Atacama Crossing - Chile - 2012 - 9th

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:

Race result:

4-10 March 2012


Brian said...

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?

Daniel Rowland said...

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.

PGCE.2012 said...

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

Daniel Rowland said...

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!!