HOT! That’s the ONLY way to describe what I’m about to detail. As in ‘Animal Kingdom HOT’. One of the most humid races I have ever run at Walt Disney World. Of course, this wasn’t something that runDisney could control and it wasn’t something that thousands of athletes could overlook and although I did not witness it, there were many tales of runners “losing their lunch” at the finish line because of it.
But I digress.
My crew of three departed the WorldQuest Resort around 6:15pm and headed over to the Disney Boardwalk Resort to meet up with Running at Disney and her hubby. From there we elected to not walk the path over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but to take a bus over to the race start. There was NO parking at DHS for the race. You could only get there by bus or walking over from the Boardwalk.
Once released from the bus we scoped out bag drop for Sarah and Barry. Marc, Alexus and I decided to not bring a bag since it was so hot and humid. We figured we’d get out of our sweaty race clothes and put on dry clothes that would only get sweaty again when walking around the park later on. Why bother?
There were tons of people in costume. Like. These ladies…
This race started with four different corrals: A, B, C & D. Disney did runners a great service and added port-o-potties and water INSIDE the gates of every corral. Great move on their part since runners are required to be at the race start so much earlier than the actual start of the race. We were required to be in our corrals no later than 9:15pm. My daughter and I were in B along with these guys…
and these guys…
We each took a GU and waited… Here’s a look at the start line for the race. That’s all of Corral A up in front of us. At this point my feet were starting to ache a little bit. I had attended a meet earlier in the day that had me standing on my feet in uncomfortable shoes for about an hour. My mistake…now I was going to pay for it.
A little after 10pm the fireworks sounded for the start of our corral and we were off. We headed backwards out of the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, up an on ramp and onto the long stretch of Osceola Parkway towards Animal Kingdom. By Mile 1 I was already dripping sweat. I was so glad to have a fuel belt on because I, for the first time ever, had to squirt water over the top of my head just to cool down. In between Mile 1 and Mile 2 all runners had to move to the side of the road to let an ambulance thru. Uh-Oh. You never want to hear that sound. Just past Mile 2 we made it to the entrance of Animal Kingdom where the turn around was to head back whence we came on Osceola Parkway.
It was right around this time that my girl Running at Disney caught up to me and Alexus. Her and her hubby had started one corral behind us. We ran with her for about a quarter mile and she commented on the extreme heat. Miss Fast Pants was keeping a much quicker pace than we were so we told her to go on without us and run her own race. The same advice her husband had given her back at Mile 1.
Osceola Parkway was pretty boring. Having run all of runDisney’s races, save for the Marathon I’m running this January, I have to admit that this one was really lacking in the entertainment department. Mile 3 and 4 were pretty uneventful. Just plugging along with our run-walk-run method. Took another GU around Mile 3. Just before Mile 5 the course took a jog to the right and onto a narrow rocky trail headed for Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
Award winning photography, I know.
This was supposed to be some kind of belly of the beast bone yard thing. Pretty cool even though my photography skills aren’t. What wasn’t cool was the fact that everyone was walking this stretch. The path was so thick with walkers that we couldn’t run at all, not that we would have wanted to. I was afraid I might twist my ankle on the rocks. A trail runner I am not. Luckily this stretch was only about a half a mile long. Then the course broke thru into the sports fields for WWofS.
We had the opportunity to run on an actual track where there was a Haunted Mansion Gravedigger Photo Opp and then onto another ball field where spectators filled the stands. This was one of the highlights of the race cause we had friends in the stands which gave us a boost! Check out our sign…Thanks Rora! ((smooches))
You know what wasn’t cool was the fine loose gravel we had to run on. I kicked up a ton of it and it ended up in the bottom of my shoe.
Thankfully I had my 13-year-old shoe-cleaner-outer with me and she assisted in removing it for me. We each took our last GU and hooked a left onto Victory Way and passed Mile 7 before heading back onto Osceola Parkway. Mile 8 led us back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
FINALLY! Something fun to look at…and spectators! We entered the park thru a backstage area and onto the Lights Motors Action Stage.
Loved that each of the mile marker banners had a different villain on them. Mile 9…Chernabog.
The last mile of the race was probably the most fun but nothing could beat the sight of the Finish Line. My dawgs were tired and I was ready to get some grub. Nothing in the goodie box really appealed to me so I grabbed a banana instead. I felt bad for the folks who had checked a bag. Bag check was at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular attraction on the other side of the park opposite the Tower of Terror. I was so beat that I didn’t want to stand in the lines for any of the attractions. My daughter was not happy about my decision to leave but I had “Big Mac” on my mind. The bling for this race was pretty sweet!
Here’s hoping that Disney decides to move this race back a couple of weeks next year. It was so miserable HOT! I can’t say that I wouldn’t do it again cause I know I would. Did you run the Tower of Terror 10 Miler? What was your take on it?