If you’re like me, you just spent the last few days stuffing yourself with sugar plums, eggnog and figgy pudding and you might be in need of a little motivation to get off the couch. Well, step right up folks, I have just the thing you need. You see, back in the day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a historic high of 4000, Windows 95 debuted, and girls thought overall shorts were sexy (they’re not), Mark Burnett created one of the best reality shows ever, Eco-Challenge. Back before Jersey Shore, or whatever the cool kids are watching today, there was a reality show worth watching where coed teams of 4 insane people raced across some of the most remote and intense terrains. Competitors ran, biked, and canoed for hundreds of miles all the while land navigating with only a compass and altimeter. Sleep was a premium with most teams resting no more than a handful of hours. Feet exploded, team dynamics imploded and most competitors never saw the finish line. The races were epic. Unfortunately, it seems that these races are all but gone, and none of them are televised anymore.
But, there is a glimmer of hope. With the magic of the internet, a few of those long-lost VHS recordings (look it up kids) can be brought into your living room. Ana and I have just spent the last 5 nights watching all of Eco-Challenge British Columbia, Morocco, Sabah (Borneo), New Zealand, and Fiji. I have posted links to the first video for each series. There are multiple videos in each series but if you follow the links, you will be able to find the complete episode.
P.S. If you know where I can find the other episodes, please send me the link. Or, if you have a copy on tape, please help out this band of poser adventure racers by posting the videos on YouTube. I promise not to report you to the FCC.
1996 British Columbia
2000 Sabah (Borneo)
2001 New Zealand