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Taiwanese ultra marathon runner finishes second in Brazil race

2012/05/21 19:09:33

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwanese ultra marathon runner Tommy Chen finished second among 40 competitors in an extreme marathon challenge in Brazil Sunday.

Chen said prior to the race in Lencois Maranhenses National Park in northwestern Brazil that it would be a great challenge because temperatures during the day could reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius.

Another difficulty was the lack of access to drinking water, which forced runners to spend two hours disinfecting lake water against water-borne parasites and viruses prior to drinking it, the runner said in a statement.

Chen had to rely on GPS to find his way because there were few signs posted to guide the runners, but he nearly got lost when his electronic devices broke down after he waded through shallow water, according to the statement.

Runners were required to complete the 170-kilometer race within three days.

Chen had previously completed the 2009 Himalayan 160-km Stage Race, the 2010 North Pole Marathon and the Antarctic 100-km ultra race.

He has four more races to go before attaining his goal of finishing eight races spanning seven continents within five years.

Chen set an Asian record by running the North Pole and South Pole marathons within nine months of each other, and he was the first Taiwanese to carry the flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to both poles.

(By Lung Bo-an and Ann Chen)