Atacama Crossing Blogs

View All Posts From : Richard Malcolm

Stage 5

7th March 2013 02:09 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!


Comments: Total (9) comments

Kristen Carey

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 02:32 AM

You are so close!!! A true inspiration. The compression stocking visual keeps me chuckling. I can only imagine the reunion with your Dad and family as you cross the finish line. I can't say it enough. I am just so pound!!!

Sherran Malcolm

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 03:41 AM

i ve been waiting on this all day. i knew you would make it even if you had to crawl to the finish. uncle joe said to try and take motrem or alieve and it would help. he said takes a couple of months for that to heal. i will get deana to text clint about the shuttle. i know they have to leave on sunday morn at 10:oo. they are all so excited to see you at the finish line. good luck to the end. love you momma

Clint Daniel

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 03:41 AM

I'll hook you up in the morning.

Deana And The Dudes Daniel

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 04:20 AM

Well I am not a person who cries easily, but this did it. You are the best brother EVER!! I am so proud of you in everything from your racing, family man, as well as professional life, and lets not forget your dance moves. I know that My son was so excited to see his name on your shirt and so proud of you! Sulli just thinks you are a cool DUDE! Your Family is waiting to see you at the finish line and my heart is with you as you cross it. Great job Little Brother!

Ima Daniel

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 15:08 PM

Richie, I couldn't begin to tell you how impressed I am with what a selfless, caring individual you are. I can't imagine how proud your parents are of the type of individual they raised as a son. Thank you for doing this for Connor and Lindsay Cotton too. God bless you always.

Carol Forsman

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 16:32 PM

I am so proud of you---way to go!! You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you f or your blog. An honest and r,ealistic account of your journey which helped all of us understand the highs and lows of the race/trek. I know you are done as I write .this -- but I do hope you add to your blog about the last day--and something's about your f,elbow competitors. Lots and lots of love, Gaboo

Lee I'ons

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 17:07 PM

Hi Rich, congratulations I see they have posted the times for the final stage and you are done. Well done on an awesome effort I am sorry I was not there to enjoy it too. Enjoy the trip home and look forward to the details even if it means a visit to somewhere in the world. Love to the family Lee, Tanya, Declan and Danah.

Miles Dutton

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 23:32 PM

Well done Mr Richard. Was wondering. Miles.

Jeff Leonhardt

Posted On: 18 Apr 2013 15:36 PM

Richard: Your Dad shared your story and advised me of this site which is pretty cool. I read your stories and they are are totally inspiring...congratulations! I hope your body is back to normal and your spirit is still high from your experience and accomplishment!
Stage 4

6th March 2013 02:26 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.


Comments: Total (13) comments

Carl Forsman

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 02:56 AM

Brother - You are INCREDIBLE! I ran 5.5 k on the treadmill today and with my Ipod cranking WillIAm, I thought I was pretty badass. Keep killing it.

Carol Forsman

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 03:29 AM

Dear Rich, Keep up the great work. I am sorry you are having the IT trouble- but I am sure you will be able to stick with it and make it through. After a rest, you only have the long march and a 1/2 day.( note I said "only" like it wasn't something that would terrify me!!)We are all thinking about you and sending warm and loving thoughts your way. Lots and Lots of love, Gaboo

Deana Daniel

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 03:35 AM

Brother- You are CRAZY!! and I love you for it! Not much longer you got this!

Sherran Malcolm

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 03:39 AM

hi putter, well you are getting close to the end. i hope you can make it but be smart with the decision you have to make. the guys seem to be enjoying themselves. dad even went for a swim in the pool today. i know you have 2 long days ahead of you, i will pray that you can hang in there we all know how determined you are. love you momma

Yota Baron

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:40 AM

Hi Richard, Well done you are amazing and what you are doing is amazing. As I sit here in my comfortable office near drinking water I think of you out in the dry heat. You have balls man :)! Keep going, you are in my prayers. You are almost there. Yota

Debbie Malcolm

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 05:01 AM

Rich, You have conquered so much! With just 2 days left! Keep your chin up and determination! You are doing a fantastic job! A great fighter just like all those kids you are running for with Epilepsy! Go get it! I can't wait to read your blog tomorrow :0) We are proud from Cali! Love, Deb ,Micah & Kalani Ps Roger is waiting to see you at the finish line!

Lee I'ons

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 05:30 AM

Hi Rich, long march and then are you basically done and based on how tough the days seem to have been so far I guess you just got to finish now. I look forward to the details once we catch up somewhere. Cheers Lee.

Sara Malcolm

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 09:09 AM

Hello love. Ok sounds like the Atacama is pushing you to your limits. No need to step it up just slow and steady baby!!! I am loving the bear grills quotes. Thank god we watched so much of him, maybe you could use some of his tips? Ok no saving your pee to drink!! That is just nasty! Just remember how far you have come, how much training you have done and what you have accomplished. You got this babe!! Isabella, William and I are so proud of you! Not much longer and we all are getting burgers, fries and chocolate milk shakes! Wishing I could bring you one! Thinking of you and never doubting your strength, courage, and determination. I love you!

Kristen Carey

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 09:13 AM

I was so psyched to get on this evening and see your post. I am a bit embarrassed to say this is my forth check. I love your posts. You don't sugar coat and give great visuals of the terraines. Sara finally saw your video. I teared up watching her watch you. Something about your 3D vision. She so misses you but loves seeing you so happy and in your element. She is your biggest cheerleader. A perfect partnership. You are so close. Knuckle it down. You my friend are a true inspiration!!!

Cindy Craig

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 13:29 PM

Richie, Your posts are enlightning to say the least. You got this! Take care of yourself, just concentrate on one step at a time. The end is right around the corner!! You can do it!!!

Chris Furlong

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 14:47 PM

I once heard a guy from Boston cheer on a camel at a zoo and it sounded just like name of this race. "ATA CAMA!!! GOOD CAMA!!" I know camels aren't indigenous to Chile, but all this dehydration talk made me wish you were part camel. STAY STRONG AND STICK TO YOUR WINNING PLAN!! The finish line is getting closer and so is that Double Whopper!

La-n-rick Vollmer

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 01:52 AM

We all can only imagine how hard this is. But we all KNOW how tough you are. Anybody who could put up with Deana growing up would have to be. GOOOOOOO Ritchie!!!

Alison Hunt

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 02:50 AM

Hey, Rich--Late in the game but the Connecticut/Colorado crew is now logged in...and wow, don't know how you have the energy to post after such days but thanks so much for sharing an incredible experience in an amazing landscape that few ever venture into. Sounds like all that physical and mental preparation are paying off & hope that each day of work at altitude at least you're adjusting more and more. Our thoughts are with you these last days in that untamed world...
Stage 3

5th March 2013 02:47 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!!!!

Comments: Total (14) comments

Kristen Carey

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 03:05 AM

I am at the gym right now right behind your favorite indoor machine. It just isn't the same looking at it all clean and sparkly. So unlike the frothy wet mess it looks like when you are here training. Running out of water (almost) is scary. I can only imagine the amount of times you said to yourself "I really am crazy!" It you weren't part crazy nothing would ever get done and no adventure would be had. How many people do you know can say they have done what you have!! I check your blog twice a day and am glued to yor trek. That burger will be waiting for you at the end... But the dream will last a life time!!!

Mallory Johnston

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 03:13 AM

Riche, I know we haven't officially met yet but you are such an inspiration! I am so proud to know you and your family and am absolutely blown away by your perseverance. Soon you can have all the ketchup you want!

Deana Daniel

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 03:15 AM

I will fed ex you a turkey on a roll, coke, salt and vinegar chips and a snickers, from InBetween. Just let me know how many is should send!

William Jennings

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 03:23 AM

Take advantage of the visuals. You are in one of the most remarkable places on earth and briefly becoming a part of it. Enjoy when it doesn't hurt too much!

Carol Forsman

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 03:23 AM

Rich - you are an inspiration - and a frustration for the super-mom in me - do not starve!!! We need wonderful people like you to admire and love!! I worry about you every day, so you don't have to -- Just keep one foot in front of the other and remember, we all are here for you.Lots and lots of love, Gaboo

Carl Forsman

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 03:51 AM

Richie - Keep on rocking. While I am rocking a 5K on the treadmill tomorrow I will pretend I am you. So proud!

Lee Ions

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 05:15 AM

Hi Rich, you used to have fat reserves, now you just have a fat snack. Looks like they've made it tough straight from the start even the top guys are having longs days. Keep going half way there now and if you need I go have a double cheese burger and a cold beer on your behalf. Cheers Lee

Sherran Malcolm

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 05:24 AM

hi son, sounds like a tough day. you are almost halfway there. connor asked me if you are going to get a trophy. i told him maybe if you came in first place and he said uncle rich will get a trophy anyway everyone gets a trophy. i told him he would have to take it up with you. sulli asked deana if you were going to win a million dollars, she said no , no money for prises, he said well i wouldnt race then. hope your day is better tomorrow. the guys are there and i think they are a bit disappointed in their hotel. they are having fun anyway. take care and dont stumble!love you momma

Debbie Malcolm

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 06:32 AM

Hey Rich, Looks like my comment didnt all make it yesterday. Anyways, I watched some video of you

Sara Malcolm

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 07:26 AM

Love. Ok you are a lucky man you were able to let me know you are ok. After reading this post I was happy to know you are alive and well. It sounds like a rough one!!! Also I was reading your post in baker and spice and have decided a public place does not work for these posts. I had to fight to keep the tears back. I am glad you are ok. I promise when you get home whoppers all around!!! Words can not express how proud I am of you! Your dedication and determination are inspiring! Some people think about setting goals, some people make goals and others surpass their goals. You my love surpass goals and inspire people. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Please say safe!! Drink and eat! I wish I could bring you that whopper!! We miss and love you! Enjoy the good parts and soak it all in when you can! L

Chris Furlong

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 14:50 PM

Gingerman Gingerman, does whatever a Ginger can!!! The NYC Marathon sounds like child’s play compared to the Atacama! Keep up your amazing spirit and drive. I will be thinking about you while I enjoy my Double Whopper w/ cheese, extra mayo, extra ketchup and a sprinkling of dessert sand. “Special orders don’t upset us.” Proud of you, Rich!!!

Clint Daniel

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 22:11 PM

Great job Rich. We are here cheering you on. Good luck on the long march. We will see you at the finish line!

La-n-rick Vollmer

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 22:55 PM

Keep going!!! Somebody has to reach the top of that hill, why not YOU?! Patton said something along those lines. HA! Motivated much? GOOOOO Ritchie!!!!

Lacey Stagner

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 00:57 AM

Hi Richie I just wanted to let you know that I finally got the time to read your blogs today, and I also wanted to thank you for putting my name on your shirt. I think that you are doing an awesome job and I now that you will do great!!!! P.S I will be praying for you and keep up the good work!
Stage 2

4th March 2013 04:13 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.



Comments: Total (19) comments

Debbie Malcolm

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 05:09 AM

Hi Rich, You are so inspirational as I keep saying! I just read your blog from yesterday and it reminded me so much of when I did my lil race last year and got heat exhaustion! Ugh! Racing heart and heat is tough! It sounds like Conor

Lee I'ons

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 05:26 AM

Hi Rich, great run. One look at the first few dudes times and you can see how tough it was. I knew you would be back on track today and by the tone of you mail have recovered from day 1 even though it seemed way harder. Stick with the plan and have great a great day 3. Cheers Lee (Really wish I was running!)

Tanya Ions

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 06:11 AM

Hi Rich glad to hear that you are keeping strong. Lee has been giving me updates. I saw the videos looks super cool, lots of sand. We wish we could be there to do it with you. Will plan to do the Sahara together. You are such a inspiration running for such a worthy cause. So proud of you. We miss you guys so much. I will leave you with my running mantra, I say this over and over to myself when things get tough " if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you" lots of love tanya

Michael Baron

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 08:21 AM

Hey Rich, we all holding thumbs here for you buddy. Saw you running down the sand dunes, awesome, keep up the good work.

Beth Galloway

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 08:22 AM

GO RITCHIE GO! We're watching and keeping up with your progress each day at school. We are so proud of you. I got to see both of your sweet nephews today (and Deana too, but she doesn't count!) and I think what you're doing is awesome. I could never do it! Thank you for having such a passion for curing this mean disorder!

William Malcolm

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 10:19 AM

Dad I miss you and wish you could come back. Keep going! I love you. Love William

Sara Malcolm

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 10:33 AM

Hey love. This stage sounded amazing, hard, but amazing! Glad you stuck to the plan, apparently it is working for you!! Can't believe one of the doctors is from Gainesville Georgia. That is just crazy! So William read your blog and asked me what a yogi bear was(thanks for that-lol!) then got upset I have not given him the kiss yet. I hope you know the amazing message you are sending to your children. One day they will look at what you have accomplished and think if my dad did the Gobi and the attacama I can do anything too! Just remember keep putting one foot I front of the other! I again am so proud of you! Not many people do what they say they are going to do. Your determination and strength will get you to the end. I love you and miss you! As do the kids! Keep going my love and soon the finish line will be in sight!

Kristen Carey

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 13:26 PM

We are so incredibly proud of you!!!! Keep on track! Loving your blog-- now that I found it. I am totally addicted! Dig deep!

Kristen Carey

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 13:36 PM

Just found video of you today!!! Breath taking views and hikes. You look STRONG!!!!! One day closer.... You totally ROCK!

Chris Furlong

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 13:58 PM

Looking Strong Ginger Georgian!!!! Thought I heard your competitors chanting “Gin-ger, Gin-ger Gin-ger!” as you passed them by. Loving that they are posting footage from the race….the landscape is breathtaking. Reminds me of some of my favorite scenes from "Planet of the Apes"… Favorite part of the footage was when the guide began giving you directions – “You’re almost at the top of the ridge, just make a left by the beige boulder, hang a right by the gecko lizard and don’t step on the banana.” Brilliant! Stick to your plan, it’s unbeatable!!!!

Sherran Malcolm

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 14:00 PM

hi son, the guys have made it to santiago rogers luggage is lost for now. you are inspiring so many people. this week will be over before you know it. keep up your strength and have fun. love you momma

Carol Forsman

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 16:08 PM

Rich-- Thank you so much for the personal messages! It is amazing to me that in the middle of all of this, you can think of others. We are thinking of you all day today. So overwhelmed by your accomplishmensts.. And loved the videos of you! Everyone is so proud to know you and follow your adventure.

Carol Forsman

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 16:08 PM

Rich-- Thank you so much for the personal messages! It is amazing to me that in the middle of all of this, you can think of others. We are thinking of you all day today. So overwhelmed by your accomplishmensts.. And loved the videos of you! Everyone is so proud to know you and follow your adventure.

Carol Forsman

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 16:10 PM

Sorry about the double post - you know me and computers!!

Doris Konkel

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 16:25 PM

Richard, my law firm is a business associate and friend of your father. He has spoken so much of you, your family and your races, that we decided we had to follow you on this one. Every mile you run is a triumph. Your description of the country, the people you run with and the daily trials and tribulations you encounter are wonderful. Please keep our co-worker, Cindy Tennant (someone your father knows and respects) with you as she undergoes treatment for lung cancer. We will look forward to your post each day. Stay strong and safe for all of us.

Deana Daniel

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 23:53 PM

So Connor and Sulli have had all of their teachers watch your video, it is all they can talk about! We are so proud of you!! Rock on DUDE and you are our HERO!!!!

Cindy Craig

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 23:56 PM

Hi Richie...so honored to know you. How you do something like this is amazing!!! Keep up the good work!! Find out that Doctor's name from Cleveland, Ga. Would love to know who it is. Remember....You can do it!!!!! We are keeping watch on your Mom. (that's a full time job!!!!)

Deana Daniel

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 00:00 AM

We are soo proud of you! the boys have gotten all of their teachers to watch your videos. They said to tell you, you THE DUDE!!! and you are their hero!! Rock on DUDE!!!

La-n-rick Vollmer

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 01:16 AM

You know what "they" say, it's hard to beat the guy that never gives up! Be that guy! GOOOOOO RITCHIE!!!!!
Stage 1

3rd March 2013 04:39 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)

Comments: Total (11) comments

Sara Malcolm

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 07:48 AM

Babe! Yet again for the millionth time in our road of a marriage you make me stop and breathe and say...wow I married a pretty incredible person. All I have to say is WOW! Your determination and perseverance are what got you to this race and are what will get you to that finish line. Sorry you got off track but glad you were able to pull it together and push through. I never doubted that you would be able to do that for a minute! I know you will kick some amazing bu** . Remember you are a Malcolm "we ain't scared!" I love you and could not be more proud of you! Bella and William miss you but we are so happy you are following your dream. Bella asked for you today but I showed her your picture which she thought was VERY cool and she proceeded to ask if she could go and wear speed mcqueen glasses with you. AHHH the mind of a 3year old. Love you and keep doing what you are doing. Rock it baby! LOVE you!

Lee I'ons

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 09:23 AM

Hi Rich, well done with 73rd. The result doesn't show it but good you got off track day 1 when you body is still strong and you can recover. A good nights rest some awesome freeze dried food and you'll be 100% again. Stick with the plan and make up the spots on the last days, just chill the first few. It was your plan that got me through the Gobi. Don't stress about finishing, like Tanya and I said about the Gobi no matter what Rich will finish. I expect tomorrow goes way easier. Cheers Lee

Mom And Dad Malcolm

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 13:07 PM

hi son, glad to see you made it and recooperated . you are quite the hero to so many including us. have fun with your race and dont be so serious. we have always told you , you can do anything if you try hard enough and you are proving that to be true. .keep up the good work . good luck today. love you mom and dad

Chris Furlong

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 14:22 PM

The Chilean Press just made "Speed McQueen" sunglasses the official eye wear of Chili!!! Amazing and inspirational story on your completion of Stage 1, may you get the rest you need for Stage 2 and its unique challenges. So incredibly proud of you, Rich!!! The last time most of us ever experienced 180 bpm was when the radio was blasting some Techno music. Go Rich Go!

Deana Daniel

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 20:36 PM

DO NOT ever do that crazy take off thing again! You take it each step at a time just like we do, and keep going. If you rush it, you will mess up. We are soo proud of you and do not care what place you come in. You will be glad to know that the teachers and kids that bought the U4E shirts all wore them to school today in support of you and what you are doing. You are the talk of the school!! I love you and you are the BOMB butt head!! Dad Roger and Clint are on their way

Cindy Craig

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 21:04 PM

You got this Richie......we are all rootin for you. So proud to know someone that has the gumption and where with all that can do something like this!! Keep up the great work!!

Carol Forsman

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 00:24 AM

You are the best. What a story of the first day. Just watched the video of you on day 2 going down the dunes. You look great! Uncle Bill and I are keeping track. Love you sooo much - Gaboo

Catherine Whicker

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 00:48 AM

Make sure you take care of yourself! Don't try to be Superman. Good luck in the rest of the race. Congrats on your current stats. Take care.

Carl Forsman

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 00:56 AM

Richie- What a story! Mallory and I are following along so proud and excited. Know you'll keep on rocking. Have fun and don't forget to look out for Spiderman.

La-n-rick Vollmer

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 01:08 AM

You may not be there yet, but you're closer than you were yesterday! One day at a time! Everybody is cheering YOU on, not your time or place in the standings. Awe is the best adjective we can think of. GOOOOO Ritchie!!

Marilyn Bledsoe

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 11:44 AM

I so admire what you are doing to raise awareness about epilepsy. Your mom is a dear friend of mine and she is so proud of your effort. We have made a donation and hope for a cure!

2nd March 2013 02:50 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!

Comments: Total (7) comments

Sara Malcolm

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 10:43 AM

So in response to the guy named sauna. I am sure when you heard that story you thought dang-that's a good idea. Wish I had thought of it! I can not wait to hear how the first day went. Slow and steady baby! I am sure you will love it all! Thinking of you! The kids and I miss you but are so proud of you following your dreams and doing what you love. Stay safe! All our love!!!

Chris Furlong

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 19:03 PM

Cheering you on from rough and rugged NEW JERSEY!! Careful on the downhill. Stay Strong Rich!!!

Amanda Shirley

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 22:00 PM

This is Abby's mom. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!

Deana Daniel

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 23:14 PM

Hey!! Connor is averaging about 40 seizures a day the last month something funky is going on, so if he can hang in everyday and do this SO CAN YOU!!!!!! We LOVE you soo much!!

Yota Baron

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 02:59 AM

Hi Richard, Just wanted to let you know we are thinking of you out there again. 1st leg done and you sound strong. Keep it up buddy! From the Baron's We will have a big fat braai when you get back.

La-n-rick Vollmer

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 03:18 AM

Going to keep a watch on your progress Rich. Deana and fam are super proud of you - what an inspiration you are to Connor and Sulli. We think of Deana and Clint as amazing parents. You Daniel and Malcolm people are made of tough stuff! GOOOO Richie!

Tisha Taylor

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 05:37 AM

You are amazing!!!!! Keep pushing forward and just know that my sweet Parker Taylor wants me to read her about your journey Daily and she sleeps in her shirt! Praying for you and can't wait to meet you!!!!
All Packed

1st March 2013 11:58 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!

Comments: Total (3) comments

Deana Daniel

Posted On: 02 Mar 2013 16:09 PM

You forgot to mention that you will not take a shower for the next seven days! Which is nothing out of the norm for you either!

Sara Malcolm

Posted On: 02 Mar 2013 22:59 PM

Hey love. I am so excited for you! I can not wait to read your blog and see the email updates. I am sure you are so excited you can barely stand it. I am so proud of you and happy for you. I know you will love every minute-even the hard parts. That is just who you are! Much love to you. Remember the kids and I may not be there in person but we are with you always cheering you from afar!! Kick it baby!

Chris Furlong

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 18:55 PM

So proud of you, Rich!! THIS RACE IS THE REAL "MARCH MADNESS". Was checking out some of the wildlife you make come in contact with....$10 if you can pet a Puma. (Sorry Sara) Slow and Steady...YOU WILL FINISH!!