I love challenges and I have a passion for running Ultra Marathons ...
Yes, I say and I repeat.. I love to challenge myself, I love seeing how far I can go with my dreams, my goals, my objectives to see them finished and then enjoy my own achievements.
Yes, that it is what I dreamed, planned and worked hard for. I did it and it was a successful 7days 250km (155miles) Atacama Crossing running in the driest Desert in the world, Wouu!!
The Atacama Desert is a plateau in South America, covering a 1,000-kilometer (600 mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. It is, According to NASA, National Geographic and other sources, the driest desert in the world. The Atacama Occupies 105,000 square kilometers (41,000 sq mi) composed mostly of salt lakes (salt flats), sand, and folic Lava flows towards the Andes.
Competitors will tackle sand-dunes, river crossings, gravel, loose rocks, hard packed earth and even waist high grass during the event. This is in Addition to the infamous salt flats that even the most dexterous of runners find nearly impossible to cross at full-speed. (Racing the Planet)
The course of the Atacama Crossing Takes competitors across a wide variety of terrains and includes approximately 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) of ascents and descents over the 7-day race. (Racing the Planet)
Atacama Crossing, Chile it was a lovely experience, unforgettable, rugged, difficult, funny, but mostly filled with much happiness. The love that I have for running ultra marathons is my passion and it is my personal commitment to decide at the beginning to compete, race, complete and finish the challenge.
Yes, the unforgettable challenge in crossing The Salt Atacama Desert, Chile 250 km (155miles) in 7 days. The beginning was on my arrival in Santiago de Chile, where I could not locate my running/sports gear that I needed for the race. After several hours I found out that it was "lost, somewhere".
Yes my reaction was frustration; I was going to start a race in only 8 hours with no gear. In 8 hours I went to reorganize my plans and started looking to get new running gear in town where the main center for all the competitors was in (San Pedro de Atacama, Chile). All this process took me at least 8 hours to have everything ready. I was blessed that some of my running friends helped me with some of their equipment that I needed and the Directors of the race provided me with some items to complete my backpack so that I could compete in the race. Yes, the real time to have ready my gear in Illinois took me 8 weeks .. Wouuu !!!
One of the things that I can admire about myself is the ability to solve problems. Yes, it is ability to plan, organize and negotiate new strategies.
It is true… over time I’ve learned to develop more and more this ability that has helped me to make my life easier, simple and fun which provides benefits, peace in my personal life and also as an athlete.
I believe that the most important thing in life is to have the ability to analyze, propose solutions, to be a risk taker, work hard and to be persistent until we get our own achievements done. Yes, those elements are my formula in last few years of my life which works for me and I see the results as in the success that I have had in my projects, goals, dreams, challenges and in my personal life.
The crossing began on Sunday March 3th with 21.9 miles. Yes it was a fun day. I enjoyed the scenery, analyzing the conditions of the territory and adapting to the highest extent and the back pack weight in day number 1.
In day number two, yes, I felt the physical work in my legs and back. I felt different and I got a lot of energy and enthusiasm beginning this chapter of my life. This day was a route crossing of lakes, cold water, very cold water as my feet were freezing but, there was no alternative so just run, run and run in the rivers to keep moving to complete the stage, after the beautiful elevations with real stones in the ground, more rocks, more rocks I burned my feet with the difficult conditions of the ground. The beautiful sun injected in me more energy, the scenery was great, and yes the place was a wonderful and amazing place that I will talk about this experience to my futures generations.
The third day, we were starting with a part of the Salares zone wouuuuu !!! Yes, we began running with sand dunes where my feet do not have any idea how to run, but I learned to walk.. haha and then run again… After this adventure I just was just continuing to run, walk, run, walk to cross the first part of the salt desert, I had a sensation to run by those areas like when you bite a salt cookie .. I remember I felt like that hahaha… or I believe it was my sensation.
The fourth day it was very interactive up and down mountains yes… rocky mountain, flat stages increasingly into the desert where conditions nobody had seen before, very difficult to be able to run and walk, the weather was up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, dry yes very dry as I began with some hallucinations and accompanied with fatigue ooooo…. Brother…!!
The Sixth day was the most interesting day of this adventure. There was two days to complete this stage, Yes I had 24 hours to the finish line, now can you image the degree of difficulty, wouuuuu .. Yes, those conditions were the most difficult journey that I've experienced in recent years as an athlete of ultra marathons. I only can say that I developed an extraordinary strength, intelligence, compassion, persistence, courage, funny times, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep, fear, and to not take a shower for almost 6 days, but the most humbling thing was humility and simplicity to connect the spiritual aspect with God, just in my internal meditation with him. Only my faith, my hope, my love, my family, my parents, my sisters, myself and God were the pushers and motivation to get out of the most extreme levels of fatigue that any human being can experience …
Yes, I saw and I felt the most extreme conditions that any human being can face like hunger, thirst, fatigue and oooooo.... brother my menstrual period on the top everything, it was completed Yess.. oooo…boy too much nooo.. hahha!! to push to the highest levels of competition in surviving. "Yes, the most wonderful achievement that I have had in my life. !!! "
The 5th and 6th day the total miles reached were 143 miles and in 6 days. Day 7 was the last stage and I closed with 9.9 miles.
On last day before I went to complete the last stage, I wanted cry so much.. I felt a lot of happiness for myself, I wanted to see my parents and my sisters and I just closed my eyes and I could see a big smile on their faces. So by this time I felt another goal and dream had come true…
Life is very short and fast I enjoy my achievements every second and I love to share my experiences with others just to express that everything that we dream of in life, everything comes true, everything is possible in life, if we want to get it. Let your fears push your objectives, goals, dreams, achievements and everything that you pursue.
If you do not take risks you will never know how far you can go, be focused in a vision, work on it until you get what you want then enjoy it and share your achievements with others as the best jewelry of your life.
Edna, Yes..Mexican by birth, proud to be from Monterrey, Nuevo León and to be loyal to the United States of America.