Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race 2010: Part 2
“In long races you crave savoury and protein rich food but in shorter races individual preference and ‘faster’ carbs are often more suitable. Tablets were helpful for electolytes, too, and that's probably even more the case for shorter races.”
The race really becomes tough when the food supply falls short. In Patagonia this year, Team Nord Water couldn't trek as fast as they had expected, due to an injured team member. Noora Pinola recalled the unpleasant pang of hunger.
“It was mentally hard because we took food for three days and we thought that would be enough but the injury slowed us and it took longer than we had expected," said Pinola. "It was quite hard not to think we were going to be in there forever and to keep pushing on.”
A large part of this endurance race depends on the team as a whole. This can include everything from distributing weight when one team member is tired to being understanding when tiredness and hunger bring on irritability.
Helly Hansen-Prunesco has put a lot of thought into teamwork, and captain MacLeod explained:
“Even when people don’t agree, we can just laugh about it. That’s one of the secrets. Everyone does different things, too, so we have a mix of people who can carry lots of weight and just plod on and don’t argue and people who like to boss others around.”
At some point during the race, the competitors will inevitably feel that their body just won't go any further. In such situations, it is necessary to focus on shorter achievable tasks and enjoying the natural setting.
Jasson Magness, of Team Gear Junkie, has registered for and finished 67 adventure races. He explained:
“That is mostly because I surround myself with people who won’t quit. If one of my team-mates says ‘I’m done’ then it’s over. Everyone says they’re not going to quit, but that doesn’t hold all the time and the rule I always have is that even if I want to quit, I have to wait 24 hours and continue wanting to quit for that entire 24 hours. If at any point I start having fun again, I have to reset the clock.”
At the Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race, one of the hardest adventure runs in the world, the participants have to constantly push it to the limit.