Brits out to defend extreme wilderness race title
We love to hear about adventurous outdoor challenges and events. And the Patagonian Expedition Race is about as adventurous - and extreme – as outdoors events go. Tomorrow, two British teams will take on the extreme event in Chile, which will see competiiors heading non-stop over 360 miles by kayak, bike and on foot. As you might predict not everyone will complete this challenge, and on average only half of the teams are likely to make it to the finish line!
One of the British teams is defending its title in this year’s Patagonian Expedition Race and so we’re keen to follow their progress over the next five to eight days.
An extreme race through a wilderness area
2012 is the 10th anniversary race, which will see competitors from 19 different countries compete in a region highlighted by Frozen Planet’s Sir David Attenborough as “one of the world’s great wildernesses”. Indeed, one of the aims of the event is to highlight the need to protect this amazing wilderness area.
One member of the defending AdidasTERREX-Prunesco team is Nick Gracie, of London. He has his sights set on another win. He said: “We’re going to a different part of Patagonia this year and it’s going to be tough. We’re going further south, so it will probably be colder and it can snow down there quite a lot, so that can be quite challenging – but the weather in the UK in last two weeks has been pretty cold and snowy so that’s been perfect for me. That’s ideal training!”
The race will begin in Punta Arenas and travel through the flat wind-swept plains of Tierra del Fuego before rising into the stunningly dramatic unnamed mountains of the Cordillera Darwin. The finish line will come before an awesome 200m-high glacier.
Stjepan Pavicic, the race founder and director, said: “We have created a spectacular course that will certainly test the competitors to their limits this year. The route will lead teams through many natural marvels that have remained pristine and untouched by mankind – but it is also important to understand, as we enjoy its beauty, that we must conserve it and protect it so we don’t lose it.”
The race will inaugurate a trail built by organisers NIGSA as part of a drive to generate eco-tourism in the region. The event showcases the importance of protecting this stunning wilderness – but it also highlights the changeable conditions of such extreme environments.
We wish the two British teams a whole lot of luck in the bonkers outdoors challenge!
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