Run Wild at the Patagonian International Marathon
Nick Barraza, a mountain runner and English language teacher in Chile, is an ambassador of the race who is tasked with raising awareness about the race and its environmental causes. Read more about what it's like to run in Patagonia in this interview with Barraza.
What calls you to Patagonia?
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"As with any natural area of beauty and wonder, Patagonia speaks to the adventurer in me. The biodiversity, pristine lakes, breathtaking glaciers, and majestic rock formations make this region extremely special. In short, my inner coyote howls for Patagonia."
How did you get invovled with the race?
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"After completing the inaugural marathon in 2012 I had accumulated a handful of ideas along the run. Wanting to aid Nomadas International Group SA in their quest to promote and aid conservation in the Patagonian region, I initiated contact with the company and offered my support and work in any form possible."
What will runners gain from this experience?
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"Runners will not only be able to see one of the earth's most precious landscapes, but also dip their feet into Chilean and Patagonian culture. This event connects local Chilean runners with runners from all around the world and brings people together to celebrate the culture and preservation of Patagonia."
How are you involved with conservation?
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"Studying and researching as an environmental scientist has always led me, in one way or another, to a conservation project. However, it was not just my degree and path of study that led me to participate in various aspects of local and global conservation. Most of my involvement with conservation has been through volunteering within local communities."
What's your favorite memory in Patagonia?
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"As a result of running the race in Torres, I met my amazing girlfriend in the heart of Patagonia. Little did I know that three months after the race we would both end up leaving our respective jobs to set out on a three-month backpacking excursion through Chile, Argentina and Peru. Our journey changed my life in ways I would have never thought possible. The magic of Patagonia is responsible for harboring our initial connection and for that I am eternally grateful."
What's your favorite Patagonia wildlife?
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"I am a big fan of foxes, that's why I have a dog that looks just like one. However, I am going to go with the region favorite on this one and say?guanacos. Let's just say they have very intriguing personalities and tend to showcase these personalities through spitting at passing trekkers. They are very amusing creatures. Google them."
Beside racing, how can runners get involved?
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"For people that cannot make the event, we invite you to join us in our quest to spread education on the sustainable initiatives taking place in the Patagonian region. Connect with the event on?Facebook, Twitter (@PatagonMarathon), and help us share and promote the race and organizations the event supports."
How to get involved, con't
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"We have also created the Patagonian Ambassador Program, which seeks to partner with runners, writers, filmmakers and any one else who is inspired and passionate about our event and conservation in Patagonia.?If you are interested in becoming a part of this amazing team of ambassadors, please get in touch with us."