The Atacama Crossing


Recently, two ASCEND believers completed the gruelling 250km Atacama Crossing adventure race. Melbourne law student Samantha Gash and Sydneysider Daniel Trevena spent six days running through a rainless plateau of salt lakes, lava flows and sand in Chile. The Atacama Desert Crossing is widely regarded as the second toughest endurance event in the world. Temperatures reach 43 degrees and competitors must carry all their own food, gear and clothing (the average backpack weighs 9 kilograms!).

This year’s race was held in honour of victims of the earthquake that struck Chile on February 27th, just a week before the race was due to begin, and raised $15,000 in aid money.

According to Samantha, ‘the terrain was incredibly tough and varied. One moment we were running on rocky surface then compact sand to sand dunes then through water and also road. EPIC!!.'

Approximately 20% of the 150 strong field of competitors from all over the world were forced to pull out due to conditions and injuries. Samantha and Daniel used ASCEND Elite Recovery Chocolate and ASCEND Elite Recovery Bars throughout their training and the race itself and found them ‘amazing’.

The results speak for themselves…Samantha won her age group category and Daniel came third in his! They both finished in the top 45 overall.

‘It was a tough race but we were stoked with how it went for us and ASCEND products featured pretty heavily in our nutrition! I had a recovery shake as soon as I finished each stage and about 2-3 protein bars per day, which by the way are so much better than all the others I’ve tried’ says Daniel, a medical student.

So what’s next for our intrepid racers?

‘We are considering the challenge of being the youngest people in the world to complete all four RacingThePlanet events. In the series there are the Sahara Desert, the Gobi Desert, Antarctica and the Atacama Desert, which as you know we have just successfully completed. All of the races are of the same format, 250kms, over six days, self supported’ says Samantha.

Watch this space…



 Samantha and Dan, all set for the big race...



 And 250 kilometres later...and deserving of a rest!











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