anybody watching Eco-Challenge?

I’m an Eco-Challenge junkie, having watched it faithfully ever since the British Columbia adventure 5 or 6 years ago. Anyone else out there? It’s running on the USA network this week. tonight for 1 hour at 7 central, and tomorrow it finishes with a 2 hour finale starting at 7 also.

I’m a bit disappointed this year in that the race is half over, and we’ve seen no med-evacs or the like, only really insane athletes who seem to be able to go for a week at a time without sleep, and without taking a dump. Also a bunch of extremely crabby people who should be put to bed.


I’m with you, Doc. Mrs K and I watch the Mark Burnett Sufferfest[sup]TM[/sup] every year.

At least the Playboy team isn’t competing this year. :rolleyes:

There’s definitely not enough oogy blood and pus. But they did show a doctor draining that woman’s blister by drilling through her toenail. Urk.

That woman on the New Zealand team is the toughest, most macho person I’ve ever seen. But why are they subtitling her? Her accent isn’t that strong.

I think she’d toss that whiny blonde American twit off the mountain if she saw her (“You guys gotta carry my pack because I’ll be sick if I get tired. Ewwww this raft is too heavy!!”) I know I’d like to.

I would be watching it, but we don’t have USA. We’ve got the basic cable.

But it sounds like maybe I’m not missing much. It’s still kind of cool to watch, though.

Nah, scout. It’s a great program as always.

And I do appreciate the subtitles for the kiwi gal. I admit I can’t quite follow her. But working where I do, I am more acquainted with the ‘jive’ dialect.

I think they’re all crazy as loons, but I’m watching every second just to see the magnificent scenery of New Zealand!

I have no idea why, but this show has just mesmerized me for years. I don’t understand why they don’t re-run the old shows. (I was unable to watch last year’s Borneo series. Ack, phht!)

Why is this show so fascinating to us? I am barely an outdoorsperson. When my feet hurt from walking too much, I stop.

Too many dilletantes are allowed to particpate. Whole teams are screwed up because one member didn’t take the prep seriously. They have to have a mini-challenge test to allow teams (larger than 4) to weed out the wimps. (I know that the teams can do this themselves, but it’s hard to really test people in a realistic situation in your back yard.)

I met a guy last week who was in the Morrocan one. He had some amazing stories. The female member of their team who was out with them on the kayak leg when they found out she couldn’t swim. The time they discovered that their leader had (without telling them) found he was struggling on the big hike so he’d tossed his food. etc etc.

LOVE the Eco-Challenge!! But…it just hasn’t been the same since it moved from Discovery to USA Network. Especially the “realityshowfication” that’s inevitably set in. “Robin & Isaac, The Betrayed Teammates”…WTF is that???

At least they haven’t changed the grand prize – a measely $50K which barely covers the team’s expenses. So you know these are really insane masochistic people, torturing their bodies for the sheer pleasure of it.

And what exactly was Sarah Bordin disqualified for last year? I watched that one, but can’t remember. And where’s John Howard??? King of the Amazing Eco-Survivor? Did he retire?

I agree with you. They’re pushing the “drama” angle too hard. There’s plenty of drama in this race without hitting us over the head with this “betrayal” stuff after every commercial break.

I can’t remember either, but it was probably for excessive whining. Damn, she’s pathetic. Treating her team like hired porters, and dumping her female teammate (who, admittedly, didn’t help matters by not sharing her pack when she was in trouble) without even a fare-thee-well. Bitch. Are there any cannibals on New Zealand? They probably wouldn’t eat her - the meat would be too bitter. I hate her. She’s goin’ down!

But how about that Team Go, huh? The rookie team just happy to be there, jokingly blaming all their problems on the machinations of Mark Burnett. Man, they’re great. I feel for the heavyset guy with the blisters. He can barely hobble along, but he won’t give up - and his team won’t give up on him. I’m a cynical bastard and I hate the overblown drama of reality shows, but I actually choked up last night when that poor guy started crying on the hill climb. He was in such pain yet he was so grateful for the support of his teammates. He was gonna pay them back by finishing the race. Hot damn, that’s good tv!

My wife and I are Eco-Challenge junkies. We’ve been hooked since we caught it on Discovery a couple years ago (the Morocco race-- with camels!).

We’ve been taping this year’s race, and have yet to watch it. We’ll do it all in one go next week, I guess.

One great thing about being Canadian is that we get even more Eco Challenge to watch. There’s the regular hour a night, plus a Canuck-only feature focusing on the Canadian teams, for an extra 30 or 60 minutes.

They’re all crazy people, but they’re crazy people that I look at and think: "Whoa. I think I could do that. Maybe. It’d be really frigging hard. But it would be cool. "

Without a doubt, anyone who does that race on time deserves the Toughest Human On Earth [sub]TM[/sub] award.

At the very start of the Borneo race, on the sealeg, she mis-navigated, paddled her team far out to sea, and had to be rescued. All in the first 5 hours of the race.

I also wish they’d spend time on a few more teams. We’ve got the lead NZ’ers along with the two USA pursuers, the one team who never gets in the top 5, the Brazilian gals and their pet man, and then Team GO, lovable losers who keep on keeping on, and the horrible Mooseface team with the nasty Sarah as their captain. 6 teams and one disqualified 3some (not as fun as it sounds).

What about the russkies, the navy seals, the bunnies, and the other usual mix? I want more!

BTW, I do believe John Howard did retire.

I watched (and recorded) the first four televised races. I didn’t know about it before British Columbia, but then again, it wasn’t televised before then :). After it moved from Discovery, I lost interest. You could see it changing from a race into a REALITY DRAMA when Dateline started doing their Eco Challenge specials. blech.

Ha! The Navy Seals, IIRC (was it last year or the year before?), got stomped on the first day - on a paddling leg!

One year when they showed it here in the UK (not Morocco, possibly the year before), they ran it as an Eco-Challenge weekend, and it took quite some stamina to watch it all and/or remember to keep changing the tapes. It seemed somewhat perverse to be settling in for a feast of protracted tv viewing in order to watch one of the toughest events in existence.

Speaking of Navy Seals, how come these guys are always an embarassment? Was there even a Seals team this year?

I’ve got two theories.

  1. Being military types, they’re subconsciously trained to be able to fight at all times, so they always keep something in reserve. This don’t bode well when you’re against other teams going all out.
  2. They miss their security blankets. Next year they should carry assault rifles for the psychological boost :wink: No ammo, of course.

I’m guessing they don’t train for the race. Sure, they’re tough and physically fit, but there’s a lot more to this race than that. I’d guess any Olympic or professional athlete would also get spanked in this race, if they didn’t train and mentally prepare for it.

Okay, time for me to revive this thread after finally watching everything.

I gotta say, the subtitles for Kelly Lynch were downright insulting. She was perfectly intelligible, even if she wasn’t as attractive as the Brazilian team.

And enough with the repetition! In 4 hours of TV, you do not have to show the same interview clips half a dozen times! Once is plenty… You also don’t have to keep telling me over and over and over again what Eco-challenge is. It’s not like I’m gonna tune in halfway…

Team Seagate <yawn> They were interesting last year. This year they should have been left on the cutting room floor. Use the time instead to focus on Robyn Benincasa’s strategic change at the end of the race to team up with Team whatever it was.