Pre-Race: Breaking News 7
The competitor check-in of the Atacama Crossing 2017 has concluded. The 8-time Atacama Crossing finisher Ash "Ashacama" Mokhtari was first in line as competitors went through the gear check, followed by many the qualifying 4 Deserts Club members and then the rest of the competitors.
The lightest 6.5kg backpack belongs to China's Cao, Yunjie. The heaviest one, 14.5 kg will be carried by Erik Kovessy of Canada.
Competitors have had lunch and are now chatting away and feeling a bit more relaxed now that the gear check is over. Doris Matlok is one of them, enjoying her time by the pool side of the hotel. Sandy Mouret is another returning competitor who is looking forward to being surrounded by the Atacama Desert.
The buses to Camp 1, Rio Grande, will depart in half an hour at 3pm. The 2-hour journey will take them to the stunning location of the Rainbow Valley, famous for the colourful cliffs that surround the Camp.
Pre-Race: Breaking News 6
The competitor briefing took place at 09:00 this morning (3 hours ago) around the pool of the race hotel with all competitors in attendance.
Race check-in is underway where forms are signed, all equipment is checked and race bibs, timing chips, race passports, course notes, etc. are given out. More than half the competitors have already completed the check-in.
Sebastian Li from Germany is super excited as he joins his third 4 Deserts Race. Heather Jablonowski from Canada said "I am so excited I am going to burst". Terry Kamino from the United States is nervous but looking forward to getting into the desert after all this preparation - he met the 4 Deserts in Antarctica during The Last Desert and is now ready to join a race himself.
More news later on who has the lighttest and heaviest packs and comments on pre-race feelings.
Volcano Licancubur is looking over all the proceedings. It will be the marker has competitors go towards and then around the volcano from throughout the race.
In a few more hours all participants will be taken to Camp 1, Rainbox Valley, deep in the Atacama Desert where they will spend their first night in the desert with their tent mates before the race starts tomorrow at 08:00.
More photos will be uploaded throughout today.
Many more BLOGS POSTS have been added as competitors write their last installments before leaving for the desert. Including Ben Fox, Harriet Halfhead and Jeremy Goddard all from the United Kingdom. Jeremy has enjoyed meeting everyone so far and enjoyed the atmosphere this morning. https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs
Pre-Race: Breaking News 5
It is now late on Friday night (well 01:30 on Saturday morning) and all is quiet in San Pedro as competitors make the most of thier last night in a comfortable bed.
Amost all competitors have now arrived in the host town / desert oasis (some without a few pieces of luggage) and San Pedro has been alive with 4 Deserts activities. Today was the last chance for competitors to stock up on calories, hydrate, shake out their running legs, rest, explore, pack (and re-pack) and decide on the final items that will go with them into the desert. In the evening they had the opportunity to get-together with other competitors and listen to top tips from Ash Mokhtari from his eight times of completing the Atacama Crossing.
Volunteer training also took place today and what a stellar group of volunteers and medical staff we have.
Tomorrow, Saturday, is a day of administration and logistics. The official pre-race briefing starts at 09:00 at the Race Hotel. Race Check-In will then take place before all participants are transported to Camp 1 - Rainbow Valley in the middle of the Atacama Desert.
Keep an eye on the Atacama Crossing website. Recent updates include:
MORE PRE-RACE PHOTOS: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos
NEW BLOGS from Ben Davies (UK / Singapore), Robert Allen (UK / Hong Kong), Ken Wee (Singapore / Hong Kong), Erik Kovessy (Canada) and Michael Vad (Denmark). https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs
Pre-Race: Breaking News 4
San Pedro de Atacama is alive with Atacama Crossing competitors and staff as many more race participants arrived today (Thurs, 28 Sept) in the small desert oasis.
It has been a pleasant 28-30C / 82-86F with brilliant blue skies and a nice breeze. Temperatures are expected to remain similar next week (although hotter in the middle of the desert) but a strong wind is forecasted.
Competitors have been out and about enjoying the cafes, restaurants and peaceful wild-west atmostphere of San Pedro. There has been plenty of double checking of equipment and re-packing of race bags as well as some running in the desert surounding San Pedro and even trips up to the Geysers, a short drive away, where they can experience being at 4,000meters /13,000 feet.
Yesterday we saw Shevaun Sedlock and Sandy Mouret from Canada - friends from a previous race meeting up in another desert. Most of the competitors from Japan have arrived and were out running in the desert. Kimberley and Matthew Tompson from Australia took the chance to see the stars through a telescope - they will see incredible starry skies each night on the Camps. Robert
New arrivals today include Jeremy Goddard from the United Kingdom spotted at the "welcome to San Pedro" sign. David and Leah Mink from the United States went out to see the salt flats (to find out what they have in store on Stage 4 the Infamous Salt Flats). Michael Vad from Denmark who met up with Tom Sperry from the USA and Bob Allen who came from Hong Kong. Vldami dos Santos, the blind competitor from Brazil made it safely to San Pedro sporting a new 4 Deserts tatoo(!).
Yves Lortie, Serge Gosselin and Ricky Fontaine from the team "No Country for 3 Old Men" from Canada with their friends from Quebec Kathleen Cote and Denis Cadoret are all in San Pedro. Team GM Austria team members Josef Goltshman, Ambros Muehlebachler and the youngest competitor the race, Lukas Messner, who joins these more experienced runners are safely at the race hotel.
Tomorrow is the last day to rest and relax before race administration starts and all participants drive out into the Atacama Desert. We will see more arrivals and competitors will have the chance to "Ask Ash", eight-time Atacama Crossing veteran, all their questions in a relaxed meeting.
As Thurs, 28 Sept comes to an end I direct you to the website to see new postings, in particular:
Pre-Race Photos: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos
New Pre-Race Blog Posts: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs
One's to Watch at the Atacama Crossing Article: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/features
Pre-Race: Breaking News 3
Welcome to the first breaking news for the Atacama Crossing 2017! It is 06:30 in the morning on Wednesday, 27 September in San Pedro de Atacama, the desert oasis in northern Chile which is home to the Atacama Crossing. In 4 days time the 2017 edition of the race will get underway - in 3 days all participants will go through race check-in and leave for Camp 1 in the desert.
The management team has been in San Pedro for some time and are now being joined by competitors and volunteers who are arriving from all around the world. Two of the favourites to win the race, Kathia Rached from Lebanon and Zandy Mangold from the USA have both arrived and have been acclimatising. Heather Gordon from Ireland has also been spotted and she has noticed " it's very difficult to run in altitude especially in 27C heat".
From now you can follow the race through the website: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/live
In particular in the days leading up to the race you can see photos and read blogs as competitors make their final preparations. You can also start to send messages to competitors that they will receive at Camp 1. You can do this by posting comments on their blogs or going to the results page and clicking "send an email" next the name of the person you want to message.
Below are some Pre-Race Blogs that we recommend:
Liane Israel from South Africa - WHY?!!!!: http://bit.ly/2ysNVsX
Shevaun Sedlock from Canada - Pre-Race Thoughts: http://bit.ly/2ys6gGn
Stephane Boss from France - Stres to the Max: http://bit.ly/2yGcqDK
Pre-Race: Breaking News 2
The countdown is on. The Atacama Crossing 2017 will start in less than three weeks! Sign up for breaking news to receive updates to your email during each stage of the race starting on Friday, 20 September when competitors will be arriving in the host town of San Pedro de Atacama.
Pre-Race: Breaking News 1
The next edition of the Atacama Crossing starts on Sunday, 1 October 2017. Sign up for the Breaking News to receive live updates several times a day during the race.
The Pre-Race Breaking News will start the week starting 29, September 2017
Stage 1: Breaking News 5
Stage 1 has concluded. Zandy Mangold from the United States won the Stage (see photo of Zandy sprinting up the old Inca Road below). All competitors completed the stage in very strong wind.
It was a calm, and warmer than usual, start to the Stage. Competitors ran across colourful plains - seeing much more greenery than is usual at this time of year due to the rains they had early in September. They then went through a narrow canyon (having to crawl through a low rock arch at one point) - see Sandy Mouret from Canada below. They then went across wide open plains before heading up an old Inca caravan route and then 4km down into Camp. It was early after that the wind picked up and stayed all day.
The wind is due to subside at sunset, but Camp has been re-located to a temporary shelter to allow an undisturbed night's rest. Competitors will spend tonight inside a hall of the local community.
PHOTOS FROM STAGE 1 are on the website: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos
RESULTS will be uploaded soon
Stage 1: Breaking News 4
After seven hours, more than 40 people have completed Stage 1 of the Atacama Crossing and are resting at Camp 2. We will have the Stage 1 results to you soon.
Everyone has passed through Checkpoint 2 and there are just 23 people left to reach checkpoint 3. The last competitor is about 6km / 4 miles before checkpoint 3 walking with the sweepers - it is Yiu Hirabayashi from Japan.
The afternoon winds are strong as expected - they have not affected the visibility but are making for some tough conditions. Qing (Eva) Zhou from China / HK has just reached the old Inca road (half way between checkpoint 2 and 3) and came through smiling but saying "this wind is making it tough". (photo of Eva below)
Doris Matlock from Australia. Marisa Holman from United States / New Zealand and Erik Kovessy from Canada are approaching checkpoint 3 together.
Camp is very windy. It is expected to calm down at sunset, but that is not until after 19:30 this evening.
Stage 1: Breaking News 3
Checkpoint 1 closed at 10:30 - 2 hours 30 minutes after the race started. Everyone successfully compled the first 9km / 5.5 miles of the course. At this early stage in the race the first twenty through the checkpoint are listed below all within 22 minutes of each other. Also - 12 different countries are represented by these 20 people.
Leah Mink from the United States was in 63rd place in 1 hour 42 mins. Leah's father, David, is a volunteer. Today he was at checkpoint 1 and here is a photo of him supporting his dauther Leah at the checkpoint.
The front competitors are expected to be completing the stage soon - 4 hours after the start. More news on that and checkpoints 2 and 3 soon.
Stage 1: Breaking News 2
The Atacama Crossing 2017 has started!! At 08:00 all competitors stepped up to the first start line of the race in the Atacama Desert to complete Stage 1, Navigation by Rock. After so much preparation and waiting, everyone is excited to get started!
Today's Stage is 36 km / 23 miles with a total elevation gain of 245m / 803 feet and elevation loss of 973m / 3,200 feet. The gain is mainly saved for the third section between checkpoint 2 and 3 when they spend 5km / 3 miles on an old caravan road going slowly uphill. The distances between each checkpoint (CP) on Stage 1 are:
Today they are likely to see llamas and vicunas grazing on the early part of the course. Other highlights include running through a narrow canyon, seeing Inca rock art (made with coca leaves and spit) on the caravan route and views of the volcanoes all around them - including our favourite Volcan Licancabur.
Camp 1 was beautiful as ever - called Rainbow Valley (Valle de Acroris) because of the different colours of the surrounding rocks which are full of minerals. It was not as cold or windy as it can be at this highest point of the course (3,200 meters / 10,500 feet). And the stars did not disappoint - competitors were standing outside their tents (despite it being chilly) to look at the beautiful sky until quite late.
Have a look at who is starting the race: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/results
See all photos from competitor check-in yesterday: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos
Read the pre-race blog posts from Ben Fox, Harriet Halfhead, Marisa Holman, Jeremy Goddard Robert Allen and Heather Gordon: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs
Read the Pre-Race Stage Update: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/stage_updates
ALL UPDATES AS THEY HAPPEN: www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/live
Stage 1: Breaking News 1
The Atacama Crossing (Chile) starts on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Breaking news for Stage 1 will be posted on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Stage 2: Breaking News 6
The RESULTS, PHOTOS and BLOGS after Stage 2 are now on the website - and it's exciting at the front. www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/live
1st place overall is Zandy Mangold from the United States with nearly 1 hour lead of the 2nd place male (and 50 mins over the 2nd place overall - a woman).
2nd place overall (and 1st woman) is Angela Zeah from Germany!!!!!
Overall Top 10 for the men and women are below. Other than Zandy in first place, all the other top rankings have move around. Ben Fox has gone from 4th to 2nd. Ian Malcom from 2nd to 5th and Douglas Costa has moved from 9th to 3rd! Ash Mokhtari is still managing to stay in the Top 10.
BLOGS - https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs. You can also get to the blogs by clicking the "blog" icon next to the name on the results page.
There were 13 new blog posts today covering Stage 2 and also Stage 1. Even if your friend is not writing a blog I would recommend reading these as they give you the real feelings of the competitors - about the course, feet, food and friends. Comments included
Be sure to check out the few hundred photos from Stage 2 today to get an idea of what the competitors are seeing and talking about. https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos.
Stage 3 starts at 08:00 tomorrow (Tuesday) - it is 40km / 25 miles and generally considered the hardest stage of the race.
Stage 2: Breaking News 5
Stage 2 has concluded. The last competitor was Yiu Hirabayashi from Japan who is doing well and finsihed well within the cut-off time. Others at the back of pack were Hideo Nori from Japan, Ken Wee from Singapore, Team GM Austria, Qing (Eva) Zhou from China and Juhwan Park and Jong Hyan Kim both from South Korea.
The first 20 people to compete Stage 2 are below, in order of arrival. Actual times and overall placings after Stage 2 will follow soon.
It is impressive to have six women in the Top 20. It is also testament to being a truly international race with eight nationalities in the Top 10 today! For those Brits out there nearly half of the Top 10 are from the United Kingdom!
Linda Wilson from Canada described the day: "today was an absolute highlight" - and that was before she had got to run down the massive dune.
Garry Ford from the UK (living in the United States) was less than excited by all the river crossings - which is a shame as there were a lot today.
Fiona Glen from the UK came through in 22nd place, just in front of Dr. Mike Caudell who has taken well to the transition from medical team to competitor. Fiona was laughing with Mike about being beaten by a girl - actually make that being beaten by six women Mike!
Ian Malcolm described today as "quite simply the most beautiful run in the world!!! Through a slot canyon (21 river crossings) and then over a massive outcrop looking down on the valley of death from about 2700m… "
Josef Goltschman, part of team GM Austria withdrew today so only two teams are left in competition. Xiamen University from China are currently just ahead of No Country for 3 Old Men from Canada.
Results, photos, blogs and a stage update and blogs written today will posted in the next few hours.
Stage 2: Breaking News 4
As of 16:00 35 competitors have crossed the finish line of Stage 2 of the Atacama Crossing. Diana West exclaimed – 29th?!? NO! All competitors are looking strong and enjoying the course. Ian Malcolm wanted to make sure the results were published so that his friends back home were paying attention – coming in a respectable 7th at 14:04. In first place was Zandy Mangold who looked quite relaxed as he trotted across the finish line at 13:10. Ita Marzotto from Italy was quite happy with the later start as it meant the water in the slot canyons was not too cold, but rather refreshing. Heather Jablownowski overcame her vertigo as she descended one of the infamous dunes of the race, which is steep, but always fun once you get going. Korean competitors 104 Eun Jun Jung and 105 Taehun Park have just crossed the finish line hand in hand looking fresh and happy. CP 1 closed at 12:30 – just on cut off with the final racers number 101 Eva Zhou, 75 Juhwan Park, 49 Jonghyun Kim and 35 Yui Hirabaysashi making their way to CP 2. Jesse Gould, who just finished in 35th place, is doing quite well and persevering, despite losing almost almost all his mandatory equipment in Bogota!
Stage 2: Breaking News 3
It is now three and half hours into Stage 2 of the race. All is going well on the course.
The first seven competitors have passed through Checkpoint 2 which is 23km into the 35km Stage. The first three competitors through Checkpoint 2 were:
The last competitors should have passed through Checkpoint 1 by this time.
There are two competitors who did not start Stage 2 - Michael Vad from Denmark and Tom Sperry from the United States.
Stage 2: Breaking News 2
Atacama Crossing Stage 2 will get underway at 09:00 - that's in one hour. Competitors are being taken back from their temporary camp site, which provided shelter from the extremely strong winds last night, to the start of Stage 2.
Today's stage is a slightly shortened 35km / 22 miles with a further 535 meters / 1755 feet elevation loss (and 243meters / 800 feet gain). There are three checkpoints
Stage 2 will start with more than 5kms in the slot canyons where they will get their feet wet! They will then go up to and through an old mining tunnel, along a spectacular ridge and then run down an enormous dune into checkpoint 2. From here they will cross Valle del Marte and have one final small dune before arriving at Camp 3 which is a desert farm.
The forecast today is again windy but not exceeding 25km/ hour (vs. 65 km/ hr yesterday with much stronger gusts).
As we go into Stage 2 the Top 5 for the men and women are below. All competitors completed Stage 1 of the race and will be at the start line of Stage 2.
FULL RESULTS after Stage 1: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/results
PHOTOS from Stage 1: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos
STAGE UPDATE (Stage 1 & Pre-Race so far): https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/stage_updates
BLOGS (from Camp 1 and Pre-Race - there were no blog posts after Stage 1 due to the strong winds: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs
SEND MESSAGES OF SUPPORT - go to the results page, find the person name and click "send an email".
Stage 2: Breaking News 1
The Atacama Crossing (Chile) starts on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Breaking news for Stage 2 will be posted on Monday, 2 October 2017.
Stage 3: Breaking News 7
Wow, what a tough Stage for most people! It is generally known to be the toughest stage of the race, but one of the most beautiful.
Despite lots of overtaking and changing of places in the first half of the race, Stage 3 was again won by Zandy Mangold and Angela Zeah - both winning all stages so far.
The Top 10 after Stage 3 are below. Not too much change overall despite a lot of different results for Stage 3 - however there was not enough time difference to have an immediate impact on the overall standings.
FULL RESULTS are on the website: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/results
Also on the website are:
PHOTOS FROM STAGE 3: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos
BLOGS AFTER STAGE 3: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs
VIDEO CLIPS and INTERVIEWS from STAGE 3: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/videos
That's it from us for Stage 3. Back for an 08:00 start tomorrow, Weds, for Stage 4.
Stage 3: Breaking News 6
CORRECTION: Gemma Gordon was not the last - she had come in earlier. Victor Yung and Eva Zhou were the last
Stage 3 has concluded! Just before 19:30 (nearly 12 hours after the Stage started) Gemma Gordon from Ireland was the final person to cross the finishline into Camp.
The last 9 people to complete Stage 3 are:
There are some tired people at Camp 4 but they have 12 hours to rest, recover, eat, hydrate, sleep, stretch and take care of their feet before they do it all again tomorrow.
Just two people withdrew from today's stage which makes a total of five withdrawals for the race so far.
Results, photos, videos, blogs and a summary of today's stage will be uploaded in the next few hours.
Tomorrow is a 44km / 28 mile Stage across the infamous salt flats!
Stage 3: Breaking News 5
An update from 18:30 - ten and a half hours after the start of Stage 3. There are just 10 people still to arrive at Camp 4 to complete Stage 3.
Most recent arrivals in reverse order were
30 minutes before that
The last two competitors have withdrawn, Yui Hirabayashi from Japan and Jong Hyan Kim from Korea - they were not going to meet at the final cut-off for the day.
Stage 3: Breaking News 4
Stage 3 was won by Zandy Mangold in 4 hours 58 minutes. Angela Zeah was first across the line for the women. She was in 6th place overall for the women. Team Xiamen University took the lead for the teams.
The order of the first 25 is below:
At 16:22, eight hours and 22 minutes into the race, 44 people had reached Camp 4 to complete the stage. The most recent arrivals in reverse order (last person first) were Jesse Gould, Akira Kawamoto, Heather Gordon, Michael Caudell, Team Xiamen University from China, Stephane Boss, Kim & Jerry Bueno and Tom Harvey. Despite it being a tough final section people have crawled up the final sandy hill to Camp happy to be there.
Checkpoint 4 has closed at 16:30 - so everyone has completed the first 35 km / 22 miles of the Stage. They still have 5km / 3 miles but it's a hard final distance - partly because they can see / hear camp from a long way away but the route to camp is not direct (due to valleys in the way).
Jong Hyun Kim and Yui Hirabayashi are the last two and are very close to the cut-off.
Stage 3: Breaking News 3
We are two hours and fifteen minutes into Stage 3 at 10:15 local time.
Checkpoint 1 closed at 10:01 (15 minutes ago) with all competitors having passed through. Yui Harabayashi from Japan is maintaining her last place but is in good spirits and continuing on slowly but surely. Sung Wook Lee, Wong Seok Choi, Jung Hyun Kim, Dami Ane and Doris Matlock were all within 15 minutes of Yui.
Here you can see Sebastian Lippert from Germany with Jerry and Kim Bueno from the United States arriving to checkpoint 1 together.
Dr. Mike Caudell, who was inspired to compete after working on the medical team of the three times, arrived at Checkpoint 1 together with Diana West who was a volunteer at the Atacama Crossing 2016.
It is very close at the front of the pack. At checkpoint 1 the first 25 people all arrived within 15 minutes of each other. At checkpoint 2 they had not spreadout much more. There 14 people through and the actual order of arrival was:
However this is where fun (crud) starts after checkpoint 2 and could see people spreadout a bit more.
Have a look for a few more photos from today on the website: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos
Stage 3: Breaking News 2
Stage 3 of the race has started! Today is 40km / 25 miles and is considered the hardest stage. The start was at 08:00 and the distances to cover for each section are:
There is only 281 meters elevation gain and 150 meter elevation loss but they will be introduced to the salts (aka crud / frozen brocoli / a ploughed field / dry coral).
So far there are only three withdrawals - will it stay that way?
As a reminder, you can see all updates on the website until after Stage 2:
I will leave you with the quote from Liane Israel from South Africa's blog: "WOW this is the toughest race ever. there is no fun if I don’t cry in the last 5km of each stage I’ve decided"
Stage 3: Breaking News 1
The Atacama Crossing (Chile) starts on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Breaking news for Stage 3 will be posted on Tuesday, 3 October 2017.
Stage 4: Breaking News 5
A fantastic if challenging day both physically and mentally. But we truly are in paradise as the sun sets over the salt flats behind me and the last few runners still come in.
That sums up Stage 4 nicly - courtesy of the blog of Harriet Halfhead
As competitors rest at Camp 5 in front of a salt lake (with the odd flamingo here and there) you can see what they experience today:
I leave you with a quote from the blog of Yves Lortie's blog:
Tomorrow is 80 km ! Our legs ,shoulders,feet, are in pain but…
Nothing rational about running 80 km,after 4 consecutive days of 40 km. That is the idea. Tomorrow you don’t run with your legs and brain, you run with your heart and soul.
Stage 4: Breaking News 4
Stage 4 is complete and competitors are now at Camp 5, Lake Tebinquinche, getting as much rest and as many calories as they can before tomorrows Long March (73km / 54 miles).
The Top 5 today were:
Some other notable performances included
On the other side there some people that had a slower day than normal. However they are probably the sensible ones as it was tough Stage yesterday and tomorrow is the BIG one.
The last people to arrive at Camp 5 were Hideo Noro, Scott Yu, Juhwan Park and Doris Matlock.
There were also three new withdrawals today.
Results, photos and blogs from today will follow shortly.
Stage 4: Breaking News 3
Stage 3 is going well. Checkpoint 1 closed at 11:00 (3 hours after the start of the race). Everyone made it through - below is order of arrival at Checkpoint 1. Generally everyone was in good spirits. Kathia Rached said "I am loving this course". Douglas Costa loved the steep dune down but complained of having half of it in his shoes (he needs to talk to Heather Jablonowski about gaiters - read her blog!).
Tom Harvey withdrew after reaching checkpoint 1.
At 12:30 there were already 25 people into Checkpoint 3 - very similar order for the Top 10. Ita Marzotto from Italy is currently the third woman in 13th place overall. There are also some llamas who have come to see what is going on.
Checkpoint 3 to 4 is the hardest section of Stage 4. It is a longer section on single track through the salt flats but with no shade and in the heat of the day. Competitors will not be allowed to continue from checkpoint 3 unless they are feeling 100% (or at least 90% considering they already have 120km in their legs).
Stage 4: Breaking News 2
Another day, another marathon. Stage 4 of the Atacama Crossing started at 08:00 this morning. It was a milder night with temperatures reaching around 6C / 43F (compared to the 0C yesterday which left frost on the tents) and another hot day expected today.
Competitors will start across a desert plateau before a very steep descent into Checkpoint 1 in a green valley below. They will then move into the Desert Forest (an experiment for growing trees in the desert – the trees grew but don’t produce anything useful, just long sharp, spikes) until they reach checkpoint which is the last point of access before a 14km stretch back in the salt flats.
Top 25 at the moment
See FULL RESULTS, PHOTOS, BLOGS, VIDEOS and more on
Stage 4: Breaking News 1
The Atacama Crossing (Chile) starts on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Breaking news for Stage 4 will be posted on Wednesday, 4 October 2017.
Stage 5: Breaking News 8
Competitors are enjoying the rest day. The finishline drum stopped beating at 07:24 when the last competitor reached camp - it was Hideo Noro from Japan.
Another tough day in the desert but with beautiful scenery to dull the pain and tiredness.
Tomorrow is the final Stage. It's a short 8km / 5 mile run into San Pedro Square, but it could be exciting among the men as there is just 4 minutes between 2nd and 3rd place and just 14 minutes between 2nd and 4th. I sense a sprint
Current standings after Stage 5:
Outside of the Top 10 (and also within) there are some impressive results and inspiring stories. It is a race, but that's only half the story.
Updates on the website:
Stage 5: Breaking News 7
We are now 20 hours into Stage 5.
At 03:00 there were just 18 competitors still out on the Stage 5 course. The last people to arrive at Camp were Marisa Holman, Taehun Park, Sungwook Lee, Robert Wieclawski and Jim Kan, Wannachai Bangwiroonwag, Peter Chiang and Joanna Buick.
Checkpoint 7 closed at 04:00 when the last person left. Apart from being a bit tired(!) they are all doing well.
The final people to complete Stage 5 are:
Tentative RESULTS after Stage 5 are now on the website. Note that "I" means still "in the field". www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/results
Still just the two withdrawals during Stage 5, and that is not expected to change in the next 10km / 6 miles.
PHOTOS and some BLOGS will be posted soon.
Meanwhile do enjoy all the video clips from the week. This includes a moving interview with Vladmi do Santos - it was 13 years ago yesterday that he lost his sight and was glad to celebrate it by completing such a tough stage of the.
Stage 5: Breaking News 6
01:46, 6 October 2017, Stage 5
At 01:00 there were just 35 people left to complete the Long March and settle down to a well-deserved rest at Camp 6 nestled in Moon Valley.
The last 25 people to reach Camp 6 were:
Checkpoint 5 is closed - everyone has left this checkpoint.
Checkpoint 6 - is just wating for the last four people. They are Dami Ane and Juhwan Park from South Korea and Junichi Ikeda and Yoichi Nakajima from Japan. They will have another 18km / 11 miles from CP 6 to the finishline.
Checkpoint 7 - has 13 more people to reach their point. From here it is 9.7km / 6.1 miles to the end.
We are expecting the last people to complete Stage 5 in about seven hours time at around 09:00.
Stage 5: Breaking News 5
It is now sixteen hours into Stage 5 of the Atacama Crossing.
All competitors have reached Checkpoint 5 - that's 50km / 31 miles into the Stage, "just" 23km / 14 miles to go from here! Many people have taken the chance to rest and have a hot meal at Checkpoint 5 but now just two people are remaining and they are getting ready to leave.
Checkpoint 6 is only waiting for five more people.
34 competitors have completed Stage 5. Diana West was the most recent person to arrive in 34th place.
Marisa Holman from United States / New Zealand is doing great - she has reached Checkpoint 6 and is on the homeward straight just excited to finish!
Shevaun Sedlock from Canada left checkpoint 7 one hour ago so is expected at Camp any moment now.
Two competitors, Ben Davies and Doris Matlock have withdrawn today.
Stage 5: Breaking News 4
The Long March, Stage 5, was won by Zandy Mangold and Angela Zeah at 17:09 and 17:46 - that is less than nine hours!! At 20:30 seventeen people had completed the Stage. The most recent people to complete the Stage were Fiona Glen from the UK, Takehito Maruyama from Japan, Ash Mokhtari from Iran / Canada, Yuta Sato from Japan, Ita Marzotto from Italy, Binh Nguyen from Denmark and Simon Wilson from the UK. The Top 10 were:
Outstanding performances by all, especially Gemma Gordon from Ireland and Deo Encarnacion from Philippines / New Zealand breaking the Top 10 for the first time this week.
Checkpoint 3 closed at 13:30 and Checkpoint 4 has also closed.
Checkpoint 5 has had 83 competitors arrive with many taking a longer break at this, the "Overnight" Checkpoint. The last people to arrive were Scott Yu from China, Qing (Eva) Zhou from China, Erik Kovessey from Canada, Liane Israel from South Africa and Jesse Gould from the United States.
Checkpoint 6 has had 50 competitors through.
All competitors are all now under the moonlight in Moon Valley following a course light up by glowsticks.
Kathia Rached - was laughing along the course and said "I am just so happy"
Eilon Armon - came into Checkpoint 4 saying "I don't want this to end, this is breathtaking and one of the most beautiful places I have seen. It is incredible"
Stage 5: Breaking News 3
Stage 5 is going well.
Checkpoint 1 closed less than three hours after the start with all competitors who started passing through fast. The section before checkpoint 1 is a long one of 14kms on tough terrain (but before it heats up) so a great milestone for everyone to have passed.
Checkpoint 2 Update
At 12:46, nearly four hours after the start, 52 competitors had passed through Checkpoint 2. The most recent people to reach Checkpoint 2 were
Deo Encarnacion from New Zealand is looking strong so far, passing Checkpoint 2 in 11th place. It was at checkpoint 4 on this stage in 2015 that Deo withdrew. 2017 is his redemption!!
Impressive performances also from Meaghan Tomczyk coming in 23rd (37th after Stage 4) and a slower start for Jeremy Goddard (18th to CP 2).
The lead remain unchanged although just 15 minutes separates postions 7 to 15. More on where the leaders are in the next update.
Below is the sandy hill they climb before across a plateau and down into Checkpoint 4.
Stage 5: Breaking News 2
Stage 5, the Long March started at 08:00 today. Stage 5 is 72km / 45 miles and will keep on going for more than 24 hours - the last people are expected to complete the Stage around 10:00 tomorrow (that's Friday, 6 October). The leaders are likely to finish tonight before it gets dark at 20:00.
Competitors will run around a stunning salt lake (in tough terrain), then in open desert towards a large dune that they will climb and then run down into Checkpoint 4. They are then running in the Valley of the Moon for the remainder of the course with one last climb up to Checkpoint 7 before the final downhill section to the final Camp fo the Race.
Checkpoint 5 is what we call the "Overnight Checkpoint" where extra time is allowed for competitors to take a proper rest - there are tents for sleeping in as well as hot water for a proper meal to fuel them for the final push to the end.
Details of the distance of each stage and elevation etc. are below.
Before the start of Stage 5, there was more person to withdraw - Paul Collins from the United States.
Send postive vibes to all competitors for a long, tough day (and night) ahead.
Stage 5: Breaking News 1
The Atacama Crossing (Chile) starts on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Breaking news for Stage 5 will be posted on Thurs-Fri, 5 - 6 October 2017.
Stage 6: Breaking News 3
The Atacama Crossing 2017 has come to an end! All competitors (still in the race) have completed the final stage! Congratulations to all those who made it to the start line - and to those who completed the race. And thank you to all the volunteers and doctors!
A few initial photos from the finisline can be seen on the website and also on the 4 Deserts Facebook page.
RESULTS to follow soon: www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/results
4 Deserts Facebook page: www.facebook.com/4deserts
Stage 6: Breaking News 2
At 09:00 (45 minutes time) competitors will start the final Stage of the Atacama Crossing 2017. Just 8km / 5 miles lies between competitors, their final placings, their medal, pizza, beer and a shower!!
The final finish line of the race is in San Pedro Main Square where the festivities will begin. The first competitors are expected to arrive by 09:40 and the last competitors to cross the line by 11:30.
For some the goal is simply to comlete the race. For others it is still a serious competition to maintain their place or try to move up a rank or two. Just 4 minutes separates 2nd and 3rd place and there is just 10 minutes betewen 3rd and 4th place overall.
Currently standings for the Top 3 and 4 are below, but full results can be seen on the website: https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/results
1st – Zandy Mangold – United States – 28 hours 9 minutes
2nd – Danny Switzynck – Belgium – 29 hours 51 minutes
3rd – Ben Fox – United Kingdom – 29 hours 56 minutes
4th – Douglas Costa – Brazil – 30 hours 5 minutes
1st – Angela Zeah – Germany – 30 hours 22 minutes
2nd – Kathia Rached – Lebanon – 33 hours 15 minutes
3rd – Ita Marzotto – Italy – 38 hours 9 minutes
There are also places to gained or lost further back in the field:
Excitement at Camp 6 before the start.
Stage 6: Breaking News 1
The Atacama Crossing (Chile) starts on Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Breaking news for Stage 6 will be posted on Sat, 7 October 2017.