The 2008 Atacama Crossing got underway this past weekend, with 70+ competitors, from more than 20 countries, taking part in a stage race across Chile’s Atacama Desert. Today marked the fourth day, and fourth stage of the event, with runners racing 26 miles through the arid region.
Heading into today’s stage, American Dean Karnazes led the field, followed by Rob James, of the U.K., just six and a half minutes back. Johan Peterson of New Zealand was occupying third place and Mimi Peterson, also from the U.K. was the top female racer, clocking in at tenth in the overall standings. The “Breaking News” section on the website reports that James has finished for the day, but Karnazes is still out on the course.
The Atacama Crossing is part of the 4 Deserts Series of ultramarathons sponsored by RacingThePlanet.com Karnazes joins South African Paul H. Liebenberg and Dane Jimmi Olsen in attempting to become the first men to finish all four of the events in one year, with the other three taking place in The Sahara, Gobi, and Antarctica.
Tomorrow will be a rest day while competitors will prepare for a grueling 45 mile slog on Friday before finishing up with a reasonably short six mile finish on Saturday when the champion will be crowned.
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