Chile: Zolkan 4 Days

INTRODUCING our stage race coverage from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean.



ZOLKAN 4 Days is a beautiful, wild and challenging new running race in Chile, South America. The concept is cool, the vibe is international and the landscape is breathtaking.


From La Parva ski resort in the Andes mountains, the course sends runners downhill for four consecutive days towards the Pacific Ocean. Along the way they’ll see glaciated summits, Andean condors, 12-foot cactus and the fertile wine producing plains of the Central Valley. At night they will camp, share stories from their day and recharge for the next challenge. If they complete Zolkan 4 Days, they will have run from one side of Chile to the other – quite literally cross-country. Follow with limitlesspursuits.com, from January 6, as the race gets underway!


Zolkan 4 Days

Runners of the race will cover on average 40km each day.


Ultra running legends such as Seb Chaigneau and Rory Bosio (read their thoughts below) are flying in to spice up the competition among the local Chilean talent. However, it’s not only the competition that is going to be hot. Chile is in full southern hemisphere summer and the local men and women will definitely be at an advantage. For the majority of the racers, just keeping hydrated and focused on the technicalities of the trail will be enough of a challenge.


Zolkan Stats


  • 107km total running


4,702m elevation gained


9.649 elevation lost


Start-line is 80km from capital city Santiago


Winner decided by lowest cumulative time over the four days


More info at www.4daystrail.cl


Zolkan 4 Days

The run across the width of Chile includes a variety of landscapes and terrains.


Check out what these runners from around the world have to say before the race:


Seb Chaigneau

“After two years of injury and illness I want to restart on what I love – running stage races on awesome trails, in an amazing landscape with friends such as Matias Bull (trailchile.cl) and Canuto Errazuriz (event organiser). I would like to be able to inspire people to come to these countries to discover landscapes and to show that we can live more simply, closer to nature and preserve the local environment. These changes may be something great for the future of the planet. During the race I will be eating and drinking Overstim’s. I can consume this product for multiple hours without stomach problems.”


Francisco Alexander

“Crossing my country from the mountains to the sea will be a great life experience. There aren’t any mountains where I live but I travel 80km regularly to train on the volcanoes! It’s going to be really important to hydrate during this race, use sun cream, a hat and prepare beforehand for the heat. I’ll also be eating natural foods such as honey, royal jelly and what I can find on the trail! The positive vibe from spending time in nature and amongst like minded people will be energising.”



Francesca Conte

“I have always wanted to come to Chile. It has a very unique climate and ecology and I have read so many great things about the culture and mountains. As a race director I appreciate how much work goes into an event like this. Providing meals, transportation and accommodations in the middle of the wilderness for four days is a huge undertaking! I’ll also bring my own supplies such as the Clif Hydration drink, S-Cap(s) salt tablets and my favourite meal the Clif Organic Trail Mix. Beyond that I’ll plan to live off the plants I find along the way! Most of all I am looking forward to the Chilean nights and to looking at the stars in the Southern hemisphere.”


Zolkan 4 Day

“We quit our jobs in Canada and moved to Chile a year ago to seek an adventurous life change. We run all of our races together, and will run Zolkan 4 Days as a pair too. The one tip we can offer couples who push their limits as a pair, is the question ‘what do you need from me?’ This simple question can mend almost any situation and refocus both partners on moving forward towards their goal. After arriving at camp each day we will stretching and rehydrating. This is vital. We would also encourage novice stage runners to simply interact with the other competitors. These races bring together an interesting bunch of people! In the future we would love to see Zolkan 4 Days traverse the little known national parks of Patagonia!”



Rory Bosio

“I loved my time in Chile last May (Atacama Extreme 100 miles). Everything from the culture, to the scenery, to the food was fantastic. Now I am really looking forward to running in the Andes. Getting away to Chile to run, drink Pisco sours (Chilean drink), dance and sleep under the stars makes for a very nice, balanced lifestyle. I also have an understanding boss who lets me work when I want and go on these amazing adventures. Everyone should be so lucky! It’s certainly going to be hot out there, and I struggle in the heat. I approach it from a positive mindset, however, and avoid dwelling on the discomfort. If I had a running superpower, it would be to infect everyone with the joy of running! Everyone I touch would feel compelled to run super long distances with a smile on their faces.”



Zolkan 4 Days

From the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Ocean the race offers wonderful scenery and views.


Bitesize Chile:


Location: South America, bordering Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.


Capital: Santiago. (The race starts 80km from here.)


Length: 4,270km. This long thin country crosses a whopping 38° of latitude.


Slang: ¿Cachai? – You Get Me? / Chela – Beer /¿Como estai? – How you doing? / ¡Bakan! – Awesome!


Food and Drink: Earthquake Cocktails, raw fish with lemon, avocado.


Meeting Friends: Greet a woman with a kiss. Men greet one another with thumb linked handshakes.





Don’t forget to check in as the race gets underway from January 6 at limitlesspursuits.com. There will be more updates from Matt Maynard and photography by @kirsten.m.kortebein.


Matt Maynard is a writer, ultra runner and environmentalist. He lives and works in Santiago, Chile after arriving there by bicycle. @GreenBeanTrails www.matt-maynard.com


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