Ready, Set…And the Race is On!
We had the good fortune to work directly with the Patagonian Expedition Race and its founders for several years, both behind the scenes and in the field, and it was an exhilarating experience to say the least.
Blending adventure, conservation, sportsmanship and the ancient concept of finding “the sacred” in nature, the race gives athletes the opportunity to test their ingenuity and endurance while bringing attention to one of the earth’s last wild places.
The Race website is a great resource for following the incredible trials of the trail as the 19 4 person co-ed teams traverse over 500 kilometers of mountain biking, kayaking and trekking. Throw in the winds (occasionally strong enough to blow the most intrepid cyclist off their seat…), unexpected snow in the Darwin Range, and the unpredictability of water currents and turbal, and the outcome is always up for grabs.
As a staff member I was astounded at the logistics involved in successfully executing an event like this, involving hundreds, (if not thousands!) of hours of preparation, and coordinating with organizations ranging from local businesses to the Chilean Navy. Any change in the weather or support system can create a domino effect that has the potential to shift the entire race route.
In many sporting events the announcer might preface the starting challenge with “…and may the best team win!” In the case of the Patagonian Expedition Race they are all winners by sheer fact of opportunity to experience Nature at her finest (even if at times her most fierce). And if the conservation goals of the race are met, then all of us win.