Race is On! Raid the North Extreme Begins

This post is the second in a series of reports from Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers on its participation in Raid The North Extreme, an international multi-day expedition race in British Columbia taking place July 23 – 31, 2011.

The race has begun! Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers is officially on the course and in the thick of it heading through the West Kootenay region of British Columbia and navigating its way during day No. 1 of the six-day Raid The North Extreme. We’ll be following the team throughout the week, and readers can see the action “live” via interactive maps and GPS tracks on the Raid The North Extreme (RTNX) web site, where we’re denoted as team No. 11 on the RTNX leaderboard.

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Captain Jason Magness poses pre-race

Yesterday, before she departed onto the course, Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers’ Chelsey Magness penned a quick update on arriving in Canada and getting ready for the race: After a 10-hour drive, we finally made it to Nelson, B.C., last night, though this is not including the layover at the border, where the guards had us stalled waiting in our car for a long time without even checking our passports. Luckily, one of the patrollers was interested in adventure racing, so they let us go after making us first eat all of our apples.

Lina Augaitis, our fourth teammate in this race, was relaxing in our hotel room when we arrived, looking happy and fit after just completing her (insane) 700km paddle down the Yukon River on a paddle surfboard. We are not too worried about the many paddling legs in RTNX this year with her guns onboard! (Personal note: I am also super excited to have another strong girl on the team!)

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Daniel Staudigel (left) and Jason Magness of Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers sit down to decipher maps for the course

This morning [Saturday, July 23] was spent doing skill tests for the race, navigation tests, as well as getting our gear and health checked out by the officials. No problems. Later, we sorted and organized our gear into five bins and went on a half-hour bike ride to make sure all was in order.

Racers received maps tonight after the first of three debriefings. Apparently, the snowline is at 2,000 meters and there is 150 percent more snow than usual here. Oh, and we are going through one of the most densely-populated areas for grizzly bears on the continent. After glancing over Jason’s shoulder at the map, Daniel looked up at me and sighed “This is going to be heinously epic!”

—Follow Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers this week in the RTNX expedition race at our newly-launched team micro-site. Race on!

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