Atacama Gear - Brian's shopping spree

My little brother doesn't know how to do anything at half measure. He agreed to do the Atacama Crossing with our dad and me and then went to London and bought all his gear in one go, more than 6 months before the race! You can see his thoughts and gear on the updated Running in the Family page.

Brian's new gear!

I like to take a slightly more considered and analytic approach. If you're interested in following some of the research, preparation and post race reviews that I did you might enjoy these posts:

My Atacama Crossing 2012 gear ready to go.

Atacama 2013: Running in the family

Fantastic news: my dad and brother have decided to join me and run the 2013 Atacama Crossing! They have both started training and buying gear and should be ready for the race in March next year. My dad has a Green Number from Comrades so he knows what he's doing, while my brother has never run an ultra before. They're planning to run the race together and I'm planning to run faster than I did this year, so hopefully I'll be a little faster than them!

My "big" little brother Brian is now a contributor to the blog.

My brother asked to post some updates about his training. He thinks he can explain his training and journey in layman's terms so it should be interesting reading. He will be posting regular updates on his own tab which you can access from the top of the page just under the header (Running in the family). Brian's first post is already up and describes how he was convinced into a crazy family adventure.

A new perspective on the mountains!

Today I finally got to enjoy my birthday present from Vanessa, a glider flight over the mountains near Santiago. We've been waiting for the perfect day and after all the rain this week the city was clean and the skies were clear. It was a perfect ride over the mountains and the views were spectacular!

Setting up with the pilot on a beautiful day.

Ready and excited to go.

Being towed up to 750m above ground level.

Cerro San Cristobal.

Cerro Carbon and Cerro Manquehue with Los Andes behind.

Flying straight towards Manquehue!

A close up view of Manquehue from the city side.

The Santiago city bowl surrounded by Los Andes.

A final view of the city as we headed towards to the runway.

The runway on the right of the river and highway.

Very happy after a great flight!

Scouting the 2012 K42 Route

On Sunday I went with a group of Chilean runners to run on the K42 Chile race route. This year the race will be held at Laguna de Aculeo about an hour outside of Santiago. We had a fantastic group of runners which was a mini-reunion of the Atacama Crossing 2012 with Matias Bull, Cristian, Oscar and Nahila. Oscar has a house near the Laguna, knows the trails around the area and acted as our guide for the day.

We ran the first 10km and the last 10km of the route. It's an out-and-back route that climbs straight up for 21km and then descends back along the same trails for 21km. As you can see from the profile of our run it's a tough course that is going to be slow on the way out and very fast on the way home.

Straight up and then back down again.

In addition to the difficulty of the climbs, the footing of the route is very technical with most of the trail consisting of very narrow gullies and ravines with plenty of rocks and tricky footing. The technical nature of the route was not a problem on the way up, but it definitely makes it hard to run fast on the way back down. I think it's going to be a great race: a hard route with technical trails in a very beautiful place.

A cool start to the day as Matias I enjoy the very short flat section.

A mini-reunion of Atacama 2012 runners.

Heading down towards the Laguna with Los Andes in the distance.

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