Chilean-American prepares for 250km desert race

New York City – Chilean-American Ultra Runner Zandy Mangold is training for a 250km race in the Atacama Desert starting on March 4th, 2012. Zandy’s Chilean father, Tomas Mangold, will be returning to San Pedro De Atacama for the first time in over 25 years to support his son and reconnect with his native land. Tomas once worked in the desert mines in northern Chile.

Zandy Mangold first visited San Pedro de Atacama on a family trip in 1985. He was a Grange School exchange student in 1991 and returned in 1994 to attend Universidad Católica. He also worked as a photojournalist for Chilean newspaper La Nacion and interned for La Vina Santa Carolina while he conducted research for his senior honors thesis. In 2009 and 2011, Zandy was the official photographer for the Racing the Planet marathons in the Atacama Desert. Racing the Planet is a global entity that stages races around the world in some of the harshest climates and conditions. The grueling races are 250km, self-supported and take seven days to complete.

Zandy feels a deep connection to Chile and the Atacama Desert, and is proud to represent both Chile and the United States in the race. Mangold identifies deeply with Chilean culture, especially the warmth of the Chilenos, pisco sours, empanadas and the tradition of kissing all the girls on the cheek!

He will arrive in Chile on Feb 26th to begin preparing & acclimatizing for the race, which is March 4th-10th. Zandy & Tomas Mangold will drive from San Pedro De Atacama to Santiago starting on March 11th, revisiting many of the places Tomas used to work.

More information on the race, as well as the trailer for “More Chilean Than Beans”, a documentary about Zandy’s career as a journalist and his preparation for the race of a lifetime, can be found here.

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