Atacama Crossing Blogs 2023

Szu Liang Fei



Atacama Crossing (2023) blog posts from Szu Liang Fei

20 September 2023 05:49 am (GMT+08:00) Taipei

I'm so excited, yet quite nervous. On one hand, I keep organizing my luggage, fearing I might forget something. On the other hand, I keep reminding myself to rest, knowing I need a good night's sleep.

Recalling the training of the past half-year, although it was exhausting, my heart is now filled with gratitude.

Atacama, here I come!






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02 September 2023 06:28 pm (GMT+08:00) Taipei

Running, in a way, is a form of acceptance. It's the recognition that I'm just a tiny individual, slowly moving through vast space.

In a race, the distance is predetermined. There are no shortcuts, and giving up won't bring it to an end any sooner. So, individuals must accept that they are essentially bodies, material bodies. They have to acknowledge that they can only progress little by little, accumulating tiny distances through repeated exhaustion and pain until they reach the finish line.

But in this exhaustion and pain, what can one truly gain? Some might say a sense of achievement; others might say the ability to surpass their limits. However, from my point of view, running isn't about gaining anything or striving for something; running itself is the purpose.

Running is a form of reverence and humility: respect for nature, respect for the track, and respect for one's own body. We measure this earth with our own bodies, push ourselves through pain to unimaginable distances, only to discover that there are even farther places to go.

That’s the meaning of running for me.

The first attempt at an ultramarathon - the Taipei-Yilan Pathway Ultramarathon.









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26 August 2023 06:42 pm (GMT+08:00) Taipei

My partner Bo-Cheng and I joined the Taiwanese team initiated by Kevin Lin to participate in Atacama Crossing 2023.

On the evening when I was hesitating whether to participate, I had just finished fieldwork and was on the train back to Taipei. Bo-Cheng called me and asked, "Do you want to join?"

"How is that even possible! It's way too ridiculous!" I originally intended to reply to my old friend like this, but the words were held back before they were spoken.

I realized that even though it seemed impossible, there was a faint desire deep inside me to participate.

I am currently studying in graduate school, writing a thesis, without a stable income, and still searching for a job... Countless practical circumstances seem to be advising me to give up this idea.

But I agreed, feeling uneasy.

Then, suddenly, I felt like I had made an important decision in my life—important enough to potentially change my life. I know that this competition will bring me not just an "experience," but a "transformation."

What kind of transformation will it be?

Perhaps I'll have to ask the me after October.

I hope that by then, I can say to the me who made a significant decision on that train: "Hey, you did well."

My partner,  Bo-Cheng, and I. Together we have been through a lot of challenges.












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25 August 2023 08:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Taipei

When everyone around me heard that I was going to participate in this competition, they either expressed concern for me or advised me to think twice. It's not surprising, as I don't come across as someone who would engage in extreme sports.

I enjoy traveling, hiking, walking, and reading; however, perhaps I don't particularly enjoy running? So why do I want to join this competition? It's because I want to set foot in a desert that I would probably never have the chance to visit otherwise. I want to test how far I can go.

And then, I want to see the stars.

Yes, the starry sky. It prompted me to fly across half the globe to Chile, almost the antipode of Taiwan.

Maybe this is somewhat romantic and audacious, but I am eagerly looking forward to everything that will happen in that vast desert.

Best wishes.

Sunrise at Chai Lo Lake - an alpine lake in Yilan, Taiwan.









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Roberto Rivola

Posted On: 30 Aug 2023 02:07 pm

You will see: the night sky is amazing! It's the reason why I am coming back after 11 years!