For the second year running, I headed to Disney World the first weekend in May to run the Expedition Everest Challenge with Charrissa and Derek! This year Noel joined us, since the trip dovetailed nicely with our family trip with Noel’s family. So we had two couple teams, ready to enjoy the weekend and race!
We definitely learned a few things from our previous Expedition Everest Adventure–mostly, to eat early and to REST the afternoon before the race. We managed to do about half of that–we had a nice early lunch at Via Napoli. But thanks to an unexpected, special, May the 4th Star Wars event at Hollywood Studios, we did A LOT more walking than we had planned on race day. Like miles more than we should have done! Whoops!
(Although we didn’t eat with them, we met up with fellow Team Peacock members Craig and Elizabeth after our Via Napoli reservation and before theirs. Always fun to catch up with them.)
We did manage to get a bit of rest (and I watched the Derby) before it was time to don our costumes and get ready for the race. Yes, Noel and I ran in pirate garb. As a team we had to stay and finish together, so I was okay running in something different so that Noel and I could have some fun with our outfits. I thought we looked pretty cute, but I’ll say, I don’t know how people do longer races in costume! A 5k was enough for me!
We headed towards the park around 8, got caught in a bit of traffic, but then made it to the corrals with plenty of time. The race was so much more organized in this respect than it was last year. The corrals were clearly marked and organized by time. Charrissa and Derek were in A, so they went to their corral to start. Noel and I were in G, so we had a LONG time to wait. It’s so weird to not have to rush to an early corral, and definitely strange for me to try to keep my energy up while waiting. But we killed some time taking some fun pictures with Craig and Elizabeth, who were also in our corral.
It seemed like we waited forever, but finally it was our turn to go. And almost from the start, we were frustrated. Noel is slower, and my goal was to pace him to a good 5k time since he’s trying to improve in that area. Even though he’s slower, he runs most of the time, but we were immediately blocked by a wall of walkers. We did a lot of weaving the first half mile, and quickly caught up with the tail end of the walkers in the previous corral. And then we got to the first obstacle, where we had to wait for our turn to jump the hay bales. This was pretty much the pattern for the whole race–weave around walkers, wait at the obstacles. Despite this, Noel did a good job of maintaining a fairly even, fast pace, even though it was hotter and more humid than what he had been used to running in. We finished the 5k in 39 minutes, which was great considering all the log jams we had to deal with (including a full stop and wait at the tire obstacle).
And then it was time for the Scavenger Hunt, which I knew would be Noel’s strength. And it was! He definitely got most of our clues, but he would say that I helped him in key ways. I’m not sure what those are, but we had fun solving them together. Until we got to the last clue, which was seriously hard. But Noel figured it out, and we are able to finish well ahead of others who took a lot longer to get that last clue. We held hands as we crossed the finish line together, which is something I had always wanted to do!
Because we were in such a late corral, I didn’t have as much time to enjoy the post race party as I had last year. But we still had a bit to eat, took a ride on Everest, and visited with some folks we ran into at the post race party before heading back to the hotel. All in all, a very fun experience. It was really great to run with Noel, especially in our matching costumes!