A sold-out field for Disney’s Expedition Everest Challenge presented by Champion will be tested like never before by several new twists and turns Sept. 26 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. A series of Kids’ Races have been added to kick off the event, making it an experience the whole family can enjoy.

The first urban adventure race in Disney’s Endurance Series, Disney’s Expedition Everest Challenge is a nighttime competition that will test both the mental and physical stamina of participants. It begins with a 5K run, transitions to a fun obstacle course and finishes with a scavenger hunt, all taking place around the Expedition Everest attraction. Among the new challenges are several tricky scavenger hunt clues designed to test the mental endurance of the more than 3,500 competitors.

Children ages 4 to 10 take on a modified run, obstacle course and scavenger hunt to complete the ultimate expedition.

At the inaugural Disney’s Expedition Everest Challenge last year, Lisa Ngai of Scottsdale, Ariz., won the women’s division by nearly four minutes in a time of 48:04. She eagerly awaits the chance to defend her title in the ultimate mind-and-body challenge.

Intrigued by the one-of-a-kind adventure, Jamie Clarke – a professional adventurer and Everest “summiteer” – will take on Disney’s version of Everest as he prepares for his next expedition.

After last year’s event attracted more than 3,000 participants, the field was widened to 3,500. Participants compete in various divisions – men’s individual, women’s individual, military, men’s team, women’s team, co-ed team and kids’ races.

Each adult participant receives a one-day ticket to Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Epcot; a Champion performance apparel shirt, a finisher medal as well as admission to the exclusive Expedition Everest Challenge post-event party hosted by Champion. Registration for next year’s event will open Dec. 1, 2009. A portion of every entry fee will benefit the Himalayan Youth Foundation and Disney’s Wildlife Conservation Fund.

The Endurance Sports Series at Walt Disney World Resort gives recreational athletes of all ages and abilities the chance to walk, jog, run, bike and swim their way “around the world.” From marathons to road races to triathlons, the series entices athletes from across the country and around the world to compete to stay in shape, achieve personal best times and raise donations for charitable causes. Other upcoming Endurance Series events are Disney’s Race for the Taste 10K (Oct. 11, 2009), the Tower of Terror 13K (Oct. 24, 2009), the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon (Jan. 7-10, 2010), ESPN the Weekend 5k (Feb. 27, 2010) and Disney’s Princess Half Marathon (March 7, 2010).