Before the announcement for the Inaugural Dumbo Dare came out late last year, the Tower of Terror 10 Miler was going to be my only runDisney event for the second half of the year – but, hey, things happen, and so it became the second stop of three fall-ish events (Disneyland 10K and Disneyland Half Marathon before, and Wine and Dine Half Marathon next month).
I was SO darn excited for this race…I mean…nighttime? Villain-themed? 10 miles? I was so in.
And, why yes of course, I had to dress in costume again!
Here’s who I was (and yes, I actually did get cheers for him, as compared to my 5K costume - though, of course if you love the movie as much as I do, it’s kind of funny to recognize just one of them – hehe – no spoilers).
Anywho, it was certainly an interesting day of “prepping” for the race. Since I had run the 5K that morning, I knew that I should be:
- Relaxing / staying off my feet
First two…easy! But to that third point…I’m at Disney! How can I relax? I “remedied” that point by working a second shift at Sparkle Athletic, helping people find those perfect pieces at the Expo – that was fun and helped the time pass by (staying up ’til 10 PM to run a race is always an interesting idea), so before long, it was 7ish and it was time to head to the staging area.
Thankfully, I was staying at the Boardwalk Villas, which allowed an easy walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, instead of having to deal with any shuttles (definitely would recommend this to anyone considering this race). We reached the area around 8 and played around at the stage (there was a super fun DJ out there, teaching us all these dance moves) until it was time to herd over to the corrals.
We shimmied on over to our respective corrals and had some more of a wait there, but noticed much smaller corrals (in number of people) so A was pretty desolate. It was kind of interesting – very different than previous runDisney events I had run in. We actually had space to stretch and warm up! Carrie and Kelly were scheming how to get Megan to shoot their crazy antics (they were Anastasia and Drizella – too fun) and I finally ran into my Oiselle teammate, Victoria!
Yay! We had been twitter friends for some time, so it was really great to meet her in person!
Once the race officially started, I ran with Victoria for a few minutes. At that point, she asked me what my race goals were and it occurred to me that in this event (as I often am in runDisney events) that I had not yet decided on mine, besides the requisite “have all the fun” goal, so my loose plan was this:
- Stop for pictures with characters I didn’t yet have pictures with.
- Walk through water stops since it was humid.
That was it. So, I set off… but it wasn’t long before I came across this old hag…
No really! It was the Wicked Queen as the scary old hag! I had never seen this character this close (only in Fantasmic) so of course, I had to stop! Very neat.
lAnd Jafar! I couldn’t recall if I had met him in a race before and there was no line…so why not?
Dr Facilier! This was neat! I told him that I liked his hat – he said he liked both of mine
After his stop, I ran a whole before seeing Jack and Sally on the other side of the highway. I knew that I’d be stopping for them, so kind of went into autopilot for a few miles, even running with Gwynne for a while as we rounded course near the Animal Kingdom.
I was stoked for this pic! I had one back at WDW Marathon, but I didn’t think it turned out great, so this was a great re-do – definitely ordering all these pics soon (psssttttt COUPON CODE 22043 takes $10 off all online orders over $65 through 10/15/2013).
Anyway…back to running!
There was plenty of great course entertainment to keep us going – DJs, characters, etc…and general spooky stuff (50-ft flames, sound effects…NBD) and I had my iPod on low to hear a basic beat…thankfully I had it so low, because there were some handcycles on course on the stretch of the Osceola Parkway that was kind of dark and their cycling-guide person was yelling out, “on your right!!!!!!!” That was kind of jarring! It seemed a bit dangerous, really, but it seemed they were doing the best they could do in the circumstances.
Since I wasn’t wearing a Garmin, I wasn’t really sure of my pace to that point, other than the fact that it was around 9 min miles, since I was taking glances at the mile markers – so when I reached Mile 5, right before arriving at the Wide World of Sports and I saw it tick over to “45 minutes,” I realized that if I didn’t stop for any other characters, a 1 hr 30 min race was in the bag! So, I re-adjusted my goal in my head, and kept on keeping on! Side note: My standing PR in the 10M distance is 1:26 (I’ve only run two and both were this time, weirdly)
Thankfully, keeping to pace (and speeding up) were easy at this point because frankly, the course was considerably clear and the distractions were at a minimum. Although Wide World of Sports is not my favorite place to run (I was recalling images from WDW Marathon) it was kind of nice to run around Champion Stadium – where I saw my friend Ashley run out as I ran in – speedy gal!
The run back up and around on the way back to DHS was uneventful but smooth…there was one character stop that that was interesting (the Haunted Mansion ghosts) but I skipped it because I was on a groove
Coming into the park, I was beginning to wonder how we’d do more than a mile…but it worked out!
I am surprised to see that my makeup mustache was still on at this point…and I am not faking those thumbs ups! I was totally stoked at how fresh my legs still felt, despite how sweaty I looked.
…and here you can see just how sweaty I am…haha! And before I knew it…
…it was time to cross that finish line (really, when you don’t wear a Garmin, and the finish is literally around a corner, it’s really easy to sprint finish)! Oh, sorry girl behind me….apparently mini DOR15 wanted to steal the show.
1:28? Woot! Just two minutes slower than my standing PR on a fun, humid night – with awesome negative splits to boot? I couldn’t ask for more!
As I excited through the finisher’s chute, I ran into my friend Ashley again which was awesome (we always run into each other at races, totally unplanned) and we walked to bag check together and walked it out a bit before starting into the party.
It wasn’t until then that I got a good look at the medal:
Wow…I mean- the elevator MOVES! And see those windows? THEY GLOW IN THE DARK. This just might be my new favorite medal.
All in all, this was definitely a great experience, and TOTALLY worth the wait (as I had watched along jealously as people ran the inaugural event last year). Although I did hear some complaints about the weather – which didn’t really bother me, since I’ve been training in it since July – I did hear it was better this year in leaps and bounds, in logistical and general satisfaction measures, so I imagine it will just get better every year!
We stayed at the after party til around 3:30 AM, which at that time, I was totally ready to get a little shut-eye! It was perfect walking back to the Boardwalk (again, BOOK THIS RESORT if you can!) and I am pretty sure I had the best sleep ever that night
Did you DROP IN to the Tower 10-Miler? Are you a fan of night races?