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Quick Facts
  • The Atacama Crossing (Chile) is part of the 4 Deserts Series, named by TIME magazine as one of the Top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.
  • The Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2015 starts on 4 October and is the eleventh anniversary edition of the event.
  • The Atacama Desert is recognized as the driest place on earth – it is 50 times more arid than California's Death Valley.
  • The Atacama Desert has the most lunar-like landscape on Earth and is frequently used by NASA to test its planetary rover vehicles.
  • The Atacama Desert is 15 million years old. Some of the oldest mummies found on earth come from the Atacama Desert, dating as far back as 7000 years.
  • The entire Atacama Crossing is held at least 2.3 kilometers / 1.4 miles above sea level and covers the distance required to make a horizontal crossing of the country of Chile (250 kilometers / 150 miles).
  • The highest elevation on the course is at Camp 1, which is more than 3,000 meters / 10,000 feet above sea level.
  • Daytime temperatures in October average 26°C / 79°F, while nighttime temperatures average 11°C / 52°F. Temperatures, however, range widely and the desert climate can be extremely hot during the day and cold at night.
  • Up to 200 competitors representing more than 40 countries are expected to compete in the Atacama Crossing 2015.
  • Up to 30% of competitors are expected to have completed a previous 4 Deserts / RacingThePlanet event.
  • The fastest finish time on any Atacama Crossing course is held by Vicente Garcia Beneito of Spain with an overall time of 23 hours and 46 minutes in 2012.
  • The fastest women's finish on any Atacama Crossing course is held by Anne-Marie Flammersfeld of Germany with an overall time of 29 hours and 49 minutes in 2012.
  • Approximately 20% of competitors run the entire course, 60% combine running with walking, and 20% walk the entire course. The fastest completion time is expected to be around 25 hours and the slowest around 70 hours.
  • The Atacama Crossing is a self-supported race; competitors must carry everything they need for seven days on their backs. The average backpack weighs 9 kilograms / 20 pounds.
  • Many competitors raise money and awareness for charities around the globe through their participation in the Atacama Crossing.
  • Competitors use laptops in a specially designated Cybertent to write blogs and exchange emails during the event.
  • During the Atacama Crossing, competitors, volunteers and staff are expected to consume approximately 15,000 liters of water in total.
  • Competitors are required to pass through up to 30 checkpoints throughout the seven-day event before crossing the finish line.
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