Atacama Crossing Blogs 2019

View All Posts 2019 From : Andy Haven

Andy Haven
I’m Done

05 October 2019 06:01 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

What a journey.... I’m bloody done!! ??? so pleased to have finished such an amazing challenge. 

Its amazing what the body can do with dedication, love and huge amounts of support. I have never been immersed in such a harsh environment, with such a fantastic and supportive group of people...life changing for sure.   I have been so emotional for the last couple of days but I’m just embracing it and rolling with it. 

Getting back to the hotel and having a wash... wow the simple things really feel special, but the most special moment of my week, being able to FaceTime Suzy, George and Monty.... without the support of my amazing and awesome family I would not be here, thank you so much for being you. 

I have been stripped down physically and mentally, but built myself up again with the support of the people around me and all those who have been sending messages. Thanks Guys ???

Comments: Total (5) comments

Judy Marsden

Posted On: 24 Oct 2019 12:52 pm

Congratulations Andy! Fantastic effort and amount raised for two great charities.

Pete Selwyn

Posted On: 06 Oct 2019 08:44 pm

Fantastic Andy!! Such an epic achievement, some journey! Look forward to hearing all the stories. Congrats again 👍💪

Tom Hayhurst

Posted On: 06 Oct 2019 12:49 pm

Absolute legend. What a phenomenal effort. Congratulations Andy!!

Mark Ryan

Posted On: 06 Oct 2019 09:20 am

Well done Andy !

Suzy Haven

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 09:43 pm

😍
Andy Haven
Overwhelmed

05 October 2019 07:44 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

So the long march is all done…that was hard and I’m suffering now. I don’t have much food for today and am not feeling great, headaches and just feeling weak. I got in about 2130.  I was cold and had my routine planned, so I went to bed clean and had been fed.  I was basically on my own all day yesterday….solitude…..just a lot of time in my own head.

 I only have 12k to do tomorrow and I’m done.

In camp today, its still super windy and there is just sand everywhere…. Im quite empty, not a great time to write the blog, but has to get done. 

 

Standing and clapping in the last finishers and seeing the people finished around camp, I’m just welling up.

Comments: Total (5) comments

Claire Haven-Tang

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 08:11 pm

Fantastic achievement!!! Well done and I hope you get a good rest now xx

Angus Carracher

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 06:33 pm

Epic. Well done mate!

Anna Kernon

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 04:18 pm

Andy! We are so proud of you! I call Suzy every night and we discuss your achievements and how she has been dissecting every photos and video for a glimpse of you! I can’t even begin to describe how brave and strong you are to complete this on your own. (Not that I think you could find many other equally mad people to do this!) Love to you especially as you would read this as you have finished so Congrats Mate! Let’s celebrate next week (once we watch Suzy & Toby complete their half marathon 😂) Love Anna xxx

Teleri Hollis

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 03:37 pm

Amazing Andy! Good luck for the last stretch. Been wonderful following your incredible journey. What a sensational achievement. Thanks for sharing - see you soon! Tel

Donna Blockley

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 08:56 am

You are totally amazing Andy and a true inspiration. What a fantastic achievement, I have been following your journey, it’s the last leg now mate, you’ve got this! Lots of love from The Blockley’s xxxx
Andy Haven
The Salt Flats…

03 October 2019 06:48 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

What an awesome start to the day, major mix of terrain, loads of soft sand climbing at angles, wow..tough but stunning.  After about 6k, we came to a massive canyon, skied down a massive sand dune and landed up in the canyon….then had to go down the river, under a waterfall…stunning.

 

Then came the saltflats…. I don’t known how to describe…like running on coral, that has soft sand below and keeps collapsing….one of the lady’s in camp  described it as trying to walk in stilettos on wet cobbles, whilst drinking a glass of wine….clearly not one I can relate to.  We had to cover about 7k in total, but about 5 of the really nasty stuff.

 

My trainers and gators are shredded, fortunately I stayed on my feet, unlike some others who have some nasty cuts.  My feet are getting a bit gnarly, big blisters, means lots of needles and tape…. Only one big one to go and then  I can crawl if need to on Sat.

 

Sat in camp waiting for the last of the competitors to arrive, a super tough day so its getting late.  The wind is howling and the sand is everywhere…. But stunning views.

 

Big day tmw, 80K, big dunes, more saltflats and I excpect to be out there 16-17 hrs…. bring it on…

 

Thanks for all the support guys, the messages are a major lift when sat in camp….Lets keep truckin and see this thing out…

I have some energy

Comments: Total (13) comments

Amy Richardson

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 06:46 am

Well done Andy ! Absolutely incredible! Keep going and good luck for the next bit ! X Amy and Will

Amy Richardson

Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 06:46 am

Well done Andy ! Absolutely incredible! Keep going and good luck for the next bit ! X Amy and Will

Claire Haven-Tang

Posted On: 04 Oct 2019 08:28 pm

Wow!! Stilettos on cobbles?! Very tricky...although to be fair, you do need a glass of wine in BOTH hands to provide balance!🤣 Looks brutal!! Xx

Merary Soto

Posted On: 04 Oct 2019 09:15 am

Much respect Andy! Cheers from your fans on the strand!

Ashley Iceton

Posted On: 04 Oct 2019 07:50 am

Keep going Andy, everyone here at the Panathlon charity is really proud of you and HUGE thanks for all the monies raised. It will make a big difference to a lot of disabled children. Keep on going!!! Thank you.

Toby Kernon

Posted On: 04 Oct 2019 07:35 am

Great work Andy!! It has been incredible following you from the comfort of the sofa in front of the rugby (I wish). Brilliant to see that you have finally stopped avoiding the cameraman and we get to see a picture of you in action. A mear 80km today, a walk in the park ( a very big desert at 8000 feet with 1km sand dunes). You'll smash it, keep on chugging, small manageable chunks said the armchair expert. Love from all of us!!!

Guy Peddy

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 08:20 pm

Well done. Great blog. Good luck tomorrow with the monster.

Kate Ramirez

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 05:56 pm

Amazing Andy! Cheering you on to the finish line.

Charley Kernon

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 05:56 pm

Well done Andy we have just been chatting to Suzy and she says this the hard won today, good luck and if you finish today you know that tomorrow is going to be a walk in the park.👌🏼👌🏼👍🏼👏🏻😀

Charley Kernon

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 05:56 pm

Well done Andy we have just been chatting to Suzy and she says this the hard won today, good luck and if you finish today you know that tomorrow is going to be a walk in the park.👌🏼👌🏼👍🏼👏🏻😀

Danny Vincett

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 04:38 pm

Amazing strength and dedication Andy! Everyone here at CVC is wishing you the best of luck for the final hurdle. No retreat, No mercy!

Tanya Foster

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 08:32 am

Yes Andy! Basically the home stretch now. You got this!! I’m really looking forward to seeing the pictures and footage. Good luck for today. We are all thinking of you. Suzy is meeting us for lunch so we’ll look forward to hearing more about it from her. Josephine couldn’t believe that you haven’t had a shower all week 😂.

Matt Thomas

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 06:34 am

Amazing stuff Andy.... big respect! 2/3 done- just the big one.. hoping the feet hold up tomorrow. The pain will be worth it I am sure. Good luck on Friday- nearly there mate. 👍💪
Andy Haven
Stage 3…..soooo much sand and the start of the salt flats…

01 October 2019 09:49 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Stage 3 already, im tired and this is going to be a tough day, mainly due to the terrain.  The weather gods have been kind and its cloudy, so about 20-25 degrees.  The stage starts well, a solid little trundle all the way to checkpoint 1, then the crazy salt flats start and its all I can do to move through without breaking an ankle and im using poles….the leaders who ran through this are truly amazing….

 

Once through the saltflats, the soft sand starts and basically does not finish….there are big dunes to go up and ski down, but my shoulders are hanging off and im power hiking, smooth but covering good ground.  At CP 3 a bit of a stop to sort out some blisters, but nothing major.  The cooler day is a major relief on this stage.  Some big vert to cover, short and sharp on soft sand mainly, so trying my best not to slid back down.

 

Made it safely in, so happy but im very tired….its 40+km tomorrow so its going to be very tough, as the fatigue is high.  Im keeping the calories going in, so hopefully can take it steady tmw, ahead of the long march.

 

Loving the comment/messages, please keep them coming as they are a real highlight in the cyber tent following the solitude of the stage.

 

Keep on trucking.......

I am on the left bib 31

Comments: Total (13) comments

Mark Ryan

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 12:55 pm

Legend! Keep going Andy!

Michael Brown

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 12:17 pm

Brilliant effort Andy. Hugely inspirational.

Tanya Foster

Posted On: 03 Oct 2019 05:14 am

Almost at the end now Andy I can’t believe it! What a hero! 🤩 I hope the 40km day has been cooler too. The scenery looks incredible! Thinking of you. The finishing line is in sight!

Tom Hayhurst

Posted On: 02 Oct 2019 10:29 am

Well done mate. Keep plodding on. The pack is getting lighter, the end is getting closer... you're smashing it.

Becky Lewis McCluney

Posted On: 02 Oct 2019 10:23 am

Wow sounds incredibly tough Andy, keep going, you’re doing brilliantly!

Karen Fage

Posted On: 02 Oct 2019 10:05 am

I’m in complete awe Andy, you are doing fabulously! Helping keep your wife sane in work at the moment! Keep up the good work! 😀😀

James Foster

Posted On: 02 Oct 2019 08:11 am

Andy - Loving your work mate, you are a machine.....keep on believing, incredible effort 👊👊👊👊👊

Raj Jutley

Posted On: 02 Oct 2019 05:52 am

Wow, a true inspiration. In thinking if you can do this what can I do. Keep going, and keep blogging I'm loving reading through your journey

Dave Daniell

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 10:06 pm

Loving the blog Andy! Stay strong, we’re all behind you...BIG Respect 💪🤜🤛!!!

Dave Daniell

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 10:06 pm

Loving the blog Andy! Stay strong, we’re all behind you...BIG Respect 💪🤜🤛!!!

Rosemary Haven

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 09:36 pm

Keep on trucking! Keep a check on the blisters and hope the shoulders are not too bad. Always in my thoughts!

Claire Haven-Tang

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 09:18 pm

Well done!! At least you had some company in that photo. I hope your shoulders are bearing up!! Keep trucking, you can do this xx

Sam Ryan

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 09:15 pm

You got this!! Keep going, we're thinking of you x
Andy Haven
Hello from the end of stage 2…what a beast…

01 October 2019 06:28 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

 

At last a decent nights sleep, not too cold and no need to get up and pee…. (simple pleasures)!! Its was about zero overnight and 3 degrees when we set off this morning.  After a battle with the pack (its becoming a pain) I got to the start line late and had to slowly make my way through the runners.  It was a couple of k to the canyons.. then let then water crossings begin, in and out of freezing cold water from the snow capped volcanoes for about 5k…. stunning but difficult, most of the water was mid shin deep, but parts were mid thigh….

 

After clearing the canyons and the valley, we turned up a brutal climb…no shade and no wind…we just kept climbing, on to a massive ridge that we followed for about an hour. At we were faced with a huge sand dune…it was approx. 1km down…. The quickest and most fun 1k I will have all week!!!

 

Once I had skied my way down, it was onto the valley floor and onto the next checkpoint.  Just 11k they said….well that was some 11k….all soft sand and dried up riverbed, that was like walking across a mass of broken roof tiles….it was so hard…..

 

The camp flags finally came into view, but the route cruelly wound around and took us up one final sand dune, then across the line.  Well that was a tough day, especially for the feet, wet and then sand…off to the med tent to get some painful needles stuck in them…

Comments: Total (3) comments

Claire Haven-Tang

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 09:34 pm

Skiing....did I read that right? Have you seriously taken ski's to the desert?!🤣Are you planning to whip out a pair of rollerblades at some point? No wonder your pack is heavy!!🤣 Stay strong xx

Tanya Foster

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 08:21 pm

Inspirational Andy. Good luck. We are thinking of you. 🤩💪

Matt Thomas

Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 06:28 am

Sounds like one hell of a challenging day... keep it up mate and hope shoulders and back are not too sore.💪
Andy Haven
Stage 1.....what an experience

30 September 2019 06:47 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Bloody freezing, to utterly baking….

So night 1 in the tent, it was about minus 5 due to the altitude and we were all bloody frozen.  You make good friends quickly in that situation.  Getting up to go for a pee was an experience… but wow those stars, I have never seen a sky like it, clear bright, you could just see everything, except for the camp loo, as I couldn’t get my headlamp working.

 

We started at 8am and it was still minus 1, but off we rolled into the wonderful rainbow valley.  It was a real mix of tough terrain and combined with the altitude and a very heavy pack, resulted in a slow steady start.  I rolled happy through check point 1 but on the way to checkpoint 2 the pack got the better of me…it was hammering my shoulders, I tried to adjust and limit the bounce, but it was too late.  The show must go on, so power hike time!! I was setting a good pace, that was until all the course markers went missing! There were about 20 of us all trying to find the route, after about 20mins the course moto guy came along and gave us some rough directions… after about 5k on a plateau we headed down a dried river bed for bout another 6k….still no markers…I caught a fellow competitor and we gave each other solace….but still we were worried….at last racing the planet flags and a checkpoint….relief

 

I kept trucking across a vast open plain…oh and now the temperature has started to soar… on its way to 40 degrees.  Once the plain was covered, we turned into a canyon and climbed for 6k. exposed and hot this was a tough job, but the poles were out and the power hike ruled the day….

 

A tough but fair day.  Feet are ok only a few small blisters, but it’s the shoulders that are really feeling it.  so now to camp routine and much needed rest.  Bring on day 2

 

Comments: Total (2) comments

Claire Haven-Tang

Posted On: 30 Sep 2019 05:45 pm

Wow! Sounds like a mix of everything! Hope your shoulders are recovering. Compass? 🤣 Good luck & Keep going xx

Rosemary Haven

Posted On: 30 Sep 2019 01:50 pm

Well done! Read your podcast. Interesting.Hope you have your vest on. Good luck today have you got your compass?
Andy Haven
Exploring

28 September 2019 07:48 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Meeting more of the fellow competitors, just a lovely bunch of crazy people ready to run 250k
 
Had a great day exploring and activating the muscles, with a nice hike to the ruins of a settlement dating back to the 1500’s.  Interesting to see how the heat and altitude effected my body, even at a steady walk. 
 
Had a great evening hearing the thoughts of Ash, who is doing his 11th consecutive Atacama Crossing ??
 
Now for an early night, my last shower for a week and some kit weighting with my Room and tent mate, Luke.

Comments: Total (5) comments

MAISIE KERNON

Posted On: 29 Sep 2019 02:59 pm

GOOD LUCK

Monty Haven

Posted On: 29 Sep 2019 02:44 pm

Hi dad it’s Monty/me keep going 👍🏼 Be strong 💪🏻

Maisie Kernon

Posted On: 29 Sep 2019 02:18 pm

Also Andy I hope that you finish your race happy 😃

Maisie Kernon

Posted On: 29 Sep 2019 02:18 pm

Also Andy I hope that you finish your race happy 😃

Maisie Kernon

Posted On: 29 Sep 2019 02:12 pm

Hi it’s me Maisie How is it going. I am having lunch with Suzy and the boys When you get back I am so excited to here about everything you did in Chile 🇨🇱 Can wait to see you Love from Maisie
Andy Haven
Planes, trains and automobiles.....not necessarily in that order

27 September 2019 07:47 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

A journey xx’000 km’s, by rail to Paris, by plane to Santiago, then to Calama and then by road to San Pedro de Atacama, the host town. 
 
Some amazing views along the way... Arid moonscapes, sawing volcanoes and a never ending spine of snow capped mountains, plus a few groups of alpaca. 
 
Importantly all my bags made it with me and Chilean customs let me keep all my food - ??
 
An evening of exploring this quaint little desert town. At any moment I feel two cowboys are going to fall out of a saloon and have a gunfight ?? 
 
Narrow gravel roads, lined with little whitewashed buildings. The common appearance hides what’s on offer inside, restaurants, hotels, bike rental, supermarkets they all look the same. 
 
It’s a strange mix of locals and tourists. The locals heading to mass at the towns church and adventure seeking tourists, reliving the day’s adventures in the town square, all dusty and exhausted, mountain bikes stacked. 
 
Need to get my final prep done tomorrow, maybe a bit of muscle activation before the briefing on Sat am and then being bused to camp 1 in the afternoon. 

Comments: Total (0) comments

Andy Haven
Getting a little heat training

02 September 2019 10:35 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Mixing holidays with a bit of a training camp. Four days based on a tiny village in the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain. The town was at around 900m, so as it was not super high, temperatures were still hot and hopefully a good tester for Chile. 
 
Some lovey views and quite punchy vert, dry and dusty fire roads mixed with some more natural trails.
 
Managed to get some good miles done, running in the mornings and then big family hikes in the afternoons.  So overall volume was really good. 
 
Lovely local food, very protein and fat heavy.  
 
Now back to the coast for a couple of days to bake in the heat and maybe the odd little stretch of the legs.
 
Then the last week of training before the training taper starts and the practice packing and repacking of the bag starts.....
 

Comments: Total (2) comments

Andy Haven

Posted On: 03 Sep 2019 04:57 pm

Thanks Tony, sound advice and looking fwd to the packing practice (all part of the journey 😀). Look forward to meeting you in SP 👍👍

Tony Brammer

Posted On: 03 Sep 2019 04:11 am

Hi Andy, your warm weather training sound a little like a day on the race. run some miles in the morning and then hike with family in the afternoon. When you practice packing and repacking, make sure you do it on the floor in a small space. We can all pack on the kitchen table or the bed. Remember, when it doesn't look like it will all fit in your bag, it always does. Good luck and see you soon in San Pedro.
Andy Haven
Land of my Fathers

19 August 2019 10:28 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

So finished my big weekend training in Brecon. Was fortunate enough to have fantastic weather on the Saturday, manageing to put in most of the Brecon Trail Marathon route, plus an extra decent hill, given my lack of navigation skills. 
 
The trails were less groomed than i thought they would be and it led to mostly quick walking. With the big pack on and heavy feet I didn’t have the ability to skip along the trails, unlike a couple of mountain goat runners I saw (they were also around on the Sunday)
 
The route was a lovely mix of totally flat along the canal for the first 5k, until the vert picked up as the route turned up into the hills. 
 
Sunday was a different story, body was fine but the weather didn’t want to play nice. As it was a bit rough I kept it short and went up from Storey Arms and just did Corn Du, Penyi Fan and Crybn as an out and back. 
 
All good time on the feet and testing the gear. Overall quite happy with the weekend’s training. 
 

Comments: Total (1) comments

google drivelogin

Posted On: 29 Sep 2019 01:35 am

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Andy Haven
This is getting so gnarly.... packing paralysis

16 August 2019 08:22 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

So...only 45 days to go :-S its very real now....
 
I’m currently following coaches orders and shedding some of the accumulated fatige, by taking a few days rest.  A few late mornings, followed by a long family weekend have certainly help reset the body, but especially the mind.
 
These rest days have seen me hoovering food like a Dyson, the paleo / fat adapted diet has taken a different bus, let alone a backseat. Interesting that my overall mind set so closely follows my activity level...No Activity = Mind Switched off
 
Really itching to get a couple of easy runs in before the BBW (Big Brecon Weekend) next week...Brecon Marathon Route on Sat (42K, 2,400m climbing) followed by the traditional HorseShoe (16K, 2,000m climbing).  Whilst I’m keeping the nutrition to the desert plan, I can see my Mum trying to get a whole load of “proper food” into me over the weekend.
 
Kit updates -  Suzy has been busy stitching on all my race patches and modifications to my pack, incurring numerous blisters in the process - Thanks and sorry!!
 
Ziploc bags with food for each day of the race all laid out, weighed and waiting the last orders of 33Shake and Tailwind, that will fuel me through the run.  Some fantastic dehydrated breakfast and dinners from Lyo Foods & Expidition Foods arrived last week.  Coconut & XX porridge and Beef and Potato Hotpot... ? ?  
 
The latest “Are you serious” moment came from putting the gators on my trainers... “You look like a clubber from the 90’s” much to Suzy’s amusement.  To be fair, running around Epping Forrest with full pack, kit and poles... I’m already used to some strange looks from those about to start their Saturday 5K. 
 
I now find myself glued to YouTube, trying to figure how the hell I’m going to fit all this stuff into my pack.  My normal holiday strategy of “throw it in, jump on & zip”.... is not going to cut it this time.
 
Now for the sauna sessions, trying to acclimate to the desert heat.... I have an image of me running on a treadmill in full kit, surrounded by people in their swimmers... (Just joking.. will just be sat there)

Comments: Total (0) comments

Andy Haven
1st Timer !!

12 July 2019 11:30 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

So I'm having a crack at the Blog thing.. sorry if its not of interest.. just give it a swerve -- I will try and get updates as I go and daily updates form the race.. written in the cyber tent!!

 

Feeling somewhat self conscious writing this and getting the fundraising going, but I know telling the story and opening up is a key part of my journey.  Even just writing this is helping me better understand and frame the "why"

 

80 Days... wow ? this bad boy is coming quickly...

 

Training bizarrely is the easy thing,.... bag on back, water, food and RUN FORREST RUN ??  well at least it requires minimal thought (thanks to @performancecoaching.me)

 

The logistics... wow... mental..it’s an expedition not a run! Every gram and calorie count!! Good job I love a spreadsheet ??

 

Last weekend weighing and recording the details of all my kit and food, Monty; “Dad what’s this for?", Me; "not really sure but the list says I have to take it, so its going in"

So much stuff to cram into the pack... its a science.... I have a lot to learn!!

The latest... buy a pair of trainers (of course I need another pair!)... remove laces and send off to a shop to have Velcro sewn all around them.. why,... to attach gators!  

 

Then there is the food planning, I'm calorie counting !! day by day needs to be scheduled... assessed and weighed... I thought doing all this exercise you could eat what you want!

 

In a strange way, whilst its massively daunting and logistically overwhelming, its just part of the journey and challenge, so I'm trying to be as immersive as possible

 

For the Stato among you (I know there are a lot), since the start of the year I'm at 1,500 km's (940mil), mostly just chugging along with a heavy pack (like a tortoise). Lots of Epping Forest (lovely place to run) and London City miles.  Some Thames Path action that was a bit much on the day.. should have gone slower.  I have gone through about 35m of K-Tape, trying to hold my feet and back together and about 6.4kg's of Recovery Powder...

 

There is much more to come, so need to stay strong and keep on truckin' 

 

Finally, but most importantly.... Thank you all for your support, together you have smashed my fundraising target and with work matching, you have made a huge contribution to these charities and we can't thank you enough.  Now I just need to go and get dusty in the desert ? 

 

Current Favourite PodCast 

Get Over Yourself - Brad Kearns 

The Move (TdF coverage is awesome)

Suggestions welcome!

 

Music - Has to be Annie Mac sessions on downloaded from BBCR1

Comments: Total (3) comments

Tony Brammer

Posted On: 15 Aug 2019 09:08 am

Hi Andy First time with RTP and you picked the best race. The Atacama is spectacular, you will love. Training doesn't look like it's a problem for you. The secret on your first race is doing the simple things right; travel, transfers, accommodation, forms, kit etc. One tip is to practice packing and unpacking your bag. Make sure it all fits in, make sure you know where everything is, do it on the floor in a small space, your tent mates will appreciate that. When you think you have it right, do it again and again and again. Suggestions for a book; try Can't Hurt Me - David Goggins, the guys a real tough cookie. One of you fellow competitors, Sarah Oppermann is also reading it (listening). I live in the UK, if you would like a chat, just let me know and I will give you a call.

Ashley Iceton

Posted On: 12 Jul 2019 03:55 pm

A huge thanks Andy for doing this (mad) trip and for supporting our charity www.panathlon.com in the process. Thanks to all your family and friends for donating and raising lots of cash for disabled children who will be able to enjoy participating in sport, many for the first time. Good luck with all your endeavours!

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 12 Jul 2019 02:51 pm

Brilliant first blog and sounds like your preparation is going well. You know you're ok when you're no longer worried about the training and just the equipment and logistics.