Gaucho Derby rider on horse
Gaucho Derby 2020; photo credit: Richard Dunwoody

Stores Close, Sled Mushers Push Ahead: Adventure News of the Week

From the inspiring to the tragic, ‘Adventure News of the Week’ presents a wrap-up of top news in the world of exploration and adventure.

SLED: Iditarod Sled Dog Race Continues Despite Coronavirus in Alaska. Jessie Royer of Fairbanks, Alaska, who hopes to be the first woman in 30 years to win the race, was in the lead on Saturday but dropped to third place yesterday.

She and 50 other mushers will continue onto the finish line in Nome despite Alaska’s first confirmed case of coronavirus. You can find race updates here.

STORES: Major Outdoor Retailers Close Due to Coronavirus. Effective immediately, REI, Columbia, Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and The North Face have all closed their brick-and-mortar operations to keep employees home and stop the spread of COVID-19. Right now, you can still shop online at several retailers.

Patagonia Shuts Down Due to Coronavirus Global Threat
Patagonia Shuts Down Due to Coronavirus Global Threat

Earlier today, Patagonia released a statement saying it was shutting down all the brand's operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…

RACE: 1st Gaucho Derby Comes to Close in Patagonia. The 500km, 10-day race — arguably the world’s toughest horse race — takes riders across Patagonia’s wilderness.

It ended with veteran rider and former Mongol Derby racer Marie Griffis winning the derby. This was the inaugural year of the race.

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Marie Griffis (@cassieproducts )wins the Gaucho Derby! • Safe to say Patagonia has fallen in love with this kind hearted, tough as nails, hell of a horsewoman. Marie hails from the mountain country of Montana, it’s on a horse in the wilds where she feels most at home. She’s no new comer to adventure racing, having competed in our #MongolDerby as well. Throughout this race she showed great tenacity all the while with a smile. • Here’s a Q & A with our winner: • We called it one of our toughest horse races, what was the toughest part for you? • M: The forest in route to Vet Check 3, bashing through it as it was on an incline, bogs literally everywhere! • What was the best bit? • M: Riding the Arabians were the best bit! They were such athletes, ripping through the countryside on them was thrilling. They were really well cared for and highly trained. Plus Andy & Luly who own them were the best! Also, the kitchen team we had cooking for us, I have great respect for them. • If you had to pick one of your horses to keep which one would it be and why? • Marie- It would be the grulla, sissoro. He was such a gentleman- able to lead and to ride he had so much heart and energy. Such a kind horse. Just the right amount of spunk, wouldn’t stand still to saddle but once on he was a gentleman. • How did it feel to finally cross the finish line? • Marie~ It was like a dream, as we crossed the river to the final vet check and finish line all I could think of was there’s no way I’m getting my feet wet again!• • Marie would like to thank her sponsors: Stone Glacier & Steele Halters. • 📸 @richarddunwoody6 #gauchoderby

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PARA: Spain Moves Into 1st in 2020 AmpSurf ISA Para Surfing Championship. A team of para-surfers from Spain competed in the ISA World Para Surfing comps last week. Two athletes on the team won multiple gold medals in the visually impaired division, leading the country to victory. The United States took silver, and Brazil took bronze.

Mary Murphy

Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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