Atacama Crossing Blogs 2021

View All Posts 2021 From : Ben Fox

Ben Fox
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more"

15 April 2021 11:05 am (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

The Atacama was always a place I wanted to return to. The last time I was there was 2017 and the memories of that race stuck with me to this day, I always promised myself I would go back there and compete in the race again.


I have completed four of previous races with RTP including the Gobi twice both in China and Mongolia so I do know what I am getting myself into and yet here I am again.


The whole Covid thing made me dream of getting back out there again more than ever so after my second vaccination injection I felt compelled to get online and just pull the trigger, it's not like I am getting any younger.


For those of you who may find this blog and are competing in or at least thinking of signing up I would urge you to do so, it is an unforgettable place and an unparalleled experience. One word of advice though is not to underestimate the terrain, the cold nights or the altitude all of which conspired to make this a considerable undertaking whether you are running and trying to place or simply walking the whole thing.


I have never stopped running or training and consider myself to be in pretty good shape but need something to focus the mind to really step it up a a gear.


So for me this is my last week of free and easy life enjoying casual beers, burgers and such, from next week onwards I go alcohol and meat free and dial in a 5 month hard training schedule to get ready for the punishment that I will be putting my body and mind through.


For anyone reading this in apprehension of what is to come or if you are unsure of what choices to make especially in terms of kit, feel free to reach out to me on email any time, I have made and learned from numerous mistakes along my journeys.


A few key points to consider.


  1. Every gram counts (I even cut my toothbrush in half)
  2. Test your shoes over long distances
  3. The right socks are as important as the right shoes
  4. Bring a small roll of duct tape, a small sewing kit and a tiny tube of superglue, I have had to use all of the above and they are lifesavers.
  5. I do not recommend soft bottles, in Namibia both of mine leaked (Fortunately I had glue and duct tape!)
  6. Bring some Immodium
  7. Ear plugs to block out the snores of your tent mates



Comments: Total (2) comments


Posted On: 30 May 2021 09:59 pm

Thank you for the tips Ben. I'm new to RTP but I'm super excited and I want to make sure I prepare as well as I can.

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 29 Apr 2021 02:33 pm

Brilliant first blog Ben and great advice (not just the part about "if you thinking about doing the race, I urge you to do it). We also can't wait to get back to San Pedro - and see you there. If there is one thing COVID has taught me is that I really miss the freedom to travel and I love deserts more than I thought.