Chile or….Bust!

Running In The Desert

This is the week that Thomas and I (LongBuddyRun) were to be tackling the Atacama Crossing in Chile.

Instead, we remain in Melbourne….and I am housebound, foot elevated, struggling to walk.

What happened?

In a word…injuries. Collectively:

  • 1 x PCL strain
  • 1 x viral tonsillitis
  • 1 x hip/back strain – limited to 20 minutes walking at a time for several weeks
  • 1 x severe ankle sprain

We recently (and reluctantly) made the decision to postpone our 4deserts adventure. This was done at some expense (the entry fee is non-refundable), but we didn’t want to head over there to merely survive the event. We want the experience to be positive…not just hard.

The Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert, Chile

I am still formulating a plan for another adventure before Xmas, ankle permitting. If things fall into place I will share the details here.


Today is National Buddy Day. A day to ‘band together’ to help reduce bullying in Australian Primary Schools.

Thomas Jones and I are ‘buddying up’ to complete a series of ultra marathons in the world’s most spectacular deserts to help raise awareness of this cause. We have committed to completing all of the 4Deserts ultra marathons over the next 3 years. These self-supported events are held in some of the world’s greatest deserts (Atacama, Gobi, Sahara, Antarctica), with competitors covering 250km over 6 stages.

In the process we will be working with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to promote the amazing work the foundation does to keep children safe from violence. As part of our journey we will be visiting schools to talk to students and teach them about resilience and how to be a better buddy.

Our adventure starts with the 10th anniversary Atacama Crossing in Chile this October. For more details please visit:


Those Buddy Runners

It has been nearly two months since I lasted posted to this blog. But, it has been an eventful break.

Camel's Hump, Mount Macedon VIC
Camel’s Hump, Mount Macedon VIC

In a previous post I wrote about my buddy Thomas and our decision to travel to Chile and compete in the Atacama Crossing in October of this year. Early on in our planning we decided to partner with a charity to make the adventure about more than just two guys running across a desert. After some deliberation we settled on the Alannah and Madeline Foundation (AMF) (see

AMF Logo

Since contacting AMF our little project has grown significantly. We have now committed to tackling all of the annual 4deserts runs over the next three years. Our rough timeline looks something like this:

  • October 2014 – Atacama Crossing, Chile
  • June 2015 – Gobi March, China
  • February 2016 – Sahara Race, Jordan
  • November 2016 – The Last Desert, Antarctica

Each of the events is 6 stages / 250km / self-supported. More details are available at

4deserts Logo

We will shortly be launching a website and social media campaign to chronicle our adventures and promote the amazing work done by AMF.

More to come…

In 2014 You’re Going To Do What !?!?

Following on from my post regarding New Year’s resolutions, a plan for a challenging adventure later this year has started to form. More on that in a moment. But first, a pop quiz:

Question 1. Have you ever completed a marathon, or would be confident that you could?

If you answered yes, proceed to Question 2. If you answered no, thank you for playing our game.

Question 2. Do you think it would be possible for you to run a marathon every day for a week?

If yes, please move on to Question 3. If you answered no, please select one of our lovely parting gifts.

Question 3. If you think it would be possible to run a marathon everyday for a week, do you think you could do this at altitude (2000-3000m above sea level)?

You know the drill. If answering in the affirmative scroll down to Question 4. If no, you’re clearly more sane than I am.

Question 4. Do you think you could do all this in a desert environment where temperatures reach >40 C?

For those still with me, I give you the 2014 Atacama Crossing, courtesy of the fine people at  4Deserts ( ).

The Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert, Chile

Earlier this week I was asked by a friend if I would enter this event with him. The smile on my face gave the answer without having to speak.

So, in 268 days time we will be setting off on a 250km crossing of the Atacama Desert. To acknowledge that this will be a challenge is a massive understatement. There is much preparation required, so it’s a good thing we have 9 months to plan and train. It is with the usual mixture of excitement and terror that I take this step way, way, way, way outside my comfort zone.

There are so many aspects to account for. Physical preparation; fitness, altitude. Equipment. Nutrition. (The race is self supported, so competitors must carry all of their food for the week with them.)

There will be many, many hours spent on Victorian trails and late nights discussing the merits of various backpacks, footwear and freeze-dried ration packs in the months to come. Stay tuned.

I am wondering if anyone reading this has ever attempted a similar physical endeavour. What was your experience? What lessons can you share?

Oh, and we’re also taking submissions for our team name.

Blue Question Mark