Friday, April 17, 2020

The Inaugural Gaucho Derby Unfolded as the WHO Declared a Pandemic—Getting Home was Almost as Hard as Finishing the Race

Anya Campbell photo - Full Article

Liz Brown
April 15, 2020

If the last month has shown us anything, it’s that a lot can change in just a few days.
That’s certainly what the pioneers of the inaugural Gaucho Derby discovered.

When they embarked on the epic 310 mile multi-horse race through the wilds of Patagonia, Argentina, on March 6, the world looked very different. Coronavirus had not yet forced Italy into a lockdown and there were less than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.

“Everyone had heard about coronavirus, but it wasn’t really on our radar as something that could impact us in a remote part of Argentina,” said race event manager Erik Cooper.

The riders had other things on their minds at the time—they were focused on surviving the race where they were only allowed to carry 22 pounds of gear, including their own food— through some of the wildest and harshest terrain on the planet. The race is put on by The Adventurists, the same company that organizes the Mongol Derby...

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