Finally, the first part of their big news is being released as they announce the members of their new organizing team. Stacked with heavy hitters from the world of Adventure Racing Expedition Canada is in great hands for the future.
Led by Race Director (RD) John Ford, co-owner of Swamp Donkey Adventure Racing, one of the longest running Adventure Racing organizations in Canada and North America, the core team consists of five prominent members of the AR community.
- Kevin Hodder, RD of Eco-Challenge Fiji and producer of many sport and television productions.
- Brian Finestone, is probably best known for his time as the manager of the world-famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Brian took the park from a locally known fringe facility to a global powerhouse brand and is also a guide and photographer who has stepped into the realm of adventure and survival television production.
- Alex Man, trail designer, wilderness navigation instructor, mountain bike coach and geological engineer, Alex is an avid adventure racer and course designer for Swamp Donkey AR.
- Brad Baumber who has been supporting the Adventure Racing World Series since 2007 and attending multiple events each year. Brad is primarily focused on the safety management systems and rapid response/rescue requirements in the adventure racing environment.
The depth and breadth of experience of this team makes it absolutely world class.
Expedition Canada is owned by Lyndie Seddon Hill of Hoodoo Adventure Company in Penticton, BC. The event was established in 2020 and has three successful expedition races under its belt, including two qualifying races on the Adventure Racing World Series circuit.
“We are thrilled about this new team. We have a core group from our company who have been with us from the start, who know how to make this event happen. We now also have these amazing, key people who have so much knowledge and passion, not just for this event, but to see the sport grow in our country.” says Hill. “Our visions are aligned, and we all want to see Canada as the top international destination for the sport. We have a playground here that is like no other and we can’t wait to showcase it to the world.”
What’s next for Expedition Canada? Well, you will have to wait a little longer to find out. John and Lyndie will be attending the World Championships in South Africa to assist there and will be documenting and sharing their journey. Another announcement will be made at the end of October regarding the regional and international races in Expedition Canada’s future, and with a team like this working together, you can only expect big things from the organization.
The New Expedition Canada Organizing Team
John Ford - Race Director
John was first introduced to AR in the early 2000's after witnessing the sport and following a local team that had competed in Eco Challenge Races. Embracing the physical challenge and as a true lover of adventure, from that moment on, he began competing locally in sprint to 24 & 36hr events and eventually an expedition length AR.
In 2007 he began race mana ging and race directing, becoming co-owner of Swamp Donkey Adventure Racing. During its 17-year history, Swamp Donkey has created unique and challenging race experiences where participants can truly test their physical and mental boundaries presenting 55 events and growing a community of 12,000 participants since its inception. SDAR is one of the longest running Adventure Racing organizations in Canada and North America.
Never backing down from a challenge, in 2020 during the covid pandemic, Swamp Donkey was one of only a handful of AR races worldwide that was able to safely present an event during that demanding period. In 2022 Swamp Donkey Adventures was born as a Federal and Provincial Non-Profit to sustain and grow the sport, while focusing on developing AR for future generations to explore the outdoors and learn valuable lessons and skills.
John and his team continue to strive and create race experiences that not only showcase the natural beauty of Canada's diverse landscapes but also instill a sense of stewardship for the environment.
Brad Baumber – Director of Safety and Risk Management
Brad has been supporting the Adventure Racing World Series since 2007. Annually, he attends multiple events, primarily focused on the safety management systems and rapid response/rescue requirements in the austere environment. He’s been involved in six Adventure Racing World Championships (number seven coming this October at Expedition Africa (2023).
A Critical Care Paramedic from Ontario, Canada, Brad works clinically in the provincial air ambulance system. Concurrently, he spent ten years in the Fire Service, with a focused approach as a rescue specialist (high-angle, swift water).
His approach to personal and professional development is committed to a pathway grounded in lifelong learning; he currently holds an Applied Business Degree in Emergency Service Management and has recently completed the requirements towards a Master of Public Safety.
Baumber lives in Ontario, where he enjoys boating, photography and the pursuit of exploration and adventure.
Kevin Hodder – Course Manager
Kevin Hodder has extensive experience in sport and television production. He has worked on seven previous Eco-Challenge expedition races and served as the Venue Operations Manager for Whistler Olympic Park during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Hodder was the Co-Executive Producer of Million Dollar Mile from Lebron James’ Springhill Entertainment (CBS), where he was responsible for designing the racecourse and obstacles. He previously worked with Bear Grylls as the Supervising Producer for Get Out Alive (NBC).
Hodder lives in Whistler, BC, where he is either skiing, climbing, trail running or cycling daily.
Brian Finestone – Course Manager
A modern-day Adventure Renaissance Man, Brian Finestone is a guy with serious range. Hailing from Whistler BC, Brian is a bestselling guidebook author and award-winning adventure photographer. #
His thirty plus year career in the mountains has enabled him to take on a variety of roles from working in avalanche control and mountain rescue in Canada, Alaska and Switzerland (as well as the 2010 Winter Olympics), to guiding rivers internationally for white-
water and flyfishing clients.
Perhaps best known for his time as the manager of the world-famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Brian took the Park from a locally known fringe facility to a global powerhouse brand with iconic trails like “A-Line” and “Dirt Merchant” which have come to define an entire genre of mountain biking.
Most recently Brian has stepped into the realm of adventure and survival television production with roles producing segments and providing production safety on “World’s Toughest Race – Eco Challenge”, “Race to Survive Alaska” as well as the “Survivor” and “Alone” franchises.
Alex Man – Course Manager
Alex is a professional trail designer, wilderness navigation instructor, mountain bike coach and geological engineer. He has combined his passion for the outdoors and professional background into a career of designing unique wilderness experiences for kids through to elite athletes. This has ranged from designing national level cross-country mountain bike courses to schoolyard bike/trail parks.
He has also worked as a course designer for the Swamp Donkey Adventure Race in the Canadian Shield of Manitoba. Alex has competed at numerous international expedition races starting with Eco-Challenge Patagonia in 1999. Twenty years later, Alex returned to Eco-Challenge Fiji with True North as a father-daughter, father-son team. The objective was to pass the torch to a new young generation of expedition racers, demonstrating his commitment to the growth of adventure racing in Canada.
Cynthia Gagnon – Logistics Manager
Cynthia is a proud Nipissing First Nations of the Anishinaabe peoples. Born in Ontario, now a BC resident, Cynthia has been with the Expedition Canada organizing team since its first year in 2021.
Cynthia is a whitewaterrafting and canoe guide, a heavy equipment operator and first aid attendant with a background in remote risk management. She is currently working as the General Manager of Hoodoo Adventures where she is passionate about getting people outdoors and ensuring the next generation has safe access to outdoor recreation opportunities.
She loves organizing adventure races and enjoys the challenge of ensuring the background logistics are seamless, so that the volunteers, staff and of course the racers, have what they need, when they need it. When she isn’t working Cynthia can be found on the water or in the mountains immersed in nature with her friends and her little dog ‘Boots’.
Lyndie Seddon Hill – Event Manager
Lyndie has a lifetime of experience in the outdoors; growing up in the Okanagan region, she has always had a passion for the area.
Lyndie spent 14 years travelling, hiking, biking, kayaking, and climbing around the world and was directly involved in the outdoor industry in New Zealand for 8 years, gaining experience and multiple qualifications.
Her desire to start a family and to have an impact on the community that she loves brought her home, where she has used her international experience to offer Penticton and area residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy an eco-friendly, outdoor adventure with local flare. Lyndie sees outdoor recreation and adventure tourism as the perfect platform to create community culture.
She is the CEO of Hoodoo Adventure Company, established in 2007, she has organized and been involved in nearly 200 events of all sizes, hosting hundreds of thousands of people. She feels blessed to have such an amazing home where she raises her 2 children.
Dean Douglas – Marketing Manager
Dean has over 10 years of experience in marketing, and event management. He is a proud husband and father, foodie, traveler, and podcaster. He loves a good adventure, like the rest of us, with his favorites being rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking and kayaking.
You’ll probably find Dean around taking photos and making videos to share all of our love for adventure and exciting events like Expedition Canada, with the world!
Dean has been involved in the marketing of Expedition Canada since 2022.