A late night entry into Missouri, meant we would be driving into the wee small hours to get to our final destination. Having passed signs that we were entering into Christian county, made Branson a real surprise. Instead of churches we were blasted with neon lights! At first it had seemed we had entered toy town with a one storey high chicken greeting us, but then it became apparent we had arrived at one big theme park with rides galore, mini golf, a number of roller coaster rides, museums and a whole lotta country and western shows. Tucked away in one area of town was a "model village" with quaint shops and stuff! A short drive out of Branson and there is a place called the "Silver Dollar City" if you wanted more rides. Drive further and you are placed in wilderness broken up by ziplines to "wahoo" across the countryside.
I later found out that Christian county is actually a county!!!!
The Forrest Gump Challenge got a $30 deal with a lodge that's located about a mile from Silver Dollar City and about 5 miles from the event start. It is worth mentioning as it is located in a peaceful setting, nestled in the hillside overlooking the lake. In fact there is about 100m walk to a jetty with big sofas to chill out (or fish) on the lake. In the early evening you can hear the birds chirping and the crickets singing and rarely a sound of anything mechanical. Each lodge has its own fully equiped kitchen. Everyone who stayed there raved about it and the gorgeous starry night.
Unfortunately I was settled in Branson (@12 miles from event). Thankfully the event happens off season, so there were no huge crowds in Branson. However for those thinking of bringing their families up whilst they did a marathon, there is plenty to do in the area.
This is an inaugural event with a lot of great ideas to make a truly fun event.
The expo was very small, held on a church premises within Reeds Spring. It is also the start for the marathon, so there are "proper" toilets and a solid firm shelter to keep warm before the start!
If you wanted to hang out at the expo, you could try out the Forrest Gump table tennis. This has the potential to turn into a competition to span over a couple of days and perhaps find the next table tennis star to take on the World in the Rio Olympics!
The focus was on:
- To keep growing, continually challenge yourself and move the road blocks that are placed in front of yourselves (TG)
- Find a mission to give your challenges purpose (BS)
...and of course please can we move towards reducing our plastic trash in a bid to become responsible for the world God has given us.
Now who else wants to take Ecuder for a run?
Next post: The Forrest Gump Challenge Marathon