2008 Walt Disney World Expedition Everest Challenge Report & Photos: Becky Dougherty
Expedition Everest Report Sept 27, 2008
We drove over to AK around 5:45pm for a 7pm start. There was quite a bit of traffic in the AK parking lot. By the time we got over to the start area it was a little after 6:30pm. I found the wave info and realized I was in the first wave. It was all one big corral and I had to start at the back and work my way up front. I stopped in wave 8 I think and talked with Jeanne, Anne and a couple other wishers.
I needed to keep moving to get up to my wave before the start. Once I got to wave 3, the men did not want to let me by. I mustíve said excuse me 20 times, but I finally made it up to wave 1 - with 5 minutes to spare. As soon as I got there, they started the national anthem. I almost forgot to put on my headphones. I fumbled around and managed to get them on and even managed to get a picture in of the start line before they were counting down and we were off.
It was very congested the first half mile. I didnít feel like running in the grass, so I walked most of it until it opened up. After that point there was plenty of space around me. I was very happy I was in the first corral and felt really bad for those in the later waves. There were photographers everywhere!
This 5k course is the same as the 5k course in January. We finished right next to the 5k start, although there was no mat. I stopped my watch and restarted it right before the obstacle course so I would know my 5k time. I did it in 33:08. On to the obstacle course. First there was a series of 3 hurdles that came up to my chest. They were challenging to get over. I found out from another WISHer that they were allowed to go under the hurdles when she went by. They never offered me that option. So over the 3 hurdles I went. I forgot to take off my headphones and they went flying to the ground. I had to pause to remove the rest of my ipod and I was almost kicked in the face by the person coming behind me.
Next obstacle, the cargo net rope wall. Not too hard to get up and over. They got a cool picture of me in action.
Onto the balance beam. It was made up of all 2x4s and looked like something out of survivor. I made it across without falling.
Last was a ground crawl underneath a cargo net.
After the obstacle course we were handed little booklets that contained the 4 clues to our scavenger hunt. We had to walk back into AK from the parking lot. It was dark now and very strange walking around the empty park. I thought the clues were tricky, but the first two I got fairly quickly. The third I figured out before I even got to the location, but I second guessed myself and wasted time on it. This is when it would have been helpful to have a partner. The final clue I would never have gotten. I stood around for a bit and then found another non team person (we wore white bibs and teams wore blue) and we discussed it and came up with an answer. I asked him what he got for the third question and his answer made no sense. It was at this point that I realized that there were different clues!! Disney got tricky on us so we wouldnít be able to cheat! On my way to the finish line I ran into Dave (mouseskywalker) and his friend had the same final question as me and gave me the correct answer (I was close!). Off to the finish line, which meant crossing over the people still running the 5k.
I got my chip removed, got my medal and then headed for the table where they check your answers. I got all 4 right. Then I got my picture taken with my medal.
I called my hubby to let him know I was done and met up with him. I had packed a bag of clothes to change into - I am so glad I did. We had some food at Flame Tree BBQ and headed for the rides. Riding Everest in the complete dark was so cool! But the lines got long really fast and we left a little after 10pm. All in all a fun race, definitely more fun if you had a partner I think. I forgot to shut off my watch at the end, but I think I finished somewhere around 1:15.
Goofy Finisher 2008!