The legendary Patagonia Expedition Race returned from a three-year hiatus yesterday when 18 coed teams of four embarked on what promises to be one of the most challenging adventure races of their lives. Over the course of the next ten days, the competitors will run, pedal, climb, and paddle their way across more than 600 km (372 miles) of the most spectacularly beautiful, and incredibly grueling, terrain on the planet.
Anyone who follows adventure racing has no doubt heard about the Patagonia Expedition Race. For years it set the standard for the sport, offering some of the most physically demanding courses ever. The famously bad Patagonia weather often played a role, with cold conditions, heavy rains, rough seas, and high winds often impacting the outcome of the event. Sadly, the race was off the schedule for the past two years, but has now returned bigger, and badder, than ever.
The teams arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile over the weekend where they went through mandatory gear and skills checks prior to the start of the race yesterday. As usual with an adventure race like this one, the competitors received their route information 24 hours before the start of the event, allowing them to plot their navigation points ahead of time. After the gun went off signifying the start of the race yesterday, they’ll now spend somewhere between 6-10 days racing non-stop, 24/7 until a winner is crowned.