Today is Day 3 of The Atacama Crossing, which is the latest race in the 4 Desert Series from RacingThePlanet.com.
Today’s stage was 25 miles in length and labeled “In The Shadow of the Incas”. As of the latest reports, 50 of the 79 remaining competitors have crossed the finish line and are in camp. Through three stages, Robert Jarvis of New Zealand is the over all leader with two stage wins to his name. Jonathan Bailey of the U.K. is in second place, with Sean Hartman of the U.S. in third. Emma Dawber of the U.K. is the topped female racer, coming in at number 16 over all.
Stage 4 tomorrow will also be 25 miles in length and it’s title hints at what is ahead for the racers. Tomorrow’s leg is titled “Endless Salt”, which means the runners will be racing across the salt flats in the area. The Atacama is one of the driest places on Earth. In fact, it’s 50 times more arid than Death Valley, and running through the salt flats won’t help that condition much. The competitors will be running their fourth marathon in as many days tomorrow, in conditions that would be trying in the best of conditions. It’s a testament to how great these athletes are that to date, only one of them has pulled out of this year’s race.
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