Fit and excited adventurers headed out into the woods and mountains of the West Kootenay on Saturday as the Raid the North Extreme began.
The starting point was a mystery until late on Friday afternoon. It was kept a mystery to maintain the sense of adventure about the race.
The streets of Nelson were full of racers in colourful spandex on Friday as they got ready to start Atmosphere’s Raid the North Extreme.
Registration for the six-day expedition-style adventure race started at 10 a.m. in Lakeside Park.
There are 30 teams from all over Canada, the U.S. and even a few adventurers have come from over seas.
“We know what we’re in for, except for the mountains,” said Pete Cameron, a member of Atmosphere Momar, a team who has come from the Toronto-Ottawa area.
Cameron said the team came to the West Kootenay for the race after their teammate, Jean-Yves Dionne said how beautiful it is.
“For us with the biking, we are looking forward to the climbing and the descents. The challenging part will be making good route decisions through the mountains. In the mountains it’s a different game than flatland Ontario,” said Cameron.
Atmosphere Momar are a group of experienced adventurer racers.
“This is what we do when we aren’t working. We are all just really active people, it’s more of a lifestyle than anything else,” said Cameron.
The team has been competing in adventurer races for between six and 12 years. Racing has allowed them to travel to Patagonia, Ecuador, Portugal, Spain and all over North America.
The team that wins Raid the North will gain a spot in the world series race in Tasmania, and two members of Atmosphere Momar are already competing in that race.
WildernessTraverse.com, who are a team from Ontario and New Zealand are currently first as they completed the fourth checkpoint near Reco Mountain.
Atmosphere Momar are tied for sixth place with Tecnu Extreme/StaphAseptic, who are from the U.S.A and Brazil.
Nelson-based team Kootenay Kaos is in 14th place having just completed the first checkpoint.
For up-to-date results visit raidthenorth.com