Hi, I am Jax Mariash Koudele, runner, adventure seeker, entrepreneur, lover, dreamer and doer. Since a very young age, Wonder Woman has been my hero. Today I use her tenacity and strength to motivate others to do the impossible.
I love to inspire people through my running. For me, running ignites the soul; it makes me thrive and grow as an individual. I’ve been a runner since I was 5 years old, and after completing a few elite triathlons and duathlons, I got an itch to start running really, really long distances.
You see, I am one of those girls that doesn't like to sit still. Once I created a challenge to run 365 days in a row to support cancer research and inspire folks to move their bodies to prevent disease. Some days I run to sort out business, or step away from business, and other times I run for solitude or to visit with a friend. Whatever the case, I hope my passion for running and life encourages others to get out there and fly.
2. What's the Atacama Crossing? Atacama Crossing is a multi-day, 250k ultra-marathon across Chile’s Atacama Desert. The race is held October 4th-10th and consists of 6 stages with the following course distances on each day: 22.7 miles; 27.6 miles; 24.2 miles; 27.3 miles; 47 miles; and 6 miles to the finish. Stage one’s altitude starts at 11,200 feet, then rests around 7,000 for the remainder of the race course. The terrain will be a mixture of hard-packed sand, sand dunes, mountains, tall grass, stream crossings, rock, salt flats, and a few unknowns. Atacama is the driest desert in the world and hasn't seen rainfall in hundreds of years (NASA uses the terrain to study what they believe to be on Mars).
During the 7 days of competition, the race challenges your mind, body and spirit, as it is 100% self supported. This means besides water and a tent over your head, competitors must carry everything we need to survive. It will be a grueling test of mental grit and physical feeling. The ones that succeed will be those that not only can run very well but can also manage nutrition, hydration and recovery like a champ. Out there anything can happen and everything is tested. You must reach to your limits and then go beyond.
3. What inspired you to participate?
The Atacama Crossing is a chance to challenge my mind, body and spirit, together with like minded competitors, in one of the most remote and epic deserts in the world, away from technology and all the other distractions in our always connected world. I will challenge my body to its limits and see what it can do. And lastly, it is worth 3 points to qualify for UTMB (ultra trail monte blanc) which is a bucket list dream of mine in 2017.
4. How will DripDrop get you through the race? For the Atacama crossing specifically, DripDrop is an extremely important part of the race. In a race that has near marathon distance the first 4 days, followed by 47 miles on day 5, the distance and effect on your body will compound as you go. Temperatures will also reach highs from 78-115 degrees, in one of the driest deserts in the world. You cannot survive on water alone. Drip Drop offers essential electrolytes to get through each mile along the course. It really will give me an edge towards success.
5. Any advice/tips to inspiring runners? I hope that others can experience running as an opportunity to let it all go, check out from everything and be mindful in mind, body and spirit. The best part of running for me is to be within myself, embrace nature and try to find my Zen on the trails. Especially after a long day at work.
6. When not running, what do you like to do? I have a 2 year old swiss shepherd puppy and husband so I tend to want to be with them. Family is extremely important to me so I always try to ensure that we make time for each other. We love to hang out and enjoy a fresh beer together from one of the local breweries.
7. What are your favorite cross training activities?
I love it all! Being outside whenever possible and embracing the elements is so fun for me. This winter I am excited to try skimo racing for the first time. I am really excited about it and hope that I will transition well to the sport.