It is quite simply one of the hardest races known to endurance athletes. It is 155 miles through the desert land of the Atacama Crossing in northern Chile – the driest place on earth and 50 times more arid than California’s Death Valley. Over the course of seven days, racers will compete against the heat during the day, frigid nights, varied elevation, and each other. It is part of the 4 Deserts Race Series and none for the faint of heart.
It’s a race Jarrett Kovics is taking very seriously – and with a higher mission driving his training. For the full-time private equity management leader at Baird, part-time CrossFit Katy Trail owner, husband, & father of three boys, Jarrett Kovics is used to investing his time pouring into others to better their lives. After a 2010 trip to Costa Rica, Jarrett’s eyes and focus were forever changed. There, he worked with eleven others in building a children’s home for twelve orphans to live. It was in that moment that he knew he had to do more. Jarrett was happy to build houses but knew his talents lie in raising the necessary funds to build and run a 12-children orphanage in Costa Rica. Each home takes $100,000 annually to operate. Instead of choosing to just ask for donations, Jarrett chose to google “toughest race in the world,” and then raise money through that.
“155 miles at 10,000 ft elevation in the middle of the desert – my goal is just to survive. And if I finish, if I succeed, I will run a desert each year with the Sahara up next.”
Racers will have to carry their own equipment and food for the week-long journey. The support staff will provide fresh drinking water and a spot in the tents each night to rest, but everything else is up to the individual competitors. Right now, there are only eleven others signed up to compete alongside Jarrett in the Atacama Desert.
It’s crazy, borderline insane to compete in this race by most people’s standards., but hey, why not? Jarrett has been training for months, pushing through the hours of trail runs, CrossFit workouts, and additional training, to better equip his body for the trek. His passion to help those orphaned children keeps his enthusiasm and energy levels high when he feels physically worn out.
It’s inspiring to see someone identify a need, raise money by putting their body through one of the world’s most grueling events, and then set out for the adventure of a lifetime. Jarrett will succeed in completing this race. Our team has no doubt. His eyes are already on running through the Sahara desert next year to raise more funds. Go get it Jarrett.
Compete Every Day is supporting Jarrett’s race and Costa Rican orphanage by donating a portion of all sales today toward his fundraiser.