Just finishing is a major achievement, but a team of four — including a Big White woman — have placed fourth in what’s billed as America’s Toughest Race.
Team BC Wild Expedition Canada battled across close to 500 kilometres of territory in the rugged Oregon wilderness to finish among the top teams competing in Expedition Oregon.
Nathalie Long is the only woman on the team which also includes Danny Chamberland, Loic Letailleur and Peter Watson. Long works as the events coordinator and race director for Hoodoo Adventures in Penticton.
Competitors need to have a diverse outdoors skill set, including whitewater paddling, climbing, rappelling, cycling, swimming, canoeing and orienteering.
Natalie and her teammates were in 3rd place last week, despite a tough river section during which the team's boat ripped and they had to do some swimming. They were only 30 minutes behind the first place team following the mountain trek section.
They were fighting it out with another Canadian team, Peak Pursuit, who nipped them at the end. Team BC Wild Expedition Canada came in with a total time of five days, seven hours and 31 minutes. The winning racers posted a time of five days and 57 minutes.
Since 2018, Oregon has played host to America’s Toughest Race. The race course changes every year, but always involves some form of foot travel, water travel and cycling.
The route is completely unmarked. Teams have to choose a route using a map and compass.
There were 20 teams competing this year, made up of 2 or 4 members. All prize money is awarded to four-person co-ed groups. All members must cross the finish line or the team is eliminated.