Zolkan 4 Days: The long day

A review of the action from Day 2.


Zolkan 4 day

Antawaya to El Manzano, 47km and ascent of 3,200m San Ramon

Route map of Day 2
THE HELICOPTER arrived to drop water at the mountain aid station just after sunrise. Today would be the longest day the runners would face – an ultra marathon across the entire San Ramon mountain range that normally takes hikers three days to complete. The water dropped by the helicopter would be essential to keep the runners hydrated. Altitude sickness was a real possibility. Heat exhaustion would also be a serious problem for those runners who were out in the mountains for the longest. Some runners still have not made it back to camp. 
Many runners suffered yesterday from blisters from all the downhill and not everyone made it to the start line for day 2. The big climb started at 10km and it would be a further 16km before they reached the summit. Max Keith, The North Face runner from Chile, joined the front of the pack today along with yesterday’s leaders – Frenchmen Fabien Beaufil and Seb Chaigneau and Chileans Francisco Pino and Moises Jimenez. Jokes were shared and spirits were high as their collective energy pushed them towards the summit.
FullSizeRender (4)

Once again the scenery left little to the imagination.

This was a very ambitious day for the race organisers. Excellent radio communication, medics on the mountain and months of planning meant that the runners were able to pass through this potentially hostile environment in a safe manner.
Matt Maynard

Matt Maynard crossing a river on the second day of Zolkan 4 Days. photo www.matiaspinto.cl


Once on the Ramon summit, runners faced a 25km descent to the town of El Manzano. They slid down scree slopes, hopped through high altitude fields of rabbit warrens and into a canyon where the cicadas sang and the river ran deep, right up to runner’s thighs. Once again the race was decided in the last few kms when Max Keith, Mosises Jimenez and Fabien Beaufil pulled away from Seb Chaigneau to create a two-minute lead over the French favourite. Moises Jimenez now leads the race.
FullSizeRender (7)

Day 2 has the potential to be the hardest day of the race with some runners still on the mountain and others having to retire.


How did the runners from our preview get on?

Francisco pushed hard from the start but suffered from altitude sickness and took a 25-minute nap in the refuge on the summit of Ramon. He still managed to finish a strong fifth however, but is now probably out of contention for top place when the runners reach the Pacific Ocean on Friday.
Francesca Conte
Francesca is still yet to finish the day’s racing and is still on the mountain.
Seb Chaigneau
Seb is now relaxing with a few beers and enjoying socialising with the arrived runners while he waits at the finish line to receive the last arrivals. He is four minutes off Moises and still could win Zolkan 4 Days.
 ultra mel and jon2
Mel and Jon are still out on the course. It is believed they may have retired from the race.
Zolkan 4 Days
Vero climbed slowly as she has a history of suffering at altitude. She chased down the men on the downhill making good use of her poles to control her descent and finished first woman once again.

At the end of the second day of Zolkan 4 Days there will be mixed emotions among the runners.

Here is a link to the complete leader board at the end of Day 2.

Looking ahead:


Day 3 is where the final positions will likely be decided before the traditional final wind down day of stage races. It’s a fast forest trail of 18km. Those whose legs are still strong could move up some places. Keep tuned and stay in touch with our Twitter feed (link).


Don’t forget to check for more updates from the race tomorrow 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

Reader Comments

Share This Article