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Wong Ho Chung & Lara Reynolds Win The 3rd Race In The 2018 4 Deserts Championship

Press Release / 09.10.2018

The 14th edition of the gruelling 250km / 155 mile Atacama Crossing ultramarathon finished in the main square of San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile. This is the third leg of the 2018 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series which will conclude in Antarctica at The Last Desert in November.

Wong Ho Chung, a fireman from Hong Kong, was the overall winner in an impressive time of 24 hours and 20 minutes, an incredible 5 hours ahead of second place Takuya Wakaoka, 34, from Japan. Wong missed the course record, which was set in 2012, by less than one hour. Third place went to Christophe Santini from France. Notably, there were nine nationalities represented in the Top 10 (Japan, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Poland, Holland, Romania and Canada as well as Hong Kong) at this truly international race.

Top 10 Men Name Country Age Time
WONG, Ho Chung Hong Kong 31 24:20:56
WAKAOKA, Takuya Japan 34 29:12:46
SANTINI, Christophe France 47 30:51:53
BECKER, Maik Switzerland 48 32:51:19
ROADLEY, Greg New Zealand 44 33:42:19
DAOUDI, Sifedine France 39 35:10:41
GAWRON, Michal Poland 39 35:27:35
VAN SCHILT, Bart Holland 40 35:39:08
GLIGOR, Andrei Romania 41 35:55:48
HARRISON, Jamie Canada 43 36:35:42

It was a hard fought race among the women with the leader changing nearly every stage. In the end it was South African Lara Reynolds who won the race after an impressive run on the Long March. Second place went to Victoria Connelly from the United Kingdom and 3rd place to Le Ping (Denise) from China. Among the Top 5 women, five countries were represented. 1st place team was from Korea.

Top 5 Women Bib Name Country Age Time
REYNOLDS, Lara South Africa 48 39:29:07
CONNELLY, Victoria United Kingdom 37 40:07:29
LE, Ping (Denise) China 39 41:33:32
LUBICS, Szilvia Hungary 44 41:49:13
BELL, JacquI Australia 23 41:54:50

For Wong and Wakaoka, as well as thirteen others, the Atacama Crossing was another milestone in their bid to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam in 2018 (running all 4 Deserts Ultramarathons in one year).

They will also be hoping for a chance to be crowned the 4 Deserts Champion 2018. The racer who has the lowest cumulative rank from each of the 4 Deserts Ultramarathons when they complete The Last Desert is crowned the 4 Deserts Champion. Wong's recent win in the Atacama Crossing, coupled with a win at the Gobi March and 2nd place at the Namib Race earlier this year, gives him 4 points and puts him as the favourite to become the 4 Deserts Champion 2018 going into the race in Antarctica. His 2nd place rival in northern Chile, Wakaoka from Japan, is his closest competitor for the title.

First held in 2004, the Atacama Crossing 2018 was the 14th edition or the race on a nearly unchanged course. The six-stage race began on 30 September and over the past week, competitors from 36 countries endured intense heat, freezing nights and harsh terrain including water up to their thighs, salt flats that are like walking on coral, climbing soft sand dunes and long flat sections going on beyond the horizon in the driest desert in the world. They also had the Long March on Stage 5 which was a 79km / 49 mile stage! However, racers were rewarded with stunning desert landscapes, running through narrow canyons and spectacular starry skies.

You can follow the final leg of the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series in Antarctica on 23 November.

About RacingThePlanet & the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series The Atacama Crossing is part of RacingThePlanet's 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series which is the most prestigious footrace series in the world, ranked by TIME Magazine as the "World's Top Endurance Races" and profiled on BBC, ESPN, NatGeo, CNN, ABC, and NBC Sports. A unique collection of world-class races that take place over 7 days and 250 kilometres / 155 miles in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet. Elite and non-elite individuals and teams race self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must carry all their own equipment and food but are provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest. The series comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, the Gobi March in China / Mongolia, the Namib Race in Namibia and The Last Desert in Antarctica. Learn more at

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