The Patagonia Expedition Race got underway on Monday, with 10 teams hitting the 600km long course for a grueling competition that will have them running, biking, paddling, and climbing their way through the breathtakingly beautiful, not to mention remote, Patagonian countryside.
The race got off to it’s typically challenging start, with the notoriously bad Patagonian weather making an early appearance. The teams set off in kayaks with 70 kilometer/hour winds in their faces and tall waves buffeting their boats. That first leg was suppose to be 90km in length, but was shut down a bit early when 3 meter tall arrived on the scene.
Next came a 100km long mountain biking leg, a discipline that is the speciality of the Helly Hansen – Prunesco Team, who grabbed the lead, arriving nearly 40 minutes ahead of the next team. Soon they were back out on the course and the first trekking section, and in a demonstration of just how challenging this course is, that trekking section was expected to take 15 hours to complete, but the Helly Hansen team was the first one into the third checkpoint, nearly 30 hours after they had set out.
As of now, Helly-Hansen maintains their lead, with returning champs Team Easy Implant in second, and Team Trespass in third. There is still plenty of racing to go though, and it’s still anyones’ race. The teams are reportedly quite tired, but in good spirits, and enjoying the competition so far.
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