Atacama Crossing 2011: Event note

Well, yes, off to another one of those crazy events that I have been boring you about for the past year.

It was never meant to be more than one. The Gobi March was a one off adventure. In fact, it was simply a means to get fit. That it did! Now after 3 events, 750 km (well almost, admittedly Antarctica was a little shorter), 3 continents, some of the most exhilarating landscapes and terrains and having met some of the most interesting people in my life, I have come to the end, the final race, the Atacama Crossing!

By all accounts this is meant to be the most beautiful of all four events as attested to by my good friend and 2010 Grand Slammer Lucy Rivers Bulkeley. I am therefore glad to have left the best to the last, though it was not by design.

It has been an incredible journey. Four events in a row has had its ups and downs. It has been relatively easy to go from event to event as my fitness level never really went down, having to restart for each event  (like Lucy Tang-Wastnage, I don’t like calling them races I prefer events) would have been painful and a lot more time consuming. An intense 6 week training period before each event has been sufficient (so far). Whereas, starting anew would have required at least a three month build up, unless you are Emma Ferguson and then you rock up to the Gobi Desert, then Sahara and now Atacama without any training and a pair of new shoes and run 250kms (we are not all super human).

On the not so positive side, after a while your body is pretty good at screaming “enough is enough”. I am not sure how Peter Jong and Stan Lee who both did 5 events in 2010 manage. I felt perfectly fine after Sahara, in October. However, as soon as, I started training for Antarctica a few weeks later, problems started surfacing. Knee pain forced a visit to the specialist which revealed shortening of the ITB (another advantage of these events, you learn all these cool 3 letter acronyms) and fissures behind the knee cap due to over use. Fissures, not a big issue but the ITB a serious one. Solution, after a successful diagnosis byDr David Sweetnam from The Wellington Hospital Knee Unit, two months of intense rehab at the Injury Rehab Clinic at St Johns Wood with physio Ciaran McCoole and massage therapist Peter, thanks guys!

Ozi, remains as my inspiration and the meaningful side of these endeavours. Even though he has been brought down my Gunners lately he still faces all the difficulties of life with a brave smile that humbles everything that we can achieve by crossing these deserts.

And to the cause, MS Society UK, your donations have been generous and much appreciated. The page is still open for those who have wanted to donate but lost the details Devrim’s March. 

Would I do it again? I would love to, but probably not, then again Jordan 2012 is tempting and if Ryan Watt keeps the pressure up you will possibly see me there too.

Click here for the video from last year and most important click here to give moral support with your comments and messages. . .

See you all soon,


About Devrim

For the past 20 years, I have been a runner, having been a regular participant of the London marathon during the late 90s & early 2000s and others such as the Istanbul and San Diego. But when I moved to Cyprus in 2003, things took a turn for the worse. Suddenly 42 kilometres was no longer enough. I needed an activity to counter-balance work. That was when I discovered the concept of ultra-running. An ultra run is anything more than 50 kilometres. However, the need was such that I started with 250km long self-sufficient desert ultras. I have now completed 4 desert ultras in some of the most gruelling conditions, ranging from +60 to -20 Celsius, from the high planes of Atacama in Chile to the depths of the Gobi in China, from the sandy dunes of the Sahara to the ice fields of Antarctica. In 2011, I completed a desert ultra series, having run 1,000 kilometres across 4 deserts in 9 months carrying all my own equipment, water and food on my back.
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