Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Expedition Everest Challenge 2014 Recap

Last night I got back from Orlando and my Expedition Everest weekend.

Let me start with when I left.

I was flying Westjet from Calgary to Toronto then Toronto to Orlando.

Imagine my delight when I saw the plane for the flight to Toronto

It's the Magic Plane!!!! In fact I almost did the happy dance in the middle of the gate area. I couldn't get a better shot due to the angle of the windows.

and you get Disney snacks on the Disney plane :)

By the time I got to Pop Century Resort it was late close to 1am.

The next day I took a few pictures I was in the 1950's section which was fine, it was close enough to the main building. At Pop Century the gift shop and cafeteria are in the same place unlike the All Star Resorts where they are separate rooms. Room are identical to All Star but the theme is fun and colourful.

The RunDisney transportation to the event was different too. There was a massive cheerleading event going on at the same time.

The RunDisney bus was picking up on the same side as the rest of resort transportation unlike All Star Resorts where it's usually closer to the baggage area.

The cheerleading buses where stopping at the same location as the RunDisney bus.

Now I didn't get to choose my magic band colour so I wound up with grey but then I saw these cool villain add ons. Got these on Friday before I headed to the expo.

The Expo was pretty tiny and found the packet pick up to be a wee disorganized.

I picked up my packet and I had preordered the pin, at Princess they gave me the pin right when I got my bib but at Everest I was given a coupon that I had to take to the gift shop.

The gift shop was the small Club House in Champion Stadium  at ESPN. The store is small and Expedition Everest was limited. There was the pin, an I Did It tshirt, a mini medal for RunDisney Vinylmation and that was about it. There was other RunDisney merchandise like the jacket, and 3 different colour Sweaty Bands with the RunDisney logo, also a mini ear magnet with 3.1.

The rest of the expo was tiny compared the Half Marathon Expos.

 A handful of vendors like Fit2Run, Raw Threads, Sweat Bands but not too much else.

This was the line to get into the New Balance section, there was no pre reservation system like at Princess it was first come first serve. They sold out of all the men's shoes on day one. I did score the Cinderella shoes I've been coveting.

 Super adorable that they come with optional ribbon laces

I wore them all through the park the day after Expedition Everest and they were super comfortable. They run smaller as I normally take 7.5 in Nike and had to go with 8 with these.

It rained pretty much all day Friday and Saturday, weather reports said it would stop by 7pm but that wasn't the case.

My plan was to take the first bus at 7:30pm to the start area, it was a good plan except the first bus didn't show up until closer to 8pm. We were told there was traffic issues my bet it was due to all those cheerleaders.

 The other thing that was strange was there were no MarathonPhoto folks in front of the props. I made friends with a Wampa named Autumn on the bus so we took each others photos.

 Not sure if you can tell but the rain kept going and I was pretty soaked before the race even started.

What do you do when you're stuck in the rain waiting to get into the corral, you dance with 6000 of your closest friends to the fabulous tunes of the RunDisney DJ.

There were 10 corrals in all and I was in corral F, there was no one checking bibs as you entered the corral unlike Princess or Tink or any of the Half Marathons. I saw an I in my corral.

The good news the rain did stop before we hit the course.

The first mile and a half was in the parking lot, that's also where the first obstacle was which were hay bales. They seemed pretty low but I could see there were starting to fall apart and I know wet hay can be super slippery so I skipped it. Now 5 corrals where ahead of me and some had started the scavenger hunt by the time we entered the park. That was a little confusing as the scavenger hunt people and runners still completing the 5K where all in the same area. Then we were divided but it was a wee confusing.

The next obstacle where tires and there was no way to avoid those so I plowed through.

The final obstacle was a crawling under a cargo net, I skipped that one as well as my knees can get angry and didn't want to risk crawling with the scavenger hunt yet to come.

Crossed the finish line, stopped the Garmin and got my first clue.

 Now the satellite got cut off a few times in the park but Garmin didn't think it was a 5K.
 I got handed a map, the pen with flashlight and the first clue.
 I figured it was green for the bib or map, or blue for the pen. The correct answer was green so then I got Clue 2.
 You could find three and one in the green paragraph so the answer was 4. Then I got clue 3.
 Clue 3 took me forever but a lovely volunteer cheered me on and gave me a few hints. Then I got Clue 4.
 Clue 4 was incredibly easy. When you got to the spot to get clue 5 they gave you the sheet below.

 Well add 4 and 5 together and tada you have your answer, so when I crossed the finish for a second time I held up the clue 4 card

Now the girl who gave me the medal didn't even look at the card so not sure how diligently they were checking.

I did spend a little time in the after party but I really wasn't interested in any of the rides but there was a gift shop open so I got a memento. It sounds like the dancing didn't start till closer to 2am in Dinoland.

There will be another Expedition Everest challenge in 2015 but I don't think I'll do this one again.

Though now I know I need to train for the after party at Tower of Terror 10 mile and Wine & Dine Half.

Tomorrow I'll tell you more about the rest of the trip.


Angel Blue said...

congrats on the race

Enz said...

What an awesome trip!