Monday, October 1, 2012

Race Recap - Tower of Terror 10 Miler

My husband and I are pretty big fans of Run Disney races, so when they announced a new race last fall, we knew we wanted to do it. As soon as registration opened last February, we paid our money and officially put the race on our calendar.

There have been a lot of ups and downs getting here, but I am very happy to say that Saturday night, we finished the Inaugural Tower of Terror 10 Miler. It wasn't my best race or my fastest, but I finished.

Feeling Festive with My New
Headband and Lights

After work on Friday, the husband and I headed to the race expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The expo was smaller and far less crazy that previous Disney race expos. While it wasn't that big, I was super excited to see Sparkly Soul was there. I have wanted one of these headbands for a while, but never got around to actually ordering it, so this made it easy. Like a bad blogger, I forgot to bring my camera to the expo. I took a few photos on my phone, but they are terrible, so I will spare you those.

Saturday, I got up early and took care of the boring chores that always have to get done on the weekend (grocery shopping, laundry,etc.). I then headed back to bed at about 2:30 p.m. to try and get in a decent nap before the race. Since I am often in bed before 10 p.m. when the race was scheduled to start, I was a little nervous about how I was going to make it to the finish.

On the Bus and Awake

After napping and getting ready, we headed down to Disney and made it to the Wide World of Sports at about 7:30 p.m. Then it was on a bus to Disney's Hollywood Studios where the race started. I have to say that the bus ride to the start was not so bad, but I would have loved to walk to my car when the race was over.

We checked our bags and hung our with some much faster friends until about 9 p.m. Then it was time to hit the porta-potties and get into our corrals. At about 9:30 p.m., they began to walk us down to the starting area. At 10 p.m., with a burst of fireworks, the first corral was off. We were released about 5 minutes later, with more fireworks. I think that all races should start with fireworks.

The Start of the First Wave
I love Fireworks
After starting at Hollywood Studios, the course snaked its way through Disney property over to the Wide World of Sports Complex. There we got to do about a mile of off road running followed by a trek through the sports fields, a run around the stadium and then out the main part of the complex. Then we headed back to Hollywood Studios with about the last mile and a half in the park, before making the final turn and finishing behind the Tower of Terror.

As a whole, the course was alright, but not spectacular. There were a lot of places where it was really narrow, and there did not seem to be as much entertainment along the route as I have seen at other Disney races. Also, while we weren't expecting it,  my husband summed it up best when he said, "it is kind of let down not running though a castle." That being said, the course was well supported with lots of water stops and volunteers.

This was the first race I have run in a really long time without a time goal, which was good, because between the humid weather and the packed course, I would have probably been disappointed. At about mile 7, I was ready to be done and go to bed. I still haven't looked at my official race time, but my watch said we finished in about 2:25.

I Was Too Tired to Stop
for a Better Picture
The worst part of the race was actually after you finished. They were good about handing you water, powerade and snacks close to the finish, but since you were backstage there was no good place to stop. You also had to walk from behind the Fantasmic! Stadium all the way over to Indiana Jones and down the stairs of the stadium to get your bag. It seemed much further than it really was and at that point, all I really wanted was dry clothes and to sit down.

We ended up changing, but not staying for the party. I was beat and didn't feel great. I think that part of it was that I was dehydrated and hungry. I still am not sure how you fuel for a night race, but what I did this time didn't work that well.

I have to say that the Tower of Terror 10 Miler was fun, but not my favorite race. It was a unique experience and I am really happy I got to participate in the inaugural race. That said, I don't know how many night races I see in my future.

Have you ever run a night race? Any tips for staying awake or eating for the race?