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Discussion: Eco Challenge

in: Bash; Bash > 2017-03-26

Mar 28, 2017 12:19 AM # 
Myka:
Funny....Amik and I recently watched the Fiji edition! :)
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Mar 28, 2017 1:40 AM # 
Bash:
The last Eco Challenge! Bob raced on Team Running Free and we went to see their presentation at the store in 2003. It was the first time I'd met Bob and he was super precise about all the race details compared to his teammates. Unbeknownst to him at the time, I nicknamed him BobTheNavigator, which turned out to be a good call.
Mar 28, 2017 1:29 PM # 
FB:
Morocco EC story (not to be read while eating) :-)

Peter W. who I raced with in B.C. '96 was captain on "The German Team'. He'd fallen ill and was a little hypothermic so they zipped him in his sleeping bag to recover. He didn't want to withdraw, even though they had a helicopter there that would evac him.

He felt another round of vomiting coming on... did I mention they had Zipped him in his bag.. over his head.... he couldn't get the opening to release. Barfed all over himself inside the bag. :{}

He took the heli ride shortly after that
Mar 28, 2017 2:00 PM # 
Hammer:
Still surprises me that the name/brand wasn't sold or re-purposed and that nobody has come close to replicating it almost 15 years later.

The Cdn Eco Challenge Champs idea had the potential to be big.

He could have also created 24 hour versions. Having said that was at the time that Balance Bar had 100-team 24 hour races attracting the likes of Nike and Seagate and the races sold out in days. ie., the Balance Bar races benefited indirectly from the strong Eco Challenge brand.

Here in Ontario the ARC series was on TV as well. And yes that was where I had that great within-race quote with camera planted in my face "We crossed this really wet creek" so says the hydrologist :-)
Mar 29, 2017 4:11 AM # 
Carbon's Offset:
100 percent humidity in that water? Man, extreme conditions!
Mar 29, 2017 5:59 AM # 
Hammer:
you have no idea! :-)
Mar 29, 2017 3:28 PM # 
Bash:
@FB, wow, yuck!

@Hammer, as I was watching the 19-year-old Eco Challenge show, I was blown away by the cost. There were at least two helicopters for filming and rescue, good quality kayaks (many with sails), a horse for every racer, and the 3-hour broadcast was written up as a suspenseful tale and narrated by Liam Neeson. (Every AR film should be narrated by Liam Neeson!) It's amazing they did all that so well when the sport was in its infancy. Although the video quality was below today's standards (mine came from Youtube which is much worse than the original), I thought the production held up very well.

Mark Burnett was in the TV business, not the AR business, so he moved on to his next TV show, not to a different AR series. As RDs can attest, AR isn't a way to get rich. Television, however, works well for that! There are stories of the race being manipulated to get a better story, e.g. moving a key team ahead. FB knows more about that.

I suppose Burnett would be reluctant to sell the name/brand because nobody else could do it that way so (a) he couldn't ask much for it, and (b) he'd rather preserve the reputation of his original event, which is probably still shown in reruns. Too bad. :(

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