Zolkan 4 Days: The runners arrive at the Coastal Range

A REVIEW of the action from Day 3.


Zolkan 4 Day 2016

Caleu to Ocoa. 21km 

Route map of Day 3
THE ANDES mountains are behind the runners now. Palm trees, cloud inversions and Chilean vinyards now characterise the trail.
What is Zolkan 4 Days? Read our preview here.
8km of uphill was a brutal start for runners suffering from blisters and extremely tired legs. The front runners set a vicious pace nonetheless: today was the day when the race would most likely be decided.
Up into decidious forest, with weaves and ducking beneath low hanging branches. Up through rocks, hidden underfoot beneath last year’s leaves. The summer heat, however, relented today – the land cooled by a Pacfic Ocean breeze.
Zolkan 4 Days

A cloud fills one of the many valleys runners passed through. photo www.matiaspinto.cl

Finally, the descent began. A fire road trail peeled out beneath the runners and off into the cloud that filled the valley below. Cliffs to the right, a precipice to the left. For 2km the runners tested their legs on the rapid descent, and then the trail crossed to the other side of the ridge – the mirror image of clouds and precipice confronting them.
Zolkan 4 Days

Ultra Mel and Jon had another rough day with blister woes but toughed it out to the finish line ice bath.

Down next into steep rocky ground – many foreign runners have been broken by the Chilean trails these last three days. The races in this country so often seek out relentless technical lines through the mountains that confound the uninitiated. This race has been no exception. Silver trunked palm trees and spiky espino were brushed past as the competitors descended to Ocoa.
Zolkan 4 Days

Chileans Moisés Jiménez and Max Keith finished together in first place.

You can review the overall race leader board at the end of Day 3 here.
Zolkan 4 Days

Michelle Trujillo has been running alone for much of the race but has finished strong each day. She is currently in second place overall in the women’s race. photo www.matiaspinto.cl


How did the runners from our race preview get on?

Seb Chaigneau
Sebastien kept himself in contention but lost further ground to the Chilean coningent. His attitude is very relaxed and he is enjoying himself thoroughly in the new terrain the race is passing through.
ultra mel and jon2
They are still in the race! (Despite yesterday’s fear they may have retired.) Jon especially has some really chewed-up feet now, and before the race they both recieved medical attention.
Francesca Conte
Francesca did arrive yesterday after we went to press. Unfortunately however she has now retired from the race.
Francisco took a km to get into his rhythm then took small quick steps to climb quickly to the pass. “I started clicking mental photos when I was up there above the clouds. I will remember that view forever.”
Zolkan 4 Days
 Vero had some competition today for the first time in the race. Nicole Valenzuela ran so hard that, in her surpise in catching The North Face athlete she shouted, “Vero – I admire you!” Veronica pulled away again and spent a long time in massage and the ice bath recovering for tomorrow.

One runner gets some respite from the sun’s unforgiving heat in the shade of a forest. photo www.matiaspinto.cl


Looking ahead to the final day:


The last day with its 17km to the sea could be very interesting. The bold Chilean Moisés Jiménez seemed correct to seek advantage over French favourite Chaigneau early in the race. The podium is still undecided however. Chileans Jimenez and Keith; and Frenchmen Chaigneau and Beaufils could all still potentially take the top place.
Keep tuned for more updates at limitlesspursuits.com!





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

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