Sunday, 4 March 2012

Atacama Crossing 2012, CHILE : Stage 1 - 33.6 km

I started Stage 1 of the Race in good spirits despite not being able to sleep very well yesterday due to altitude problem. We were camped at 3,300 meters above sea level and I guess my body was still adjusting to this new surroundings. My rucksack was weighing about 7 kg and that was weighing me down a little.

After not running for the past 5 days and being transported on so many different flights, stopping in total at 6 different airports in 4 countries, the runner in me was dying to sprint out from my body! Despite that, I was pretty nervous at the beginning of the race, super motivated and highly excited.  

The day started beautifully, just as I had hoped for. Hot, 35 Celcius, with clear, blue sky. I had a fast start and was aware that there were 2 strong Spanish runners (Vicente and David) racing after me. I was enjoying my run and admiring the amazing mountain ranges surrounding the area, with snow capped peaks in the distance and me, running in a desert! I still cannot imagine I was finally at Atacama, after anticipating about this run for so many months. I felt truly blessed to have the opportunity to be participating in this Race.

The start of Stage 1 : That's me quite at the front !

The amazing mountain ranges along the route

View of the runners against the amazing landscape

I was leading the course until Km 25 when Vicente caught up with me. He overtook me at a long and steep ascent and I decided not to push myself too hard on the first day of the Race.

That was me with my heavy rucksack  on the left
I was very happy with my own performance. I had never imagined myself to finish in the second position among so many good runners from all over the world! I finished 7 minutes behind Vicente in the first position and was 8 minutes ahead of David in the third position.

I rested well after the race and hope to continue with my good performance in Stage 2 tomorrow. Thank you for all your encouragement and prayers. Hannisze has told me that many of you have posted the Racing the Planet links to your Facebook and am following my performance. I really appreciate them all! 

**All the amazing photographs here were taken by the official photographer, Scott Manthey**

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