Atacama Crossing Update; Day 5

The leader board at the Atacama Crossing Ultramarathon hasn’t changed at all in the past few days. New Zealander Robert Jarvis still leads the way with Jonathan Bailey of the U.K. and Sean Hartman of the United States in second and third respectively. Emma Dawber, also of the U.K., is the leading female in the 15th spot overall. Reports and updates have been a bit difficult to come by, as it seems that the satellite equipment has not been cooperating the way it should. Technology! It’s great when it works.

What has changed is that the grueling salt flats from yesterday’s stage are behind the runners, who are now enduring a two day, fifty mile stage dubbed the “March of Death”. On other days of the event, the competitors would cover roughly 25 miles of trail in the Atacama Desert in Chile, and at the end of the day they would find a camp waiting for them. Today’s stage will provide no such luxury, as they’ll ether have to set up camp for themselves, or continue on all day and night. They’ll also have to carry extra gear and water with them too, as while it gets quite hot during the day, in the evenings the temperature will drop below freezing. Needless today, Stage 5 will test these adventurers for sure.

The Atacama Crossing is part of the “4 Deserts” series of ultramarathons put on annually by The other three events are The Gobi March, held in China, The Sahara Race in Egypt, and The Last Desert which is run in Antarctica. Next year, the schedule will expand to include a race held in Vietnam.

Kraig Becker

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