It seems February is the time to be an adventure racer in South America, with three of the continent’s biggest expedition adventure races all falling within the same week. These include the Wegner Patagonia Expedition Race in Chile as well as the AR World Series qualifying Terra Viva race in Argentina and Huairasinchi in Ecuador.
The Patagonia Expedition Race is touted as one of the world’s wildest and most remote races: a true expedition in every sense of the word. The field is limited to a total of 20 entries by application, and the team list is actually kept a secret right up until the start of the race. One team that will be racing and worth following is South Africa’s Cyanosis. The Patagonian Expedition Race covers some truly spectacular scenery with long, tough legs and all of the logistical difficulties associated with this. However, the race has a solid 10 year history and should be very entertaining to watch from abroad online. This would be a dream race to go check out one day. Regular news updates during racing should be found here.
Huairasinchi, translated as “strength of the wind” from the local Kichwa language, in Ecuador is another long running expedition race that is a member of the world series. Typically run over 3 days, the 2012 version of the race has been extended to a 4 day race making it extra bang for buck. Ecuador is a hotspot for biodiversity and the race typically takes teams through this wide range of climates from steamy jungles through to high altitude volcano country. The race has attracted a large field of local teams, as well as a spattering of international teams including Tecnu and Untamed Adventure from the States, as well as the Merrell Adventure Addicts from South Africa. Again, the action will be well worth following from afar here.
Finally the Terra Viva race run in Argentinian Patagonia is a recent addition to the AR World Series. I am less familiar with this race, however it promises up to 5 days of racing over the spectacular Patagonian scenery with plenty of long legs, tough navigation and strategy. One team to follow closely will be New Zealand’s Seagate, with all the action here.
So, there is plenty of expedition action to follow and inspire from afar. The next big race in South America that I am aware of is Ecomotion in Brazil in May. What better motivation to get away and explore these amazing parts of the world?