Expreso De Los Andes Update: Challenges Abound!

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It has been a few days since I last posted an update on the Expreso De Los Andes expedition which currently has Ray Zahab, Kevin Vallely, and other members of the impossible2Possible crew running across the South American continent. Since we last checked in, the team has been making steady progress although there have been a number of serious challenges to overcome as well.

For those who haven’t been following this adventure so far, endurance athletes Ray and Kevin are attempting to run from the Pacific Coast in Chile to the Atlantic Coast in Argentina. To do so they’ll have to cover approximately 1700km (1056 miles) and cross over the Andes Mountain Range. Along the way, they’re interfacing with a number of classrooms where they hope to inspire students and teachers alike to pursue a healthy lifestyle and mix exercise into their daily routine.

Over the past week the runners have covered significant chunks of mileage, although not the distances they had hoped for. By now they had hoped to be running in the neighborhood of 70km (43.4 miles) per day but tougher than expected conditions haven’t helped to facilitate that. For instance, temperatures have been very warm and the trails that they are running haven’t always been the best either. On top of that, Ray suffered an injury to his quadricep muscle which has slowed him down some as well.

Those aren’t the only issues they’ve been dealing with however as they’ve also faced some strong headwinds which have made it tough going at times as well. They’ve also had their fair share of encounters with the wildlife too including a variety of snakes, insects, and tarantulas. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the entire region they are running through received torrential rains yesterday which flooded the entire area. As a result, the planned path of their run is currently underwater and some of the main roads are dangerous as well. That means they’re likely to see little progress today although they are continuing ahead as scheduled.

The team has moved into Argentina now and the hope is that once the Andes are completely behind them that the distances can amp up to 100km (62 miles) per day. But in order for that to happen the weather conditions must be right and the runners need to be fully healthy. They still have several weeks to go before they are done, but considering Ray and Kevin’s track records, we know they’ll do everything in their power to reach the finish line, aka the Atlantic Ocean.

Kraig Becker