Entry Details & Fees Competitor Registration Volunteer Application Medical Team Application Official Media Application External Media Application Management Team Application
(Invitation Only)
  • Race Home
  • Race Essentials
  • Race Background
  • Race Coverage
  • Photos & Videos
  • Blogs
  • Contact Us
Features
Top Women
The women's division at this year's Atacama Crossing has been nothing less than spectacular. We caught up with the top three women to find the personalities behind the names on the results board. "It's a privilege to be running with these women—and to...
Course Director: Hernan Garcia
The course director plays a vital role in a 4 Deserts race. This past week, there has been one man and his extended team of assistants, working hard behind the scenes to lay out the route for the Atacama Crossing. He’s called Hernan...
Best of the Blogs
It's that time of the race where we peer into the cyber-landscape of the Atacama Crossing and pay tribute to the bloggers who have been providing the most illuminating narrations of the race.   Best Intention: Simon Melanson This Chief of Staff...
The Winning Team
The Spanish team Corre 1Km+ put in a tremendous effort here in the Atacama this year. They have won the team division—a big win considering there were six teams who set out from the starting line on Sunday, the largest number of...
The Grand Slammers
At the end of The Long March, we rove the campsite to check in on the emotions flowing through the Grand Slammers. They have now completed 750-kilometers—three of the 4 Deserts races in 2014—and have just one desert left: Antarctica in November....
Boyd Matson: Reflections on the Atacama Crossing 2004
  Renowned National Geographic anchor Boyd Matson was a competitor in the inaugural Atacama Crossing in 2004. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the race, he reflects on his memories of that week a decade ago, and the pain and insight...
The Bonds of the Atacama
If you talk to any competitor standing at the starting line of a 4 Desert race, chances are, you’ll hear an extraordinary life story that brought them here. Take for example, Ian and Heather Bond, a brother and sister from Santa Barbara,...
The Halfway Point
In the six 4 Deserts races that Karen Wei has pushed her body and mind through, she’s threatened that each one would be her last. Yet, time and again, this upbeat Canadian has come back and prevailed to finish another. When we meet...
Ashacama: The Atacama Repeat Offender
Of all the 4 Deserts races that Ashkan Mokhtari has run in (and at 16 races in total, there are quite a lot of them), the Atacama Crossing is the one that has pulled him back the most. He’s racing in it...
Mind Over Matter
  Among the varied reasons why people decide to enter 250-kilometer desert races, sometimes it is tragedy that is the motivating force. This was the case for 40-year old Steven Shapland of Devon in the United Kingdom, who is here in Chile...
Love in the Desert
  Let’s be honest, when out in the midst of a 4 Deserts race, we don’t always look our most seductive. With wild hair from a lack of showers and reduced to survival sanitation, it’s miraculous to think that love and romance...
An Otherworldly Town
 Lying at 2,438-meters above sea level, San Pedro de Atacama is one of the highest towns in the world—and one of its most visually stunning. This oasis town is the home for many competitors in the days leading up to the Atacama...
Profile: Zeana Haroun
If you’re going to work for the 4 Deserts Race Series—which brings competitors from dozens of nations to some of the most far-flung locations on Earth—it helps immensely if you’ve already got a good sense of the scale of our planet. Zeana...
Life’s Long Distance Race: Celebrating 10 Years of the Atacama Cr...
With a reputation as the toughest of the 4 Deserts Race Series, the Atacama Crossing is for many competitors also the most beautiful. Marking its 10th anniversary this year, the Atacama Crossing has grown in size and stature since it first began...
Fundación Amigos de Jesús
This year at the Atacama Crossing, the 4 Deserts Race Series will be supporting Chilean charity Fundación Amigos de Jesús, a non-profit organization that takes care of children and adults with disabilities ranging from Downs Syndrome to more severe handicaps. The foundation...
The Making of Team Chifecta
When Bill Ibrahim first met Billy Atchison in June 2008, the pair was working on a Chicago film set in the midst of a World Wrestling Entertainment commercial. But the long workdays seemed much shorter with Atchison, a comedian, cracking jokes and...
4 Deserts Grand Slam
More people climb Everest each year than have completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. Only 28 brave souls form this extraordinary band of runners. They follow in the footsteps of legendary Dean Karnanzes, the first to complete this year long, one thousand kilometre...
Taking the Long Way
  Daniel, Vlad, Rebecca, Luisa – if you’ve been following the Atacama Crossing 2013, you know these names, because they’ve consistently led the pack. While winning can be fun, 4 Deserts competitors also know there’s something to be said for going slow:...
Doctors in the Desert
  Runners come to the Atacama Desert fearing blisters, sunburn, electrolyte imbalance, and a host of other potential medical problems – but our medical team does their best to make sure those problems stay potential.   It takes a unique doctor who...
Battle at the Front
“I am not in it to win.” But Daniel Rowland did indeed win the Atacama Crossing 2013, finishing in 26:17:51. Vlad Ixel of Australia trailed him closely for most of the race, finishing in 26:54:13.  In third place was Craig Willment of...
A Walk in the Park
  No matter where you’re from, competing in a RacingThePlanet event is an extraordinary accomplishment.  That means for Sanya Kongmunvattana, the sole Thai runner in the Atacama Crossing 2013, it must be extra-extraordinary.  But he disagrees.   “The heat here in the...
Running with Diabetes
Blisters, cramps, sprains – those are constant partners on the course for RacingThePlanet competitors. Insulin shots, extra supplements, diabetes – those are the constant partners on and off the course for Spanish competitor Beatriz Garcia Berche.  Beatriz has been a Type I...
A Different Perspective
  Taking in the scenery is a huge part of the Atacama Crossing for most competitors.  But two runners at this year’s race can’t do that, because they can’t see.  Keijiro Hamada of Japan and Vladmi dos Santos of Brazil are blind. ...
Starting a Sport
While most of his countrymen in Kuwait stick to treadmills, air conditioned gyms and cushioned shoes, Yousef Khourshid is shunning it all in favour of a more natural approach, right down to his toes. Not only does Yousef run outdoors – already...
We Are Family
    RacingThePlanet events tend to create special bonds between competitors.  The understanding that comes from step after step across the blistering desert leads to unique, lasting relationships.   But for two pairs in the Atacama Crossing 2013, running across the desert...
Anti-Aging Properties of the Desert
  Flip through any western women’s magazine and you’ll find many ways to hide your age, from creams and concealers, to surgery and lasers.  But for Jennifer Murray, her age is a badge of honour: she was the oldest woman going into...
An International Life
  Damien Dernoncourt spends as many nights aboard airplanes as he does in his own bed.   That’s part of the job description as CEO of John Hardy, a jewellery company based in Hong Kong. The company collaborates between Balinese artisans and...
Capturing the Desert
  Back when Zandy Mangold was a student at Connecticut College, running wildly across the desert didn’t enter into his dreams and goals.  But becoming a photographer – that was a dream.  Fifteen years later, it became a reality.   As part...
19th Event for Jesse Yoo
It wasn’t twenty years ago that South Korea was considered as little more than a fly-over on the way to other parts of Asia. Then came the 1988 Olympics, and Korea exploded onto the world’s stage, a dazzling economic miracle. In much the...
Coming Home
“I was born and raised in the southern foothills of the Alborz Mountains of northern Iran,” says Ashkan Mokhtari.  “The first time I went to San Pedro, I went for a run outside the village, and was struck by the similarities to...
For the Very First Time
RacingThePlanet events draw a diverse crowd: geographically, ethnically, linguistically, religiously. But the true diversity of the events is best exposed in answers to questions like, “Why are you running across the desert for seven days?” In their answers, competitors reveal what prompted...
The Benefits of Competing with a Friend
They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. And there are bound to be a few problems that arise when you’re tackling some of the world’s toughest terrain on foot in events like the RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts ones. Whether...
Preparing for an Event
  The most common questions that are asked just before or just after a competitor signs up to take part in an event / race are:   How do I start preparing? Is there a training plan? When do I know if...
Camp Life
You have read about the racing, the blisters and the dunes, but what takes place in the camps of the 4 Deserts races? We decide to chart the day in the life of a camp in the Atacama Crossing, asking people what...
Towards the 4 Deserts Grand Slam
If James Gaston succeeds in his challenge to finish the 4 Deserts Grand Slam, he will be the youngest person to ever accomplish the feat. James and his 24-year old sister Tara are among the group of 12 ambitious souls taking on...
A Common Goal
Sitting around a campfire at the end of stage 3 as the sun moves below snowcapped volcanoes, 23-year old Kenshi Kina says something that perfectly summarizes the team experience of a desert race. “I feel more responsibility as a team,” he muses. “Because...
Desert Love
There has been a substantial amount of rain at this year’s Atacama Crossing, an unusual occurrence in the world’s driest desert. And when rains arrive in deserts, it has a tendency to make everything bloom. In a similar way, amid all the...
Bags of Luck
When it comes to self-supported, 250-kilometer adventures across the world’s most brutal deserts, the contents of one’s backpack take on a near mythic quality. Bag weight is of course vital in this game, so anything that is not mandatory must have serious...
Guy Evans Interview
He’s about to enter the 4 Deserts Club, but Guy Evans is the first to admit that he’s not particularly keen of running. This may sound odd from a man who has run close to 1,000 kilometers through some of the world’s...
Team Andesgear
They’re called Team Andes Gear, and it turns out that the bird analogy is spot on. “The dance we do when we get to the finish line is called The Condor Flight,” explains Oscar Lagos, leader of Team Andes Gear. “It represents...
The Prendivilles
There is something remarkable about the Prendiville family. We first came to know this clan from Western Australia when four family members raced in the Gobi March in 2008. Two years later, an impressive eight family members competed in RacingThePlanet: Australia.  ...
Rebuilding Japan
We find him at a campsite by the surreal sight of a beautiful saltpan filled with water from the recent rains. Flamingos take a bath and curious tourists dip in, while competitors start to appear at this camp at the end of...
Medical Research
As the more than 140 competitors slug it out through sun, wind and dunes this week, a talented American doctor named Dr. David Young is standing in one of the most stunning landscapes on Earth, and doing something rather unusual. He’s not...
The Belgians
It is often commented that RacingThePlanet resemble the United Nations—at this year’s Atacama Crossing alone there are more than 40 national flags waving. But this year, the resemblance is even stronger: Belgium, the home of the UN, its enjoying its largest contingency...
The New Man
    Ross spent seven years living in Botswana where he managed The Unchartered Africa Safari Company, a leading luxury travel operator in Southern Africa. With a life out in the wilds of the desert, he has experienced his fair share of dramatic...
Born to Run
Imagine taking on a 250-kilometer, self-supported 4 Deserts event with Type 1 diabetes. Now, imagine taking on the Grand Slam - four events in a calendar year. Welcome to the world of Roger Hanney, a 37-year-old Australian and Type 1 diabetic who...
Twins Prepare for Crossing
Motivated by friends in Luxembourg to return to the challenges of the Chilean desert, Beat Hintermann and his twin brother, Max, are second-time competitors in the Atacama Crossing 2012 who remain captivated by the exhilaration that awaits. Beat, whose name is derived...
Models for Change
  The best role models have a contagious energy; when we come into contact with them, we begin to transform. Such is the case with Americans Patricia Vehmeyer and Sharon Flanders, a pair of sisters taking on the Atacama Crossing in March...
Men of the Andes
By Clare Morin Five teams took part in the Atacama Crossing 2011, but only two were able to cross the finish line at the end of the 250 kilometers. Chile’s Team Andes-Gear was one of these teams – a fascinating group of...
The Wine and Times of teamHSX
By Clare Morin This year’s Atacama Crossing has featured a record number of teams. There were five in total, from the Swiss Mountain Runners of Switzerland, to the well-dressed Hombres de Maiz from Guatemala, Chilean teams AndesGear and Nunatak, and a group...
The Gift of Giving
By Clare Morin There are many conditions that come together to make a great 4 Deserts race, and one big factor are the volunteers who help power the events. In addition to all the work they do in helping the event run...
Pushing Through Obstacles
By Clare Morin When we first wrote a feature about Nick Ashley-Cooper in September 2010, the British competitor was on the slow road to recovery from a brush with near-paralysis. There was one goal he was aiming towards: to recover enough to...
Word from the Desert Residents
By Clare Morin There is an epic moment of euphoria that illuminates into the mind of nearly every 4 Deserts competitor when they reach the end of a grueling stage; they witness the sight of the finish line, and the campsite beyond....
It's All About the Backpack
By Clare Morin South African competitor Angelique Tostee has been wowing audiences with her impressive move up the ranking of the women field to second place in the middle section of the Atacama Crossing 2011 - but could it be due to...
The Altitude of the Atacama
By Clare Morin There is one thing, aside from the dreaded salt flats, that sets the Atacama Crossing apart from the other 4 Deserts races. It is a factor that makes this truly one of the world’s most challenging endurance races. Not...
The Gift of a Breath
By Clare Morin Here is a fitting metaphor from the Atacama Crossing 2011; Canadian competitor Blain Davis pushes his way through the high altitude of the desert, inhaling all the oxygen he can muster into his lungs - and every step he...
Three Men Walked into a Bar…
By Clare Morin You’d be amazed to know how many 4 Deserts competitions begin in a bar. Friends are out one night innocently having a drink, when someone brings the story of an epic desert race to the table. And all of...
Desert Friendships
By Clare Morin The wind is whipping into the Cybertent, forcing sand into the computer keyboard as the hot sun sets over the camp at the end of Stage 1. Two competitors are sitting here, America’s Clancy Johannsen (47) and the United...
The Atacama Crossing
By Clare Morin As the sun set over the pre-race day in the Chilean desert, we caught up two of the top contenders for this year’s Atacama Crossing - the Danish runner Anders Jensen and America’s George Chmiel.   Both racers have...
Paving The Way For a Nation
By Clare Morin One thing was strikingly clear during the pre-race day in the sunny town of San Pedro de Atacama: there was an extraordinary number of flags on view. There are no less than 37 nationalities taking part in this year’s...
From Everest to the Atacama
  By Clare Morin   Many people who enter a 4 Deserts event have one thing in common: a wish to push themselves through an extraordinary process and to come face-to-face with their own raw potential. Perhaps none of the competitors in this...
A Special Kind of Double
  By Clare Morin   As the writer Toni Morrison once said, “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double.” It’s a fitting description for upbeat Californian sisters...
The Men of Maize
By Clare Morin A team of three Guatemalans will be bringing a spirit of freedom to the Atacama Crossing 2011. They are Ramiro Alfaro, Gabriel Delgado and Raimundo Riojas, collectively known as the Hombres de Maiz (the Men of Maize), in reference to...
Mind Training
By Clare Morin There is something that all 4 Deserts competitors learn in the solitary depths of a desert race; they start to understand the power of their own minds. For Nick Ashley-Cooper, the inner strength he gained from pushing himself across...
Love via Facebook
By Alina Brown Many a relationship has blossomed during a 4 Deserts event, but we think that Samantha Gash's and Daniel Trevena's is the first to have done so before a race has even started. Samantha laughs as she says that she...
An Exceptional Estonian
By Alina Brown Checkpoint 1’s highlight of the day came when Kristina Narusk from Estonia strode purposefully into the checkpoint tent, smiled broadly and exclaimed, “No one told me it was going to be this hard!” Kristina, a 30-year-old internet technology employee from...
Equipment and training as the winning formula? How about attitude...
By Sam Healey We asked today’s winners of the Stage 1 for some inside tips on equipment and training – and you might be surprised at what matters most. For two-time 4 Deserts champion Ryan Sandes of South Africa and the current leader...
Charitable Efforts
By Dave Flanagan The resolve of 4 Deserts competitors is plain to see. As anyone who has run to raise money will tell you, a charitable cause is a powerful motivator and can often mean the difference between failing and finishing. And, in...
A Human Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis
By Jenn Lutz   Intrepid souls will likely agree that it is indeed the journey and not the destination that yields the greatest rewards. In a RacingThePlanet event it is the sights, the sounds, the smells and frequently one’s company along the way...
4 Deserts Grand Slam 2010 Contenders
By Sam Healey   There is a reason TIME magazine named the 4 Deserts as the second most arduous endurance competition in the world in its Top Ten, just behind the iconic Dakar Rally.   The physical toll taken on the body during just...
Special Force Drives Trig to Help Others
By Dave Flanagan   “She’d think this was just another day in the life of me,” says Tremaine Kent, reflecting on how his late wife Carla would have reacted to his plan to run all 4 Deserts events during 2010. “She’ll be with...
Like Pulling Teeth
  By Dave Flanagan If you’re having difficulty getting an appointment to have your teeth fixed in Canada right now, it could be because there’s a whole load of the country’s dentists sitting in a campsite in the Atacama Desert. Well, it’s only...
Music of the Wind
By Dave Flanagan   Looking down from the flat topped rocky outcrop I’d climbed to get some perspective on a place that simply overwhelms with its scale, variety of terrain and aching beauty, I could see the music was coming from the...
Jazzed Jim
Jazzed Jim By Elizabeth A. Toder Jim O'Brien from United States    Jim O’Brien, the 30-year old athlete from Chicago, IL, is philosophical about his first multi-day endurance race.  He said: “I wanted to see what it would be like. Of course, I...
Wine Woman and Sand
  Wine Woman and Sand   If you ask nicely, German competitor Brigid Wefelnberg might just let you take a closer look at her shorts. There you’ll find a sponsorship patch from the wine growers' association in her Black Forest homeland.  ...
Christian's visit to San Pedro
Christian’s visit to San Pedro By Dave Flanagan Christian splashes through a river crossing On paper, Christian Schiester was the competitor most likely to win the Atacama Crossing 2009. Things change very quickly out here though and it’s too early to say with...
Encounter with a Samurai
Encounter with a Samurai By Dave Flanagan Japanese Competitors prepare their meal   Atacama Crossing competitors are warriors, one and all, but coming across a Samurai in the middle of desert yesterday was something of a surprise.   Actually, it was just Japanese...
Desert Rose
Desert Rose  By Dave Flanagan Astrid Valks from the Netherlands at her first RacingThePlanet event   One day it’s a glamorous photo shoot dressed in expensive clothes, the next it’s sharing a dusty tent in the desert with a bunch of exhausted people....
Life Begins at 41
  By Dave Flanagan   There will be no cake and no candles. And forget about balloons and party hats too. As locations for a birthday celebration go, a camp in the Atacama Desert is a pretty unusual one, but for New...
Pluck of the Irish
Pluck of the Irish By Dave Flanagan Rob O'Brien from Ireland beneath a volcano “I have come to realise that it’s important not to sweat over the small stuff,” says Rob O’ Brien of his attitude to life as a cancer survivor....
A Breath of Fresh Air
    By Alexandra Hamlyn   At six years of age, Laurence Brophy was dubbed a “sickly child” due to the fact that his father had succumbed to tuberculosis when Brophy was only three years old. Ironically, seven decades on, Brophy has...
Desert Luxuries
Desert Luxuries Italian cigars. Nicotine tablets. Four pairs of socks. Soap. Pop Tarts.   What do you bring to survive a week in the world’s driest desert? For many of these competitors, the answer is, “Not much.” With the lightest competitor packs...
Dan Stake, from attorney to campsite manager
   Dan Stake, from attorney to campsite manager Dan Stake has now been a competitor, a volunteer and a manager at a 4 Deserts event.  As a competitor he knew that the organization and logistics must be difficult, but he had no idea...
No Features Available
No features available....
No Features Available
No features available......
No Features Available
No features available....
Photo GALLERY
#
VIDEO GALLERY
#
FEATURED EQUIPMENT
#
OTHER RACES
#
#
Our Partners