NOTE: June 2020
My first race in the Atacama was an incredible experience. I was looking for an adventure and a chance to see and explore a new area in Chile similar to the way the Susitna 100 led me to see new places in Alaska. I was fairly well prepared and I went into the race feeling confident. However, I quickly learned how challenging and difficult a multi-stage race in a harsh environment could be. This lead me to prepare a lot more thoroughly and extensively for a repeat performance of the race in 2013.
One of the most amazing things about this race was the people I met. These are friends that I still have to this day and who I have shared multiple subsequent adventures with many of them.
Some of the lessons that I learned during this race were:
- A sleeping mat is important not only for comfort, but for insulation to keep me warm from the ground.
- Race nutrition is key and finding foods that will taste good after 4 days in a backpack is vital.
- Pacing and managing my effort is critical. I followed my friend Steven from Belgium a lot during this race and he was extremely diligent in managing his effort and it made a big difference in his result.
Here's a recap of all the Atacama Crossing material from my race last month. I have most of the pictures from friends and the official photographer on my blog and a few other links to the results and videos from the race.
|Racing to V at the finish. (Source: Argi)|
My race reports from each stage:
Atacama Crossing - Stage 1
Atacama Crossing - Stage 2
Atacama Crossing - Stage 3
Atacama Crossing - Stage 4
Atacama Crossing - Stage 5
Atacama Crossing - Stage 6
My gear reports:
Before the race
Post race report
My finishers' medal and my trophy for winning the 20 to 29 year age group:
Ok, now that you have finished. What next? I want to run sahara, but timing might be a bit tight. Gobi next year? Antartica if you can? Where to from here?
I'm not exactly sure yet. I have some shorter races planned for the rest of this year: marathon trail races and a few 50 milers. I'm hoping to use these to work on my speed and build my single day endurance for the long day in multi-day races. I will be posting an update with more detail on this year's races soon.
Next year I would like to run the Atacama Crossing again and maybe the Gobi. However, that's still a long way off and I have plenty of time to think about these races, plan and prepare.
whatever happened to just running on a simple tartan track.... you guys are really brave and you take adventure to another level. keep it up chaps
Hi Pete, thanks for the comment. This sure is a different playground to the track! It is also much more exciting and provides a few more views and interesting things to see along the way!!
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