Colin Whale does Bungay Black Dog Athletics Club proud in Chile
Bungay Black Dog runner Colin Whale has returned from Chile having successfully completed the Atacama Crossing endurance event.
This was a seven day, self-supported mission to cover 150 miles of the infamously dry Atacamba Desert. Ironically, so much rain had recently fallen that the start had to be relocated to a drier place and stage two was re-routed because the 12 river crossings to negotiate were too fast and dangerous.
The five main stages ranged between 21 and 46 miles. The course started at a height of 3,206m and gradually descended throughout the race, which covered diverse terrain including waist high grass, sand dunes, lunar-esque landscapes, sharp rocks, steep cliffs and salt flats – all of which destroyed Colin's feet.
Combined with the hot temperatures it is one of the toughest endurance events in the world. Of the 151 starters, 21 dropped out during the week. Colin finished 122nd in 55 hours six minutes.
The weekend downpours also created very muddy conditions for the inaugural Fritton Lake Cross Country Half Marathon on Sunday, March.
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The lovely scenic course around Somerleyton Estate and the Broads attracted eight Bungay Black Dog Runners.
Simon Asher was the first back, 22nd in one hour 38 minutes. Joe Hornsey was 32nd (1:42), Shona Bendix 92nd (2:01) and first in the F45 age group just ahead of David Punt, 93rd (2:01).
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Marcus Nichols was 125th (2:25) alongside Bruce Rayner 126th and Karen Waters 127th (both 2:26). Bob Jack was 130th (2:47); 135 runners took part.
Ian Taylor continued his attempt to reach 100 marathons with three in three weeks. On March 4, he completed the tough and hilly off-road South Downs Steyning Stinger Marathon in 4:39 (58th of 164).
In contrast, the flat Blackpool Marathon on March 11 was faster, 4:15 (289th of 427) and another off-road Brighton Trail Marathon on March 18, with steep slippery descents was his 75th. He finished 15th of 31 in 4:48.
On the same day, Robbie James completed the Thetford Forest Mud and Mayhem event which was a 5km run, 20km bike ride and another 5km run. He came 19th of 84 finishers.