Monday, May 5, 2014

runDisney: Everest Challenge Weekend

Rumors started swirling last year that runDisney's Expedition Everest Challenge would soon be making its departure from the schedule, to be replaced with a Star Wars run. While we are still waiting on any official announcements on that to happen (the race is on the schedule for next year, but no registration date up) I wanted to take advantage on what could potentially be the last time for this race. Bethany, my fiancee, wanted to participate with me in my next race, so this was perfect for her as its only a 5K.

We arrived to the Animal Kingdom at about 8:30 pm so that we could get the bag checked, get warmed up and have some fun at the pre race. Up until about an hour before we left it had been raining and we thought that it was going to be a good race. Boy we missed judged that, because as soon as we got off the bus, it started to rain. It would lighten up a little here and there. but it just kept coming. 

We made the most of it. Waiting in lines for pictures at the different stations, watching everyone dance to the music (I have some video that I hope to post soon).  We made our way to the corrals around 9, the race didn't start until 10 pm, and we were in the last corral, so it was 2 hours in the corral, but a fun time. We met great people. and were greatly entertained by the singing and dancing happening around us. 

The corrals started to make their way on the course. And soon it was our turn. Beth and I were at the front of our corral. As soon as they let us start walking to the start line, the rain had stopped, for good this time. 

The start smoke went off, and we were on our way. The first mile was mostly in the Butterfly Parking Lot. It was here where we found our first obstacle, the hay bails.  There were about 20 rows of single high bails that we had to jump. nothing hard, but it was a challenge. 

Mile 2 was just past Discovery Island, where we made our way towards Africa, then Asia, and into the backstage area, behind Everest. This was our encounter with the second obstacle, the tires. Just like in football drills, but they had the road filled with tires side by side. The bad thing here was that it bottle necked due to some people becoming entangled in the tires.

After we cleared the obstacle, we continued down the backstage area, and switched back. This was the beginning of mile 3. It was all backstage, until we get to the final obstacle, the net crawl. Its exactly what it sounds like, an army crawl under a cargo net. It once again bottlenecks here because of people getting down and back up, Beth dodge in and out of the net obstacle.

We crossed the finish line, only to get our first clue to the Scavenger hunt.

The clues were kinda hard. You had to answer the question to one of the volunteers.  For the first clue, we had to figure out what item that was given to us that we could us that could choose the right flag color.  We were given an orange shirt, blue sharpie, and our bib. The answer came down to the furthest flag on the bib, which was the Green flag. So we made our way to the Courtyard to get clue 2.

This was the hardest one that we had been given, in my opinion (Beth was still trying to figure it out after we were done and back in the room). For the answer we had to reference clue 1's answer, and add up the hidden objects. Mental and Physical & reenergizes and helps were the two hidden objects. so 2+2=4. and 4 was the answer to clue 2. On to Pizzafari for clue 3.

I don't know how to solve this one, one of the other runners came up to us and as soon as we sat down and said  "'Things that keep you warm' is the answer". On to Africa for clue 4.

Based off of clue 3 we had to punch out what would keep us warm, simple. On to clue 5!

We were instructed to place clue 4 on top of clue 5 and make our way to the finish line, when we did this, we came up to the following:

Crossing the finish line we had to hold up the number 4, and then came our awesome medal!

We recovered for the over 4.5 miles that we had just done, met up with the charity we ran with, and went on to the post race party in Dinoland USA. On the way over to it, we hit up Kali River, and Expedition Everest (which is amazingly awesome at night, and is one of the main reasons I will be going to the park at night when it starts staying open later). 

Dinoland was an awesome party. DJ playing, characters out dancing, and the best cast members (side note, remember to thank the cast members. Some had stated they had been there for 14 hours, or more). The lines for everything were moving fast, and the character interactions were great! 

Overall we had a great time with the run, and I look to do it again next time, if there is a next time.

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