I’m still working on catching up on news from when I was away, and one of the big stories is the start of the Wenger Patagonia Expedition Race, which got underway on Tuesday of this week. The race, which has become the unofficial kick-off to the big international adventure racing season in recent years, pits coed teams of four against one another in one of the most beautiful, yet extreme, environments on the planet.
When the race began, there were 15 teams in the field, including defending champs Adidas TERREX (UK) (Formerly Helly Hansen-Prunesco). Since then, four teams have dropped from the event, and Patagonia’s legendary weather has arrived on the scene to torment the remaining athletes. According to updates on the race’s news page, heavy cloud cover, strong winds, and rain have hit the course, making an already challenging event even more difficult.
As of this writing, the defending champs continue to lead the event, but with seven days remaining in the race, it is still very much up for grabs. This year’s course takes the adventure racers through the more northerly region of Chile’s Patagonia, near the Southern Continental Ice Field. The race got underway in the shadow of the Torres del Paine mountains, with the teams chasing a herd of horses on their bikes down a dirt path to begin the opening mountain biking leg. From there, they’ll navigate, trek, bike, and paddle their way across some amazing landscapes toward the finish line, some 500km later.
One of the teams that is participating in the Patagonia Expedition Race is Team GearJunkie.com, which is led by none other than the Gear Junkie himself, Stephen Regenold. The team is posting updates from the field as they progress through the race, which appears to be off to an impressive start.
Check back for updates over the next few days. As usual, this is a wild and tough race, where anything can, and usually does, happen.
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