Atacama Crossing Blogs 2021
View All Posts 2021 From : Robert Ripley
08 September 2020 10:17 am (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time(US & Canada); Tijuana
2021 it is then.
So, I apologize to the followers of this blog (of whom I am sure there are many). I have been neglecting the blog and it has kind of drifted off into non-existence over the summer.
As you know by now, the 2020 Atacama Crossing was officially cancelled about 2 weeks ago. As the summer progressed, however, it became painfully clear that a trip to Chile was not in my imminent future (not that I blame the Chileans for not wanting me to bring my little piece of the pandemic to their shores, I’d probably refuse me entry into my own house if there were any other options), and, as such, it was increasingly difficult to get psyched up to blog about the race. Even harder than to train for it. But, not to worry, I am still here, breathing air and hanging out in the woods with my dogs. And Nancy, bless her heart (one of us was born to social distancing, hint, it's not Nancy).
I have changed my entry to the 2021 Atacama Crossing Race, now less than 13 months in the future. I am hopeful that we will be living in a bright and shiny new world by then, one that allows for international travel and sleeping in tents with strangers. If I were truly hardcore, I would be mapping out a year-long training schedule right now, timing the perfect peak for September 26th, but, as you may have ascertained by now, I am not that hardcore, and I simply don’t have that capacity for single minded concentration. It’s going to be autumn here soon in the high desert, time to get the mountain bike out in the woods after the smoke clears and the dust settles and the air cools. And after that, nature willing, it will snow in the hills and ski season will start. Sometime in February or March, after a few months of social distancing on the Nordic trails, there will be time to start training for the ultra again.
Not that I’ve spent the whole summer sitting on the porch watching the alpacas eat the grass. For want of anything better to do, I have managed a fair bit of running and riding. I’m in pretty good shape (for the shape I’m in). In August I ran my first marathon since 1989. We started in waves, wearing masks for the first bit, after which there was ample opportunity to stay distanced from my competitors. It was the slowest marathon I’ve ever run, but it was all in dirt and there was almost 1000 meters of elevation gain. I was the second finisher in the masters category (over 40yo). I was pretty happy with the result. (the result being that I could still walk at the end of it all)
Next weekend, Jaime, my coach, has shamed me into a half-iron duathlon (56 miles of biking followed by 13 miles of running). There will be a time trial start and hopefully minimal contact on the course. I think I read something about a mask? And it's fire season here in the Northwest, which means that the air may or may not be clean enough to breathe. I will have to let you know how that goes.
But for now, I am going to let this blog hibernate for a few months. I promise that I will be back and blogging in the new year. 2021 should be an auspicious year. Among other things, it will be the year marking my 60th journey around the sun. Cause for celebration.
When I started this thing, I put my goals down as have fun, don’t get hurt and be thankful. I am still having fun. I have managed to get through this summer without getting hurt (knock on wood).
I am thankful that I have not lost any loved ones in these crazy times. For those of you who have, you have my sincerest condolences and hope for healing to come.
Addendum: The Duathlon I mentioned earlier was cancelled due to wildfires in the area. Our part of Central Oregon has been smothered in smoke, making outside training impossible. But I am thankful the fires have passed us by (this time) and I am thankful for the brave men and women out fighting the fires.