It's almost time for anther incredible adventure. On March 30th, along with about 80 other competitors from 18 countries, I will be competing in the Atacama Crossing...a 150 mile, 5 day, self-supported race, through the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Atacama Desert is the highest and driest desert in the world....15 million years old, and is 50 times more arid than California's Death Valley. In some areas, no human has ever recorded a single drop of rain, and the dry river beds haven't seen water in 120,000 years...amazing! Altitude will be a huge factor, since the entire race will be held at least one mile above sea level... with the first stage starting at over 11,000 feet. The entire race will cover the distance required to make a horizontal crossing of the country of Chile....with the first 4 days all being more than 25 miles each, and the last day close to 50 brutal miles!!! The temps will reach 100 degrees during the day, but much more comfortable during the nights. And once again, I'll have to carry everything, except for water, that I'll need for the entire week...all my food, drink mixes, all clothing for both hot and cold temps, sleeping bag and pad, emergency equipment, etc. This time I'll be running as a team, with 2 Aussie buddies. I'm excited for the company, and know the comradery will help us along, as we will surely struggle through the challenge...but probably also have our share of "misery laughs" along the way!!!
I am running this race in support of St. Jude's Children's Hospital Charity. It's an amazing cause and I'm sure I will reflect on the struggles of these childrens' fight for their lives... as I fight to make the finish line. It's their daily struggle, that really puts everything into perspective. I'm hoping that when I want to stop, and bitch and complain, I can gain strength from knowing what these amazingly strong and innocent little competitors go through every day of their lives. I've attached the fund raising page.... please help the cause. If you know any family, friends, or co-workers that might also like to make a donation as well, please fell free to pass this along.
The only foreseeable problem....well, far from the only one, but the one most on my mind is the fact that I have a stress fracture now, and haven't actually run in about a month....so that might be a bit of a problem. My doctor is not so thrilled with my decision to go for it, but I'm hoping that with all the non-impact cardio training in the last month, my shin bone (tibia) will hold up.
And lastly, you can learn more about the race, follow our daily progress, and even send me an email during the race, through the web site. It's hard to believe with modern technology, that even though I'll be in the middle of a desert, I can still receive email...never too far away!!!! The race site hasn't been updated yet, but at some point you should be able to scroll across our names to see our bios, see our teams, and the charities we support.
I'm looking forward to another incredible experience...to visit another amazing, beautiful, and remote corner of the world...to meet new friends, and hang out with old ones!!!
Thanks for your support!!!