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Ottawan spends vacation battling elements in Chilean Patagonia race – Metro US

Ottawan spends vacation battling elements in Chilean Patagonia race

Earlier this week, Ottawa resident Andrew Cameron came home from his vacation exhausted, sore and worse for the wear.

But if you ask the 29-year-old how his adventure race in Chilean Patagonia went, he’ll tell you he’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Along with teammates Ottawa resident James Galipeau and Harper Forbes and Denise Rispolie of the GTA, Cameron was part of the only Canadian team in this year’s Patagonian expedition race — an eight-day adventure race consisting of mountain biking, trekking, ocean kayaking, rappelling and traversing — which is known as one of the toughest wilderness races in the world.

Cameron got into adventure racing about 10 years ago when he did his first 36-hour race.
“I’ve been hooked since,” he said. “It was that sense of accomplishment and pushing your limits beyond what you thought was possible.”

The Patagonia race is arguably the most remote race in the world, said the wind energy engineer.

“Most races tend to be in more built-up areas, but for this race, there was no one around.

“This makes it harder, because there are no trails to follow, no stores along the way to buy food, no one to help you navigate,” he said. “It’s just you and your teammates against the elements for eight days.”

The team raced in high winds and a snowstorm during the “epic” race, which included a 21 km beach run, about 300 km on bike, a 54 km ocean kayak and about 200 km on foot, sleeping about 12 hours in total and finishing sixth out of 14 teams.

“There were 100/km winds blowing us off our bikes and we walked through bogs, then 10 cm of snow,” he said.

Still, he can see why off-road races are gaining popularity among Ontarians.

“It’s beyond worth it,” he said.

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