Monday, February 14, 2011
Atacama Extreme: Ray Conquers The Desert!
The Atacama Extreme long distance endurance run that we've been following over the past few weeks came to an end over the weekend when Ray Zahab completed the expedition that saw him running the length of the Atacama Desert north to south. Ray crossed the finish line on Saturday, covering 87km (54 miles) in one last, long push. His total time in the desert was 20 days, 2 hours, 59 minutes, and his final distance total came in at an eye popping 1,145km (712 miles).
Crossing the Atacama on foot is just another fantastic accomplishment for Zahab, who already has an adventure resume that includes running across the Sahara Desert and traveling on foot to the South Pole, amongst others. Traditionally he has been joined by his partner Kevin Vallely on those expeditions, but due to a family illness, Kevin was forced to drop out of this run, leaving Ray to face the Atacama alone. Face it he did, overcoming a number of obstacles and challenges along the way to cross a desert that is considered to be the driest on the planet.
Updates to Ray's Facebook page indicate that he has already left Chile for home, where he'll take a much deserved rest following the expedition. Expect a video of the final day to be released later today, which will no doubt offer more insights into what it was like out on the trail. I'll add it to this post when it become available.
Congratulations to Ray for a job well done. You continue to inspire us all!