Race Recaps runDisney

2014 runDisney The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Race Recap

Originally posted at laurabowers.net on July 29, 2015. I’m updating my author website by moving all older runDisney and running content here!

While gathering photos for this recap, I couldn’t help but get a little bummed since there will be no Tower of Terror 10-Miler in 2015.

RunDisney, you’re going to bring it back once construction is finished in Hollywood Studios, right? Right?!?

<<fingers crossed, hope they do.>>

I think they will but if 2014 was the last Tower of Terror, *sniff, pout* then I’m so grateful I got to experience it! Oh my gosh. Talk about a total blast. I loved, loved, LOVED it, from start to finish! (Well, I didn’t love some things after the finish but more on that later.)

Oh, and hey, it you don’t have time to read a long recap, here’s the video version instead!

Okay, I’ve already chatted about the Expo. And in this post, I talk about my friends and I being Grand Marshals of the Fantasy of Festival Parade and how we ate at Via Napoli afterwards.

Picking up from there, I had been worried about nutrition, since it was my first night race so I just followed the example of one of my friends who was running TOT for the second time. When Niki drank, I drank. When Niki ate, I ate. This worked out pretty good and once we made it back to Old Key West, I was feeling ready to run.


Now, usually I always fuss and worry before a race. #thankyouanxietyissues But since we had to rush, I didn’t have time to fuss or dwell–we just changed into our costumes, threw on our bibs, and rolled.

Speaking of costumes, I had been wanting to go as Gaston for the longest time! Many thanks to my awesome sister-in-law for helping me with the felt collar. For the belt, I used a cheap canvas one with a gold felt buckle. I also attached an iFitness camera pouch on the back, thinking it’d be a clever way to carry my stuff. Not clever. And I didn’t do enough of a test run. Big mistake. A better option would be a faux black felt one tacked on. Live and learn.

Bus ride to Hollywood Studios, where both the start and finish was!

Since we were running late, we bypassed the DJ’s stage and dance area and headed to meet the other awesome folks in our running group.

What a great crew!
What a great crew!

My plan was to run with Cinderella and her family in the picture above, but I made a last-minute decision to head to Corral B. I enjoy running solo. That way, I can stop for photos without feeling as though I’m holding any body back. Finding Ginny as a race partner for last year’s marathon, (and this year’s Dopey Challenge!) was sheer luck since we have the same pace and love for character photos!

Soon the corrals were released one at a time to make the long walk to the start line. This part was very different from the other races I’ve done where the corrals are right by the start, but the awesome set-up at the start line made the walk worth it!

Jeff Galloway, Rudy, and Carissa welcoming runners.
Jeff Galloway, Rudy, and Carissa welcoming runners.
Cool desk!
Pretty soon, Corral A was off and running with some great fireworks and fire!
Pretty soon, Corral A was off and running with some great fireworks and fire!

Those of us in Corral B soon followed and long before the first mile marker, I knew that my belt was going to ride up like a total bugger for the entire run. (I now attach safety pins on my running belt for every race for this reason.) TIP: Always test your costume first! And now with just a few la-dee-da minutes on the treadmill!

But whatever, I was still excited and ready for a great run. And the characters! They had quite the fantastic array!

I tried to mimic Jafar's pose. #fail
I tried to mimic Jafar’s pose. #fail
This spider was so cool! Had to hit the port-o-pot that was to the left, though. Not cool.
This spider was so cool! Having to hit the port-o-pot on the left? Not cool.
Bad lighting but fun effect!
Bad lighting but fun effect!

By the way, the weather was fantastic! Cool enough so you didn’t sweat your rear off and no rain. This was a big relief considering all the horror stories from 2012 and 2013 when it was so hot folks were passing out and throwing up. Yikes. There were also seven water/PowerAde stations as well. Great support!

My memory is a little fuzzy about line lengths but I think they weren’t all that long. And have I mentioned how much I loved the character stops yet? 😉

My favorite photo from the race!
My favorite photo from the race!

I had read about some folks not caring for the trail leading to the Wide World of Sports Complex, but I loved it! Very spooky and a nice break from the highway with great music and enough lighting to be safe. And who do I see up ahead?

Jack Skellington and Sally, happy, happy, joy, joy!

But wait, where are they going, to take a break? Sniffle, sniffle, wah, wah.

I decided to wait. So glad I did because I got to take video of how incredibly well Jack walked like … well, Jack!


We then came into the sports complex which was one of my favorite parts of the run. Gravediggers, zombies, and wolves, of my! Not to mention some vanished baseball players at the diamond. RunDisney really did a fantastic job with this race, which makes me hope they bring it back even more. I want to have another visit with my buddy 1300 here!

Maybe he should have hydrated more.
Maybe he should have hydrated more.
Scratch what I said before about. THIS is my favorite picture!
Scratch what I said before about the Evil Queen photo. THIS is my favorite picture!
Seeing Stitch made me want to give his ride at Hollywood Studios another try. Or maybe not...
Seeing Stitch made me want to give his ride at Hollywood Studios another try. Or not…

The zombie dancers were awesome! Must admit that I’m a tad fearful when it comes to zombies, which is why I’ve yet to try out my Zombies, Run app. (Keep having images of me tearing down the street screaming “THEY’RE COMING! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”)

But these zombies were fun. And they could dance. And be spooky.

Flexing with my pal Big Bad, just another normal night for me.
Forget everything I said before. HERE'S my favorite picture. I mean it this time!
Forget everything I said before. HERE’S my favorite picture. I mean it this time!

Like I said before, my memory is pretty fuzzy, but I *think* somewhere around this point is when the course followed an overpass. Usually, I go high on these because it’s easier on my ankles so when I found myself stuck in the middle, I started shifting to higher ground. That’s when I felt a twitch on the left side of my pelvis, one that traveled down my leg, past my knees, all the way to my toes. Crap.

I slowed for a few strides but because the pain passed quickly, I went ahead at my normal pace, all systems go. (So I thought.)

I stopped for another photo with Hook.
Still felt fine while being harassed by Hades, though. Hell of a guy.
Hades was on hand to give everyone a nice harassing. Hell of a guy.

Okay, I always try really, really hard to have good running manners but I have to admit that when I saw Lotso, I let out a squeal and darted toward him, cutting off another runner.

My deepest apologies, whoever you are!

And what’s that ahead?

The finish line already? Noooo, the race went way too fast!


Right about now is when I started wishing runDisney had given out mylar blankets. I sweat. A lot. So while the weather felt FANTASTIC during the run, afterwards a chill set in deep in my bones, one that didn’t go away until I crawled in bed. It didn’t help that we had a long, LONG walk to the Indiana Jones stage area, where bag check was.

By the time I got there and gathered my stuff, my chill was full blown, enough to make me forget about getting a picture in my costume with Gaston on the other side of the park. (Seriously regret that. Should have sucked it up buttercup.) Instead, I changed into dry clothes but still couldn’t get warm. (I’ve since learned to always throw a knit cap in my bag. Covering my sweaty head would have helped tons.)


My knee also started to ache after that overpass twitch incident, so I was content grabbing a beer and sitting with my friends while they ate instead of tearing around the after party like I usually would, on a quest for character pictures. (Again, I regret this especially if that was the last TOT.)

We did take a spin on Toy Story Mania, though!

Shannon kicked my can. Badly.
Shannon kicked my can. Badly.

We soon decided to call it a day … er, morning, something my twenty-one-year-old self would have also kicked my can for. But really, since we had already had such an amazing time with the whole Grand Marshal experience, I was okay with this. Plus my knee was killing me. And I was freezing.

So goodbye, Hollywood Studios!

All in all, this race was absolutely amazing and I really hope runDisney brings it back soon, bigger, badder, and more Villain-y than ever!

And by the way? I did have a chance to connect with my guy Gaston at the park. TIP: Don’t ever flex in front of Gaston unless you want to be challenged to an arm wrestling competition. 😉

With that, I leave you with a love story …

2014-10-09 Tower of Terror

Thanks for reading!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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