Nearly half of the 70 teams that began the Eco-Challenge in the Pemberton Valley last Saturday had been disqualified or forced to abandon the race by Wednesday of this week.
Team Reebok Eco-Internet, a team of New Zealanders and Brits who met on the Internet, continued to set the pace Wednesday as the 480-kilometre race began its second glacier trek stage. The French Hewlett-Packard team was second and the American team Hi-Tec Adventure was third.
The Forest Alliance team was the top B.C. team, in 15th place.
Injuries have forced some individuals to abandon the race, resulting in their teams being officially disqualified; rules state that all five members of a team must finish together. However, some of those teams were continuing on with the race, regardless.
Only 20 of the 53 teams that started the inaugural Eco-Challenge race last year in Utah finished.
The weather for the first five days of this year’s Eco-Challenge was not much of a factor, as it was generally sunny and warm, but not too hot. However, there was a possibility of showers Thursday, which could have affected competitors, particularly with regard to route finding.
Having completed horseback riding, canoeing, rafting, glacier treking and mountain biking stages in the Pemberton, Bridge River and Gold Bridge areas, organizers were considering several route options Wednesday that would ensure teams got to the secret finish line in the Squamish area this weekend. The final transition point for the competitors will be the Windsurfing Spit in Squamish.