YogaSlackers Just SLAYED the Patagonia Expedition Race

Weather, massive gastro-intestinal distress and Vietnamese cravings could not slow down the YogaSlackers as they crossed the finish line of arguably the toughest adventure race on the planet. Less than a week ago (at this writing), the Patagonia Expedition Race wrapped up 10 days of trekking, paddling and riding through untouched wilderness – as our favorite team of yogi athletes took third place in a race so tough only three teams even had the tenacity to finish.

Kudos to Chelsey Magness, Jason Magness, Daniel Staudigel and Paul Cassedy. Check out their not-to-be-missed video and a post-race trip report by Daniel, posted on the Gear Junkie. We are so proud to be one of your sponsors.

(In the chat below, Chelsey was kind enough to take a break from the more serious work of rest and recovery to answer a few questions on behalf of the team.)

Ibex Question (IQ): It’s been six days since you’ve crossed the finish line, In six words or less, what words describe how you’re feeling right now? 

Chelsey (YS for YogaSlacker): Satisfied, warm, content and on the mend!

IQ: Now let’s go back in time to the middle of the race. What words described how you were feeling (as a team) right about then?

YS: In the middle of the race, honestly, as a team, we were feeling nearly defeated. Lots of questions as to why we were there, still going forward. But at the same time we were still in awe of the rawness of the whole experience.

IQ: What was the crux of this year’s race?

YS: The crux of this year’s race was the unrelenting bad weather; it seemed like we never got a break. The wind, the rain, the cold were always there making everything much harder.

IQ: What was the moment when things seemed to come together and you all felt good (check out the video for a complete understanding of the GI troubles that plagued Paul)?

YS: There were moments here and there. The kayak leg was very windy, as it almost caused a wave to capsize Daniel and I. But I felt like we had a real camaraderie out in the ocean. The final trekking and biking leg was fun for us, as well. I was hurting physically, but after taking a day at CP 13 to rest, and talk as a team, we were able to realize why we were there and what was important to us. We found that finishing out this race strong as a team both emotionally and physically was a desire that we all shared. So after leaving CP 13, we vowed to make it as light and fun as possible… and that we did!

IQ: Well done! But speaking of light, there was a question if carrying the weight of pack rafts was worth the reward. What do think in the context of an adventure race: thumbs up or thumbs down?

YS: Pack rafting gets a huge thumbs up from us, but you have to know how and when to use them. Efficiency is key!

IQ: If you had a seven-year old child who told you they wanted to be an adventure racer when they grew up, what you say to that kid right now

YS: I would say “That is awesome, you will basically be able to live in the most epic fantasy that you ever imagined with a band of fellow adventurers at your side. It’s about the closest you can get to living ‘a hobbits tale’ in real life!”

IQ: Same question, but if it was around Day 8 of the toughest race on earth?

YS: I would say the same answer, just with a far more bedraggled look and edge to my voice.  And I may add, “We are in the thick of it now, but are dreaming about the happy ending!”

IQ: Love it! Since you’re wholly encouraging, what gear would you recommend the casual athlete/adventurer add to their kit – something we may not typically think of, but really makes life easier, better, more fun, faster, etc.?

YS: As much as we love the sounds of nature, we would recommend a tiny weather resistant mp3 player. There is nothing that can instantly override the feelings of depression and pain like hearing your favorite tunes in the middle of now where. Oh, and take all of your synthetic base layers to salvation army, and start wearing merino wool as much as you can!

[Ed. Note: We did not fish for that last part…honest. Thanks for the shout out, Chelsey! Your opinion is that of a bona fide expert.]

IQ: Well, you opened that Pandora’s Box: what tunes keep you going?

YS:  For me, it differs with every race. On this race, I was loving: Emancipator, Trevor Hall, The Devil Makes Three, and The Mountain Goats. Jason says “Sometimes” by Midnight Oil. Daniel listens to all sorts of things, from classical to electronic. And Paul loves his Reggae.

IQ: This year’s course was so challenging that only three teams even finished. What’s your take on what made it so hard?

YS: I believe what made it so hard was, again, the unrelenting weather. Temps were at record lows, we saw snow, freezing rain and howling wind… the entire 10 days.

IQ: Ugh. Out in the middle of one of the most remote places on earth, what was your biggest craving in the middle of the race?

YS: My biggest craving was Pho, a Vietnamese soup. The night before we left for Chile, Daniel’s mom made us homemade Pho. It was amazing. Daniel and Paul sang about Lomit’s burgers, our favorite burger joint in Punta Arenas, and Jason talked about eggs and bacon…a lot!

IQ: Now that you’ve finished, what are your plans?

YS: In the short term, Jason and I are at our house in Bend, with our feet up catching up on emails and calorie consumption. In the medium term, we are going to be traveling soon to teach acrobatics and slack lining around the country, and in May, Japan. Our next race is a local race here in Bend that Jason and I are doing as a duo. Then we have a couple big adventure races coming up this summer and fall that we will be doing with Daniel and a new up-and-coming teammate.

Ibex: Not surprised at all to hear that there is no “slowing down” in your future. Good on you, YogaSlackers. Congratulations once again and we hope you enjoy every bit of your well-deserved rest and calorie binging.