Fiona Oakes has completed yet another extreme marathon, across the mountains of South America, the Volcano Marathon in Chile. Runners were warned to expect snow at the start at temperatures of 30 Celsius later on.
Starting and finishing at altitude and across some rough terrain, this marathon is tough. Fiona described this as ‘probably the hardest thing I have ever done’, which coming from an athlete who has complete Marathon des Sables and holds the course record for the North Pole marathon, speaks volumes!
With no acclimatization or experience of altitude, Fiona took 6 hours to finish and was still 8th of all finishers and the second woman. She was second by 5 minutes 23 seconds, but over 3 hours 15 ahead of third place! The brutal terrain contributed to a fall and knee injury before halfway and as altitude sickness took hold and her leg swelled, it was extremely challenging. She made the decision to reduce the speed to avoid aggravating the knee injury and the horrible altitude sickness.
This made perfect sense as the race continued through gorges, up steep hills and rocky tracks at the height of 14,400 feet (4390 metres)
She still experienced swelling to her fingers and a harsh headache. Breathing was also difficult, although the doctor explained that this is normal for reaching these heights.
While Fiona deserves great credit for finishing this event, she has no time to rest. On November 20th she is off to another extreme marathon – at the South Pole!
We will of course be bringing the news of the next stage of this incredible series to the site.