I had a great time this past weekend at Disney World participating in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler Weekend. I have a lot to tell you all about, but I’ll start with the Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
I stayed at Disney’s All Star Music Resort (in my favorite part, the Broadway section!) with my friend Cristina for the weekend. Since we had to arrive at the 5K by 6:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, Cristina and I set our alarm for 5:15 a.m. We planned to leave the room at 5:45 a.m. and drive to the ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWoS), where the race would be held. We decided to bypass the runDisney bus system for this race, since WWoS was so close to our hotel and we wanted to give ourselves a little extra sleep. We left the room exactly at 5:45 and stopped at McDonald’s on the way for coffee. We got a fairly close parking space and walked up the main walkway and around the Josten Center to the fields below.
It wasn’t too hot or humid yet, and there was a creepy, Halloween-like fog covering the field. I stopped by to see my family, who were stationed as volunteers at the finish line, then we headed to the “runners only” section where the corrals and porta-potties were. We met up with our friend Jayme and headed to Corral E. Although runDisney had placed me into Corral D, Jayme and Cristina were in E so I went with them. As we waited in the corral, the sun rose.
Following an extended banter by two of the most annoying emcees ever, the race started. The course was mostly on grass and dirt. The ground was very wet, so it was more like “wet grass and mud.” There were also a few spots that were very swampy. Although I got bits of grass on my shoes, I tried not to get too dirty. I don’t like getting dirty.
Our plan all along was to take it easy, especially since I was running the 10-mile race later that same day. We walked a lot, chatted and enjoyed ourselves. The course was quite narrow at times and we passed a pirate’s ship, a skeleton in a cage, Brer Bear, the Big Bad Wolf, and huge bugs hanging from trees. There were several times when blaring monster/creepy noises and music were coming from clearly visible speakers.
Toward the end of the race we entered a track and finally got out of the mud and grass. There were coffins and Haunted Mansion grave diggers there. At the finish line, my mom gave me my medal and we stopped for a picture. We grabbed waters, powerades, and snack boxes, then headed to Perkins for breakfast.
My main disappointment with this race has to do with characters. Mickey was apparently present, in a special scarecrow outfit, but he wasn’t there at the start of our corral. He was not there at the finish line when we finished. He was, apparently, at one of the two photo lines outside of the race (the other was a blowup Mickeyhead pumpkin) but I did not see him when I walked over to that station to see why people were taking pictures. I was also expecting more characters along the course, but I understand that it was a run through the marshy woods and characters might have been logistically difficult.
Although the theming was very cute, and there was nothing really wrong with the race, I’m not sure I want to run this race again. I didn’t like the “trail run” part of it. But I had lots of fun running the race with my friends.
You can find all of my pictures from this race here: http://theresheruns.shutterfly.com/pictures/49