Tower of Terror 10-Miler Recap

Ok, so I’m really slow with the updates, but I’ve finally got some time to write a recap of the runDisney Tower of Terror 10-Miler that was held on Saturday, October 5. 2013.  Overall, it was a really fun race, and I’m glad I did it, but I’m not sure I would do it again.

We had a 4-day weekend from work (luckily), so we headed to Orlando early early Friday morning.  I mean really early.  Like, we had a 6:15am flight, which meant waking up at 3:15 and leaving our house before 4:00.  With two kids under the age of three.  Possibly not the brightest decision we’ve ever made.  LOL

After a somewhat rough flight, thanks to the little one, we landed in Orlando around 9:30.  Headed to baggage claim to get the double stroller, then boarded a Disney’s Magical Express bus to our resort.  I love how easy Disney makes the arrival process.  We got to the resort, Old Key West, in about 45 minutes, and then got checked in.  By this time, it was around 11:30a, when the expo buses were scheduled to start running, so we decided to head straight to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for the expo & packet pick up.

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We arrived at the Expo site right at noon, when it opened, and the line was outrageous.  Both kids fell asleep in the stroller within 5 minutes of getting off the bus, so my husband volunteered to just walk around the ESPN complex with them (since strollers weren’t allowed inside the expo) so I could pick up my stuff and look around a little bit.  I took some pictures while waiting in line.

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After a short wait, I was finally inside the arena and could see the expo layout.

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While large, this expo was only about half the size of the expo when I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2012, amazingly.  First things first, I headed over to packet pick-up to get my bib, then over to pick up the bibs for the runDisney kids races, since we’d entered both kids into their very first race (more on that later)!  Then, I went over to pick up my race shirt.  I’d ordered a large at registration, forgetting that the shirts were all men’s cut.  So my next stop was the shirt exchange area.  I traded for a medium, but should have tried it on – by the time I realized I needed a small & made it back to the expo the next day, they were out of smalls for trading.

Once I had all my race stuff, I tried to look around the expo a bit.  But, knowing that John was waiting with the (sleeping) kids, and seeing the REALLY LONG LINES to check out in the official race merchandise area, I decided to head out to find the family.  (I would regret this decision, as by the next morning, they were either sold out of my size or completely out of everything I wanted to get).

After leaving the expo, we headed over to EPCOT for the International Food & Wine Festival, and some character greetings & rides for the kids.  I’ll do a separate post on that later so this one doesn’t get too long.  Suffice to say, we ate & drank quite a bit of phenomenal food, then headed back to our resort once I got the text that our room was ready.  We had dinner at the resort and then settled in for the night.  It had been a LONG day and we had to be up early on Saturday morning for the kids races.

First, though, I had to get the kids’ race stuff ready.

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Getting to the kids race on Saturday morning was a bit stressful.  Trying to get two really young children up, dressed, on a bus, into a stroller, to the far side of the ESPN complex (a LONG walk) and into their start corral by 9:30am is a lot harder than it sounds.  The kids races are so cute, though.  The boy took off sprinting down the track because Pluto was at the finish line… I had no idea he was so fast!  And the girl waddled down the track just as fast as her little legs could go!  At the end of the 100m, they both got a medal, and we went to find daddy.

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And then we had to find Mickey, of course.

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We decided to go back into the expo and walk around for a little while, then (after I discovered that everything I wanted was sold out, boo) headed back to EPCOT for lunch at the Food & Wine Festival.  We were trying to have an easy day, since my actual race had a 10pm start.  We took the kids to the pool for a bit in the afternoon, and I sat in the hot tub to relax my muscles after all the walking I’d been doing (by the time we got back to the resort, we’d walked about 4 miles on our “easy” day, oops) and then just lounged around the room.  I started getting ready to go around 7pm.

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I think I headed out to the bus around 7:30, I was meeting up with some other Moms RUN this Town members for a pre-race photo at 8:30.  I found the person who was organizing the meet up, wandered around the pre-race area a bit, took a picture, then we headed to the start corrals.  The corrals opened at 9:30p.  I was in Corral E, with an expected finish time of 1:50-2:00 – my proof of time predicted a 1:56 finish, and I managed to convince some of the other MRTT girls to start back with me so I’d have someone to run with since they were aiming for about the same overall time.

At about 9:45, we started walking from the corral area to the start line, where there was some pre-race entertainment.  And right on schedule, the first corral started at 10pm.

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My corral started around 10:10 I believe.  The course, overall, was pretty good.  It was nearly all paved roads, starting right outside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, going down the road to Disney’s Animal Kingdom parking area, then over to ESPN Wide World of Sports, and finishing back at Hollywood Studios.  There were a few places with really sharp turns, and a few other places where the course felt much too narrow for the number of runners that were holding about the same pace as I was, and there was one short section going in to the ESPN complex that was more like a trail.

There were characters along the course every 3/4 mile or so.  We only stopped for two – first, the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, and then again with the HYENAS from The Lion King, my all-time favorite Disney animated film.

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I ended up crossing the finish line at 2:02.58 officially, and 1:59 running time by the Garmin.  After crossing the finish line, there was still over a mile of walking that we had to do to get back into the main part of the theme park for the after party.  I’d hoped to stay and ride some rides, but since the kids had fallen asleep & my family wasn’t at the finish line like we’d planned, I only managed to stay for about 30 minutes after the race.  I headed back to the resort around 12:45am.  It was a really peaceful night at the resort when I got back.  I took this picture as I walked back to the room.

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It was a fun race, but I don’t think I’ll ever run another nighttime race, especially at Disney.  I can’t go to Disney and leave the kids at home, and I can’t do a night race without resting all day before hand, and that’s just not an option at Disney.  Between the heat/humidity and the tired legs, that was one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done.

What’s the hardest run you’ve ever done?  Have you ever run a race that you swear you’ll never do again?

Up next:  A picture of the race bling, and a quick report on the 5K I PR’ed in this morning.  🙂

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