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2014 Expedition Everest Challenge Race Recap

Today Sarah from Running for Inspiration is here with a really fun recap of the Expedition Everest Challenge.  After reading this post and seeing all of the fun photos, I am even more disappointed that I didn’t take part in the event this year.  It is definitely on my runDisney to do list for 2015!

***

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster at 1 in the morning?

It’s pretty awesome.

Not so awesome? Rain. Especially in 60 degree weather. Especially for Floridians who have been training in 70 and 80 degree rainless weather.

The Expedition Everest Challenge weekend kicked off on Friday with the expo which was at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Unlike the last expo I went to there (for Princess Weekend), this was all outdoors and pretty small. Packet pick up was in the inside part of the baseball stadium, as was the official merchandise (where I spent wayyyyyyy too much money).

Packet pick up

The vendors were all outside which was unfortunate since it was threatening rain. There were only 6 or 7 vendors there but I picked up a new shirt from Raw Threads, a couple of shoe charms from BeeCause, and I gazed longingly at the Garmin Forerunner 220 that I’ve been pining after for the last month. After grabbing some free yogurt (I love free food!) I headed back to my resort to beat the rain.

My sister-in-law Lackey and I stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort which was one of the host resorts, so the day of the race we caught the bus, and arrived at Animal Kingdom around 8:45, which left us plenty of time to go to the bathroom and get situated in our corral. We spent a good hour or so just people watching and looking at everyone’s great costumes.

Wampa

There were a bunch of people dressed as Elsa and Anna who committed! Full costumes! We just did the shirts and braided our hair.

Me and Lackey

We also saw Robin Hood and Maid Marian along with the vultures and 3 men dressed like Indiana Jones. Which was perfect because I love Robin Hood and Lackey loves Indiana Jones.

Robin Hood

Indiana Jones

We were in Corral I, which was the second to last corral and with 6 minutes in between each wave we had to wait a loooooooooong time. Add to that the rain and then the breeze and Lackey was a very grumpy Elsa. But by the time we started running the rain had stopped and we were itching to go.

Grumpy Lackey

The first half mile we ran with no problem and no walk breaks and we came to the first obstacle around .75 miles in which was hay bale hurdles. I jumped about 4 of them and then went around the rest. I’m not breaking an ankle on a hay bale less than a mile into the race! Lackey loved it, wanted to do it again even. I put the kibosh on that though.

About a mile in we entered the park and we saw Donald Duck so I made Lackey stop for a picture because Donald is my soul mate.

Donald

We looped through the park and saw people already working on the scavenger hunt. Around mile 2 we saw Mickey and then went behind Expedition Everest for the out and back portion of the race and through the second obstacle which was tires. I stepped daintily through (again, I don’t want to break an ankle) and we continued on. Once you get to the end of the road there was FIRE! and you turned around and headed back.

Mickey

My favorite part of the race? On the way back, we passed the tires again and a dude dressed as Iron Man said, “Obstacles! Yes!” and then tripped over the first tire. He was ok! Iron Man just forgot how to fly. Let’s blame Jarvis for that one.

After that we were just on the back road behind the park until mile 3 where the final obstacle was located. You had to crawl under netting and come out the other side. Not going to lie, we skipped it. Super lame, I know. But we just wanted to cross the finish line which we could see! So we sprinted! And then began the scavenger hunt.

Animal Kingdom Sign

There were 5 clues of varying difficulty. We got the first one wrong. And the second one wrong. But the rest we got right! And I might be biased because we got it wrong, but that second question was hard! You had to find letters spelled out in the previous clue and then add them together; it was weird and not what I would have thought of. But I guess that’s the point of a scavenger hunt, to make you think differently. Plus we got cool Sharpies/Flashlights so that soothed my battered pride. Back through the rest of the park, collecting and solving clues as we went and across the finish lines to get our medals! So pretty and shiny. It opens up into a compass but my compass didn’t know how to compass. I’m always going north. But I’m not planning on taking my medal through the wilderness where I might get lost so that’s ok.

After the race

Back through the park again for the party! This was my first time going to Animal Kingdom and I rode Expedition Everest for the first time and it was the Best. Roller. Coaster. EVER. Not even exaggerating. We also rode Dinosaur where I felt like I was about to be thrown from the ride and left 65 million years ago. That would have been ok with me though because I had a backup plan. I think I would find one of the herbivores to befriend and ride him around like an elephant. I’d name him Frederick, I think.

After that I had to feed Lackey because she is always hungry (I think she has a tape worm or something) and then she got scared of the Yeti on stilts and we had to leave.

Moral of the story: Always ride roller coasters in the dark; don’t worry if your college education let you down during a scavenger hunt because you’ll still get a medal; always have a backup plan in case you get left in the past; and if you see a Yeti on stilts, run away.

Also, if you’re able to, definitely do Expedition Everest next year. I had a blast.

Me!

*****

Sarah Simpson. Alabama born, Florida raised. Florida State University alumna (Go Noles!). Perpetrator of harebrained schemes foremost of which is running a half marathon in 6 months. Some people call me Gonzo. You can call me Gonzo the Great. No, wait, don’t do that. My ego will explode. Just call me Sarah. And read my blog. And follow me on Pinterest. You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter too but that’s not as much fun as the others.

Blog: www.runningforinspiration.blogspot.com

2 Responses to 2014 Expedition Everest Challenge Race Recap

  1. Awesome recap!! I almost died laughing at the Ironman story!!

    Riding Expedition Everest in the dark would be a dream come true. It’s one of my favorite Disney rides! Glad you had a blast at the race – the medal looks so cool!
    Lauren @ Lauren’s Glass Slipper recently posted..Let It Go (Frozen) Acoustic CoverMy Profile

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