Everyone, meet Anne. Anne, meet… everyone!
|Reach for the sky!
Anne’s a good friend, fellow runner and Disney fan I met online- make sure you follow her @anniem695 This is Anne’s big coming out party- and I’m so excited to be her host. Please give her a warm welcome and make sure to read about the Expedition Everest Challenge!
She’s also kicking off her blog and would love to have some friendly faces stop by. Anne’s blogging at Outrunningthefork.com – man, there’s all kinds of #truth in that blog title, am I right?
Without further delay, here’s the Expedition Everest Challenge recap from Anne!
Expedition Everest Challenge Recap
So, this is the year I’m running all of the events at runDisney which means I’m doing lots of races I’ve never done before – but always wanted to! One of these is the Expedition Everest Challenge that took place this past weekend. Some great firsts for me! First night race, first “obstacle” race (more on that!) and first race with an official “after party”!
Since the Everest Challenge is a short run I wasn’t expecting the big expo that you usually see at a runDisney
event and that’s okay by me! Since I’m doing so many of their events this year, I have kind of committed to just buying a coffee mug and a wine glass so the less expo the less temptation I have!
Expedition Everest delivers on the “less expo” for sure!! It’s a packet pickup with a couple vendors.
Got my bib, my t-shirt (M, unisex, short-sleeved) and a small goody bag.
I was excited to wear my new costume – Isabella from Phineas and Ferb – and got dressed and headed over to the Animal Kingdom Parking Lot!! Race night weather was great – a little warm, a little humid but it’s Florida in May so I was a little concerned about wearing a hat the whole way! Got some pictures taken at Base Camp and then headed over to my corral. Since I was in a slower corral, I was going to have a half hour after the first gun went off! Time went by pretty quick and soon we were crossing the starting line!
The first mile was basically in the parking lot at Animal Kingdom. We got to the first obstacle – hay bales – shortly before Mile 1. As an inherently clumsy person, this was the one I was most concerned about. In my mind I could see myself taking a face-plant and being trampled by the (albeit slow) runners coming up behind me!! I compromised and instead of hurdling over I stepped on each bale and got over that way
By the time my corral headed into the park we were being passed by people who were already on the scavenger hunt part of the night! But the CM’s were great at keeping people on the right path!! And seeing them heading back into the park only made me want to finish faster to get to the hunt!! So I kept moving!
Before Mile 2 we headed into an out and back in the backstage area with some great views of the back of Everest, which only made me more eager to finish so I could get my butt on that coaster!! I love running out and backs since you get to pass a lot of the the other runners. Lots of high fives and “good jobs!”. And then the second obstacles – the Tires. I couldn’t help but laugh because no one was running them. There were two columns of runners walking through the staggered tires in sync just swaying back and forth! I giggled the whole way through this obstacle!!
And then we were in the home stretch! We finished up in the same backstage area and headed out to the parking lot! Obstacle 3 was right before Mile 3. It was crawling under a net. I actually skipped this one and just headed to the finish in the parking lot.
After crossing the finish line for the 5K the rows of volunteers handed out a small flashlight, a bottle of water and the first clue! At the bottom of the clue was the instruction for where we were to go next. When you get to that location, you give the answer to the CM standing there and, if you’re right, you get the next clue! I have to say, I wouldn’t have guessed the first one if I hadn’t overheard someone else! I mean, I would have gotten it, but probably not before I got to the “Oasis”!
The next 2 clues were a piece of cake for me to solve – but when I got to clue 4 I was stumped again! I thought there was a pattern to the responses so guessed. Wrong! Eventually, there were about 4 of us standing there trying to guess correctly when someone else came up with the right answer – so we all said it, but I had to ask for an explanation cause I still didn’t get it!! The Final clue ended up being a puzzle we had to solve with all of our clue cards so I plopped myself down and started arranging cards. And arranging them. And. Arranging them. Eventually, the 7 of us who ended up working together had to ask for more help from the CM and FINALLY had an A-Ha moment!
Once we solved the puzzle we could run again (oh yeah, no one tells you -til now that is! – that you’re gonna run a bit more than a 5K), back out the same last mile we’d already done. This time, crossing the finish line we had to point on our bibs to the answer to the puzzle we’d put together! Of course by the time I got there, no one cared!! But I was done! And it was probably past midnight and I was completely amped and ready to go!!
Grabbed my bag and some water and headed back in to the park for some After Party fun!! First stop – picture with Mickey and Minnie! Second stop – beer! Third stop – a ride on Expedition Everest. In the Dark! Most excellent ride – it just is tons better in the dark! Though, probably not the BEST choice post beer! Next stop was Kali River Rapids. One of my absolute favorite rides at Disney, I carry a poncho with me on every visit to the Animal Kingdom so I can ride! This time I figured it was so hot and humid that a little water would feel good. Yeah. Another poor choice! When I packed 2 days later, some of my running clothes were still damp! But we were able to go two rounds without getting out of the boat!! After the second time around I decided to head back to the resort and get a little sleep before another day in the parks on Sunday!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)