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Atacama Crossing 2013 Blogs
Stage 5
07-Mar-2013 02:09:31 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hi everyone and thanks again for all the comments. The long march is now over and there are only a few competitors not yet into camp. I got in last night just after 10pm. Yesterday’s terrain was as bad as all the days put together. We went through salt flats that were more difficult than the day before and twice as long. At one point it was 45degrees celcius and 2% humidity. That’s crazy! I had to cut my compression socks off my legs because my lower leg had swollen so much that it wouldn’t slide over it. I have no shame in saying I ran most of the day in tears from the pain in my leg. I finally scored some Tylenol, which definitely helped. Otherwise I didn’t get any blisters unlike most. Camp looks like a mash unit. Everyone is walking with a limp, but they are as jovial as possible considering the hard part is over. Now everyone is stressing about how long tomorrow will be. 10k, 16k, 20k? They won’t tell us until later, and when they say 10k it usually means 10k-ish, which could mean anything. All of the racing the planet people are super nice, but the course designers must have some pretty good friends because no one here is going to hang out with them. Hahaha just kidding. It’s about over and it was really really hard. I suffered a lot and the day after tomorrow I’ll take a shower, fly home to my wife, my son, and my little girl and everything for me will go back to normal but I’ll hold onto the pure joy of seeing the finish line at the end of the long march forever. It is an indescribable feeling. I was really honored to have the support of everyone in our effort to raise money and awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia. I felt one week of suffering compared to a lifetime of seizures is really insignificant. I’m contemplating what the next one will be.

Also, I’d like to think that all the people who’s name was on my shirt joined me on this difficult journey, or maybe I joined them on theirs. Well I’d like to do it again as I enjoyed their company.

Looking forward to seeing Dad, Clint, and Roger tomorrow. I’m looking forward to a shower. I’m looking to several pieces of pizza at the finish line. I’m looking forward to a Gatorade followed by a beer.

Deana/Mom, my flight leaves Calama at 11:30 on Sunday. Could you ask Clint reserve me a shuttle to the airport on Sunday morning from their hotel. I plan to stay probably in Dad’s room and the shuttles might fill up.

For now I’m going back to my tent and spending the rest of the day sipping tea and getting to know the other competitors better.

The last competitor is just now coming in and everyone is getting up to clap him in.

I can’t thank everyone enough!


Stage 4
06-Mar-2013 02:26:30 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

The Atacama doesn’t disappoint. I seem to be having trouble with my IT ban so I’ve been told. I am having excruciating pain running downhill. It’s incredibly frustrating and making me incredibly slower. The rest of my body, my heart, my lungs, my brain is saying turn it up and soon as I do I get this pain. Nothing could keep me from finishing though, so no worries. We ran through the salt flats today and it must’ve been 120degrees at least. The heat was reflecting off the ground back up under my visor and the air was so dry my lips cracked and bled. People were dropping like flies and other runners were having to help them with water as the terrain is impossible to get any vehicles in. Water conservation was a serious concern. I went for a pee and it almost instantly evaporated. At that moment I felt like Bear Grills “PEE ON IT!!!” Two of my tent mates have dropped out unfortunately.

I’m really sorry I’m not responding to everyone’s well appreciated comments, but today was harder than yesterday and tomorrow is the long march of about 50miles, so I’m going to put my feet up and try to get a good night’s rest. I need it, I’m so tired. Thank you all again, it really is the fuel I need. Oh, and if you can get me that whopper, or in-between, or the juiciest, globbiest anything, with tons of ketchup just name your price, I’ll even consider getting a loan for it.


Stage 3
05-Mar-2013 02:47:45 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I'm so touched by all of your comments. Today was a really trying day.It was long and hot on really difficult terrain. There were times I thought please cut my feet off and give me a double wopper with cheese, extra mayo and tons of ketchup. I sacrificed a lot of calories to save weight in my pack and it is taking its toll on me now as I am slowly starving. Good thing for fat reserves. The last stage today I almost ran out of water. I was having to take little sips and I was sooo thirsty. I signed up for a Harvard study on salt in the blood so the girl has to prick my finger when I come it and today my finger would not bleed after 3 attempts on different fingers. Think I'm a little dehydrated? no worries, I'm drinking up the water now. I actually have plenty of food planned for the long march(double marathon day). I plan to have a little reward for every 10k check point.

Doris I will definitely keep Cindy in my thoughts and prayers.

Thanks Gaboo! always looking forward to your positive comments!

Mom,I guess Roger will just have buy more gear.I'm sure it wont be a total loss. Glad everyone is here and safe. i look forward to seeing them

Thanks Chris! keep em coming, I need those laughs!

Kristen, you could win this, I've seen what you'd be up against and you could definitely take these girls!

Beth, thank you so much. It makes me so proud to know you are talking about me in your school

Thanks Mike. Im looking forward to that brai

Thanks Tanya, I will definitely use your mantra.

Tisha, please tell Parker I think about her everyday.

Lee, cant wait to see you in the Sahara
Thanks Debbie. One year to train for the Sahara?

Laura, thank you. I love the cheers!

Carl, Spiderman secretly removes his mask when he thinks no one who is Japanese is looking. hahahahaha

Thank you Catherine

Thank you Cindy.

Weanie you're the best.

Sara, I love you keep sending me messages.

William, sometimes when I'm running and everything really hurts I imagine that you are beside me and we are chatting and the pain goes away. I love you my son.

I hope I did not miss anyone, my apologies if I did. seems I have used up all my time for today and typing is difficult with bandaids on my fingers.

Thank you everyone!!!!
Stage 2
04-Mar-2013 04:13:20 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

All your comments provide more energy than any power bar ever could. Please keep them coming, it makes getting up tomorrow and doing it again soooo much easier. Today was long and I mean time and distance. Slightly longer than a marathon and we did several river crossings(which felt great on the legs, and did damage on the feet later), and we ran down a giant sand dune. It was more like skiing, but it was fun, again not so good for the feet when they are wet and sandy with 22km/13miles left to go on rugged terrain. I did stop and change my socks. And I did stick with the plan. And I did have a better day. Others changed their socks too soon. They are going to have some really messed up feet. Early cut off tonight, I’m worried many people may not make it.

One of my tent mates is Japanese and he’s quite fast and today as I was running about half way done, he comes past me and said hello. I was shocked because he’s so much faster than me. He explained to me there was a Japanese competitor running with diabetes and all of the Japanese competitors were taking turns to run with her making sure she was ok. That’s amazing!

Following the Dunes one of the doctors came out and was joking with me just about life and kids to take the pain away and turns out he is from Cleveland Georgia! I almost fell off my stool, I think he did too. Going to catch up with him later.

First yogi bear today!(it’s a little inside bathroom humor joke with our friends the I’ons.)

Deana, tell Connor he is my hero. I don’t think I would’ve got off my behind if not for him. Tell Sulli he is also a DUDE.

Sara, please kiss my William and Isabella for me and tell them I am carrying them by my side all the time. I love you so much! I feel bad I won’t be home for your birthday, but I promise I will make it up to you. Please don’t celebrate without me.

Laura, thank you for your comments, it was a great motivational surprise.

Amanda, thank you! The simplest notes have such a great power!

Yota, I’m definitely in for a brai!

Chris, love the comments. I actually have to turn my disco off as I believe this is contributing to my high heart rate. The only wild life out here is the lizzards Bear Grills eats just before he pee’s on it.

Carol, Thank you and Uncle Bill sooooooooooo much for your donation and the T-shirts you bought. I am so lucky to be part of such a great family.

Mom, thanks for the encouragement! I guess the fun didn’t end at Wesleyan. Can’t wait to see Dad, Clint, & Roger at the finish

Tonight we are camping beside one of the salt lakes but they advised us not to enter as we will come out covered in salt which will add to dehydration.



Stage 1
03-Mar-2013 04:39:44 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Ok, so I got off track today. I didnt take notice that my resting heart rate was 20 beats higher than normal before the race due to the altitude. I was feeling good and made the ever so tragic mistake of thinking I am superman. I took off with the front bunch. I was in the top 50 until about 17k when I "hit the wall" so hard I had an OMG moment. I was running over 180bpm when it hit. then my whole world started to crumble. We started on another long ascent, the heat was intense, and I was starting to cramp. I gave up over 20 places. Just before check point three my entire leg cramped and I could not take another step so I sat on the side of the trail. The check point was just over the hill. Sitting there so many things went trhough my mind. How stupid I was to get off the plan, how could I possibly let myself down not to mention everyone rooting for me. Honestly, I thought about my nephew. It was like hanging out with him, having fun, laughing, and then all the sudden he has a seizure and the fun stops, and his eyes are glazed over. He recovers and we try to pick up where he left off. I thought about this on the side of the trail and I got up and hobbled to the check point 50 yards away. I sat there a few minutes, drank some water, chatting with everyone a little bit, got my heart rate down and I got back on course and I'll be out there tomorrow too. and the next day, and the next.
Thanks to everyone for all the encouraging messages, I can't explain how helpful they are.
Sara, keep sending messages about you and the kids. I love you!

Rich (bib# 85)
02-Mar-2013 02:50:28 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

we are finallyhere at camp1 and the weather here is spectacular. The terrain looks seriously rugged. All my tent mates are really interesting people. Not much to talk about yet. on the bus some guys really giving it to one of the younger competitors from Britain because he told us how he organized a treadmill in the sauna at his local club. His name is now "Sauna". Not sure what his parents named him. Constant wind here, high altitude and everything is crisp. Tomorrow should be mostly downhill but with a "difficult" asteric beside it. So cant be fooled thinking it will be easy becuase its down hilll. Later!!!
Connor Daniel, Allie, Michael Magnacca, Caden Quiles, Zach, Lacey Stagner, Lindsey Cotton, Parker Taylor, Abby Shirley!
All packed
01-Mar-2013 11:58:00 AM [(GMT-04:00) Santiago]

So last year Lee and I's packs were 13Kgs and we were of the heaviest in the race. Although I haven't weighed mine I do believe it is lighter than 13kgs. Last night I sat up unpackaging all of my expedition meals and putting them into ziplock bags. Everything is compressed down and all fit nicely in my 25L OMM pack. Sacrificed some of the electronics and some of the extra clothes. Tomorrow I will wake up and put on my last pair of clothes for the next seven days. Although this may shock some people, It will not be shocking to my sister who will say this is what I do anyway all the time (Only when I visit her, oh, and do 250km races.) I haven't really ran in like 2+ weeks, so I am totally rested to the point that I'm a little stressed about it. Thanks for all the encouragement, hope you can follow along and give me a shout out sometime, because reading that helps one pull through the "What the hell am I doing?" moments. I started meeting other cool race people as soon as I hit Santiago. Having bottles on the straps of a pack is like code language that screams," hey everyone I'm running a 4deserts race. " Its an invitation for all knowledgeable and/or curious. My roommate for tonight in the hotel has yet to show up. Cheers!
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Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2013 competitor


Buyer, sourcing manager for Forever Collectibles. (sports collectible toys)

Gainesville, Georgia


Why are you competing?
1. I am raising money for the Epilepsy foundation
of Georgia
2. I completed the Gobi March 2012 and felt
stronger than when I started at the end. I thought
to myself "what can I do next?"
3. I set a goal to do something like this once a

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