This was my prayer when I hit the purchase button on my 2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler race registration.
I wasn’t planning on buying any of the merch at the expo so there was no pressure to get there early. I spent Friday in Epcot with friends and then headed over around 3:30ish.
I love this expo. Everything is in the Josten’s Center. Bib pick up, shirt pick up and the entire expo…all under one roof. This is the shortest line for merch I have ever seen!
We were in and out easy and headed over to the California Grill for dinner. Sushi, bread and cheese. Sounded like good pre-race fuel to me. The wine and martinis…maybe not.
On Saturday morning, as soon as I got up, I checked the weather. Still saying a little prayer.
Last year I made the mistake of eating too large of a meal before the race. I also ended up standing on my feet in uncomfortable shoes for a Disney Mom’s Panel Luncheon for hours in the early afternoon before the race. This year my plan was to eat a large breakfast followed by a few snacks and to stay off my feet the entire day.
Breakfast was had at Kouzzina on the Disney Boardwalk. I went with a delicious frappe’ and waffles topped with mascarpone cheese, honey and walnuts with a side of bacon.
Breakfast kept me pretty full until around 4:30pm. I toasted a bagel and spread one side with peanut butter and the other side with cream cheese and figured that this would be my last meal before the race start around 10pm.
Our group of 9 consisted of 6 runners and 3 spectators. The spectators made dinner reservations at Kouzzina so we just rode in with them and walked over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios from the Boardwalk.
runDisney really stepped up their game with the corral placement. I love that they are listening to runner feedback. There were more corrals added this year. The faster corrals had shorter start time intervals and the larger, slower corrals had longer intervals. This helped runner congestion massively from my experience in starting in Corral F.
All those lit balloons represented a different corral. And because there was no parking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there was plenty of room for runner butt parking.
The cast of characters…
We ran into the executive chef of California Grill…Brian Piasecki. I always thought the saying went “never trust a skinny chef”. Well Chef Piasecki breaks that stereotype. He’s fit and nimble both on the race course and in the kitchen.
Time to get the corrals placed in the start chute. Each corral filtered into the Disney’s Hollywood Studios entrance road and began the slow walk to the parking lot ticket booth.
Through this blog, I have been blessed to have been able to connect with runDisney announcer Carissa. Here’s her recap on the Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run that took place earlier in the morning. And here’s me geeking out over her throwing me a shotout from the starting line stage.
Fireworks to start the show and …gotta run…
I was running this race again with my daughter. We ran the inaugural race together as well. We had settled on doing the Jeff Galloway method and ran 30/30’s. For those not familiar with this method, it’s 30 seconds of running followed by 30 seconds of walking. Whenever someone tells me they couldn’t even run a mile I ask them if they can run for 30 seconds and then try and sell em on the Jeff Galloway method.
This time, there was plenty of room to spread out on the course and we found that we could easily do our run/walk/run method without getting in anyone else’s way.
My iPhone takes terrible pictures in the dark so I didn’t get any on the Osceola Parkway leg from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the Animal Kingdom parking lot. But I did snap this one shot on the turnaround. There was a gigantic spider hanging over the overpass as well. Super cool effects this year and more entertainment and photo opps. Time to head back down Osceola parkway again.
Heading into the well-lit trail run portion of the race. The trail was so congested last year that we had to walk the entire length of it. This year we were able to run it. Chalk that up to the extra start corrals.
Some of my peeps in the stands at the stadium. If you’ve completed a runDisney race, you may have had a race medal hung around your neck by the “Hugs with Jugs” gal.
..and then we finished. And I didn’t get a picture of the finish line…and I forgot to stop my watch. Grrrr. But here’s a pic of me and my pal Marc on the only ride I took of the night…Toy Story Midway Mania.
Last year I was so tired that I made my family leave as soon as we crossed the finish line. This year I felt great….like I could have run even farther. I wasn’t tired. My feet didn’t hurt. I was ready to stay for the after party. The lines were fairly short this year and crowds seemed thinner. This cast member was having a blast.
We ended up staying til around 3am. There were 9,477 finishers. My official time was 2:25:29 with a pace of 14:33. My GPS watch had me at 10.41 miles which was a 13:58 pace. Whatever the case. This years time trumped last years time by leaps and bounds.
Is it time to sign up for Tower of Terror 2014 yet?