Mexican runner Alex “Chikorita” Roudayna has become the first woman in the world to climb three volcanoes in less than 24 hours.
Accompanied by a documentary team and support crew from her sponsor Red Bull, the Mexico City native summitted the 5,636-meter Pico de Orizaba, 5,230-meter Iztaccíhuatl and 4,680-meter Nevado de Toluca volcanoes in just over 22 hours.
Red Bull released the video of Roudayna’s achievement, which she completed on December 5, 2019, as part of its Three Peaks Challenge series on Thursday.
The feat even included a 2 ½-hour delay in the grindingly slow Mexico City traffic between the second and third peaks.
Roudayna, 30, suffers from Asperger syndrome. She said that the condition, which makes it difficult for her to understand the reasons behind things happening around her, adds another challenge to the endeavor.
“One thing I learned these days in the mountains is that I’m capable of doing things I never thought before, to feel comfortable with people around me,” she said.
“People have to live it to understand it. I’m thankful for everyone behind this because I’ve seen each one of them give the best of themselves, truly give their body and soul. Personally, they’ve changed my life.”
The day of the challenge began at 4:00 a.m. at the foot of the Pico de Orizaba volcano in complete darkness and 19 C-degree weather. The five-hour hike was followed by a five-hour drive to Iztaccíhuatl.
After the second peak, it was another five-hour drive through the sprawling metropolis of Mexico City to the Nevado de Toluca.
“There is no way to get to Mount Nevado de Toluca without going through Mexico City’s traffic,” Roudayna said, lamenting that she and her team “could use this time on the mountain.”
Still, the team made it to the mountain in time for her to begin climbing at 10:45 p.m. She completed her descent and the challenge at 2:00 a.m.
Champion of the 2016 and 2017 Spartan obstacle races in Mexico, Roudayna fully immerses herself physically and mentally in her sport, saying that it “stops her from thinking” for the eight to 10 hours a day she trains.
“To get out there and get our butts kicked, to make something cool but also to make that energy vibrate and make someone get up and say, ‘You know what? I wanna be more than I thought I was, to break my limitations.’ I believe that’s the point of all this.”
Source: USA Today Sports (en)