Race Report: 2014 runDisney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run

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Can we “hitch” a ride to the start….

runDisney’s Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run is (was) one of my favorite 5K races held at Walt Disney World.*  This was my 2nd year running The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler weekend races and my 5th runDisney weekend of 2014.  One of the cool and challenging things of  this weekend is both of the 5K and 10 miler, like the Wine and Dine races, are held on the very same day!  This can make both rest and fueling a challenge.

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With Honest John and Gideon…

The Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run began at 7:30am.  Which by runDisney’s standards is in the middle of the day!  A 7:30am start is THE latest start time of any of the runDisney races!  Unfortunately for us, it was raining when we drove over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex so we camped out in the car waiting until the last possible second to make it to our corrals by 7:15am.  Lucky for us the sky cleared as we scurried to our corral.

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With the Big Bad Wolf…

The Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run has one of the best openings of a runDisney 5K (second only to the Tinker Bell 5K).  Right before the start of the race, the Headless Horseman rides in from the woods to welcome the runners to the race – please see the video below for his entrance.  And for those who don’t make it to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – it’s quite a treat!  After that excitement and the singing of the National Anthem, we were sent off and into the woods…

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With the Haunted Mansion grave diggers…

The 5K Trail Run’s course is run on the soccer fields and dirt trails of the Sports Complex.  Considering it had just rained, the trails were not in that bad a shape.  However, because we were costumed, we took our time enjoying #ALLTHECHARACTERSTOPS.

Glow in the dark t-shirts and medallions with the race bibs.

Glow in the dark t-shirts and medallions with the race bibs.

This weekend’s races are extra special if you like stopping for photos because the “villain” characters aren’t regularly in the parks.  Here are the characters we encountered:

  1. Honest John the Fox and Gideon the Cat – Pinocchio
  2. The witch – Snow White
  3. Brer Fox and Brer Bear – Song of the South
  4. The Big Bad Wolf – The Three Little Pigs
  5. Grave diggers from the Haunted Mansion

For a 3.1 mile race there were just enough characters and the lines were manageable.  The volunteers were outstanding as usual.  I especially loved the “glow in the dark” race t-shirt and Hitchhiking Ghosts finishers medallion.  In my opinion, it was a great improvement over 2013’s orange tee and Mickey themed medallion.

For a full video recap please click below:

*The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler Weekend is not on runDisney’s 2015 race calendar.

Did you run the 2014 Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run?  What did you think?

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