Sunday, May 8, 2011

Expedition Everest Challenge 2011 - Race Report

Sometime back in December, on a whim, I asked my friend, Lisa, if she'd be interested in running the Expedition Everest Challenge with me. Shockingly, as "type-A" as we can both be about details and planning - we did not "plan" at all for this. Both of our lives have just been all over the place these past few weeks - me with a sore ankle, and thus no running; and Lisa with an unplanned trip out of the country last week, thus no running for her, either! We touched base by intermittent texts on Friday and planned to do lunch together Saturday after church to go over the final details.

We zipped down to Disney's Wide World of Sports to pick up our race number. We were team number 1977 and our team name was "Supermoms".
Lisa and I at the expo picking up our race packets. We were a little disappointed when the race shirts were not in our size, so we gave the guys the shirts and they were thrilled.

We arrived at the race the suggested couple of hours early, and with this being a smaller Disney race, there really didn't seem to be a reason to hang around for that long, other than to get some good people-watching in.
Here we are pre-race...we decided on matching outfits.
Finally, at around 8:30pm, it was go-time! Each wave of runners was sent off with a count-down and fireworks. We were in the second-to-last wave of runners and so we didn't even begin running until after 9pm. I'm usually either in bed, or pretty close to by 9pm on most nights, so I felt like I was struggling before we even took off.

We ran a great run, finishing our 5K in just over 38 minutes. Poor Lisa, I had to stop to walk a few times, especially where the ground was uneven. In retrospect, I should have stopped by the medical tent to have my ankle taped before the run, then I wouldn't have felt like I had to be so careful.

Towards the end of each mile was an obstacle. The first mile obstacle was jumping hay bales, the second mile was running through tires, the third obstacle was a wall to climb over or a mesh barrier to shimmy under, or the option to walk around. Lisa and I chose to walk around, since there was quite a bottle neck at the wall.

Just when you think you have completed the race, you are given a clue, flashlight and marker. Our first clue was very hard and it took us greater than 10 minutes to solve it and get to our next location. The second clue was then even harder, and we could hear people around us getting equally annoyed. I think perhaps the clues weren't that hard, but it was now 9:45-ish, and we were tired, hot, thirsty and hungry. While there were water stops along the run, I was really needing some boost of energy and would have loved a sports drink or banana right about then. All of a sudden, I think we both figured out the third and forth clues very quickly. It then occurred to me that we have now nearly walked another 3.1 miles through the park to all of these different stops, in the dark.

We cracked up as we were figuring out clue #4 and looking for a well-lit area and the place with the best light was the AED/First Aid station.

We finally got all the clues figured out and wrote down the final answer. You can't cross the final finish line without the final answer and so it was exciting to be heading towards our medals (and bananas).

The medal is really cool, and opens up to a compass.

After the race, there was a post-race party with a rockin' DJ and some of the rides were open until 1am. We were both pretty tired and ready to head back home, so we did not linger. It was a fun experience.


SoggyToad said...

What a fun run! If we're ever stationed around there I'll have to join you for this stuff.

Mellyberm said...

Cool Report! I enjoyed it!!