In a week, the team will start the long travel to Punta Arenas, Chile. It will take 5 flights and 36 hours to get there. For Jason and Chelsey - it will be the 6th time. For Alex - the second. And for Lars - his first time racing the PER and his first time racing with the team.
Racers Darren Steinbach and Scott Almendinger will be traveling to Punta Arenas as well as members of a media team headed by Tyler Brower. The three man crew will be covering the race for fans back home, as well as capturing the iconic event as part of a film project.
Maybe we'll get to name a mountain like we did in 2012 (see video). The race is the most extreme there is!
We've been asked a lot about the members of the team, so check out brief bios below:
Jason is the founder, Team Capitan and main navigator of Team BendRacing/YogaSlackers. Jason came to Adventure Racing after to many marathons and triathalons. After the first and only off road Iron Man, someone came over to him and said that he would love Adventure Racing. While he had grown up going on all sorts of climbing expeditions, he had never heard of the sport. On his first one, him and his team got lost for 16 hours and came in third place. He was hooked. Since then he has completed over 175 races, gone on countless missions and has started his own Adventure Race company : BendRacing. He continues to push the edges of his and his teams potential and is very excited to go back to Patagonia, a place that continues to inspire and challenge every part of him!
Jason and Chelsey's fourth date was an adventure race. It was her first race ever, and her first of many wins. She quickly fell in love with the sport and with the podium. 8 years and nearly 80 races later she is now one of the strongest racers in the sport. The Patagonian Expedition Race has been woven throughout: She got engaged on the podium of the 2010 race, raced in 2013 as a newlywed, and made a decision to start a family during the 2016 race. This edition will mark her first PER as a Mama! She's very excited to hear all the new jokes and eat all the new race food that Lars and Alex will bring.
Alex came on to our radar years ago at a stage race up in Canada. We were racing against him and his team of guys, we called them Team Green because they were all in green helmets. They were fast, but more importantly they were fun. We instantly liked his energy and drive for adventure. In the Alaska Expedition Race, when we were racing against him and his team again, we ended up hiking together through the Alaska mountains sharing stories of past adventures. When PER 2016 came around, we needed a fourth, and all three of us (Jason, Daniel and myself) agreed on Alex. The 2016 race was both heart breaking and heart warming for us. Alex and Dan carried Jason down from the mountains when he could no longer walk and Alex was the one who could always make us laugh in the most dire situation. He is also probably the first one ever to invent space blanket underwear (watch this video for more on that: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A5qMotvUPdI)We are so unbelievably excited to be going back with this guy!
Lars Bukkehave: This is Lars first time racing the Patagonian Expedition Race and first race with our team. We first met Lars in the middle of the jungle in Belize. We were all lost and looking for a check point in the Belize Mayan Mountain Challenge. He was extremely nice and very strong. We liked him instantly. This year, at the Expedition Oregon race, we watched him lead his team to number one and was smiling the whole time. When Daniel had to back down from PER, and were in a pinch for a 4th. Lars jumped right in with the biggest smile. Needless to say, we are excited to see where we go with him this year.