Sunday, October 5, 2008

WDW Day 3 Part 2: The Expedition Everest Challenge

The time had come that we were all waiting for. The reason we had all gathered in WDW-The Expedition Everest Challenge. The Challenge is a 5k race, obstacle course and scavenger hunt. We met up in the lobby of AKL and then drove over to Animal Kingdom. There were a ton of people already there when we got there. We decided we'd find out what waves we were going to be in. Glenn and I were in Wave One, Lou and Deanna in Wave Six and Steve and Val were in Wave 8. They were going to start the waves 5 minutes apart. I was glad and nervous to be in the first wave. Glad to not have to wait, nervous because I knew everyone was going to fly past me. We headed over to check our bags and on the way there I ran into a friend of mine that I met in May when I was in WDW for Minnie marathon weekend. Colleen joined our group, we checked our bags, took some pictures, took a bathroom break and then all went our separate ways. Since Glenn, Colleen and I were in the same wave we lined up together.
There was music to entertain us and Jamie Clark talked about Everest for a little bit and then the 5 minute countdown started. I decided to sit down and stretch for a bit. What a mistake that was. It was so stinkin' hot that my butt was burning! The 60 second countdown started and I could see our WDWRadio cheerleader, Pat on the side getting her camera ready. I told Glenn that we needed to get over to the side so we could wave to her as we went by.
5-4-3-2-1, fireworks and off we went. I have been training for the 1/2 marathon so running was easy for me. Glenn, on the other hand, is not training for the marathon so he didn't realize how much cardio is involved in running. So Glenn and I decided we'd run for awhile and walk for awhile. The first mile was pretty much running the outside of the parking lot and ended right at the ticket booth of Animal Kingdom.
The second mile took you inside the park and backstage. We we behind Kilimanjaro Safari. We even saw the rhino house.
Mile 3 went from backstage to running through Asia to the backside of Dinosaur. After the 5k part of the challenge we had to get to the obstacle course.
Which was at the back parking lot. As we were running to it, we passed the last wave of runners getting ready to start. We saw our friends Andy and Anne waiting to go. It was fun watching them start the race.
The obstacle course started out with hurtles that were probably about 4' high. A cargo net that you had to go up and over. A balance beam that was maybe 30' long and them a net that you had to crawl under. Overall, the course was fun. I'm glad I did it and didn't bypass it like others had done. After the obstacle course, we got our passports with our clues in them. Our passports were different which made it interesting. I won't bore you with the clues we both had but the scavenger hunt part was great fun. It was even more fun watching everyone trying to figure out their clues. I think there were 8 different versions of passports. Once we had all our clues figured out we headed to the finish line and got our medals!! I am so proud of Glenn for beating the Yeti!
We went and got our bags, changed our of our sweating clothes and waited for the rest of our group. As we waited, we ran into Jamie Clark. He signed our race bibs and posed for photos. He's a really nice guy.
It wasn't long before the rest of our group finished and we went and partied it up in Animal Kingdom. I never rode Everest at night so that was a different experience. Pretty cool riding it then. We grabbed a bite to eat and then rode Dinosaur twice. And before the night ended rode Everest one more time. It was about midnight when we left the park---exhausted.
But what an amazing night it was!


Colin - thedisneyworldblog said...

Congratulations for completing the challenge. I need to get myself in shape and try to do this challenge in 2009.

Lou Mongello - said...

Congrats on doing such a great job in the race and thanks for helping make the week so very memorable!!!

-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

I definitely need to find a way to sneak down for the event next year... just don't mention it to Aileen!

Craig Wheeler said...

Just finished Lou's last show. Between that and reading your blog, I am very jealous that I wasn't able to make it down for that weekend. Looks like you all had a blast.

Adam said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge!