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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Default Pain and Panic Cross the Finish Line!

    Recently returned from participating in the Everest Expedition Challenge 2011 and we had a blast. I dropped by work early Friday morning for a couple of hours and then off to the airport for my much anticipated weekend. As usual my plane was delayed, but my teammate had graciously waited for me on the other side of the airport security checkpoint. It was wonderful seeing my friend again, it has been almost five years since I last saw her and sadly it was for a funeral, so this was a long overdue weekend.

    Being a Disney aficionado I knew my way around and zipped her down to Magical Express for our ride to AKL. My friend has never been to Disney, so this was a real treat to show a newbie around. We procured a partial savannah view room, and while we did not have many animal sightings from our balcony we greatly enjoyed our room just the same. After checking into our room we hopped a bus over to ESPN Wide World of Sports Center for registration. Honestly, not a lot at the Sports Complex yet missed the bus back so had to wait around a bit for the next one. Back to the AKL with plenty of time before ADR’s at Jiko. We toured the AKL and grabbed a table by the pool, where I introduced her to zebra domes (YUM!) from Mara, and just relaxed catching up on events over the past several years. Dinner was amazing and by this time we have settled back into our friendship like we were the day we graduated High School (um, 20+ years ago). Both being tired from a long day, we retire back to the room still chattering away.

    An early day for both of us yet softened with yummy breakfast at Boma before jaunting off to EPCOT. We successfully procured timely Soarin’ fastpasses then off to several other activities in the park. I must say I was not expecting Captain EO (replaced Honey I Shrunk the Audience), and I was disappointed. I hope Disney replaces this soon, as we had a short time at WDW and I hate we spent it on this attraction. We really enjoyed the day, especially all the additional topiaries throughout the park for the Flower Festival. We even stumbled upon time for a quick photo with Donald in Mexico. Yet due to our evening event, we had an early dinner scheduled in Italy. Wonderful supper, I will definitely return to Tutto Italia. One note, my friend was very complimentary on how Disney handles folks with allergies. She has a severe allergy to shellfish and each restaurant had the chef or manager come to our table and walk us through the menu and made sure she had a wonderful worry-free meal. Two thumbs way up on that one!

    Sadly leaving EPCOT, back to our room for a quick change and then off to AK for our Challenge! This was SO much fun. I am a hiker, not a runner, but I attempted some light training prior to arriving at WDW. While my teammate runs, she is a slow runner and thus a perfect teammate for a cubicle sloth like myself. We arrived an hour early, as requested by Disney, but never felt bored waiting for it to start as they had opportunities for pictures and entertainment. The race began at 8:30, at least the first wave. There were seven waves, starting five minutes apart. The race begins in the parking lot of AK, and that is where the first mile is run. We started with the second wave and I guess the adrenaline of the race simply pushed me ahead as I had a pretty good start. Several folks do the run/walk/run, so I was completely comfortable with my pace. Around the one mile marker we encountered our first obstacle, jumping hay bales. This was hilarious, I never realized how high hay bales can be but we safely made it over without totally embarrassing ourselves and kept on moving. Throughout the race additional waves would start and the serious runners zoom by in groups but the course was rarely congested for long periods of time. Both the runners and volunteers are constantly encouraging all participants which really helps keep you moving

    Shortly after mile maker one we crossed into the park and ran around the Tree of Life. Probably at about a mile and a half I saw King Louie and, of course, I had to stop to get my picture taken. As we jumped back on the course a ‘real runner’ zoomed by and asked if we got to deduct our photo op from our time, I quickly replied “Oh, this is not about the time, I am here for the medal!”. We ran out to the end of the train station and before the course doubled back we saw the second obstacle, tires. Here is where we saw a faceplant (thankfully not hurt) so when we actually approached the tires, we were very careful. The last mile was actually rather easy, yet shortly before the end of the race portion you pass through the third and final obstacle. The choice is to either climb the rope wall or crawl under a net. We both wanted to climb the rope wall. This slowed us down a bit, as it was very crowded, but we still are good with our choice. Just not sure if we hit the ground for the crawl choice, if we ever would have gotten back up.

    We both cross the race finish line (back in the parking lot) to be immediately handed our first scavenger hunt clue. Just when we think we are at the end of the ‘running’ portion, our clue directs us back to the front of the park so we take off again and run to the front of the park. My fabulous teammate solves the first clue and we are given our second clue which directs us to Camp Mickey-Minnie, so we take off running again! Now I must admit, we received some help here. Okay another runner gave us the answer, but honestly, if we had not been given the answer we would still be standing in Camp Mickey-Minnie trying to solve the clue. So, we paid it forward and helped another couple. Off to Africa, running again, where my teammate solved the next clue. Then off to entrance of Asia and finally I pulled my weight as a teammate and quickly solved that clue. After the fourth clue they gave us the final one and I was able to come through again for my team and we ran on to the Finish line – Everest Expedition!

    As we crossed the finish line we were handed our awesome medals. Needless to say we were exhausted, but still managed some time at the after party. They had entertainment, characters and a few rides were open. My teammate was not feeling really well, so we opted not to ride anything, but definitely got our pictures with Goofy & Pluto and Mickey & Minnie. We both had morning flights, thus early ME pickup, so we returned to the AKL and fell fast asleep. It was sad to say goodbye the next morning, but we both agreed we will make this an annual event.

    Thank you Disney for an amazing weekend! I am now starting to train for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in early October, maybe the relay or maybe take on the entire course. No, I still don’t run, but Jeff Galloway has a great training program I think is manageable and I will do anything to spend a weekend at WDW!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Congrats on finishing! What a great weekend! We were looking into this one in January, but were unsure about it. It sounds right in our comfort zone--have to give it a try next year!! Thanks for the report!
    Lynne

    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children"--Walt Disney

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Florida
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    What a terrific weekend! You had a chance to catch up with an old friend, visit Disney World, and participate in a challenging and fun event!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Edwardsville, IL
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    You made this sound like so much fun, I'd really love to do it. What a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing.
    Diane
    ~•.•*•.•*•.•*•.•*•.•*•.•~
    When your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme.

  6. #5
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    Aug 2001
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    North Carolina
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    It was fun! We had so much fun, today was the first day I started training for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon (oct 1). I admit, it is a lofty goal, as the relay seems more gradual and realistic; however, the Jeff Galloway plan accommodates for beginning runners and I seem to fit into his plan. The next couple of weeks will let me know if this is realistic.

    Wish me luck!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Oh my gosh! This event sounds wonderful!! How far did you actually run/walk? I would love to do this! I run on my elip.machine daily, and also walk daily (well, 5x/wk for both these things) but i don't consider myself a "runner". This sounds doable!!
    Loved this report. Thanks!
    Lisa
    Multiple visits over Multiple years
    30 plus stays at Disney's Polynesian resort

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    NJ :(
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    sounds so fun! i would love to do something like that in WDW is this ur first time doing it??
    Poly GVC 11/04
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Sandwich, IL
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    First off, congratulations on completing the Everest Challenge! It sounds like you had a perfect partner in crime for the race. I bet it was also fun sharing Disney with her for her first trip!

    Melanie had briefly introduced many of us to her DH and DS's experience for the race in the last INTERCOT Insider podcast. Thanks for giving us more details! Between the actual race, character meets, obstacles & scavenger hunt, I bet it made for a great evening. Sadly you weren't able to enjoy more time at Disney, but it sounds like there will be a repeat trip this fall. Good luck in training for the Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon - keep us posted.

    Thanks for sharing your weekend with us!
    Carol (aka KylesMom)
    INTERCOT Staff: Mousellaneous & Trip Reports
    Last Trip: ICOT 15
    Happy A/P Holder 2002 - 2011

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Congratulations!!!

    Sounds like a great weekend! Glad you were able to participate with your friend!

    Julie
    Next Up:

    Summer 2018... WE ARE BACK!!!
    2 families
    4 teenagers and Larry
    Taking on the parks!

  11. #10
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    Aug 2001
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    Thanks for the congrats! This really was a wonderful event, and yes, I had the best teammate

    Mouseketeer Mom - The is definitely doable for you. Honestly, there are very few that would not be able to do this event. While our time was not stellar, it really was not about time and we did not finish last (yet, nothing wrong with that either). I think there is a age minimum, so while I saw several teams of parent/child (which I think is great), you do not see very young children. There are children races that take place before the actual EEC event, so it is a family event.

    I just finished my fourth training session for the Wine and Dine in October 1st. I still don't consider myself a runner, and I am very slow. But my goal is to finish and finish in an upright position.

    If you need more info, feel free to send me a note. I have some awesome pictures to, but sorry, I am so not tech savvy and have no clue how to attach them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    West Virginia
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    Smile

    Thanks for the Report!
    ºoº David, Lisa, Aaron and Allison
    98-PO
    00-CB & ASMo
    01-Swan
    02-CS
    03-POR
    04-POP
    05-PO / CR
    07-PO / CR
    08-ASMu
    09-AKL
    10-CR, CS & PP DL
    11-NB DLP & SSR
    12-BLT & BLT
    13-GC DL & BLT
    15-Aulani & BLT
    16-ASMu & GC DL
    17-BWI, THV, CSR, BLT
    18-BLT, OKW, OKW, CBR, GF & BLT

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Great account of a super-fun weekend

    Thank-you so much for sharing your experience! My husband and I are runners and so are our daughter, her husband, son and his wife. We have all wanted to run at Disney at some point. We keep putting it off because we live in Michigan and it would be a $1000 weekend for each couple with air, food and hotel. We are DVC members, but they never include a DVC resort as an official race resort.
    We decided the other night that we WILL run Everest next year! It sounds like you had a great time! I'm running for the medal as you did, haha! I would love to know what kind of questions they ask in the scavenger hunt.
    My daughter and I decided many years ago that we had to run the Princess 1/2 together, but college athletics, injuries and 2 grandsons have delayed our plan. That will be the next Disney run.
    Thanks again for your great account of the run. It confirmed our decision to participate.
    2 trips as a kid, '88 - Ft W,'90-Ft W '99-OKW 94-OKW 96-OKW 98-OKW 00-OKW&DCL 03-OKW 05-OKW 07-DVCcruise 08-OKW 10-OKW 11 - OKW 9/12 Aulani 5/13-All Star Sp, DCL& Exp Eve 5-13AofA & Exp Ev, 8/14-OKW 5/15-AKL, Exp Ev & DCL

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Wow awesome....thanks for the report. Now my mind is racing!
    My first home is in Coastal Georgia, 30 feet from the saltwater marsh, and 3.5 hours from WDW!My second home is the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort!CR,Poly,GF,BC,BW,WL,AKL,Dolphin,Swan,DL,CSR,POFQ,C BR,POP,AS,Vero.

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