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ESSENTIAL EVENT INFORMATION 2023

Due to the scale and nature of Rat Race Events, changes to the course, structure and timings sometimes need to be made right up to the date of the event. To ensure you have the latest information and are fully prepared for the challenge that lies ahead, please check back on this EEI before travelling to the event.

 

The EEI was last updated on: 19/09/2023

WELCOME TO PATAGONIA

 

Dear Ratracer,

Patagonia Glacier to Glacier is an extraordinary journey from the Laguna Torre Glacier in the north to the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier in the south. With a constant back drop of jagged mountain peaks and never-ending epic views every day in isolation is amazing. But stitched together as they are on our route, this is one trip that you will never forget. This document is designed to give you all the information you need about what to expect during the trip and, hopefully, answer any questions you may have.

Believe me when I say the Rat Race event team are just as excited as you are to be getting on a plane in a few weeks time and bask in the glory that is Patagonia. Our local Argentinian team are ready and waiting to meet you all, too and you will be hearing more from them in our webinar on the 11th October also.

But for now, take the weight off, grab a cuppa (or something stronger!) and read on.

Welcome to the adventure and see you all this Nov/Dec!

James Campbell

Event Director, Rat Race Glacier to Glacier

SKIP TO SECTION

FILES AND DOWNLOADS:
KEY REMINDERS:

Make sure you’ve read this document thoroughly well ahead of your departure date to ensure there are no last minute panics or surprises, if you have any questions after reading this please reach out to us on events@ratrace.com

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TIME ZONE

GMT  - 3 hours

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PHONE CODE

 +520

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LANGUAGE

Spanish

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CURRENCY

Argentinean Peso

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TEMPERATURE

Average December

15 degrees Celsius

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  • ​Be up to date on your home government travel restrictions and guidance.

  • Event Participation Form MUST be submitted NO later 13th October 2023.

  • Medical declaration MUST be submitted NO later than 13th October 2023.

  • You MUST complete the online Waiver before being allowed to participate.

  • The Q & A webinar will now take place on at 1800 UK time on 11th October 2023, for both weeks. This is a change to the initial week 2 date so please do ensure you update your calendars! You will be able to join via this LINK.

  • Trackers: Please remember that GPS tracker service at all times is not a-given, especially in the mountains; you should particularly note this if sharing any live links with supporters. Please see the tracking section later in this document.

  • Insurance: You need insurance. You will need a medical repatriation and evacuation policy that has a minimum of $500 000 trip cover on it. You will submit this to us pre-event and we will ensure we have the correct number to call your insurer if we need to evacuate you or provide serious medical attention. We also highly recommend a policy that overs you for curtailment and non-attendance. Some suggested insurance providers are as follows: Mann Broadbent, Big Cat Travel, Battle Face, International SOS. Please see the Insurance section further in this document.

  • Remember to bring personal sports nutrition and snacks for the duration of the itinerary.

  • Adventure Packs will be collected at Registration following a kit check in El Chalten.

  • This event takes place on ‘Live’ public roads, private roads, and shared access trails. There are no closed roads. Always exercise caution with other road and trail users.

  • We will provide you at Registration in El Chalten with a safety procedure to follow in case of emergency.

ITINERARY

Here’s how the days will shape up:

 
DAY ONE / MEETING AT EL CALAFATE TOWN OR AIRPORT AND DRIVE TO EL CHALTEN

24th November / 3rd December

​We will meet at either 1pm in the centre of El Calafate (location will be confirmed during the webinar) or 2pm at the airport to commence our road transfer (4 hrs approx) across the Patagonian steppe to the small and very colourful village of El Chalten. This will be our home for the next 4 nights


Meals: Dinner will be provided.

Accommodation: El Chalten serviced apartments.

DAY TWO / ADMIN DAY AND EXPLORE EL CHALTEN

25th November / 4th December

 

We will have a leisurely breakfast, some informal briefings and perform the Registration tasks. You will have time to build your bike or you will receive your rental bike from us and we will assist with getting you set up on your steed. After these tasks, which will take up most of the morning, enjoy the laid-back vibe of this mountain outpost. Perhaps take in a trail run to stretch the legs, or a few miles on the bikes. Enjoy a good night’s rest before Glacier to Glacier commences in the morning!

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided
Accommodation: El Chalten serviced apartments
.

 

DAY THREE / GLACIER TO GLACIER BEGINS!

26th November/ 5th December

 

After another hearty Patagonian breakfast, it’s time to hit the trails. Today’s stage comprises 36km of some of the most stunning trails you will ever encounter. The majestic peaks of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre are hidden at first as we make our way towards the mountains on a good gravel road. Then when those peaks appear, they are truly jaw dropping. We will then make our way up the stiff trail climb to the Glacier de los Tres at the base of Fitzroy. After getting up close and personal with the ice as it spills into the lake, we will return on well-marked trails to El Chalten, continuing to enjoy the most incredible vistas.

 

Discipline: Foot

Distance: 36km (22 miles)
Ascent: 930m (3051 ft)

Video: HERE  


Meals: Breakfast and dinner provided. Some basic on-course snack provision will be supplied also via our pit stops. You should plan to be largely self-contained and take some snacks and fluids that work for you whilst on these foot stages.

Accommodation: El Chalten serviced apartments.

DAY FOUR / MORE AMAZING TRAILS

27th November / 6th December

 

We hit the local trails again and today we will make our way to the Laguna Torre glacier, a spur of the mighty Viedma Glacier. Our loop will bring us back to El Chalten via another close up with Fitzroy, some more incredible glacial scenery and a stunning ridgeline, affording amazing views across this magical landscape. The trekking and running here really is some of the finest on Earth and these first 2 days should really whet your appetite for more of what Patagonia will reveal…

 

Discipline: Foot

Distance: 32km ( 20 miles)
Ascent: 750m (2460 ft)

Video: HERE 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner provided. Some basic on-course snack provision will be supplied also via our pit stops. You should plan to be largely self-contained and take some snacks and fluids that work for you whilst on the foot stages also.

Accommodation: El Chalten serviced apartments.

DAY FIVE / ONTO THE BIKES!

28th November  / 7th December

We now start our journey away from the mountains as we follow the route of the melting ice as it makes its way through Lago Viedma. Our journey on the bikes will parallel this enormous glacial lake as we gradually descend from El Chalten across the wide-open Patagonian plain. The route goes west to east, on a desolate tarmac road, before swinging south onto Ruta 40, Patagonia’s legendary arterial road. This is fast cycling, if the wind is behind you! It’s also great fun and you’ll have the chance to pit your strength against the unpredictable Patagonian winds. There is also very little traffic and only 1 junction! Our destination is the legendary Parador La Leona, a riverside saloon made famous as a hide-out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Overnight will be spent in our riverside campground. We will provide tents. You provide sleeping mat and sleeping bags. The site has basic showers and is situated next to Pardor La Leona, where we will enjoy a full Patagonian supper within the restaurant.

Discipline: Bike

Distance: 110km (68 miles)
Ascent: 240m (787 ft)

Day 3: HERE 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner provided. We will operate mobile pit stops on the bike leg, with plenty of snacks and drinks available. Look out for our local Empanadas!

Accommodation: Camping at La Leona

DAY SIX / INTO THE WATER

29th November  / 8th December

Today’s journey is split into 2 sections, kayaking and cycling. Due to safety reasons and staff/ participant ratios, we will split into 2 groups today. You will either kayak first and then cycle, or vice versa. The journey here is kept complete, so you will either kayak from A to B and then Cycle from B to C, or you will cycle from A to B and kayak from B to C. No section of the journey is missed, but for safety and logistical reasons some of you will cycle whilst some of you kayak, and vice versa. You get the picture! Both paddling sections are similar in tempo, water volume and view. Enjoy winding, flowing river paddling as you float with the glacial meltwater on its journey south via the Leona River, eventually spilling into Lago Argentino.


Using our tandem sea kayaks, fully outfitted for this exciting river stage, you will be paired with a friend or another participant (who will become a friend!). This makes for a social paddle as well as ‘turning on the engine’ a bit with both of you sharing the paddling work in the boat. This beautiful day is concluded with a fittingly beautiful wild camp spot, and you will either kayak or cycle right into tonight’s camp. This is another fantastic riverside camp location right on the shores of the Rio Leona.

 

NOTE: Patagonia is of course famed for its winds and whislt the kayaking will proceed in many conditions, high-speed headwinds may force us to change the plan, as progressing down the river in high winds is pretty hard work. Please understand that if we do change the plan on kayak day, we are doing so with your safety and enjoyment in mind.

Discipline:  Kayak / Bike
Distance: Kayak 35km (22 miles) / Bike 40km (25 miles)
Ascent: 310m (1017 ft)

Video: HERE 

Tonight is a wild camp, so it’s a wash in the river if you’re brave enough to take on the chill!

Meals: Breakfast and dinner provided – we will eat tonight around the campfire and likely will enjoy a traditional home-cooked Argentinian stew (veggie and vegan option available of course). You will largely be self-contained in the boats but we will operate a shore-based ‘pit-stop’ on the kayak leg, with plenty of snacks and drinks available for you to enjoy when you come ashore.
Accommodation: Wild Camping on the riverside.
 

DAY SEVEN / BACK ON THE BIKES

30th November / 9th December

Moving away from the kayaks now, we are back on the bikes as we see the river spill out into Lago Argentino – one of the great mixing spots of 2 of Patagonia’s greatest glaciers. Today enjoys the long and winding road cycling along the shores of Lago Argentino, via the town of El Calafate and then up into the surrounding hills. The terrain is a mix of tarmac road and some good well-made off-road tracks. Our destination is the stunning Estancia Mitre on the shores of one of the fjords at the head of Lago Argentino; and just within sight of the world famous Perito Moreno glacier.

Discipline: Bike
Distance: 97km (60 miles) 
Ascent: 620m (2034
ft)

Video: HERE


Meals: Breakfast and dinner provided. We will operate mobile ‘pit- stops’ on the bike leg, with plenty of snacks and drinks available.
Accommodation: Rustic dorm-style beds and some camping at Estancia Mitre

DAY EIGHT / TO THE GLACIER!

1st December / 10th December

Our final day sees us enjoy a unique cycling experience, 39km of closed roads through the Parque Nacional los Glaciares to reach journey’s end at the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier. It’s medals and high fives all round with this stunning backdrop for photos as we pull up our wheels at this world-famous spot. Then the local guides who’ve accompanied us all week share their knowledge as we get up close and personal with this beast of nature. Together we will descend the walkway that gets us even closer to the glacier face and head for our special charter boat, that will take us on a celebratory cruise to get really close to the glacier face. Bubbles and snacks and plenty of selfies make for a truly memorable experience at the end of this magnificent adventure.

 

This really is a fitting end to a quite unbelievable adventure. After some high fives and perhaps a celebratory beer or two, it’s then back off to El Calafate for our final night together. Enjoy a slap-up celebration dinner, plenty of Malbec and a cosy night in a great local hotel.

There is the option to do a kayak activity at the glacier. This will follow the boat cruise and take up to 4hrs to complete with extensive safety briefing , time to kit up and for getting on and off the water. It will also require some waiting for the activity to start and a late-return to El Calafate. Please see below for detailed info on this option.

Discipline: Bike

Distance: 39km (24miles)

Ascent: 420m (1378ft)


Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch and snacks on the boat and a celebration dinner provided, plus a celebration drink on us.
Accommodation: Hotel Las Dunas, El Calafate​

DAY NINE / JOURNEYS END!

2nd December / 11th December

After our final breakfast together, it’s time to head to the airport at El Calafate for return onwards travel.


We will offer one communal transfer in the morning and will advise on the transfer time once we have collated all departing flight info via the forms you will submit to us. (See more in this document about the forms we ask you to fill in). If you are hanging around in Patagonia or if you have later flights, you are welcome to make your own transfer arrangements with the hotel, or locally.

 

*Note on Finish Sequence at the Perito Moreno Glacier, charter boat, shore-based guided tour and optional kayak activity

If you wish, there is an option to do a kayak activity here at the glacier and whilst the kayaking does give you a unique perspective - feeling so small against something so massive - the time on the water is only a fraction of the total time for the whole activity undertaken. Having done this activity ourselves and offered it in previous years, it is also a cast-iron fact that and you don’t get anywhere near as close to the glacier face as you do in the larger, powered boat. The kayak activity is operated by a single 3rd party concession. It runs on their schedule and they have a very specific way of doing it and due to safety reasons it cannot be amended to fit in with our original vision.

As such, is feels very definitely ‘separate’ to the journey we have shared together thus far. It is also scheduled at 3pm and this cannot be moved, whereas our charter boat is at 1030am.
If you do wish to kayak, you will wait until 3pm for the activity to commence whilst the other participants return to El Calafate and you will then return from the glacier around 6.30pm, arriving back in El Calafate around 8pm.

The activity starts with a briefing, which is extensive. The water is very cold and large blocks of ice the size of houses do carve off the glacier face, so it’s easy to understand why it’s needed. But this briefing is lengthy – around 1.5 hrs plus cold water kit allocation. Finally, cameras aren’t allowed on the kayaks so capturing the experience is also very difficult.
All in all, our view having experienced and offered the kayak activity is that, frankly, it’s a lot of effort for little reward after such an epic adventure. But it is there if you wish to do it and if you do so, we ask that you tell us in the admin form. In order to try and secure the spots we will need to know quickly and certainly by the deadline for the admin form of 13th Oct 2023 at the very latest. From there, we will contact the operator and attempt to book spots for those who wish to do the kayak activity. We will not guarantee the spots until we have locked them in with the operator and we can accept no requests after this date.

EVENT REGISTRATION & ADMINISTRATION

EVENT REGISTRATION AND PRE-EVENT ADMIN

Formal Registration for the event is completed in 3 phases:

1.) Online enrolment, payment – COMPLETE

2.) Submission of Event Participation Form, Medical Declaration (by 13th October) and Online Waiver all pre-event.

  • Event Participant Form: HERE

  • Medical Declaration: HERE

  • Online Waiver: HERE

3.) Physical registration at El Chalten on 25/11/23 or 04/12/23. You will complete a final physical kit check with our event team, do a short final paperwork exercise including checking your insurance company contact details, present some ID and do a medical interview with our medical team. You will also receive your GPS devices for those who have rented them (more below on that) , trackers and other items. There will of course be some briefings. 

EVENT REGISTRATION PAC

In El Chalten, there will be one event pack issued per person. Your Event Pack will contain:

Numbered Bag Tags

For your overnight  and race bag. These must be attached to your bag before handing them over to our crew to transport each day.

Event T-shirt & Rat Rag

 If you do not select your t-shirt size in advance, you will automatically be allocated a Large.

Tracking Device

 We will issue the tracking device and demonstrate its use.

RENTAL ITEMS ​

GPS Devices - Any GPS devices you have rented will be handed to you and you will be shown how to use them.

Bike - If you have rented a bike, we will hand it over on Registration day for you to set-up how you like it.

EL CHALTEN KIT CHECK

During Registration at El Chalten, we will be conducting a kit check as part of the Reg process. The full kit list can be found further below in this document HERE.


As a minimum, we will be checking:

  • Sleeping bag

  • Roll mat

  • Windproof and/or waterproof upper body AND leg cover

  • A wicking tee/base layer/long sleeved wicking layer

  • Mid-layer (e.g. microfleece)

  • Bivvy bag

  • Personal first aid and footcare kit containing all mandatory items

  • Running pack and hydration system

  • If bringing your own bike, we will need to see your tool kit, spare parts and puncture repair kit (see cycling kit list for full list)

  • Bike helmet

  • Navigation device (if you have chosen to hire own from us, this will be issued at registration - you  can read more on the navigational device requirements and hire option in the Route section HERE)


You may be asked to show any other items from the mandatory kit list. Clearly at this point, the die is somewhat cast in respect of where we are geographically and the ability to ‘fill in any gaps’ is therefore heavily reduced; however we will look to assist where we can, in the event of major kit catastrophe. If you do not have the appropriate kit with you when you register in El Chalten, you may not be allowed to participate. We have devised the mandatory kit list for your protection and safety, and we will not be able to make any exceptions on required items. If you have any kit questions, you can bring them to the webinar or contact our in-house kit guru, Abbi, on expeditions@ratrace.com

ID

By entering this event you agreed that you have entered in your own name (not nickname) and will bring photographic ID to event Registration at El Chalten to prove your identity. Clearly, having got on an aircraft in a seat booked in your own name, this should not be too difficult! It is however a requirement for us to know categorically know who at the event, hence the final physical ID check at El Chalten.

MANDATORY KIT

See the full list below, with a few introductory comments to consider:

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE?

This is the ‘hottest’ time of year in Patagonia (it is the height of the austral summer) but it never gets ‘hot, hot.’ Highs of 15 – 22 C are the norm but it can be much cooler, especially in the mountains. What is also inevitable at this time of year are the notoriously strong Patagonian winds. Whilst it is arguably a bit more sheltered in amongst the mountains, the bike stages on the Steppe are very exposed and it can be windy on the river, too. Which means it could be dusty, windy, rainy, cloudy, sunny. Basically it’s a bit like Scotland. On steroids. Changeable is the word and you should study this kit list carefully. It has been prepared with this destination and with this event specifically in mind.

SUN PROTECTION

Whilst the heat of the day will not be fierce, a wide-brimmed sunhat, sun-cream and lightweight and breathable fabrics (ideally with SPF protection) should be packed. As should sunglasses with at least Cat 3 protection. You will be outside for a good long time after all.

WET WEATHER GEAR

The chances of rain are high and you should definitely invest in decent waterproof garments. Items specific to running and cycling disciplines are a bit of a luxury but will provide more comfort. These garments are also windproof which will provide a lot of warmth every day too. Taped-seams on waterproof garments are essential. This provides you with absolute waterproofing, vs garments without taped seams will will eventually leak.

BIKE KIT

If you are bringing your own bike:

As well as supplying your own bike, please bring everything you would need to support yourself on that bike – pedals, footwear, tools, pump, puncture repair gear, helmet and bike clothing for dry AND wet weather conditions.

Spare Parts – I’m sure you’re all aware of the difficulties in the bike supply chain after the Covid period. This has affected parts as well as availability of new bikes. If you are bringing your own bike, for your own bike you should try and bring with you the following items: Rear Mech Hanger, spokes, chain, brake pads, a selection of nuts and bolts relevant to your bike, plus 1 of each cable type that your bike uses. With the assistance of our mechanic these should cover most issues and keep you rolling. Please bring it all in a bike box or bag (a bike box is preferable to a bag as they just do not damage as easily in transit – planes, vans, etc).

If you are renting a bike from us:
We will be providing you with a Marin Gestalt Gravel Bike with a frame commensurate with the size you have indicated to us. These are robust mid-range gravel bikes: Great brand, Shimano components, brake-mounted gear shifters. You can check them out HERE.

You will need to bring all clothing that would need to support yourself on that bike – do bring your own pedals if you wish, although of course we will provide pedals (flats) as standard. Bring also footwear, a helmet (see below) and bike clothing for dry AND wet weather conditions.

HELMET FOR RENTALS

For those renting a bike with us, a helmet is not provided as standard and we always encourage participants to bring and utilise their own helmet, as that will fit you best and therefore is the best safety equipment when riding bikes. However, we can provide a helmet for you in Patagonia at no charge. Please indicate on our admin form if you DO wish us to provide you with a helmet with your rental bike (applies only to those using one of our rental bikes).

SPARES, TOOLS AND SUPPORT FOR RENTALS
We will provide a small tool kit for use with your bike. We do both have a local and a UK-based bike mechanic with us on the event and they will be able to assist you with both set-up and ongoing maintenance of your bike whilst on the event. If you do have a multi-tool and a handheld pump in your gear at home, we would always encourage you to bring these so you are self-contained with some tools and equipment that uou are familiar with.

TUBE BAGS, SADDLE BAGS ETC
If you wish to accessorize your bike with such items, do please bring these with you. We do not provide any bike-attachable bags as standard.
 

CAMPLIFE

For our accommodation, we will use some excellent serviced apartments in El Chalten, a lovely hotel in Calafate and a rustic Estancia on the penultimate night. The other 2 nights are under canvas in our tented camps. We will provide the tents. You will need a sleeping bag and a roll mat or similar. Also remember, these are still nights under canvas, so if there are creature comforts that you wish to bring to augment your comfort levels, please do so. We would also advise bringing a towel just so you are self-contained on that, plus a power bank for electrical items and phone; and toiletries. A pair of sandals or flip flops are also pretty invaluable for camp and for kicking back in the evenings, just to air those tired feet. These items are reflected below as recommended items.

NUTRITION

We do insist that you have some buffered electrolyte tablets (like Salt Sticks) and other electrolyte replacement items with you – these are invaluable to re-instating equilibrium when you are exerting yourself. Experience shows that good electrolyte management can make or break these types of endurance activities. Whilst it is not massively hot, you will be getting moisture beaten out of you by the wind. Some dissolving electrolyte tablets for adding to your water; and the carrying of other sports nutrition supplies is recommended just to have in your grab bags. This allows you to be self-sufficient with items that work for you, at all times. We will have food and drinks at the pit stops, but we always ask that you provide your own sports nutrition as it’s a personal thing and it is by far the best approach to be self-contained and fully comfortable in such matters.

MANDATORY KIT LIST:

All of the kit on this list is MANDATORY unless it is listed as recommended where it is, well recommended!

RUNNING/TREKKING KIT:

  • Trail running footwear

  • Trail running apparel – shorts, technical wicking tee/ base layer, long-sleeved wicking layer, mid-layer (e.g. microfleece)

  • Windproof and/or waterproof upper body AND leg cover – BUY HERE

  • Buff or similar neck gaiter

  • Spare base and mid layers

  • Good quality socks

  • Blister care kit – see below for mandatory and recommended

  • 1 person bivvy bag (not survival blanket, MUST be a bag) – BUY HERE

  • Personal First Aid kit – see below for mandatory and recommended items

  • Running day pack to carry spare clothing, bivvy bag, first aid kit, spare food. Recommend 15-30l 

  • Hydration system for pack – either bladder or bottle to be secured to pack. Minimum of 2l carrying capacity at all times – BUY HERE

  • Cap or wide-brimmed sun hat

  • Collapsible or lightweight mug or cup (for hot drinks at camp and at pit stops)

Recommended:

  • Running tights

  • Trekking poles

CYCLING KIT:

  • Bike: Mountain bike, hybrid, gravel or cyclocross – (if you’re not hiring from us)

  • Bike box or bag (box recommended), if transporting your own bike

  • Water bottles: Recommended 2 x 750ml bottles (for all riders, rental or own bike users)

  • Tools – to comprise a minimum of: Cycling multitool, pedal spanner and chain link removal tool. If you are hiring, we will provide basic tools but we advise you bring multitool and handpump

  • Spare parts – as outlined in the section above (if you’re not hiring from us)

  • Puncture repair kit (or slime if you are using that) if you’re not hiring from us

  • Your own pedals if you wish to use them (rentals will be provided with flat pedals)

  • Cycling footwear (choose to wear cycling shoes and use your own peddles or use robust trainers if using our rental bikes with flat pedals)

  • Cycling gloves. 1 pair if mandatory. Recommended: Spare pair of full-finger length gloves in case of wet/ windy weather. Neoprene is very good for such conditions

  • Full length upper body and leg cover suitable for cycling

  • Cycle helmet (we advise everyone uses their own helmet but you can opt to use one of ours, if you are renting a bike from us, on the admin form)

  • Wind/ waterproof upper garment

  • Spare cycling clothing in case you get drenched

  • Good quality socks

  • Bag to contain mandatory kit (including waterproofs, spares, tools, first aid kit and food). This mag cab be a small backpack (e.g. your running vest or pack), or you can choose to use a cycling-specific bumbag or saddle/ tube bags. The choice is yours irrespective of whether using your own bike or one of our rentals; however you must carry the mandatory kit at all times.

Recommended:

  • Pair of overshoes/ booties are useful for insulation and waterproofing

  • Wind/ waterproof leg cover is useful for comfort on these bike legs. This can be the same garment as you use for the mandatory waterproof leg coverer for run/ trek sections, for example

WATER/KAYAK KIT:
  • Buoyancy aid, neoprene suit and boots, semi-dry jacket (cag), mittens, paddle and kayaks will be provided

  • You should dress in technical wicking undergarments and mid-layers. These can be the same ones you have used on the run stage, but for the kayak please remember you will be sitting stationary and you WILL get wet. Avoid cotton and use technical wicking fabrics. Pack some waterproofs too as you can switch into these if you get soaked in the semi-dry cag

  • If you do have kayaking gear, (such as a cag), then please do bring these if you prefer to wear your own items.

  • Flip flops or sandals

  • Water carrying container – either daypack with bladder, soft-flask bottle or cycling bottle

  • Dry bag medium size (approx.10l +). for your own dry gear (and food) in your own dry bag

  • Dry bag small size: For phones and other personal items

PERSONAL FIRST AID & FOOTCARE KIT:

Our minimum spec for mandatory medical kit (to be carried at all times) is as follows: ​

  • 1 x triangular bandage

  • 1 x  crepe roll bandage

  • Gauze or similar absorbent dressing 

  • Small set of scissors

  • Pain Killers (paracetamol)

  • Antiseptic (spray or cream) 

  • Assorted plasters 

  • Rubber gloves 

  • Prescribed medication 

  • Zinc oxide tape 

  • Compeed – various sizes 

GENERAL KIT:

  • Sleeping bag 

  • Roll mat

  • Casual clothing for use in evenings and transit stages – no formal wear required

  • Personal toiletries including any personal medication required

  • Power bank for mobile phone

  • International plug adaptor

  • Overnight bag: Such as a duffel or rucksack – please use soft bags only (i.e. holdalls, duffels or rucksacks) and not hard suitcases. These are much easier for our crew to move during the event and hard suitcases can be damaged when being moved in vans and 4x4 vehicles

  • Transition bag: A smaller duffel, or a small rucksack or drybag. This can double up as your day pack from the foot stages, as you only need this bag on the bike and kayak stages

  • Some cash in Argentine Pesos (can get at the airport in Buenos Aires)

Recommended:

  • General trekking trousers and robust outdoor footwear, given the type of destination

  • Towel – travel micro towel or full-size

  • Multitool or penknife

  • Personal reading material, podcasts, eBooks, good playlists

BAGS AND BIKES

MANDATORY KIT

Carrying this kit is a requirement of the Event and forms part of our planning in ensuring reasonable measures are put in place to keep you safe should anything go wrong during this adventurous endeavour. We ask you not to take short cuts or ‘second guess’ our advice. For instance, the carrying of waterproofs is required even if rain is not forecast as a means to prevent cooling down too fast if you get injured in a location that is very exposed to wind – remember you may be very tired and sweaty, and who says the forecast is always right? In Patagonia, you can experience all 4 seasons in one day and the weather is well-known to change extremely quickly. It is therefore important that you carry the mandatory kit at all times.

BAGS

There are 3 bags to be considered for this journey:

1.)        General ‘overnight’ bag (Holdall, rucksack or duffel) for spare and general kit: Please try and limit to noo more than approx 23kg pls. (This also happens to be the standard allowance on most economy airline tickets). This bag will go forward on each stage and will be available when you get to the overnight location, each night. So you will not see this bag during the day, until you arrive at those locations. We will store it for you while you are on the route. This MUST be a soft bag and not a hard suitcase.

2.)        Daypack or running vest: This is the bag you will carry with you when you are on the run/ trek stages so you will need it on days 1 and 2. It should contain the mandatory kit, spare clothes, food and water. You can choose to also use it on the bike stages if you wish and even take it with you on the kayak stage, if you wish (although that is not required).

3.)        Transition bag: This can be a small duffel, it can be your daypack itself or any other type of soft bag or dry bag. You will keep this on the vehicles during the day and it will typically be accessible at 1 designated point or Pit Stop, each day while you are on the course. Usually this at the middle (approx. lunchtime) Pit Stop. It will also be used as a ‘transition’ bag when you swap between biking and kayaking, for example. You can keep changes of clothes, dry socks, extra bike spares and tools, scooby snacks and hydration supplies in this bag.

Please note: This bag is NOT accessible on any of the trekking stages as that is very much a self-contained mountain environment. This bag will feature on the Bike and Kayak stages and will be carried in one of our vehicles. It will then be available when that vehicle reach accommodation/ camp later on in the day/ evening to replenish for the next day.


 
BIKE RENTAL

Bike rental for week 1 is now SOLD OUT, there is still some limited availability for week 2. The below participants have purchased bike rental with us. If you think you have purchased a bike and your name is NOT ON THE LIST please contact office@ratrace.com. If you are on week 2 and would like to hire a bike, please also contact office@ratrace.com, the cost is $345.

Our bikes are Marin Gestalt Gravel bikes 
and have been purchased brand-new in Argentina for this season. They are currently sitting in a warehouse in Buenos Aires and will be driven down to El Calafate, with a mechanic who will build and PDQ them all before the event. We believe this is a very good steed for the job, given the terrain and the weather conditions you will experience.

NOTE ON RENTAL BIKES, CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Please do bear in mind, whilst these are brand new gravel bikes, it is of course not your own bike. Which means it will likely feel different. You may ride a shiny top-of-the-range speed machine at home; or perhaps it’s a Raleigh Grifter with spokey dokeys and a shopping basket on the front. Either way, the rental will feel different to your own bike. And whilst it is brand new, it may of course break down, pop a flat or have some sort of mechanical. Our event team contains a local bike mechanic and an expert UK bike mechanic flying out specially to work with you all on the event too. They will do their best to get you rolling if you have a mechanical and they will have tools and spares on board. It may be easiest at the roadside that if something cannot be fixed roadside, they may simply hand you a spare bike to continue the stage on. We will carry a minimum of 1 medium and 1 large spare for use in this instance.

Like any piece of equipment however, the better you treat it, the better it will treat you. We do ask that you are proficient in being able to change a flat at the roadside, as this will help you to get going quicker and will help our team in allocating resources while the course is live.

BIKE RENTAL LIST

Current bike rentals accurate at 19/9/23
 

WEEK ONE

Christy Van Maanenberg

Tim Bohn

Laurence Kiddle

Stephen Boyce

Donald Joyce

Samuel R Peek

Lisa Dermody

Sarah Lane x 2

Alastair Nimmons x 2

Manuel Reyes

Sean Scott

Doug Jarvis

Tom Conway

Brian Martin x 2

Lisa Dermody

Stuart Davis x 2

Mary Weaver x 2

Neil Fergie

Simon Bushby

Paula Alvarez

Victoria Helen Anne Peek

Christy Van Maanenberg

Mr Andrew M Barber

Martyn Blakeley – please get in touch with us on office@ratrace.com to confirm your size

WEEK TWO

Stephanie Jackson x 2

Richard Langerak

Stacia Ikpe

Brad Snyder

Stephan Godfrey

Andrew Bond

Jan Riedmann

Graham Somers

Marla Faigenbaum

Carol Davies

Russell Knight

Vanessa Andrew

Michael Scantlebury

Brad Brown x 2

Laura Gould

THE ROUTE

ROUTEFINDING & GPS

The manner in which you will make your way through the course is to follow a GPS device. We recommend you bring your own GPS device that you are familiar with and have practiced using prior to the event. If you DO NOT have your own device/s, we do have some options – and we would ask that you read this section in detail so you understand what we are advising/ recommending and what we have available to assist you, if you so wish.

If you would like to rent any of our available devices, you must let us know in the pre event admin form.

We will also provide all participants with a GPS tracker, which is a separate device and is covered in the relevant section below.

You will also be required to have your own phone, with battery pack back-up for charging in the field.

There are therefore multiple devices under consideration here.

 

  • Navigation/GPS devices

  • Tracker

  • Phone

Let's start with GPS devices. 

1) BIKE DEVICE
  • If you have your own bike-mounted device (like a Garmin Edge, for example) and are comfortable with its operation, this is the preferred choice whether you have rented a bike from us or not. We will provide GPX files much nearer the time for you to upload to your own devices.

  • A mobile phone with a power pack, plus a bike mount is a perfectly reasonable and indeed very user-friendly solution here too, provided that you can ensure the combination is waterproofed. This was popular with riders in 2022 and it allows you to use your own technology, with which you are already familiar. You also do not have to invest in any expensive tech devices. You may need to purchase a handlebar mount for your phone, but this is easy to source and inexpesnvie (and handy for day-to-day use at home, too!)

  • For participants who do not have their own bike-mounted device and/ or do not feel comfortable using their own phone, we will be able to rent you a handlebar-mounted Garmin Edge bike navigation device. You will tell us whether or not you need one of these in the admin form, linked below. This device attaches to your handlebars and you follow it like a satnav device. It does not have a basemap and you follow a line on the device. These are £35 to rent.

    It should be noted, that the bike ‘nav’ is very simple. On the first bike day, there is literally 1 junction. On a later day, there is a section where you ride through El Calafate town but this is as difficult as it gets. It is very intuitive. So back to the advice above, if you have a decent phone and can mount it to your handlebars and waterproof it, this is a very good solution.

2) RUN/TREK DEVICE
  • For the foot section, if you have one, your own GPS watch is the go-to advised piece of kit to use and we will again provide GPX files to use on your own device.

  • For those who do not have a GPS-enabled watch, we can provide either a GPS watch (Coros Apex Premium) OR a Garmin 66i handheld navigational device for the trekking phase.

  • These devices will have the route uploaded onto them and have extremely good battery life. The Coros watch does not have a basemap and the Garmin 66i does.
    These can be chosen to be rented via the admin firm linked below. Coros watches are £35 and the Garmin 66i is £35.

  • For those using our rental equipment, we will provide guidance in the use of these devices upon arrival to El Chalten for Registration.

    The webinar on 11th October at 6pm UK time 
    will also be a great opportunity to learn more about the navigational devices recommended for use in the event.

3) TRACKER

Separate from the devices above, we will issue everyone with a tracker, which both provides a tracking function for us to keep take tabs on where you while out on the course; and for your supporters to track your progress.

(Please note that this is a separate device from the GPS navigational devices – it is very light and small and will likely attach to the outside of your bag with tape, or stuff into a pocket. More is explained on tracking in the section below).

4) PHONE

It is also mandatory to be carrying a phone at all times on the trip, with the ability to charge it via portable battery pack. This device can absolutely be your primary nav device on the bike stage, mounted to your bike and waterproofed accordingly. You may also use it as a back-up on the trek stage.

We will ask in all cases that you will upload the route files to your phone, to use as a handy back-up. For both the bike and trek routes, a phone with the route showing on an App is a very good choice, provided it is waterproofed from the elements.

If you are keen to practise using your phone to navigate, download a suitable App such as Garmin Explore or Garmin Connect (there are loads of great Apps but we use these a lot) and practise uploading GPX files to the phone and following them in the App. It really is easy once you know how to get the files into the App on the phone. If you want assistance, please email expeditions@ratrace.com and we will be happy to talk through any of the tech side of things for those who are not comfortable with it.

WAYMARKING

We will NOT waymark any of the route.

ON THE WATER...
Keep the kayak pointing downstream! You do not need to navigate on the river and you will be in a group with our water safety team at all times. However if you wish to track your progress down the river, a GPS watch is the recommended piece of equipment to do that with.

In general, as you can see, this event is operated with GPS as the main method of route guidance. If you do choose to use your own devices (recommended), it is important that you are well versed in the usage of your own devices and that you are confident in their battery life and reliability.

ROUTE GPX FILES

We will make available route GPX files for you to upload onto your own devices as you see fit. These files will be provided much closer to the commencement of the event, once we are satisfied we have the definitive version to share. Experience has shown that we will never share the these files until it is the final, final, final version. Or else we end up with version control issues that are hard to resolve. We do do always reserve the right to change the course, the distances or the disciplines of course. These files will be issued at the 1-week out email phase.

COURSE CHANGES

The nature of an adventure is that sometimes, the uncertain becomes certain! That is all part of the adventure. Whilst we will always strive to pull off ‘Plan A,’ it may well be that for any one of a number of reasons, we cannot do so and we need to wheel put Plan B, C or D. We do line up contingencies for many eventualities of course. But it is worth knowing that the course may change if we deem it prudent for your safety or for other operational or weather-based reasons and we must always reserve the right to do so. Ultimately our skill and judgement in organising such events is part of why you are entering, so we must be able to exercise this on your behalf where we deem it necessary. If we do have to make a route change, we will strive to inform you in good time (if that is possible). Usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavour of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end!
 

COURSE CUT OFFS & WITHDRAWALS

This event is not about cut-offs. But, having a ‘cut-off’ and a ‘sweeping’ structure is an important part of our Event Management Plan and Risk Assessment processes. Cut off times are independent of any other factors that occur earlier in the course such as start time, injury, going the wrong way, time taken at Pit Stops, head winds; and whether it is your fault or not. We understand that missing cut offs can be tough to take but please remember this is not the crew member’s fault that breaks the news to you, should it happen to you. Please also remember that if this does happen to you, the Event team’s decision is final.

If you are cut off, there will be no option to re-start from where you were cut off the next day. (The event only ever moves forwards). You may however re-start the next day from the official re-start location; subject to the discretion of the event team.

There are a number of reasons why you may be cut-off or withdrawn from the event. These could be medical, pace, kit, personal or other factors.

It is OK to retire and to be taken forward to the overnight accommodation. We’d rather you re-started the next day vs suffer meaninglessly and spoil it for yourself. We call this being ‘boosted.’ As far as the time available goes to avoid a cut-off, there is no ‘set’ cut off time each day. (i.e. Time limit or published time). Instead, we require all participants to be at the finish location before nightfall. If this is looking unlikely you will be ‘swept’ forward. That is the cut-off. Above all else, please remember, this event is not about cut-offs. It is about getting the most out of this magical environment. We will not cut you off and sweep you forward unless we really have to. And if we do, it is for your own safety.

‘BEDDING DOWN INTO THE COURSE’

It is probable that when you set off on the Challenge on day 1, the first hours of the first day may be a bit hit n’ miss. Pace, temperature regulation, kit selection, footwear or glove niggles. All to be expected. Embrace that ‘bedding down into it’ phase and listen to your body and to your kit. Expect some unexpected phenomena (not UFOs, just unusual kit or bike issues that you may not have quite been expecting). Use this time to just A couple of hours in, you’ll have worked out enough to be comfortable…

 
TRACKING DEVICE

At registration at El Chalten you will be issued with a small tracking device. It will be in a waterproof container. It is your responsibility to look after the device until you return it to us at the finish line in exchange for your medal. This device not only allows those at home to follow you on the route, it acts as a tracker for us too, meaning we can use it to help us see where you are throughout the event. The tracker is not 100% accurate 100% of the time however, particularly here in Patagonia. We know the limitations of the technology and this is why we do not rely on the trackers solely in our safety system; there are of course several other components of that system. 

Tracking will go live on the morning of the first day (i.e. the start of the event) at 0700 local time. The trackers rely on GSM signal to report, which in Patagonia is sometimes available and sometimes not. This can mean there is frequently a delay on tracking or that the tracker will appear to have stopped in various locations. Sometimes, our team back at base will increase or decrease the reporting frequency, so those watching at home will sometimes not see your dot moving, or see you moving very slowly. Or they may see you adrift from others in the group (for example if you have not turned the tracker on!). They may see you ‘ping forward’ very quickly if you are in a vehicle or if your tracker goes from not reporting to suddenly back in service and reporting again.

All of this is known to us. But it can seem unusual if someone is watching this at home and is getting confused about what a dot is doing. it is therefore REALLY important that you ensure anyone watching at home knows this, for their own peace of mind and for our own safety systems. Experience shows that if someone watching at home does not understand this, they can sometimes unwittingly commence full rescue missions by panicking, calling in the cavalry and sparking confusion for us as organisers. As such, it really is a very important point to note. If we have any issues or snagging with tracker units, our basecamp team can see this and we will pull them back in and reset them for you.

Just to be 100% clear, we know the trackers will not be 100% accurate 100% of the time. We need you and your supporters at home to know that, too. It is a tool in our inventory. But it does have limitations. Particularly in this remote location.

As with any GPS units that you use from us, you must return the tracking device at the end of the event or whenever a member of staff asks for you to do so (for example to check a setting or to charge it). Do also hand to a member of staff should you drop out on any day. As with all electronic devices, there is a replacement cost for loss or damage. For the tracker, it is £150.

PITSTOPS

Our Pit Stops are put in place to support your needs. 

We will offer water and a range of snacks at all Pit Stops, there to support your own range. You should bring plenty of snacks along with you, and there is opportunity to purchase further supplies at supermarkets in our journey’s beginning point, El Chalten.

Run / Trek Leg – you will be predominantly self-supported here, as there is no vehicle access for us within the park. We can provide limited snack top ups, and water from the streams at the foot of the mountain is drinkable.

Bike Legs – PS’s approximately every 30km at the roadside.

Paddle Stage – we recommend a good feed before, and we will give you a Pit Stop on your transition out of the water. Carry a snack or two, but best to focus on the paddling here to avoid an unintended swim!

MEDICAL OPERATION & PARTICIPANT SAFETY 

MEDICAL OPERATIONS

Our team is there for you in case you have an incident with which you require assistance. On the bike stages, the team will shadow the progress of the Challenge each day in vehicles; before establishing a med centre each afternoon at the location to which we are heading for our accommodation. Whilst the medics are there for ‘what ifs,’ they are also a great source of preventative advice; so please do use them to ask questions and check best practice, particularly in suspected foot injury or issues such as blisters. We will also have medical staff on foot with you on the trekking stage and on the water.

MEDICAL SCREENING 

At this stage we are inviting you to have a medical screening process, which can be completed via the link below. Please complete this as soon as possible – and certainly please, no later than 13th October. You can do so HERE. If you do have any condition that you feel we should know about, however small you feel it may be, please do share this with our Medics. Experience has shown that early pre-screening can assist both us and you greatly in enabling the care you need pre and during the trip. If you do not share information on conditions which are likely to affect your participation or decide to share them very late in the process, we are all under pressure and we will always reserve the right to cancel your participation if we feel there is a medical issue that may affect yours, or others’ safety. So please, do share anything and everything you feel our team should know about, at the earliest opportunity. Please view our latest Health Information HERE.

 

 IMPORTANT NOTE ON SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS AND MEDICAL INFORMATION:

We are very fortunate to have an excellent Medical Director providing oversight, planning and screening on all of our international trips, who in turn engages seriously professional and qualified staff to join you on the trip. Rat Race also conforms and has been audited to the rigorous BS8848 standard of expedition management. This means our approach to all things safety and medical is extremely thorough and it is designed throughout with your best interest at heart.

Your medical screening details will be sent direct to our medical team and under medical confidentiality rules, this will only be shared with our medics and no-one else. If they decide this is info that is in the best interests of everyone for us as organisers to be privy to, they will seek and gain your consent before doing so. It is therefore important you complete the link to the medical survey only which can be found HERE. Do not send Rat Race medical information direct. If you have any queries at all on the medical side of things in relation to this event, you can email our Medical Director, Dr Patrick Musto confidentially on office@trailmed.com and he and his team will assist.

 

TRAVEL MEDICINE ADVICE

As well as being a practising NHS Emergency Care Doctor and Expedition Medicine Specialist, Dr Musto is also a qualified travel medicine practitioner.  Please view the Travel Medicine Advice PDF HERE

 
GENERAL SAFETY AROUND VEHICLES

This event takes place on tracks and whilst traffic is extremely light (indeed in many locations, it is just us!), there are still vehicles around and given the wide open spaces and good sightlines, vehicles we do encounter tend to drive fast. We do of course have our own event vehicles operating around you also. You must courteously give way to other users whilst on the route. Vigilance must be taken at all times, particularly if it is windy as this will of course affect you on a bike far more than a larger motorised vehicle.

 
LITTER

We want to show that this event has exemplary control of littering. Please help us achieve that. Pack your litter into your pack, pockets or nearby bin bag (trash sack) at a vehicle. No exceptions. Patagonia is a pristine wilderness environment, and our absolute commitment is to keep it that way

EMERGENCY PROTOCOL

In the event of a true emergency or serious incident you will be notified of protocols at the orientation at El Chalten. If you are with an injured party whilst on the route, stay with the casualty and await assistance. In the event of a non-emergency incident but for which action is requested from the organisers, then you should place a call (we will give you numbers) or if no phone reception, you should send a message forward to the next Pit Stop with another participant if possible and/or await an event crew member approaching via vehicle from behind. This might be medical, logistical or kit/ equipment breakdown as examples. We politely ask that you stop and help someone that is in difficulty – you will be the first person to find them – remember to take note of time, place (number of km, or minutes/ hours from last Pit Stop) and participant number/ name at the incident site. Remember we are all in it together and we are in effect one big team.

We will give more information on these procedures when we are all together in El Chalten. It is relevant to note that phone reception is patchy in seeral places and our systems do reflect this. We use satellite communication devices as part of our safety system, but no communication system is absolute in this area, so we rely on you to become part of our safety communication system where appropriate, particularly in the mountains. This will all be explained when we get together and will be very clear.

 

MUSIC PLAYERS

While these are allowed, please control their volume according to your environment. Use your judgment at all times when listening to music or audiobooks. Please also be aware that if you cannot hear general voice levels you might miss instructions or warnings from crew, other participants or approaching vehicles. We suggest that you run the leads behind you so that persons or vehicles approaching from behind might be able to see that you are wired for sound.

INSURANCE FOR YOU AND YOUR EQUIPMENT

We have asked that you have in place Travel Insurance cover and specified Evacuation cover to last for a minimum period of the event duration for the days you are with us on the published itinerary. Evacuation and medical expenses cover should total no less than $500 000. A copy of this cover/covers (if separate policies) is required to be received by us 13th October alongside the other admin actions. 

We also recommend that participants have insurance to cover damage, loss, theft, injury and non-attendance. Rat Race cannot accept any responsibility for the loss of, theft, or damage to any Participant property or the circumstances of Participant non-attendance.

If you are bringing your own bike, we ask that you have a policy in place to cover it for damage, loss or theft. It is up to you what level you cover it for (and of course several overarching policies will provide coverage for loss or damage of sports equipment) but we would advise that you place cover for the replacement value of the bike, if you can do so. Rat Race and its agents, staff and sub-contratros cannot be held responsible to any damage to personal equipment of bikes whether we are treansporting them or otherwise; so it is important that you select a level of cover that you are comfortable with.

You should submit copies of your insurance via the Event Details Form. Alongside this, we ask that medical screening is completed, plus an online waiver. Please see the actions list at the bottom of this document for details.

Some suggested providers are as follows:

For UK and Channel Island residents Rat Race’s own insurer brokers have a brand-new product:

https://www.mannbroadbent.co.uk/sports-travel-insurance/.

Note: This is Rat Race’s UK-based insurance broker, specialising in the leisure insurance market. This is a specialist sports travel cover product; however Rat Race is neither an insurance broker or underwriter. We can recommend Mann Broadbent wholeheartedly as good people to deal with, but please remember that this is not a ‘Rat Race product’ and we have no say whatsoever on claims decisions made by the insurers, in the event that you raise such a claim via one of these policies.

Other Providers:

Note: We have no relationship with any of these providers, but previous customers have found them reasonable to deal with regarding some of our similar Bucket List challenges.

Note: For all insurance, please remember that cover is offered based on several factors, (the nature of the event disciplines being one of them), but your own insurance profile, age, health and other details form a big part of this. As such, we are always happy to provide details to insurers in support of cover requests from customers, but we cannot influence their decisions as to whether to offer cover to individuals.

 
POOR WEATHER CONTINGENCY

Patagonia is known for its varied weather conditions. All four seasons can be felt in one day. Please be prepared for the multiple weather conditions and temperatures ranging from hot to cold. The terrain and altitudes along the route will also have an effect on the temperature. The event will proceed in many conditions, but if it is deemed unsafe to continue due to weather conditions or any other factors, the event will be halted at the current accommodation location. If required or possible, we will await more favourable conditions to re-commence. This may result in some stages being cut short or cancelled in their entirety in order to achieve forward progress within the time available.

In all cases, the decision of the Event team is final in these matters. We will monitor weather and general course conditions throughout and rest assured that any decision we do make in this regard is only ever made with the safety of event participants at its core.

But please do understand that the very nature of such an undertaking in such an environment requires us to plan (and deploy) contingencies and we cannot therefore guarantee that the exact itinerary as laid out on the website and in this document will be achieved. Such is the essence of adventure!

 

EVACUATION PLANNING

You have already been made aware that this is a serious undertaking in remote terrain. For the bike stage, we have vehicles in support. On the trek and on the kayak stages, there are some locations to which we can get a vehicle but in general, these are far less accessible. You need to be fully aware therefore that an evacuation from the event where vehicle access is not possible is an extremely serious undertaking. In the event that such an undertaking is deemed to be required, it may be that YOU become part of the safety system. We will reserve the right at all times to call upon members of the Event, alongside crew, to assist in any evacuation activity whatsoever required in order to remedy the situation as quickly and decisively as possible. This may involve diverting off the route, assisting with casualty-bearing and load-carrying, or other duties.

You should also know that the evacuation time at certain parts of the course could be considerable. It is important that we state unequivocally that we cannot remove all risk from such an undertaking nor would we state such. You are entering an area where the remoteness of the undertaking and the slowness of possible evacuation could result in Death.

Mitigation of such scenarios is our number one priority. Your ability to reduce the risk posed by trauma is key: Taking your time, particularly on bikes and on foot, plus steps such as descending rough ground in a carefully controlled manner are all part of this mitigation against injury. Recommended use of trekking poles for example will also help on the trekking section. You must take your time, undertake each event phase very much with a clear understanding of the environment you are in and come to the table with a team mentality on this one. That way, we will stay safe and we will mitigate and reduce the risks outlined above.

OTHER ADMIN MATTERS

EVENT ETHOS:
‘RACING’ AND OUR FINISH TIMES SERVICE


Completing not competing. Rat Race’s ethos has always been about inspiring folk to undertake challenges in awesome outdoor locations. Patagonia Glacier to Glacier is just that, taken to an epic level. This is not a formal race environment and there are no winners and losers. We do not award prizes for the fastest folk. There will be no splits. Indeed, there will be no timings. Rat Race totally appreciate the incredible commitment of those taking on the challenges we lay down and each participant is as important as the next regardless of how fast you can cover the distance. This is akin far more to an expeditionary undertaking than anything else.

In delivering this unique challenge we prioritise factors such as safety, camaraderie and environmental concerns. Respecting the wishes of local stakeholders with our route management and litter policies is vital in being able to bring folk together for this unique experience. Safety above all else is paramount, as you will fully appreciate. To reasonably balance all these factors, we emphasise that the event is not a formal race environment, rather it is a challenge in the great outdoors where great folk come together with a common purpose.

TRANSFER DEADLINE

At the time of booking, on our website and within our introductory email on 13th July we made clear that your purchase is non-refundable. But up until 12 weeks prior to departure, you could use our transfer system if you wished to withdraw from the event. We respectfully remind all participants that unforeseen circumstances preventing attendance is what travel insurance is designed for and is the reason for this as a strong recommendation on such undertakings.

For the avoidance of doubt, the final day for transfers for the 24th November departure was 1st September 2023 and for 3rd December departure was 10th September 2023. As we are now within the 12 weeks period prior to both departure dates, we regret that we cannot provide any further transfers and this window is now closed. This was a HARD deadline as we go firm on all aspects of our planning after this stage. We cannot make any exceptions.

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

The event is very lucky to have secured the services of Leo Francis  as the official event photographer. Leo has worked on several of Rat Race’s Bucket List events before, including Patagonia. This means not only is he an excellent photographer in his own right; but he also really ‘gets’ these types of events.

For this Challenge, we are doing photography a little different than run-of-the-mill standard event photography, but an entirely standard approach for us and it’s tried and tested – to 100s of customers’ satisfaction. Instead of Leo shooting and you then you selecting a number of photos post-event from a fairly unwieldy and piecemeal selection (leading to a lot of wastage in the shots and hours spent spreading the editing thinly across ‘anything and everything)’ we want the service to be as personal as possible. We think that something this epic deserves that.

 

Leo will therefore be offering a one-price, advance purchase arrangement. He will shoot you in action and provide an amazingly varied series of shots of you out there doing your stuff; plus, a selection of general event photos, provided as a digital album. He will also include individual portrait shots of yourself, working with him directly to create some special shots.

The price for this service is £125. If you would like to use this service, please tick the box in the event details form and you will be sent an invoice just ahead of the event. The service is available for participants and crew. The crux here is that Leo will ONLY shoot those who sign up to the service in advance, ensuring he is concentrating on those who have taken the plunge. This ensures that he can 100% focus on the job in hand for those who wish to purchase; and avoids the wastage of hundreds of shots on the edit-room floor.

For clarity, Leo is doing this at his own risk and all proceeds of photo sales go to him and not to Rat Race. We believe this is an excellent service, at a very keen price, from a first-class photographer. It is of course not in any way compulsory. Leo will shoot on all the bike, kayak and trekking stages.

VIDEOS

If you have not seen them already, we have some glorious video edits that provide a handy guide to the first 5 day of activity! See links below to watch these and enjoy those stunning views of Patagonia, all of which have your name on them for later this year! These videos are all filmed on the actual route, with actual Glacier to Glacier participants.

Day 1 HERE  Day 2 HERE Day 3 HERE Day 4 HERE Day 5 HERE

CONTACT DETAILS AND ACTIONS CHECK LIST

To facilitate the very best support for you whilst embarked on the event, we have prepared some contact information below that should assist you and loved ones both before departure and then throughout your Event experience in Patagonia. Please find a series of phone numbers and email addresses and instructions on which is to be used; and for what. Finally, we have included an action check-list so you may tick off the pre-event jobs arising from this Essential Event Information document.

 

1.) For ALL pre-event email correspondence prior to departure: 

 

expeditions@ratrace.com  - Challenge-based questions, kit, training, route, prep 

 

events@ratrace.com - Admin-based questions

 

office@trailmed.co.uk  - Medical-based advice or discussion on medical conditions in confidence

2.) For specific arrivals and pre-trip issues to Patagonia in the immediate day’s pre-arrival – You will also be issued phone numbers to use to get in touch during this arrivals period. These numbers will be issued much nearer the event as well as a link to a group Whatsapp chat.

3.) Emergency correspondence from people who need to get in touch with you (i.e. from those who need to contact you) IN EMERGENCY ONLY while you are embarked on the event: events@ratrace.com

The originator should quote ‘Emergency correspondence for (your name)’ in the email title and they must provide a phone number for return comms. This will be patched through to our crew’s mobile phones, (or satellite messaging platform if we are out of reception) from our office and a satellite phone will be made available for you to return the comms to the originator. We would aim to provide a suitable response period of within 24 hrs for this service to the originator. Please, please, please do tell your family and supporters not to contact us about Tracker Emergencies!

FINAL CHECK LIST 

Submitted no later than the 13th October.

Submitted no later than the 13th October. 

Submitted pre-event.

1800 UK time - 11th October

So that’s it for now! I hope you’re as excited as I am about making this fantastic adventure through Patagonia later on in the year. I strongly suggest you read this document a couple of times and really get the programme and requirements clear in your head at this stage. It will ensure that when you get to South America you can focus on soaking up the majesty of the place we’re visiting.

See you all soon! 

James Campbell

 Event Director
 

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