10 October 2013

Running the Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Hi again! Diane asked me to write up my recap of the Tower of Terror 10 Miler runDisney race.  I registered for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler back in April, and I talked my Wife, Diane into taking the plunge with me. We are not runners and never even thought about a runDisney event until the original (2012) Tower of Terror 10 Miler was announced. We both love the Tower of Terror and its back story, so this got us to overcome our fear (and to a big extent our common sense) and give it a shot. So there we stood in the Lights parking lot at DHS on Oct 5th at 7:30 pm. We were, of course, WAY back in corral J with the rest of the newbies. Luckily, there was enough time to socialize and a few friends stopped by to say hello on their way to the corrals for those with more experience.


The night before we had gone to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to the ToT Expo to pick up our race packets. These had our bibs and race shirts plus final race instructions. We also checked out the cool merchandise! I picked up a couple of pint glasses and the mini medal for my runDisney Mickey vinylmation; that way one of us was sure to get a medal, no matter what happened the next day. There were also some cool props to take pictures with.  After waiting in the corral for what seemed like forever sitting on the pavement (pro-tip 1: Florida parking lots can hold their heat long after dark, effectively cooking your butt pre-race) we started to make our way to the starting line. This was a fairly long trek but, luckily there was music piped in from the Starting line along with the commentary from the race hosts. The stage was set up to look like the check-in desk at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, it was pretty cool!




There was about 2 minutes between each group so our start was actually 10:28 or so. Once, it was our turn the fireworks went off signaling our start and the adrenaline kicked in. We started our 10 mile run, which would take us to the entrance of Animal Kingdom Park and then to ESPN Wide World of Sports and finally back to Disney's Hollywood Studios to the base of the Tower of Terror. It was so humid during our race; 80% humidity and 76 degrees at the start. The first couple of miles were not so bad, we ran out the DHS entrance and there were pillars of fire coming up from the pond, a pretty cool start! As we made our way to Animal Kingdom the heat started to take its toll and I
was thrilled to see the first water station. I had a power-aid and a water at each station to try and stay hydrated. As we ran I learned of the existence of the dreaded "Balloon Girls" two very experienced marathoners each with a few balloons (Jack Skellington; good choice) and that if you were behind them you could be swept (taken by bus to the finish line). My goal became to simply finish before them! As we ran we saw various Villians taking pictures with runners but keeping ahead of the Balloon Girls was far more important to me.  I saw the Old Woman from Snow White and then the Queen of Hearts in the first few miles and as we ran on Hook and Hades appeared.

We got to ESPN Wide World of Sports around mile 5! We had made it half way! A loop of the track and then we headed into the stadium.  They had a HUGE Tesla coil throwing lightning and making that unique noise and I so wanted to stop and watch it for awhile. As we left I saw the Mile 6 sign! by this point busses of those that failed to keep ahead of the Balloon Girls were going by. Hearing them behind you really will let you know how much you have left as you pour on whatever speed you can. The road back to Disney Hollywood Studios seemed to take forever but, finally it came into view and it was downhill this time!

As we entered the park I heard the Balloon Girls say that there were no more sweeps, but finishing before them was now a point of honor (which was absurd as I have said they were experienced marathon runners). We came into the park by Lights, Motors Action and ran up the Back Lot street. It was nice to see that they have started on the Osborne Family lights show back there! We ran past the Sci-Fi dine in and down a tunnel and finally the finish line was in sight. I put what little I had left into a burst of speed and finished maybe 30 feet ahead of the Balloon Girls.
As you cross the Finish line someone hands you a cool pack, and then a little further you get your Medal (Pro-tip 2: This cool pack is a wash cloth with ICY HOT on it, do NOT wipe your face with it, wish I had known that). Then water, banana's and I went to wait for my wife; she finished a few minutes later, still going with the knee she sprained 2 weeks earlier. At mile three she had told me to go ahead she was going to wait to be swept but, never fell far enough back. I am insanely proud of her. The Tower of Terror medal is amazing and heavy and cool and even glows in the dark. Totally worth it. Will I do it again? I'm not sure, but I am very glad I did it this time.

tot-medal
Thanks Bill

Pin It

24 comments:

  1. I am about the LEAST athletic person I know, yet every time I read about RunDisney I think I need to train to run! LOL This sounds like SO MUCH FUN!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations Bill & Diane!! Such a wonderful accomplishment, I am very proud of you both!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You both get the medal of honor for that one! I'm so glad I could experience your "first" with the two of you. :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats on running, Bill!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks! Diane did it too and with a sprained knee! I was amazed and so proud of her! She is the most determined person I have ever met!

    ReplyDelete
  6. So proud of both of you!! What an amazing accomplishment!! Maybe next year I can come down and participate in my first runDisney event with you guys...

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was a great race and coming from scotland the heat was very very tough. But we completed it yay. Well done

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bill, what a great recap! I loved reading it. I also DREAD the balloon girls!! I did the WDW Full in 2003 and the half in 2008. I would love to run this race one day, but it would take A LOT of training after having 2 babies! :) Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great job Bill and an even bigger congrats to your wife!! My husband ran it to and said the humidity was miserable!! Did not make me want to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beth you should have seen Diane! And I wound up talking to and liking the Balloon girls. I had to transfer my dislike to the balloons themselves and not the handlers!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes our hostess is one tough girl. Diane did great, and it was very sweet of her to ask me to write up the Tower 10 Miler here!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a great review! Congratulations both of you!! This was very helpful and now I know I won't even attempt it. Sounds like an awesome experience!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great recap! Congrats to both of you for finishing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I started training 7 months ago with the ultimate goal to do a runDisney race. My first will be the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. This makes me want to do this one too. I love Disney villains. And I love love love reading Disney race recaps. Thanks for sharing. And congratulations to you both!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yay for you and congrats! What a great accomplishment!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you Amy :-) And good luck to you on your race. It is a lot of fun and such a great feeling ..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Mary, It was a great race but very hot :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love you :-) BFF

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Beth ;-) You will have to do it with us next time

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks Heather, It's a great feeling :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks Donna Kay - It was amazing to cross that finish line :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks Donna, It was an extraordinary experience - we loved sharing it with you ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks Heidi - The training is very important ;-) But it is fun

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks Casey ;-) It a big accomplishment for sure

    ReplyDelete

Disqus for CanDoItMOM