As I mentioned earlier in the week, the Atacama Extreme expedition is scheduled to get underway tomorrow and was to have feature Ray Zahab and partner Kevin Vallely running the length of the Atacama Desert in Chile, north to south. But a last minute change in plans now has Ray taking on the desert solo.
According to this story from ExWeb, Kevin was forced to pull out of the run after his father became sick just days before the team was to set off for Chile. ExWeb quotes an e-mail from Ray that says “I will now be running alone! Unfortunately Kev’s dad has taken ill, and as an awesome son would, Kev is staying with his Dad. The absolute right decision. Family comes first.”
This now puts more stress on Ray, at least on a psychological level. Without a doubt, he is up to running the desert from a physical stand point, as he is an amazing endurance athlete. But spending days on end by yourself, running an average of 70km (43 miles) per day, through the driest place on Earth, will take its toll on a guy.
All of this adds another dimension to what was already a very big challenge. Expect updates to begin as soon as tomorrow, as the run officially gets underway. It should be quite the adventure to follow.
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