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Haku AR Hopes Seventh Time Is The Charm At Huairasinchi

Cliff White (ARC) / 29.05.2019
Team Haku AR
Team Haku AR / © Randy Ericksen

Six times, Team Haku AR has attempted to finish the full course at Huairasinchi, an expedition race that is part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

Six times they have been short-coursed or didn’t make it to the finish line.

The four members of the team – Luis Becdach, Patricio Albuja, Mateo Ponce and Cristina Saltos – are hoping their seventh attempt is the one that sees them finish the full course of this notoriously difficult race, which is known for its high altitude and widely varying terrain.

“We’ve been racing Huairasinchi for the last 12 years but it’s so rough and competitive that we haven’t been able to complete the elite course. The completion rate is super low on this one because the course is super demanding – [every year] only five or six of all the teams complete it,” Becdach said. “We keep going back because it’s one of the best and most complete races in the ARWS circuit. You get everything you want in an adventure race: altitude, ocean, rivers and good nav, plus experience in the ‘New Zealand of Latin America.’ We are hoping to complete the course this time!”

Haku AR has been racing as a team for 10 years. All of the team members were born in Ecuador but now Becdach lives in Chicago, in the U.S.A.

“We were part of a small group of crazy people that fell in love with the sport,” Becdach said. “I moved to the U.S. so our team is now a little split up. [But] we’re like a family so we’ve managed to keep on racing together and been fortunate to race mainly in the U.S. and Ecuador.”

Besides Huairasinchi, Becdach and his teammates have raced in two Adventure Racing World Championships – Ecuador in 2014 and Cowboy Tough in Wyoming, U.S.A. in 2017. Additionally, they’ve competed in the Sea2Sea Adventure Race, a 72-hour race across the state of Florida, and in several 18-36 hour races in the U.S. and across Latin America.

Given their experience, Becdach is hopeful for success at this year’s Huairasinchi, which begins on Sunday, June 9 and will end on Wednesday, June 12.

“We’ve prepared more than before mentally, physically and we feel we’ve improved our nav skills a lot. Also, in the past, we’ve had teammates who got injured, so we are hopeful that doesn’t happen this time,” he said. “We want to complete the full course. For this particular race that is a win!”

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