Posts Tagged by scavenger hunt

The Final Expedition Everest Challenge

2015-Expedition-Everest-Logo

Well folks, this is it.  The final running of the Expedition Everest Challenge.  I remember the first year the challenge took place, I was in Walt Disney World for our honeymoon.  I tried to convince B to do it, but that idea got shot down quickly.  I guess his idea of a honeymoon did not include running a 3 mile obstacle course.  I was more intrigued by the scavenger hunt portion of the event, but that still had no appeal to him.  Turns out it was a good thing we decided not to do it because there was a monsoon that evening.  We returned from a night in the parks dodging rain storms and came across numerous soggy, miserable looking runners in the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  But enough about that, let’s get to this year’s race!

Part 5K, part obstacle course, part scavenger hunt, the Expedition Everest Challenge is one of the most unique race weekends runDisney has to offer.  It is definitely more about fun and friendly competition than serious racing.  All of this ends with a fun afterparty in the shadow of the mountain itself.  Oh and you get some super cool medals!

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Let’s take a look at some of the race details…

Packet Pick-Up

For this final year, runDisney has moved packet pick-up to the Animal Kingdom Parking lot.  Unlike other races, there is no Health & Fitness Expo to attend.  There is sure to be some runDisney commemorative items and great photo ops available, but don’t expect a big vendor show to pick up last minute race needs. Packet pick-up hours are:

  • Friday, May 1st: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 2nd: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Participants in all of the races MUST attend packet pick-up to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and collect race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag.  The gEAR bag doubles at the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, such as pins.  If you are part of a team, both team members must be together to get your packets.

Resort Transportation & Parking

Bus transportation will be available for participants staying at resort hotels to and from packet pick-up and the race. Buses will run during the following times:

  • Friday, May 1st: 11:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
  • Saturday, May 2nd: 7:30 am – 1:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 2:30 pm)
  • Saturday, May 2nd: 7:45 pm – 9:00 pm & 10:15 pm – 3:00 am

These are the host resorts for the weekend:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation.  Parking will be at the Animal Kingdom parking lot.

Costumes

Costumes are one of the best parts of any Disney race and this race seems to bring out some of the best! Yetis, Wilderness Explorers, you name it!  The Disney Parks Blog has some great ideas for costumes if you haven’t figured yours out yet.

Expedition-Everest-Yeti-Family

Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  This is for your own safety, especially during a night race!  So who are you dressing up as??

Bag Check

Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.  Bag check will be located in the Animal Kingdom parking lot from 8:15 pm – 1:30 am.

Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race.  The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around if you are planning on staying for the after party.

Race Bibs

Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly.  Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible.

Pacing Requirements

You must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile for the 5K adventure run.  If you fall below this pace you will will run the risk of getting swept.  Pace cyclists will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.  Your final time will be based on your cumulative time for the 5K adventure race and scavenger hunt.

Aid Stations

There will be 2 water stops along the course.  One along the 5K adventure race and one at the start of the scavenger hunt.  There is also a first aid station at the start and finish line.

5K Adventure Race & Scavenger Hunt

The 5K Adventure Race will begin promptly at 10:00 pm in the Butterfly parking lot at the Animal Kingdom.  Runners must arrive no later than 9:00 pm.  There are a few obstacles along the course that you can complete individually or as a team.  The course will be closed at 11:45 pm.

After completing the 5K, participants will receive their first clue for the scavenger hunt.  Answers to all of the clues will be found throughout Animal Kingdom.  Once all clues are completed, teams and individuals must cross the finish line back in the Butterfly parking lot.  The course will be closed at 1:00 am.

Post-Race Party

The Post-Race Party will take place from 10:30 pm – 2:30 am in the Dinoland USA area of Animal Kingdom.  Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids and all of the attractions in Dinoland will be open during the party.  Race registration includes access to the party and spectators can still purchase tickets here.  Wristbands for the party must be collected at packet pick-up.

Everest at Night

More information on the Expedition Everest Challenge is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend.  Also, check out some of my packing tips as your get ready to travel and one of my plans for prepping for night races.  Lastly, check out recaps from 2014 & 2012 from some great guest writers here on RAD.

If you’ll be in WDW for the Expedition Everest Challenge, head over to Starbucks at Downtown Disney’s Westside from 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 2nd for a fun meet-up with my friends from Kingdom Magic Runners!  You’ll meet some fellow runDisney enthusiasts and get some fun giveaways too!  Get more details and RSVP here.

This is the only WDW race weekend I haven’t participated in and I’m pretty bummed that it won’t be returning.  I LOVE scavenger hunts so this really is right up my alley.  Sadly it’s just never worked out with my schedule.  I hope you all have a wonderful time and enjoy ever moment of this unique race!  If you are interested in writing about your experience, send me an email and I’ll feature you’re story here on RAD!

Good luck finding the Yeti!

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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

Expedition Everest Challenge – Race Weekend Information

The Expedition Everest Challenge is probably one of the most unique race offerings in the runDisney lineup.  A 5K with obstacles finished with a scavenger hunt…why have I never done this race?!?! Everything about it sounds like a blast!

Expedition-Everest-Challenge-Logo

The weekend starts with packet pickup on May 2nd at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  The hours are as follows:

  • Friday, May 2nd: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 3rd: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

All race participants  MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib, race shirt, and gEAR bag.  The gEAR bag also doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race.  Teams will receive one packet, but both team members should be there to show their Photo IDs.

This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration and pick up after party tickets for spectators.  Transportation will be provided to and from all Walt Disney World Resort Host Resorts 30 minutes prior to opening and 30 minutes after closing.  The Host Resorts for this race are:

  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort

Unlike other race weekends that have large expos, this is much smaller and everything takes place in Champion Stadium.  There will be a few vendors in the “Base Camp & Bazaar” area to get any last minute race needs.

Here is all of the information you will need for Race Day.

  • Host Resort Transportation  Transportation will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events during Expedition Everest Challenge Weekend from the host resorts listed above.
    • Bus transportation will be during the following times for the race:
      • Saturday, May 3rd, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm and 10:15 pm – 3:00 am
    • Participants are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes prior to the race start at 10:00 pm
  • Driving Directions  If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  Parking will be available in the Animal Kingdom parking lot.
  • expedition-everest-challenge-230x150-01Costumes This is one of the best parts of Disney races…the costumes!  Runners get so creative and it’s so fun to see.  Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  Who is dressing up as a Yeti??
  • Bag Check  Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the packet pickup to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.  Bag check will be open from 8:00 pm to 1:30 am.
  • Start Corrals  Corrals will be located in the Butterfly parking lot of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Your assigned corral will be found on your race bit.
  • Race Bibs  Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet.  Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly.  Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible and smile for that camera :)
  • Pacing Requirements Remember, you must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race.  Your final time will be the combination of the 5K Adventure Run and the Scavenger Hunt.  The 5K Adventure Run course will close at 11:45 pm and the Scavenger Hunt course will close at 1:00 am.  You must cross the finish line in the Butterfly Parking Lot after the Scavenger Hunt to complete the race.
  • Finish Line & Post Race Party This is where the fun really begins!  After the race, head on back into the park for a celebration until 2:30 am.  Catch a ride up Mt. Everest and challenge the Yeti again on Expedition Everest.  Kali River Rapids (a great post-race shower cool down), Dinosaur and all of the attractions in Dinoland USA will also be open.  So grab a beer and enjoy the evening!

Looking for the course map?  Here you go!

Expedition Everest Challenge

After the event you will get one of the coolest runDisney medal…it’s a compass!

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Are you taking the Expedition Everest Challenge?

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Expedition Everest Challenge

Tonight is the Expedition Everest Challenge!  This is a race like no other at Walt Disney World.  One that I have yet to run and can’t wait to experience one day!

This is a unique experience as it combines a 5K with obstacles and a scavenger hunt.  Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?!  Oh wait…I’m having flashbacks to the sweatfest otherwise know as the Destination D Scavenger Hunt of 2011.  No one loved that event.

Anyways, this race is a night race which gives a very unique perspective on Animal Kingdom.  The park isn’t open at night very often and is something I’ve always wanted to see.

Tree of Life at night…Gorgeous!

What makes this race different from a normal 5k is that it incorporates obstacles along the way.  Prior years have included hay bale hurdles, a tire run and a rope climb.  They aren’t too difficult as this is a family event, but just give a little extra challenge.

Expedition Everest Challenge Map
click for larger version

One of the coolest aspects of this race are the medals.  I think this is probably the best race medal I’ve ever seen and spectacular for a 5K.  It’s an actual compass!!

I want one of these!

After the race and the scavenger hunt, Animal Kingdom stays open until 1:00 am for a post-race party!  Family and friends can celebrate with the racers and experience favorite attractions.  Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids (to wash off the sweat) and of course Expedition Everest will all be open.

Only Disney could provide such a fun and unique race experience.  For a great recap of last year’s race, check out my friend Amanda’s experience.

Good luck to all the racers tonight, especially my friends Cindy and Kristen who are running their first 5K!  Hopefully I’ll be able to join you next year.  Oh and beware of the Yeti!