resized 2010 Atacama Crossing

Brits outnumber Yanks for the 2010 Atacama Crossing

We have written about the Atacama Crossing before but wanted to give you an update on the 2010 race which will start on March 7th.

A challenging and tough race across the 15 million year old arid Atacama desert in Chile. This six day, 250km, self-sufficient race will push you harder than ever.

Running or walking across the most lunar-like landscape on Earth, this desert is 50 times drier than California’s Death Valley. You will carry all food, clothing and equipment with you for the entirety of the race.

Photo courtesy of

Here are some interesting facts which you may not have known:

  • The Atacama Crossing (Chile) is part of the 4 Deserts which was named by TIME magazine as #2 on its list of the Top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world
  • The Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010 is the sixth edition of this event.
  • Thirty four (34) countries will be represented in the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010 with competitors coming from six continents.
  • The youngest competitor in the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010 is Sam Sharrock of the United Kingdom who is 18 years old – he will be taking part with his father.
  • The eldest competitor is Laurence J. Brophy of Wales who will be 78 years old on the start line of the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010. Laurie will set a new record of being the oldest person to have completed a 4 Deserts event. He currently holds this title from his completion of the Sahara Race (Egypt) 2005 at the age of 72 — this title was then equaled by Jack Denness of the United Kingdom in the Sahara Race (Egypt) 2008.
  • 77% of the competitors are male and 23% are female in the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010 – this is a 4% increase in the number of females compared to the same event in 2009.
  • A record nine competitors from Chile will take part in the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010. There are 14 competitors from South America in total, also a record.
  • The largest contingent of competitors are from the United Kingdom (39), followed by the United States (34).
  • Five teams will be competing in the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010. Team Help for Heroes includes Rob James from Wales who finished second in the Atacama Crossing 2008. There is also an all female team from Chile — Team Andesgear / Chile.
  • Medical Director, Laurie Kates, M.D, will be leading the medical team. In addition to treating competitors, the medical team will also be conducting medical research.
  • Beginning with the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010, four competitors will be kicking off their goal to complete all 4 Deserts in 2010 — this includes Linda Quirk of the United States who will be the first woman to complete the series in one calendar year if she is successful. Only two competitors have ever completed the 4 Deserts in one year: Paul Liebenberg of South Africa and Dean Karnazes of the United States, both in 2008.
  • During the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010, competitors, volunteers and staff will consume more than 14,000 liters of water over the seven days of the event.
  • Special tents have been handmade and shipped from Egypt to house competitors in the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2010.
  • The Atacama Desert is 15 million years old and 50 times more arid than California’s Death Valley.
  • Some of the oldest mummies found on earth come from the Atacama, dating as far back as 9000 years.
  • The entire race will be held at least 1.6 kilometers / 1 mile above sea level and cover the distance required to make a horizontal crossing of the country of Chile (250 kilometers).
  • The day time temperatures expected are 32 Celsius / 90 Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures may drop to 10 degrees Celsius / 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • The Atacama Desert has the most lunar-like landscape on Earth and is frequently used by NASA to test its Mars rover vehicles.

Have a look at the following video and you will get a snap view of what you might expect on this extreme and ultra marathon. What a challenge. If you want to find out more visit racingtheplanet’s website by clicking on the following link

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  1. RacingThePlanet’s ultra marathon season is beginning again | Xtremesport - 2012 | 8 February

    […] 0 Comments Tweet First off in RacingThePlanet’s annual 4 Deserts series is the Atacama Crossing which starts on the 4th March. 7 days, 250 kms, self-supported ultra-marathon in Chili. The desert, […]

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