M&MRC Cruce Story #4: Frolicking in the snow

We continued our ascent while singing and enjoying the new surface we were trekking on.  The snow was covered by a bit of ash from the Puyehue volcano, but that didn’t get us down.  With each step we moved closer to the top and that much closer to reaching our goal.

Not far into the snow was the first hydration station.  They used snowmobiles to get Gatorade and buckets of water almost 2000 meters up the mountain.  We paused to drink straight from the containers before beginning our move again.  The water was ice cold, which was partly due to the cooler temperatures as we made our way up.

Suddenly we saw figures to our right running their way down.  How could this be possible?!  We were making good time, but we were also enjoying the sights.  There were others out there to win and they were already on their way to camp to make it in time for lunch and a nap.

We crossed another chip sensor and began our 9 km loop around the top of the volcano.  Due to the recent snowfall from the weekend before, we had fresh powder to have fun in.  This meant we would sink in a few inches before having to pick up our feet to move forward.  It was similar to the extra work involved in running in loose sand.

As we progressed, we chatted with people that we had met before and others that were going at our pace.  Laura even managed to find someone who’d been to Hunstanton, the tiny town she is from.  She was in shock to find someone that knew of the place much less been there and the fact that they’d found each other while on top of a volcano in Chile.  What are the odds!

We passed a photographer so we had to take advantage of the opportunity as we love our jumping photos.  When else were we going to be 2200 meters up a volcano after running 20 km to get there?  Moments like those, must be documented.

Even though we were at the top and we assumed we were done with the uphill battles, we were not.  After multiple times of swearing we’d done the last incline, we hit the chip sensor and the descent.  We skied our way down the slippery slope with our running shoes and tried our best not to fall over.  We laughed at our attempts to find the best way down and skidded from side to side as if we were really were skiing.

The edge of the snow was near, but there were still kilometers ahead of us to be able to say we crossed the finish line on Day 1.

Note: Last night there was a special on ESPN Run about Cruce de los Andes.  We mentioned this before, but now it’s official…we’re famous!  We made the cut and even the US flag on our tent appeared.  We’ll see if we can get a recording or at least the parts we’re in up here soon.

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About Maria Mendoza

"Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

Posted on March 1, 2012, in Cruce Story and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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