entertained with pools, the playground, food court, movies under the stars, ect.
I met up with my PbRC group and had a great time catching up with everybody and getting our obligatory group photo.
The race itself was great! Not too hot, although a little humid. The course started and ended at Hollywood Studios and ran through ESPN Wide World of Sports. Along the way we encountered special effects lighting, creepy characters and music, spiders hanging from overpasses and lots of Disney villains. It was also fun watching all of the other runners out there; there were some amazing costumes. Great stuff! There was a trail portion of the course around WWOS and although well-lit, the majority of runners slowed to a walk through this narrow section which caused a backlog.
That was the only real congestion I found on the course. runDisney has revamped their corral system so there are smaller corrals in greater numbers. Instead of the normal A-F corrals, I believe this race had A-L. It seemed to work! Kudos to rD for looking for ways to improve the course experience for their runners. And of course, Peggy Sue was a highlight of the race for us. She was waiting with a big smile, hugs, candy and… cold washcloths?!?! Bliss! Thanks, Peggy Sue!!!
I ran with one of my BRF’s, Shelley, and she wasn’t feeling great so we just cruised to the end. Goofy was hanging out there so I had to grab a quick hug before crossing the finish line. Disney magic!
The after party at Hollywood Studios was hopping but we were pretty tired and I knew I would have a 3yr old waking up in a few short hours ready to go to the parks. After grabbing pics with Darth Vader we headed out of there. I caught a bus back to my resort with minimal wait time and was showered and in bed within 30 minutes.
I had a great experience and will likely do it again! The course was a nice change of pace, the characters and entertainment were plentiful and I really do enjoy the night races. Seems to be a vast improvement from reports of last year! And at the end of the day, a “bad” run at Disney is better than a good run almost anywhere else!
Next up, Wine & Dine….