12th place of 161 participants as the best place on the daystrips.
The Atacama Desert is known to be the driest place in the world - here it is 50 times drier than California's Death Valley.
- 161 participants
- 126 who completed all the day sessions
- 12th place as best day trip
- total number 31
Then I have "landed" on Norwegian soil / snow and finished a new run of 250 km. This time it was the Atacama desert with several active volcanoes in Chile. Is pleased with 31 seats of 163 participants. Atacama Crossing had this year's 10th anniversary and I am now the third Norman who has completed. This was the toughest race I've participated in in many ways.
Thanks to everyone who has written on my 4desert blog. It was good words to take part in each stage.
My reflections and challenges from the race ...
It was expected 30-35 degrees, but the temperature was evenly over 40 each day. Even though we had a good summer in Norway, I'm not used to this heat. This poses some challenges regarding balance of electrolytes, salt and bag.
My big challenge was that from day 3 and 12-13 my bones were so overcooked that I did not manage to run anymore, when marched / I left the remaining distance. Lost a lot on the last and long distance where I spent two - three hours more than intended (14 hours). As it is normal to swell I had already chosen a pair of shoes that were 1-1 / 3 larger than normal, but they became too small, even without soles. In addition to reduced pace, several blisters, rodents and fewer nails on the feet resulted.
We moved between 2,400 - 3,500 moh. which to me was not the big challenges, but it was noticeably breathless. What was more scary is the lack of UV protection in the thin air, with a high risk of dammed skin in the sun.
It is the driest desert in the world and when we tried to fix the patch on wounds the tape had already dried. The only way to fix plastics and lose weight was to use Spraylim. The downside was that it was there until you left skin but it was only when the race was over.
FOOD / ENERGY
We carry everything in the backpacks, so it's important to limit the weight. With six dinners in the bag it became challenging when two dinners were broken. It has never happened before, but the dry wood did not draw water and the few calories we have is important so I ended up eating dry kurtons, powders and water. On the daytime meals I used powder, gel and some yellow candy. Gel candy is to me cruel and hard to swallow. As vegeterians, I have some challenges regarding selection.
No problem for me with earplugs and hat / buff that covered my face. The first night I lay without covering my face and waking up of sand in my eyes, nose and mouth. Blood cakes from the nose every day during the course were quite common as it inflated a lot of sand, sulfur and salt dust. There were several that froze as there were temperatures down to the freezing point at night.
Worked fine, except that on the other day I had an accident and rolled down a waterfall that caused the sword to kneel the rest of the race, blue elbow and sprained thumb.
Most people travel with someone, so it may be a bit rough to be alone. I was lucky with the others in my tent where everyone was inclusive, which created a good mood for everyone. Along the way we only had a drop.
I had to go an extra round after the fall in the falls to conclude that I wanted more to finish all days than to be among the top ten. Galgenhumor and laughter became when I walked alone in the dark without light to find that I had a minefield on one side (small sign). The tears rolled as well as I walked across the mountain to Valle de La Luna and felt that I could pick the stars down if I wanted.
But a little up and down it was anyway. Just try to sit in the senario: Run for 3-4 hours on frozen brokoli (underlay) with a 6-10 kilo sack and 1-2 liters of water. 43 degrees, in the middle of a white salt dryer where you do not see anyone else.
In addition, the shoes were full of sand that I could not take off as my feet were so upset that I would not get back on my shoes.
In order to function, I was reluctant to drink every 10 minutes, but I still drank drinking because I was tired of the taste.
"A sundowner who has paid 40-50 thousand to participate must have as much mileage as possible."
It is said that any idiot can run the marathon, but it should be a special idiot to run multi-stage ultra