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).

Tower of Terror Starting LineTower of Terror Starting Line
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.

Running Through Pixar PlaceRunning Through Pixar Place
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.

Tower of Terror 10 Miler MedalTower of Terror 10 Miler Medal
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!

Jennifer wrote on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 12:35:

Jennifer's picture

I ran the 10 Mile race too!! My 2nd RunDisney event, did the Wine and Dine last year. Yes the heat and humidity were brutal.....coming from Northern Indiana (it was 37 degrees the morning before we left), it was a bit of a system shock, that's for sure!! Yes the entertainment was sparse, but it's night!! Disney can't illuminate the entire course! And I loved the "off road" portion into WWoS, the Track and Baseball field! It was a fun and challenging course, and I would do the race again if my schedule permits! And Yeah, the medal is totally awesome! LOL

Rob wrote on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 20:33:

Rob's picture

I'd have to agree we everything said. My wife and I are from South Florida, so we train in this weather. The lack of entertainment on Osceola was very disappointing. I heard a lot of people complaining about having to go up and down the steps at Indi. With that said I enjoyed ESPN, and the pre and post run festivities were fun.

We are looking forward to the WDW Marathon in January and the Princess after that.

nikkirugby13 wrote on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 20:42:

nikkirugby13's picture

This makes me want to run all of the runDisney events.... let's make it through the Princess 1/2 first....

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 12:07:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great job Jennifer & Rob! I'm always so impressed with people who can make long runs happen. I can power walk a 5K but that's about my limit. I just get so bored with the training I always seem to give up after 3.1.

MadAussie wrote on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 20:16:

MadAussie's picture

I ran this race, with no training due to an injury. I made it to mile 7 before having to walk the rest of the race. Thankfully it was only 10 miles (I'm in the 2nd photo on this page, in the Sally costume with the long red wig).

I've run the janurary half three times, the full marathon once, including goofy, the marathon relay once, the disneyland half as well. Loved them all.

This race had some fantastic parts, liked the fact it was at night, the concept of the hollywood bash was good, although didn't stick around for it, the medal is awesome!

The long long hike up a hill and down stairs and pushing through the whole park to get to your bag was painful, especially given that I was trying to carry a bottle of water, powerade, a banana and a box of snacks. A goody bag at the end to put your stuff in would be good if they can't relocate the bag pickup.

The lack of characters on course was a bit disappointing, especially as this is the USP for disney races. I would have been nice if Stitch was in the hollywood tower of terror costume, but maybe for next time.

I LOVED being able to walk back to my hotel (boardwalk) at the end of the evening instead board a bus and getting stiff :)

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