Polartec Advisory Board Member, Laurent Valette, takes this week’s Badass Award without question.
He and the French X-Bionic team including Sonia Furtado, Adrien Lhermet, and Benjamin Monier, just finished 2nd in the Tierra Viva, a 500km, 4-6 day adventure race in the Cordillera le los Andes in Argentinean Patagonia.
Here’s how it breaks down: the course is a clover shape with a Central Camp in the middle where teams stash provisions, first aid, food, and gear. Traveling together, in teams of four, the racers head out to each one of the courses that continually rotate between kayaking (approx. 100km total), mountain biking (250km), and trail running (150km) and come back to Central Camp in between or when needed. The course covers some of the most technical terrain in the world, and navigation is also borderline impossible, so strict checkpoints and photo checkpoints cover the race course, ensuring all participants stop at each required location.
“We had no idea where the other teams were, and in this race, due to the terrain, anything can happen, so we just pushed forward,” said Laurent.