By MORE Than Sport
Posted in More Than Sport, on November 04, 2015
MTS Ambassador, Lis Forsman of Lis 'n Rich Take On The World recently raced the Atacama 250km Ultra Marathon - part of the grueling and world-renowed 4 Deserts Race Series - and placed 2nd in her AG! Uncontent with simply performing at a physical level most of us cannot even fathom, Lis decided to bring some additional 'purpose to the pain' by delivering a series of our water filtration units (funded by our incredible partners at Drink Maple) to remote villages in Bolivia to help local communities prepare for the contamination and drinking needs brought upon by pending seasonal floods. Read below for her moving race recap and some incredible images.
"There is something truly awe-inspiring about racing 250 kilometers through a desert. It's the scenery - knowing that few people will ever see or even have permission to enter the places you run through; it's the people you're with - seeing how driven everyone around you is to cross that final finish line; and it's learning how strong you can be - trodding on day after long day despite the blisters, loss of toenails, and unending aches in both legs and knees. Countless times over the course of the week-long race in the Atacama Desert my mind begged my body to quit. I never seemed able to clear the sand from my shoes, new painful blisters seemed to form in pairs, the nails were being ripped from my toes, and the tendons in my knees screamed in agony.
However, I never gave up - I felt I couldn't. I had not only voluntarily signed up for the race, even paying a rather sizable sum for the "privilege", but had elected to do this race for something greater than my own ego. Waiting for me back in the race's host city, San Pedro de Atacama, were fifteen MORE Than Sport water filters - filters strong enough to provide clean drinking water to over 300 people for life. As part of this race, my desire was to bring clean water to those who couldn't afford the basic luxury that we so greatly enjoy and sometimes even take for granted. Finishing this wasn't just about myself, it was about giving back to those who live in harder conditions than myself during a week of racing. This knowledge spurred me on in my darkest moments, when the line of course markers before me felt eternal and bleak. Despite my pain, I was still in a position of privilege - a position that the people I wanted to help would very likely never know. Nearly one month later and my feet and body are still healing, but I feel so lucky and grateful for what it is that I accomplished and the things I've seen. My real hope though is that the water filters I carried to the desert will create an even greater impact for those who receive them than the impact the race has left on me."