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Tommy Chen wins Chilean desert ultra marathon

2016/10/09 17:28:15

From Tommy Chen's Facebook page

Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) Taiwanese runner Tommy Chen (陳彥博) won the Atacama Crossing ultra marathon in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile on Saturday in a time of 28 hours 58 minutes and 20 seconds.

The win moved Chen a step closer to winning the overall title for the 4 Deserts Race Series this year, putting him in the lead position after three of the year's four desert races.

Chen took second in the Sahara Race in Namibia in May and fifth in the Gobi March in China in June before fighting to first in Chile.

He hopes to claim the title when he competes in the Last Desert Antarctica ultra marathon, to be held six weeks from now between Nov. 18 and 29.

Chen struggled in the second-to-last stage in the Chilean desert, a 73.4 kilometer test that saw him vomit when he pushed himself to the limit at about the 50-km mark.

He said on his Facebook page that his will wavered at that point, but he recovered to finish third in the stage in a time of 8 hours 53 minutes and 8 seconds.

Neill Weir of Northern Ireland took second place in the 6-stage 250-kilometer race in the northern Chilean desert with a time of 29 hours 51 minutes and 39 seconds, according to the competition's official website.

Some 130 competitors from more than 30 countries took part in the Atacama Crossing race.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) sent a congratulatory message to Chen for his achievement.

(By Lee Yu-cheng and Kuo Chung-han)
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