13K for the 13th Anniversary

This past Saturday was the Tower of Terror 13K race in Walt Disney World.  On Friday I made my way to Downtown Disney to pick up my race packet.  The line was pretty long by the time the opened the doors to the Motions nightclub, but they had monitors visible outside the club that had the race logo rotating on them.  The doors opened a little late and when we got inside I went straight to the line for my race number. 

The numbers appeared to be assigned by order in which we signed up for the race.  I got number 60.  The longest line for the packet pick-up was for number 1-500.  It appeared the those of us that signed up first also picked up our packets first.  😉  The bar was filled with smoke from a smoke machine and the race logo was visible on screens throughout the bar.  While I waited in line my parents headed off to see about volunteering the following night so they could see me at the finish.  By the time I got my packet the line for the race merchandise was humungous, so I decided to skip it and left.  In this thought process I completely forgot to pick up my pre-purchased pins.

The next day I was meeting my friend Andi for dinner and we were meeting at the packet pick-up so I took advantage of that time to get my pins and even purchase a nice sweat shirt for running this winter.  We then made our way to Olive Garden for my usual pre-race dish.  Unfortunately the changed the menu and my favorite dish, chicken giardino, was no longer available.  I opted for a herb chicken and replaced the usul garlic cream sauce with pomodoro.  We dropped Andi off at her hotel with plans to pick her up later and headed home to get ready for the race.

Mom and Dad needed to be there at 7:30, so we picked Andi back up at 7 and headed to MGM.  She and I left Mom at the volunteer check-in and headed out to find the start line.  We followed a few people with glow-in-the-dark race numbers and they led us right to the start.  Then we waited around…and waited and waited.  The race start time came and went and still we stood.  They finally came on at 9:33 and announced that they race start was being delayed by 20 minutes.  Boos issued from the crowd.  I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed.  We were already past my bedtime and all I wanted to do was get going. 

Finally 9:50 came and after a few White Zombie and Rihanna videos and an extremely inappropriate Snoop video the race started.  The 13K people started first and the 6.5K was to follow us.  Originally they were supposed to start 30 minute after us, but they ended up following us by only about 6 minute.  We started out running across the back of the part and then headed out onto the street.  We made a little loop and then came to a sign that sent the 6.5K people back into the park and us off on exit ramp towards Wide World of Sports.  

A short time later we made a turn onto a dirt and rock path.  Since it had rained most of the day it was more of a dirt, rock and mud path.  Most people were gracious enough to take their time and allow everyone to avoid the puddles.  Then there was one guy in particular who came barrelling through and splashed us all with mud.  Needless to say he left a few unhappy runners in his wake.

In Wide World of Sports we crossed every terrain imaginable.  After the rock, dirt, and mud we also crossed concrete, asphalt, grass and a track.  The grounds were also litterred with cast members pretending to be escaped patient from an asylum.  They tried to be scarey, but most were funny and some pathetic.  The time went by fast and then we were back in MGM.  Unfortunately it was a slipperty journey because the went asphalt did little to provide our shoes with traction.

Once back in MGM we headed back all around the park.  Making a quick trip through Lights, Motors, Action where we were projected on the jumbotron.  Then we headed towards the Tower of Terror for the big finish.  There were lots of photographers in the park, so I am hoping they got a really good shot.  I saw Andi waiting for me at the finish since we parted ways at about mile 5. 

I got my medal and rounded the corner to find my parents directing traffic.  Dad took a quick photo and we walked off to get some water and a banana.  Our first stop was the bathroom.  Andi then hopped on the Rock-n-Roller coaster.  We walked over to the Great Movie ride and hopped on it and by the time we got off Mom and Dad were done volunteering and the part was almost over.  If the race hadn’t had been delayed we may have been able to get one more ride in. 

My dinner proved to be a bad choice during the race.  I was suffering from some acid reflux and the garlic was making me really thirsty.  After the run a felt slightly nausated.  When we returned home I took a shower and went straight to bed.

Overall the race was a fun experience.  There are a few things I would have liked to have seen.  I would like to have had the race start a little earlier so that I could have at least also gotten to ride Star Tours.  They gave us lots of glow-in-the-dark stuff, but the race course was never dark enough to see the glowing.  Some black lights could have helped with that.  I also would have liked to have seen something different to signify those of us that ran 13K.  We got the same shirts, numbers and medals. 

The medal is really cool.  It is the tower of terror with a spring loaded elevator that goes up and down. 

3 Responses to “13K for the 13th Anniversary”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Great report Katie. Sounds like you had a good time, despite the delay. Is the park open to paying public while this is going on? How did you not go bonkers waiting all day for the race?

  2. K80K Says:

    They closed the park to the public that day at 7:30 then sold tickets to the party for the friends and family of the runners for $25. That is why my parents volunteered. They could’t see themselves paying $50 to see me finish the race but still wanted to be at the finish line.

    The day actually went by really fast. We watched a movie in the morning. Then showered and went to lunch. Then went home and packed. Before we knew it it was time to go to the race.

  3. patmonahan Says:

    cool medal. I want one. I guess I’ll just have to run that race some day. Glad you had a good time.

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