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Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run: Not so spooky after all


I started running eight months ago. At this time I had no idea Disney had running events. After my cousin told me to check out we decided that our goal was to do as many Disney 5k runs as we could and then move onto a half marathon. What could be better than combining my love of running and Disney?!  The first race we signed up for was Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run, which was part of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.  This was the first year for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  All of Disney’s races fill up pretty early, so if you are thinking of participating in one, registering sooner rather than later is always better.

The first stop of the weekend was the Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It is required that those taking place in any of the events stop here to pick up their packets (although there is an absentee packet pick-up form for those that cannot attend and wish someone to pick up their race packet). In the packet is your t-shirt and race bib, including some safety pins. The packet itself is presented in a bag you can check the next day at the bag tent if you have any belongings with you. When we got to the expo the lines for packet pick up were pretty empty. There were a decent amount of people checking out the vendors including the official runDisney tent.

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.

Right behind the official runDisney tent my cousin spotted Jeff Galloway, American Olympian, writer of many books on running, creator of the run-walk-run method and runDisney’s official training consultant. He signed our books, took pictures with us and talked to us about our running progress so far. It was amazing how inspirational and personable he was.

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.

After talking to Jeff we decided to get some food and rest, as the race was the next morning. We woke up early and headed to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex again as this is where the 5k was being held. There was a stage with a DJ getting the crowd ready to run. The line to take a picture with Mickey dressed for Halloween was really long. We decided to skip that and get into our corral and wait for the race to start. While waiting we took the opportunity to get pictures of some of the people dressed in Disney themed costumes, which was encouraged. We came across chimney sweeps and Alice with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.

This particular race was not timed, so there was no pressure and you could take the time to just enjoy what the course had to offer. The course started in the fields and quickly went into a trail in the woods. There were speakers hidden everywhere playing scary sounds and on some parts of the course music from some of the rides at Disney.

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.

There was a lot of on-course entertainment. Most people walked by while taking pictures, but some stopped to get pictures with the characters and props along the course.

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.

Close to the end we exited the wooded area and came to a running track.  Along the track was the last photo opportunity with the grave diggers and music from the Haunted Mansion.

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.

At this point it was starting to get very hot and we were just looking for the end.  Soon enough it was right ahead and we finished strong. We received our medals and some much needed water. We were then put in line to get official pictures with our medals.

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.
Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.

We all enjoyed the race. It was very well organized and the medal and t-shirt were really nice. I would highly recommend a runDisney event to anyone who likes running or just wants to get out and do one of their fun runs with no pressure of being timed.

Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run – photo gallery

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[sws_author_bio user=”DanielleMurray” size=”105″ authorposts=”More OI posts by Danielle” name_format=”About the author”] [/sws_author_bio]

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October 10, 2012 11:05 pm

Very cool. I ran my first runDisney event that same day when I did the Tower of Terror 10-miler, it was tough but I was able to conquer it. I’ll definitely be doing more runDisney events, it’s a great way to stay motivated.

About Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the owner of Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

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