Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Peek Inside the Last Expedition Everest

While we were stressing out about getting all our stuff around for our first trip to Disneyland in California, there was another Disney race going on. The first weekend in May was the last Expedition Everest Challenge race. When I first started running Disney races, Expedition Everest was high on my list of the ones to run  mainly because I never thought I would be able to run more than a 5k race but we all know how that turned out).
 
Anyway, our friend Heather was fortunate to be able to participate in the last Expedition Everest and she wanted to share her experience here with you all..................
 
Disney obsticle course
Add caption

Last November my friend Kelly and I were talking about how the Everest Challenge was ending.  She said she wanted to go and asked if I was interested.  Of course!  It doesn’t take much to get me to sign up for runDisney races.  So we signed up as a team, “Run with the Mouse”.

Expo

While I have read other reports on this race from past years, I knew not to expect a normal runDisney Expo.  There was a cheerleading competition that was going on at ESPN, so this year it was hosted in the Butterfly lot of Animal Kingdom, where the start of the race would take place.  We were staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, one of the three hotels that had official transportation that weekend, so we took the first bus to the expo and when we arrived, we were floored.  There were 3 small tents and one bus with official merchandise outside it.  People around us who had done the race before said that this was even smaller than past years. 

The first place we hit was the official merchandise area.  The items for sale were a men and woman’s version of the “I did it” shirt, the Everest Challenge pin and a generic runDisney hat.  I bought myself an “I did it” shirt and that was it.  We then headed to get our bibs and official shirt.  The official shirt was OK.  They were white, like bright white. 

There were three sponsor tents, New Balance, Fit 2 Run, and GoodSense.  This was the first runDisney expo that I have done in less than 30 minutes and spent less than $35.  A-ma-zing!  We went to the start line and took a bunch of photos with the photo op stations that were set up for the next night.  After an uneventful Expo, we headed back to drop off our stuff and to the parks.

expedition everest race shirts
 

Race

We had noticed that Kelly’s bib did not have a B-Tag so we decided to take the first bus to the race so that we could check out what might be the problem.  On the bus, there were other teams that only one teammate had the B-Tag, and officially found out that it was fine.  So it was all up to me to actually cross the finish line. 

We then had 2 hours to burn.  We were in Coral A, so we dropped off our bags and headed to the start.  There was a DJ there that was leading a bunch of dances who was a lot of fun.  I was told that he had done past runDisney events, but I don’t remember him.  Kelly was super focused for the race and clues and I had just taken a 5-Hour Energy so I was bouncing off the walls and dancing.  Someone next to her asked if I was alright.  Of course I was, I was at a runDisney race.

 
5k

Before we knew it, it was time to start the race.  First there was a 5k to get through, with just a few obstacles to mix it up.  We started through the parking lot of Animal Kingdom and before the first mile we hit our first obstacle.  It was the hay bales.  I have to be honest, I didn’t do all of them.  I was so excited and busy trying to take pictures that I skipped a couple of them.  Right before we entered Animal Kingdom we hit mile 1.  Right after we entered in the park, we hit our first character, Safari Chip and Dale (my picture didn’t turn out L ).  After we ran past the Tree of Life, we hit the other two character stops, first Timon from The Lion King and then King Louie from the Jungle Book.  Before we knew it, mile 2 was here.  We then hit the last two obstacles, the crawling under a net (oww on the knees) and the tires. 



Scavenger Hunt



Once we hit the finish line of the 5k we were given a bottle of water, a cooling towel and our first clue.  This was a hard clue.  We took our answer up to the volunteer a few times and were sent back a few times.  I finally heard someone say the answer with the correct answer and I copied and said 36.  Yes we cheated on the first clue.  I still don’t understand the answer.  It turned out that the answer we told was correct was actually incorrect.  It was actually 34.  A week later, I finally understood it.  1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44, 5:55, 10:00, 11:10, 11:11, 11:12, 11:13, 11:14, 11:15, 11:16, 11:17, 11:18, 11:19, 12:22 – times two – once for AM and once for PM.  We got our second clue and headed into Animal Kingdom for a second time.

 

The second clue was a little easier.  It still took us a little while to try and figure it out, but ended up with CARABINER. 


We headed to the next area with our third clue.  This one we finally got on the first try, MOUNTAINEERS.

 

 

For the fourth clue we had the second half, but needed a little help from the volunteer.  He helped us sound it out and we got it, ELEVATION.  From then on I couldn’t get the song from U2 out of my head.


And then for the fifth and final clue, a word search.  We both love word searches.  At first we didn’t understand what we were looking for, but found a lot of the words from the clues in it.  We finally figured out that we had to find each word from our previous clues how many ever times it was listed on this clue.  This is where we figured out that we were told what was wrong for clue number one.


GO FIND THE HIDDEN YETI ON A CLUE CARD AND HOLD IT UPAT THE FINISH

 
 

The Yeti was on the back of clue number 2.  We headed to the finish and got our medals! 

 
compass medal


The snacks afterward included water, Power Aide, Krave Chocolate snack things, and bananas.  With our hands full we headed out to get our bags and head to the after party.

 

After party

The Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, and Dinoland U.S.A. area were open.  We passed on Expedition Everest as it had a 25 minute wait and I had road it earlier that day and headed toward the River Rapids.  We planned on riding the ride and then changing out of our stinky race clothes into dry ones after.  The rapids were a lot of fun to ride in the dark but it was COLD once we were done.  We changed and headed back to check out the Everest ride.  It was now 45 minutes and I had to get up early for my flight the next day, so we headed back to the hotel.

Final Thoughts

I’m really glad I did this race.  It was a lot of fun!  I’m sad to see it go as I would totally do it again.  It was very underappreciated and under-noticed race.  The Expo was a disappointment, even with very low expectations.  I really wish that runDisney would have put more into this last race, it felt like this one was an afterthought for them, especially a week ahead of Tinkerbell.  The scavenger hunt was challenging and a lot of fun, especially with a great partner. 

RIP Expedition Everest Challenge!   Have you ever ran Expedition Everest? Are you sad to see it go?

Be sure to follow Heather on twitter @Heatherlas

22 comments:

  1. This race sounds like a blast since it's more than just running! I also love the medals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so much fun! One of the main reasons we did it was for the medal.
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  2. It sounds like a really fun race, Heather! Glad you were able to participate and I love your team name! :) I'm not good at clues so at first glance, all of those threw me! Haha! Great recap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those clues were hard! I'm so glad I had a partner so we could bounce ideas off each other.
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  3. Disney is really failing lately at the races & expos, aren't they?
    Sad to see this go - it looks like it would be so fun.... I'd probably be a major fail at it - but it still looks like fun - & THOSE MEDALS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't the medals great?!? Yes, the expo was very disappointing. I hope they replace Everest and ToT.
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  4. this is a great recap-I have always wondered what the clues were! they were challenging but not too hard. i really hope they eventually bring back something like this-it sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's disappointing that they are getting rid of the different races. I hope they get replaced.
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  5. Looks like a blast!!!! I haven't heard of it before, and too bad it's not going to be repeated! I am sure they will come up with something fun in its place!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's hope they get replaced. It was nice to have something more then the standard 5k, 10k, half and marathon.
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  6. you guys seriously do all the cool races! How many times a year do you go to Disney??

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had friends that ran it a couple of years ago, they loved the race but the after party stunk! The race is late enough and then they did not want to let anyone in. It was way to overpriced for the very short amount of time you got to spend in the park. I think only a couple ran the next year and no after party passes were bought. Kind of a bummer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the after party wasn't that much of a party. But we were happy to do the rapids and call it quits as that was all we wanted to do. Yeah, I don't know if I would buy an after party ticket for just that, we were happy it came with the race entrance.
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  8. The medal is awesome!! I think it sounds like a fun event, with some interesting challenges. The clues are pretty hard, I am not sure I would have been able to figure any of them out, but it's a fun element.
    Love your character pictures and being at the corral with so few people is something you don't see everyday!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except at the very beginning where people in the front of the A corral decided to walk, from the beginning, I never felt like it was over crowded. The clues were hard, but it was fun to try and work it out with my buddy. And the medal was such a great treat.
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  9. This race sounds so fun! I actually have never even heard of this one before.
    I do like the challenges, that is a pretty fun idea! Love the medal too, it's simple but yet really beautiful and standoutish sharp!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of my favorite medals!
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  10. It sounds like a fun race, but we never participated because it seemed like such a long way to go for a 5k. So glad you had such a great time and nice work solving the clues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well if you added up the distance from the 5k and the scavenger hunt, it was close to a 10k. :)
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  11. Those medals are really cool and the scavenger hunt was a neat twist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fun time all around. Thanks for reading!
      @heatherlas

      Delete
  12. It sounds like you had a lot of fun! I'd never heard of it until reading your recap.

    ReplyDelete

Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.