The race that takes you to another dimension got off to a great start on Saturday night. It was part of the 13th Anniversary of the Tower of Terror. In its honor, WDW Sports put together its first night-time race and post-race party. I heard there were 4000 runners in attendance, and many more at the post-race party as spectators (hard ticket required, included in race price for runners).
The course started at the parking lot toll plaza, and wound it way over to the Wide World of Sports and back - the finish line was just below TOT, in the area currently set up behind Rock and Roller for the Playhouse Disney tent. The most unexpected element of the event, in my humble opinion, was what my friend appropriately called "race-mo-sphere" (you may have heard of street-mo-sphere at MGM before). Anyway, part of the course at WWOS led us through a wooded section, and they had castmembers dressed all in white as though they had escaped from a mental hospital. Some were banging pots and pans, others jumping out from trees and so forth. Kind of unusual for a race, but I thought it was a lot of fun. The finisher's medal was awesome: a replica of the TOT, with a little elevator that slides up and down on a spring - very cool. It goes without saying that there was a limited edition pin for the event, so I won't bother to mention that.
However, the really cool part of the evening for me was that I ran the race in costume. Many other people were also in costume as it was Halloween and people often dress up for Disney races in general. My costume, to be a little different, was the Tower of Terror itself. I made a foam hat/head piece representing the towers and turrets from the building, and put a half-moon shaped elevator floor indicator above my forehead, and then I had foam letters across my chest that said "Hollywood Tower Hotel." It was a big hit. After the race, the rides were open, so my friend and I had to go on the actual TOT. As I was exiting the elevator at the end, a manager pulled me aside and through a door. She said the castmembers on the closed circuit TV wanted to see me - so I got a tour of the control room (very cool) and then since it was close to closing time, they got all the bellhops together to ride it with me again and they gave me the photo. It was definately a "magical moment" as I've never had so much attention rewarded upon me for one of my crazy ideas before. I was kind of nervous while I was making it that perhaps I had gone over the top a little - but the results where totally worth the effort.
I will have to scan in the photo and post here, as well as a photo of the medal and pin - I'll try to do that tonight.
I think overall everyone had a great time at the race. It was the first time for this event, and I really didn't see any significant shortfalls - the planning team did a great job. It was quite the party atmosphere in the park afterward, which was much more fun than the typical conclusion in the Epcot parking lot.
More later - my lunch break is over.