After several days in Patagonia in the province „Ultima Esperanza“ (Last hope) I’m back now in Punta Arenas and looking forward to some more relaxing days here in Chile before moving back to China on the weekend.
The Patagonia International Marathon in the P.N. Torres del Paine was a great success. The organization was very bad and I have now idea for what the used the entry fee (110US$). Every other marathon event I would never ever recommend with this kind of disorganization, but the stunning scenery in this unique location makes all bad thoughts forgotten.
We went by bus in deepest night to the starting line at 5:15AM which was 60km away from the finish line at the Hotel Las Torres. Race started at 8AM on the beach of Lago Grey. The lake was full with icebergs from the nearby Glacier Grey and the extremely strong wind deep below 0°C made the starting line not so comfortable. It also made you thinking why this province is named „Ultima Esperanza“. 🙂
Race started and I was running the first 21km like a classic HM in a city. I crossed the 21km checkpoint in 1h:44m. I guess that was a mistake and I had to pay for it later in the race. The extrem cold and strong wind took all energy out of my body and at km35 I had no idea how I want ever cross the finish line. Also the amazing landscape, the condors and the herds of Guanacos beside the trail want you permanently to stop and relax but with strong will I passed the checkpoint at 42km in 4h:15m. Most of the terrain was flat but at km45 the trail went steady up for about 300m and the descent later was very steep. Knees and legs was burning like hell. If I had all my energy not be wasted in the first third of the race… But nobody finish a run with ‚if‘ and ‚would‘. So off I went for the last 21km and finally I reached the finish line after 63km in 7h:07m.
Now, blood, tears and pain are already forgotten, but happiness stays and the unforgotten memories about my first ‚Ultra‘.