Atacama Crossing Blogs 2022

View All Posts 2022 From : Robert Ripley

Robert Ripley
New Year, New Blog!

12 January 2022 10:28 am (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

New Year! New Goals! New Race! New Blog?


Hello everyone out there in RTP-land and beyond.  I hope you’ve gotten your shots and are staying safe and healthy as the SARS-CoV-2 virus shows off both speed and endurance this winter.


Nancy and I managed to get out of South Africa just ahead of the Omicron variant and are snuggled up on the ranch in Tumalo.  After a couple of months off to savor and process my surprise win in the RTP Namib Race, I’ve been able to come up with some plans for 2022.  Nancy and I are going to be on the medical team for the Special Edition Georgia Race in June, so we are looking forward to seeing all of you running the race in the Caucasus.  And....  I’ve signed up for the 2022 Atacama Crossing.


Ever since my renaissance as an endurance athlete in my mid-50s, I’ve tried to find one major event each year to train for.  And this year it will be Atacama.  Nancy and I visited  the Atacama Desert in 2015 as part of the race medical team, and I was captivated by its stark beauty.  There is something about the shimmering salt and sand underneath the snow capped volcanoes that has lodged in my brain.  When I finally decided that I was going to try to run one of these crazy multiday ultramarathon things, I knew it would have to be the Atacama Crossing.  In 2019, I almost registered for it, but the dates conflicted with the Powerman in Zofingen, Switzerland and I chose eight hours racing in the freezing rain over a week in the desert.  I did sign up for the  2020 race (Covid!!), and carried my entry over to the 2021 race (more Covid!!), before opting to run the Namib Race (less Covid!?) as plan B.


If you read my last attempt at a blog, you’ll know that I will be writing about pretty much whatever random thought is coming into my mind.  But many of those random thoughts over the next nine months will have to do with training, racing, eating, shoes, gear and stuff about going off into the desert.  I think I have a slightly better handle on the multiday ultra than I did 2 years ago when I started my last blog, although I am still far from expert.  But if you have questions about the process, that my randomness isn’t answering for you, I am open to suggestion.  Just ask.


As before, my goals for the race:

  1. Have fun.
  2. Don’t get hurt.
  3. Be thankful.


Naturally, I would like to do well in Chile (I might just have a mild competitive streak), but not at the risk of getting hurt, not having fun, or forgetting how lucky I am to just be here.


Anyway, there it is.  There’s a race in the desert in September, and I had better start training.  Time to get this blog on the road.  Oh, but first, there’s snow on the ground here in Central Oregon and it’s ski season!


Comments: Total (8) comments

Tom Hales

Posted On: 15 Jan 2022 12:55 am

Go Rob, mild competitive streak...mild? Glad no lingering after affect from concussion in the Galena race. You go Rob, make us look good again.

Mary Gadams

Posted On: 14 Jan 2022 12:05 am

Yeah, good decision Rob. How I miss San Pedro and the Atacama Desert.

Earl Rogers

Posted On: 13 Jan 2022 08:28 pm

I am impressed. Go for it and have as much fun as one can have running in the sand filled desert. Take care, Earl

Barb Echo

Posted On: 13 Jan 2022 01:20 am

Do you need a dog/house sitter for June????😎

Karen Wei

Posted On: 12 Jan 2022 11:27 pm

I have been mulling over doing this race (again), this time with Jack (if he'll respond to my messages) and another friend.... knowing you'll be there might be the little extra incentive to sign up!

Jeff Ripley

Posted On: 12 Jan 2022 08:50 pm

Exciting stuff... good luck on your next adventure!

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 12 Jan 2022 07:22 pm

Whoop whoop, I am so excited that you will race at the Atacama Crossing - partly to read your blogs, but also to see you effortlessly complete the desert race with a continual smile while dancing to your music and chewing gum!!

Carl Botterud

Posted On: 12 Jan 2022 07:12 pm

Go Rob!! Looking forward to reading many clever posts along the way.