A few weeks ago, I issued a call for guest posters to share their experience of the 2013 Expedition Everest Challenge (EEC).
Lucky for me, the call was greeted to great response and so this week, I am excited to share the tales of the journeys of two awesome guest posters, Lisa and Tyler! In each of their accounts, you’ll read about their adventures, learn some valuable tips and information, and even learn a little about the writers, themselves. So strap on your expedition gear, check your compass and get ready to be transported!
I had the pleasure of running the Expedition Everest Challenge on May 4 at Animal Kingdom. The experience was made even better by the fact that I was able to run it with my Mom, and this was her first runDisney event! The expo for this race was pretty small, considering there were only 4,000 people in this race it was not a surprise. They had New Balance, sweaty bands and raw threads there. It was a pretty quick and simple process to get everything, and we were able to pick up the beloved runDisney shoes!
The race started at 10pm and we arrived to Animal Kingdom early to ride Everest a few times to get ourselves ready! We went out to the start area around 8 and were able to sign the Everest wall, and get some photos with the Everest plane and the yeti. It wasn’t too crowded so we sat down, got to talk to a great couple from Boston and enjoy the pre-race party before going to our corrals at 9:45. I had been hearing through friends on Facebook that they were having trouble getting buses from the host resort and that the line to get in the park was taking forever. Thankfully when the race started at 10 they had the waves staggered in 6 minute increments so everyone was able to get in and run.
We were in corral C, when we signed up we had planned to run the race, but knee surgery 2 months ago for my Mom and a stress fracture for me last week in a marathon derailed those plans. We just wanted to have fun, do the race together and not worry about time. We left the corral at 10:12 and we’re off! This race involved not only the 5k and scavenger hunt, but also obstacles on the course. Just before mile 1 we had to jump over bales of hay, we made it through and entered Animal Kingdom for the rest of the race.
Lisa and her mom with Safari Mickey + Minnie!
They had some characters throughout the course that we saw as we ran through all of the park and many behind the scenes areas. We were able to get some shots with Rafiki, Chip and Dale and, of course, Mickey and Minnie. The second obstacle was between mile 2 and 3, it was a tire step. This one was made difficult because of the number of people that were backed up here. After that we ran towards the finish of the 5k, but not before having to crawl under the cargo net for our final obstacle.
After completing the 5k we got our clues for the scavenger hunt. They were directional clues that took you to 4 spots throughout the park. They were all fairly easy until we got to the last one, we finally figured it out, but it was not an easy one.
The bibs + bling!
We then ran back towards the finish and proudly pointed out of final clue to the people at the finish. (You had to point out the right flag on the bib to get your medal.)
The after party!
Once we had our medals we headed back into Animal Kingdom for the after party in Dinoland. They had some rides open, places to grab food and drink and a merchandise shop where we picked up our “I did it shirts!” The party was lively and a lot of fun with plenty of dancing characters!
Overall I enjoyed this race. One thing though, this isn’t just a 5k and scavenger hunt, according to the GPS and our legs it came out to close to 5.5 miles by the time you went through The race and scavenger hunt. It isn’t a huge distance, but would be good for people that haven’t don’t it before to know. Another thing to know is that there are only a few host hotels for this run. We were on Disney property, but the Beach Club wasn’t a host hotel. We were able to get a cab back with no problem, but we didn’t even realize until 2 weeks before that we wouldn’t be able to use Disney transportation after the race.
I would recommend this run to people that want to do a RunDisney event, but not with huge crowds and too long of distance. It was a great experience for us, and a wonderful race for my mom and I to do together and one that we will do again!
Wow, great recap, Lisa! I think she did an amazing job at really making us feel like we were right there with her and her mom! If you have any questions for Lisa, please leave them in the comments and I will be sure to pass them along to her.
Tomorrow, we’ll check out Tyler’s take on the event!
Lisa P. is a regular writer on Mouze Kateers (also on FB) from Nashville, TN. Her favorite characters are Stitch and Eeyore…and how about this fun fact: her mom was watching
Chariots of Fire when she was born – therefore cementing Lisa’s destiny of becoming a runner!