Imagine If You Will…

Yes imagine if you will that the end of October is coming fast and that means the Walt Disney World Twilight Zone Tower of Terror races are fast approaching as well.

I hope all of you who are intending to run that day, erh night, are putting together a plan for this and next week; a plan that will best prepare you for your adventure.

As you get closer to race day it’s important to look at a schedule that works best for you in preparation for the race. This takes a lot of thought and the plan may vary depending upon such factors as time of year, day and time of the race, and race distance.

The objective is to put together a plan that discusses training within a week of the race, what to bring to Orlando, what you can expect a day or two before the race and on the day of the race and some guidelines and suggestions as to your activities the days before, day of, and day after the race.

I’d like to share with you what my plans are and along the way hopefully get you to think about just how your week will run.

If this were any other typical WDW sponsored race I’d have an easy time planning but it’s very atypical. We have Start Time of 9:30 P.M.


When workouts get into the high numbers we all must listen to our bodies and recognize what is best in terms of rest between these workouts. Everyone has a certain threshold in which their body says, “Okay, well if you’re going to take me out for this distance then I should warn you that I need X number of days off or I’ll be screaming at you.”

It gets even more important as you close in on race day. You want to remain finely tuned but you don’t want to overtrain or injure yourself.

Only you can determine how many workouts and how many miles in works best for you before race day. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

The safe bet is to not throw off your schedule. That is if you run every two days then maintain that schedule for race day. Your body is used to it so there should be no problems.

Running Gear

Just as with any other trip to Walt Disney World it’s a good idea to start choosing your travel gear a week ahead of time.

For runners the important thing is choosing the most comfortable running gear for the environment in which you will be running.

If you rotate your running shoes, that is alternate using two pairs and switching them every day, then you may want to continue with this practice. It’s probably not a good idea to bring down a brand new pair. They may be too stiff and not broken in.

Bring the pair that you feel is most comfortable and never look back. Your feet will thank you.

Same with socks. Don’t experiment with new socks. Use a pair that you know will not cause blisters.

It’s late October but it’s Florida so bring a nice light pair of shorts and if possible bring a pair that is made with material that will wick the moisture from your body. I always bring two pairs of shorts because some days one pair just feels better than the other.

A short sleeved running shirt will be in order for an evening run in Florida. Long sleeves may be a little warm for you. Again, one made of material that wicks moisture may be something to consider.

Let’s mention one more piece of equipment; bring a hat or visor”¦not to keep the sun out of your eyes but the rain in case Mother Nature wants to slap on yet another challenging component to the race.

This is important especially if you wear glasses or contacts. Imagine running at night and not being able to see where you are running. That notion frightens me.

Internal Clock Adjustment

A 9:30 P.M. start time is quite different than the time I normally run so I have some work to do.

Since I am an early riser I am already adjusting my daily routine so that I get used to staying up later and sleeping as late as I can.

How does the 9:30 P.M. start sit with you? Are you comfortable with it? Do you need to make an adjustment? If so, do it gradually.

If you arrive in Orlando next Thursday then you have two nights to do any late adjustment and might I suggest attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on the 26th and staying out to the wee hours of the morning.

You’ll sleep later the next morning and hopefully be well rested for the race that evening.

When to Arrive

That is a matter of preference. I like arriving Wednesday or Thursday for Saturday races. I prefer at least two days to get acclimated to the Florida climate. It’s also nice to get settled in and get at least two good nights sleep before the day of the race. Some people prefer to arrive the night before the race. Everyone is different.

Do what’s best for you.


I have some concerns.

What concerns me is the footing and the lighting for the courses, especially the 13K distance.

Unlike other WDW races I have participated in over the years, this one will find it darker at the Finish than at the Start.

With this in mind, the start time, artificial lighting, and footing concerns have led me to approach this race far differently than any other race.

This is not a race in which I will be shooting for my best time…especially with bigger fish to fry in January. Now is not the time to get hurt.

I would suggest to all who are participating in either the 6.5K or 13K race to not be too concerned about how quickly you cover the distance.

Enjoy yourself and be safe.

Mandatory Packet Pickup — Updated Location!

This just in from the race corordinators…the location for Packet Pickup has been changed.
Here’s the note:

Please note that the mandatory packet pick-up location has changed. Mandatory packet pick-up will now take place at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island in Motion Friday, October 26 from 3pm – 8pm, and on Saturday, October 27 from 10am – 4pm.

If you purchased extra party tickets or a commemorative pin in advance, you may also pick these up during packet pick-up hours. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13k & 6.5k event merchandise will be available for sale during packet pick-up, as well as during the race at Disney-MGM Studios.

Reader Tip

My thanks to Chad Swanson who sent me a pointer to Hal Higdon’s website.For more information on knee issues and treating them go here. Higdon is the author of Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide.

When you go to the site navigate to the page that discusses how to train for the specific distance for which you are training.

Thanks Chad.

Meet and Greet?

So how many out there would like to meet after the race and have a group photo taken of us with our medals?

If so please plan to meet near the Tower of Terror sign that leads up to the garden. You know the sign.


I’m assuming everyone will have finished their respective race by 11:30 so we’ll try to gather between then and 11:45.

We’ll take a group photo and I also encourage anyone who is doing their first race to send me a photo of themselves proudly showing off their medals. I will proudly post your picture here.

Blogging from Orlando

Speaking of posting, I hope to be posting daily blogs during my ToT trip so don’t forget to come visit me here every day beginning late next week. And for those of you going down to run or cheer on the runners please come up and say hi.

“¦there’s a signpost up ahead”¦it says, “Next Stop! The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K race.”


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