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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a said...

Great! Finally I can read some info about the course. Looks that it'll be a fun race. The only thing that It doesnt look so great, is that using the same route for going up and going down, can be a bit messy I guess.

Daniel Rowland said...

Hi Max, I'm glad it's useful.

As you can see from the profile it's quite a climb on the way up and apparently it gets a little steeper after those first 10km. I would say that it's runnable at the gradient of the first 10km, but maybe not sustainable at a running pace for all 21km.

The organizer from Olimpo was there checking the route on Sunday and he was looking into alternatives for a small loop at the top so there won't be two way traffic near the turnaround. In any case, I was told that using the same route was not a problem when they did the race there in 2010.