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You can't be what you can't see

There are many reasons to create the Western Canadian Youth Adventure Racing Championships, one of the foremost of those is to grow the sport and introduce a generation of young people to the excitement of adventure racing. The other reason is to provide an opportunity to be part of a community I needed to wait a long time to belong to.

 

For many of us, we first were introduced to adventure racing by watching the Eco-Challenge in the mid 90s. We were inspired by the determination, skill and teamwork needed to navigate in the dark, paddle, ride and be successful across an expansive journey. I have vivid memories of recording nearly every edition of the Eco-Challenge on VHS tape and watching those films over and over (and over and over and over). I even remember taking those VHS tapes to university and introducing others to the sport, all of us sitting in the common room gathered around the only television in residence. For me however, those races exposed me to a world of adventure that existed beyond the forest by my grandparent’s house, the lake at the cottage or what I thought was within my reach.



 

Now don’t get me wrong, I was quite lucky to have many experiences as a child, all of which contributed to my love of adventure (more so than a handful of rundown VHS tapes). Nevertheless, I was very inspired by those early adventures on television and the thought of racing non-stop, with a team of friends, was intriguing – but felt nearly impossible at the time. Truth be told, if the Western Canadian Youth Adventure Racing Championships existed in the 90s, I wonder if I would have had the courage to sign up and participate.

 

Fast forward to now, numerous decades later, and the Western Canadian Youth Adventure Racing Championship was built to provide an opportunity for adventurous youth (like my former self and so many of our former selves) to enter the sport of adventure racing! I’ve worked in service to youth for over 20 years, so why not take those experiences and create something new, creating an opportunity I couldn’t fathom in those early days when I stumbled across adventure racing.




 

So, if you’re a version who I was then – a young person inspired by what you see – or you’re a parent interested in what this event has to offer – reach out and sign-up. Who knows where you (or your child) might be 20+ years from now looking back at that time you entered western Canada’s first youth-focused adventure race!!

 

~Chris Fen-Mac

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