Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stage Three - 8 March, 2011

Sumanth did the Stage 3 (40 km) in 8 hours and 51 minutes, almost at the same pace as Day 2.

Here's a thumbnail picture of him from the Photo Gallery, the whole set available on the day's link in the Photos and Videos Tab.

Sumanth's blog update after Stage 3 - The Atacameous Trail


The day started at 8am.  Course detail was 40km in total.  The first leg to CP1 was brutal for almost 5km.  It was crusty and hard salt that could cut ankles if we were not careful.  I managed to run to CP1 in about 1.45hrs and after a brif stop started onwards to CP2.  Cutoff for reaching CP2 was 2pm and I made it around 11.10am.  The trail was relatively difficult, we were moving through waist high grass, as well as dried grass.  Very deceptive terrain and a bit difficult.

After refuelling at CP2, I started onwards to CP3 and this was where a bit of hell began.  While the first part was OK, the second half (almost 5km) was a rolling sand dune, simply brutal terrain.  I managed to reach CP3 at 1.15pm, 10km in about 2 hrs or so.  Rested at CP3 for 15-20 minutes and then I set out for CP4 (Camp for night as well).  The distance between CP3 and CP4 was roughly 11.5km.

To call the terrain enroute to CP4 murderous is an understatement.  The first half was very sharp rocky surface (the kind that could cut your shoes (if you were lucky) or seriously slice your leg).  I lost time here since I was exhausted (temperature must have been about 40C and dry heat).  I just kept drinking water like it was going out of style.  The second leg (roughly 4km odd) comprised steep sand dunes (45-60degree incline) that we had to climb and descend.  Luckily for me, I had a buddy who came out of no where - Scott (check him at www.ikeeprunning.com).  He stayed with me through the last 4 km, through and through and helped me reach Camp.

I came in 60 today, about 8 places up from yesterday.  What really worked was just going from CP to CP and not thinking about the finish line.

Afterthought - for those of you who saw The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - now I know what Tuco went through, when Blondie left him in the middle of the desert about a 100 miles from the nearest town, and that was without water, methinks.  Phew!!

Tomorrow, we tackle the infamous Salt Flats - 42 km on crusty, dry, hard salt.

Keep the good thoughts and wishes coming.  I am grateful for your support and will see you all very soon.



  1. Wow! Incredible! You must be so proud!

  2. I can hardly recognise the man out in the desert - but yes proud indeed :)