The Inaugural Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler
The Inaugural Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler took over 10,000 runners into another dimension on September 29. This is the second nighttime race on the runDisney roster and it was a hauntingly good time! The course began at Disney's Hollywood Studios and took runners down Osceola Parkway towards Animal Kingdom and back to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS).
Runners were treated to a haunted trail full of skeletons and pirates on the way into WWOS. Once there, a loop around the track and a run around the bases at Champion Stadium made for a unique race experience. The course then returned to the Studios through the set of Light, Motors, Action!, around the Sorcerer's Hat and down Pixar Place. The finish line sat in the shadow of the Hollywood Tower Hotel where the screams of those brave enough to encounter the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror could be heard.
Juan Morales of Huntington Beach, CA won the race with an impressive 58:00 finish. The first woman to cross the finish line was Kimberly Mueller of San Diego, who had an equally impressive time of 1:04:50. Heat definitely played a factor for many runners, including myself, who had difficulty keeping pace and staying hydrated for the long 10 miles. The humidity was brutal and something not even Disney could control.
After the race, runners and spectators enjoyed the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash post-race party. Here guests enjoyed music, character meet & greets, and had exclusive access to attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (obviously!), Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania. Many counter service restaurants were open for a post-race meal and satellite bars were set up around Sunset Boulevard to liven up the party.
Like most inaugural races, there was plenty of room for improvement. There was a definite lack of entertainment on the course for a Disney race. The long stretch of Osceola Parkway was particularly boring and could've used some livening up. The after-party was a bit crowded for the hot and tired runners, and the bag pick-up area seemed miles away at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
The big highlight of the race was of course the medal. This replica of the Tower of Terror came complete with a moving elevator and glow in the dark features. A one--of-a-kind medal for a one-of-a-kind race!
The next runDisney event is the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend held November 9-10. This is the other nighttime race held in Walt Disney World and keeps getting better every year.
Did you run the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler? What did you think? What was your favorite part? What improvements can be made? Leave a comment and let us know!