Race Travel

runDisney 2012 Tower of Terror 10 Miler Race Recap

So, I did it.

I finished the runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler.  Two hours, forty minutes, and fifty-two seconds.

I didn’t run it, but I finished it.  Well ahead of the sweepers (we’re figuring they were about 40 or so minutes behind us) and standing up straight with a smile on my face.

It was HOT and humid.  My fabulous Moms Panel friend Laura snapped photos of the temps and humidity before/after the race: 79 degrees and 84 percent humidty before the race, 76/92 after the race.  Yeah.  That’s hot, y’all.

This was my first distance race, having only completed 5k’s prior to this race.  I was really nervous about this one, especially considering I did nothing in the way of training prior.  When I signed up for the race, I planned on running it.  That slowly turned to “Jeffing” it {using the Galloway Method}, and finally resigning to walking the entire race.  I know plenty of other people walk runDisney races, so I wasn’t concerned so much about being the only walker.  I just didn’t want to get swept!

I didn’t compete alone.  My amazing Moms Panel friend Amanda and I teamed up to conquer the ten miles together.  We spent a couple of months coming up with a great costume idea, and I think we were quite successful. {I only expected to keep the tutu on for a few miles, but ended up keeping it on the entire race}

Tower of Terror 10 miler Tweedle Costume

I’m going to try my best to go through the events of Saturday night.  I will probably ramble, and I didn’t take many photos, but I shall do my best.

We started out Saturday by attending the Walt Disney World Moms Panel Fan Meet and Greet over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  It was amazing.  I made sure to drink lots of water (even though I did have some champagne) and ate a big breakfast and a lot at lunch.  After the Meet and Greet, we went back to the Cabins to rest and relax until it was time to get ready for the race.  I could not relax.  I was so anxious about the race and time seemed to go by so slowly.  I ate a Cliff bar and drank more water, hoping I’d keep up my hydration in the crazy humidity.   We finally got dressed and headed over to Boardwalk to catch a shuttle to the start line.

We arrived at the start area around 7:15.  Way too early, but I was too anxious to wait around any longer and I felt better knowing we were there and wouldn’t be late or rushing around.  I decided I should eat something else and had a banana and more water.  I had packed Cliff bars in my check bag, but stupid me checked my bag right away.  This would come back to bite me in the ass later on in the evening.

Tower of Terror 10 miler

For the next couple of hours we just sat around {I tried to stand as little as possible}.  We met up with some friends and staked out a spot right near our corral.  There were plenty of portolets in the general area as well as in the corrals.  I make sure to use one about 45 minutes before we got in the corral.  Around 8:30 I noticed I was starving. Not just hungry, but stomach growling, need to eat now, starving.  There were a bunch of food trucks over on the other side of the parking lot and we walked over to check out the offerings.

Now maybe it’s just me, but I seem to remember other races having a booth with bananas, Cliff bars, apples, ect available.  Maybe I missed it Saturday night, but the only offerings I could find were a flat bread truck, cupcakes, fried food, beer, and lobster rolls.  I had to eat at this point. I had no choice.  So I made the best choice I could given the trucks available.


Yup. I ate a lobster roll.  Less than two hours before I was to take on my first distance race I ate a lobster roll.  And drank some Coke.  I’m the epitome of health, y’all.  But, in all seriousness, the lobster roll seemed like the best option.  Fried food or a cupcake didn’t seem like the best idea and I had to eat.  {and by the way, it was freaking delicious}

We finally moseyed into our corral {Corral C for those keeping track} at some point around 9:30 and made our way to the back, knowing we’d be led out the back gates and to the starting line.  My goal was to be as far up in the corral as possible in order to give us lots of extra “padding” of runners before the sweepers started.  We were walked to the start line around 10pm and on track for a 10:20ish start.  The crowd was pumped and so were we.  I kept reminding myself to NOT RUN when we started.  Move to the right and let the runners go around.  I knew if I started out running, I’d burn out by mile 1 and be done.  It was finally time for our group to start and I followed my plan.

Here’s where my memory gets blurry.  I didn’t take photos {my phone was in my arm band and it was a pain to get it out} and I was going to record voice memos with little details about the race, but Siri wasn’t cooperating.  I do remember miles 1 and 2 going by quickly.  I also remember thinking “why I have I never noticed there are so many hills on the roads around here”.  We went up and down overpasses and the ramp to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the return was nuts.  It was totally slanted and I felt like my feet were on two different levels.  The trail run on mile 5 into the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex was actually really cool.  I just wish it were wider.  The pace definitely slowed on the trail.  It was only 3-4 people wide and it seemed like everyone slowed down to a walk.  It was impossible to even speed walk around anyone.  Despite that issue, the ESPN WWOS segment was my favorite part of the race.  If you know me, you know I’m a baseball fanatic.  Getting to run around Champion Stadium was pure awesome {even if the Braves play there}.  I was so tempted to ask if I could run the bases {not really, but it would have been awesome}.  I also liked running on the gravel of the trail and the warning track.  It was a nice break from pounding my feet on pavement.

The water and PowerAde stations were kind of a mess, if we’re being honest.  Complete bottlenecks, confusion on which tables actually had water/Ade available (many empty tables were in the way), and it seemed like everyone was hydrating at each stop because of the heat/humidity.  I grabbed fluids at each and every stop.

The only other thing I remember is miles 7 and 8 seeming like they were taking forever, as if they were somehow longer than the rest of the miles.  It wasn’t until we past the mile 8 marker and I saw this sign in front of me that I knew I really was going to do this.  I was going to finish all ten miles without being swept.

Tower of Terror 10 miler rundisney

I texted TH at this point to tell him where I was {thanks to Siri texting for me, no texting and walking} and he told me I was doing great and now was the time I could really push it.  I did step up my pace a little at this point and the emotion of knowing I really was going to finish the race took over.  When we got into Hollywood Studios and made our round in front of the Sorcers’ Hat, we spotted three of our fellow Moms Panelists (Kaylene, Marisol, and Chris).  There were people cheering for us the entire race, but to see someone we actually knew?  To hear our names be yelled and to hear them tell us they were proud and we could do it?  That meant the world to me.

We finally made the last turn to the finish line and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” was blaring over the speakers.  It cracked me up and I loved basically dancing across the finish line.  I was expecting characters or other fanfare at the finish, as with other races, but this finish was kind of, well, blah.  BUT WE DID IT! I called TH as soon as I crossed the finish line and had my medal on my neck.  It was amazing hearing him tell me he was proud of me and I wished he could be there to see me in person.

We were immediately rushed into medal pick up, given our snacks/bananas/ice/water and sent up the looooong ramp near Fantasmic!  It seemed like forever until we were out of the post-race area and into Hollywood Studios.  It was another long trek over to Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular! to bag check.  By the way, it is just plain cruel to make people go up and down a flight of stairs at bag check.  CRUEL.  That being said, bag check was super-efficient and I had my bag quickly.  I wish they had set it up in Fantastmic! or an area closer to finish.


By this time the adrenaline of the race had worn off and most of my friends had gone back to their rooms for the night.  So I grabbed my celebratory beer from a vendor on Sunset and headed out of the park for the night.  My one regret about race night was not staying to celebrate.  I know I didn’t run ten miles, but walking ten miles within the pace requirements and finishing strong was a huge accomplishment and I should have savored the moment a little more and definitely taken more photos with my medal.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race.  I do think the on-course entertainment was lagging and I hope they improve it for next year as well as change the location for bag pick-up.    The weather was horrible, but there’s no way for Disney to predict or control that aspect of the race.  I will be signing up for the Tower of Terror Ten Miler if it’s offered for 2013.  After all, I’ll need the 2nd Annual medal to go with my Inaugural bling, right?

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  • Reply Marie June 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you thank you for this! I’m training now and already super nervous about being swept!

    • Reply ashley July 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      You’ll do great! Just keep on training and you’ll be fine. It’s a really fun race!

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