Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tower of Terror 10-Miler 2013: Race & Villain’s Hollywood Bash Recap

Previous posts from the Tower of 2013 Terror 10-Miler weekend:
Part 1 – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Part 2 – Expo and Pre-Race

I crossed the start line and immediately became entranced in the magic of running at Disney. I do not know how this happens, but for both runDisney events in which I have participated, it feels too easy to just forget that I am running a long distance race.

After what felt like a few seconds, I reached the first character spot with the Evil Queen from Snow White, and I felt so good that I considered skipping it. However, I remembered WHY I run these events and that no matter what, finishing time just does not matter here, so I stopped for a photo and I think it may be my favorite one from the race! I ended up standing in a few long lines, but I would say that the majority of the photo opportunities that I saw were only a few people deep. It always shocks me how many people skip all these wonderful chances for pictures!

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A little bit down the road, I passed a DJ playing some fun and upbeat music. Luckily, I had my iPod music on low volume so I could hear everything around me, but honestly, if I had forgotten my music, I would have been perfectly fine; runDisney knows how to keep runners entertained! Soon after, I ran through the entrance booth for Animal Kingdom, where there were more photo opportunities, and then made the turnaround on Osceola Parkway.

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Around mile 4.5-5, we entered the trail portion of the race, which I found to be quite fun! They made it seem like we were entering an elephant graveyard from the Lion King, and the hyenas were such a fun photo stop! The trail was very well lit, and while it was a shorter distance across, if people were walking 3+ abreast, I would just excuse myself and ease my way in between them in order to keep moving.

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The next part was probably my second favorite part of the race – running through the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. We ran around the track (which felt so nice on my feet), and the baseball field where the spectator support was incredible! I wish I could remember all the great signs I saw people holding up, but I do remember hearing quite a few people shouting “GO BUZZ!!!” I think the cheering and my wings made me go a little faster.

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Not too long after leaving the sports complex, I ran into Heather from Through Heather’s Looking Glass! It was the first time I met her in person, and she graciously listened to me gush about how much I love her blog, then we got a photo together.

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I eventually found myself back on the path towards the race start, and I passed the Evil Queen yet again (TIP: The line was much MUCH shorter than earlier) then ran underneath the Hollywood Studios entrance booth. I was about 2 miles from the finish line and found myself wondering how on earth the last 8 miles went by so fast?! I felt fantastic and pushed a harder pace; I knew I had reached the point where I wouldn’t be stopping again before the finish.

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As I entered the Hollywood Studios park, which was undoubtedly the best part of the race, the spectator support increased tenfold! I think I made the right choice for costume, because people just loved it – every twist and turn I  heard someone cheering for Buzz Lightyear! This last part passed so quickly and soon I made the final turn. It was an amazing experience running up to one of my favorite rides at Disney World, and giving Goofy a high five right as I crossed the finish line!

I ended up with a chip time of 1:49:17, which I am thrilled about considering all the photo stops, and received another gorgeous runDisney medal! After finishing the race, I went on to grab my post-race box of snacks, Gatorade, water, and bag of ice. After sitting down and relaxing for about 45 minutes, I saw Robert coming my way, so we headed to the bag check where we met up with Stacy and headed to the Disney Villain’s Hollywood Bash!

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We stayed until about 3:30 AM, and in that time, we refueled with our snacks and drinks, had a photo op with Darth Vader, and rode Star Tours and Toy Story Mania. I kid you not, it was the first time EVER for all 3 of us to ride Toy Story Mania since the fast passes run out before lunch most days, and the stand-by line is always ridiculously long; turns out it is a very fun ride!

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As I expect to be the case with every runDisney event in which I participate, I highly recommend this race; it was VERY well organized and tons of FUN! I also want to point out that because of the heat and humidity this time of year, runDisney added more water stops than usual. I was never feeling de-hydrated or wanting for water. Although I did not participate in last year’s Tower of Terror 10-Miler, I am positive runDisney made the necessary changes to make it a more enjoyable race this year!

Extra Notes:
Character Stops I Passed: Jack and Sally Skellington (never seen the movie), Hades (Hercules), Queen of Hearts (she was on a break), Stitch (not a fan), Big Bad Wolf (he was on a break), Lotso (shame on me, especially since I was Buzz, but he was a stop during the last mile).
Character Stops I Wish They Had: Ursula, Maleficent, Evil Queen in her normal form, Gaston, and Mother Gothel.

QOTD: Is the Tower of Terror 10-Miler on your running bucket list?

4 comments

  1. I so wish I could run this race! I'm not sure my petsitting schedule will ever let me leave town in October though. I would LOVE pics with the gravediggers and the ghosty dancing people! Ah! I have been thinking a lot about photo stops and which ones I might stop for with PHM. I'm thinking the villains, Jack/pirate ship, and the heros maybe? I know I want a mainstreet shot and a castle shot too.

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    1. Definitely stop for the Villains and the Princes! If you want to stop for the Jack/pirate ship, this past year they were the first stop but you also saw them closer to the end of the race too where the line was much shorter! The popular princesses are always a fun stop too :) This past year, depending on when you passed the castle, you either got to see Aurora or Cinderella rather than both unfortunately (just FYI). Also get a pic with the guys holding the glass slipper, they are so funny!

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  2. Wow, you made great time girl! It looks like so much fun! By the way, we have yet to ride the Toy Story Mania ride ! I just can't see waiting in that line for hours!

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    1. Thanks!! I think I tend to run faster in between the character stops because I can't wait to see what is next lol!

      That is exactly why none of us had ever ridden it before. The line is always excruciatingly long, and even after the race we had to wait 30 minutes!

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