Monday, October 14, 2013

Tower of Terror 10-Miler 2013: Expo & Pre-Race Recap

If you missed part 1 (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party) of my TOT 10-Miler weekend recap, you can find it HERE.

The morning of the race arrived, and Robert and I headed off to the expo to meet up with Stacy around 11 AM. I was very excited as the expo took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, and it would be my first time to see it. Also after attending the expo here, I can see why some people complained about the Princess half expo being at Coronado Springs earlier this year – the ESPN complex has so much more room, and the layout of the vendors made more sense.

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There were so many companies here selling cute running apparel and accessories – it was difficult not to use up all our spending money! However, I think we did a good job; I ended up getting a shirt from One More Mile (it says “Forget the Glass Slippers. This Princess Wears Running Shoes.”), a second mini-medal for my runDisney Mickey Vinylmation, and a sparkly pinkish-purple sweaty band! Robert got a pair of shorts and a tech shirt from the runDisney official merchandise booth. Side note – I looked for the new runDisney sweaty bands at their expo booth, but did not see it. However, when we went to Downtown Disney for lunch afterwards, I found them on sale at the Team Mickey Athletic store, so of course I bought one!

After the expo, we went to Downtown Disney and ate lunch at the Earl of Sandwich since none of us had been there before, and it seemed like a good idea for a light lunch. The food was delicious, but it was much more filling than we had anticipated! We decided to walk around for a little bit and explored a few shops, then headed back to the hotel. After relaxing and attempting to take a short nap until about 6 PM, Robert and I started stretching and put on our costumes.

We were ready and down by the buses at 7 PM, where I realized I had not thought about the logistics of boarding a bus with wings. I ended up walking on the bus sideways, and sitting rather carefully with limited room for movement haha!20131005_162813

We made it quickly to the pre-race area, where the party had already started! There were so many photo ops, a DJ, dance area, and a huge crowd of 12,000+ runners plus spectators. My favorite part was seeing everybody’s costumes – so much creativity! I think it may be one of the biggest things I love about runDisney events! Also, I only saw about 3 other Buzz Lightyear costumes in this crowd, which made me feel kind of unique!

We signed the guest book photo board, took a couple pictures, then entered the DJ dance party, which was a fantastic warm-up!

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The DJ played a bunch of songs with choreographed dances, and demonstrated them on stage for everyone to follow him. I was a little worried about running a night race since I have never run so late before, but there was so much energy in the crowd, it did not feel late at all. I think we were all running on lots of excitement and adrenaline!

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By 9:15 PM, we were all in our corrals, and by 9:30-9:40 PM, the officials led us, corral by corral, to the race start (about a 10 minute walk). As usual, they had pre-race entertainment, and everyone in the corrals was chatting and making new friends. I ended up meeting a very cool lady who serves in the U.S. Air Force, and was running for the Wounded Warrior Project.

In the blink of an eye, it was 10 PM, and time to start the race! The way they started each corral for the 10-miler was SO COOL. They would play the theme for The Twilight Zone, then shoot off fireworks, PLUS they had laser lights and a little bit of fog to run through!

I also want to point out that the corrals were sent off two minutes apart, rather than the usual 5 minutes. I thought this was a great idea, especially with the addition of more corrals; nobody wants to wait such a long time to get their race started. Great improvement, runDisney!

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The wheelchair division began first, followed by Corral A, and then the fireworks went off for Corral B, and I was off – my first night race began!

QOTD: What do you love most about race expos?

4 comments

  1. I love learning about cool products and discovering new races! Looks like a blast Lauren! I especially like the pic of you two signing the guest book!

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    1. Thanks!! And those are definitely some of the coolest parts of expos!

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  2. I cannot believe I've never been to an expo, but most of the races I have run have been small and don't have them. PHM will be my first and I'm excited!!!!! (and saving money for it! LOL)

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    1. PHM this year was my first expo!! You will love it SO much! There is so much to see and yes, definitely save $ for it lol!

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