Running the Atacama Crossing Ultra for cancer


Sadly, the Atacama Crossing Race was canceled in 2020 and 2021.  I was given the opportunity to run theNamib Desert Race , a similarly formatted multi day ultramarathon, in October of 2021 instead.  I hope you will follow my madness in the desert on my blog  and consider making a contribution to the cause, either here or with your local cancer center.

In June of 2014, I was diagnosed with NK cell lymphoma.  The NK stands for natural killer (it’s not a good day when you get told you have cancer, and your cancer has natural killer in its name).  The first oncologist I met with gave me a 50% chance of surviving 2 years.  Luckily for me, I was referred to the SCCA, and because of the research and resources available, not to mention the hard work of some pretty smart doctors and some amazing nurses, I am now still here to enjoy life and tell my story.

In September of 2020, to celebrate and give thanks for being 5 years lymphoma free, I am going to run the Atacama Crossing week long ultramarathon.  I figure that a grand (or maybe crazy) gesture is in order.  A runner in a previous rendition of this race said that he decided to run the race after googling “hardest thing a man can do.”  I’m not sure about that.  The hardest thing I’ve ever done was to get chemotherapy and radiation at the same time.  But it will certainly be the most grueling running event I’ve ever tried. 
I would like to invite you to run along with me!  And if you can’t make it to Chile, please follow my blog (coming soon) and consider making a donation to the SCCA.  All donations here go straight to the SCCA (I am not soliciting donations for the race expenses) to help them continue saving lives.

Nancy (my lovely wife and the main reason I am still alive) and I are putting our money where my mouth is and donating the first $1000.

Want to join me in making a difference? I'm raising money to benefit Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and any donation will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me.

More information about Seattle Cancer Care Alliance: Seattle Cancer Care Alliance represents a union of patients and doctors, physicians and researchers, care and cures in the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for our patients. SCCA is the intersection of compassion and hard science. We treat care differently. And, because of that, we see patients differently, too. Our care combines powerful science with devoted collaboration, where boundary-pushing discovery happens: care and science working together.

  • Jeff, Teresa, Alex & Adam Ripley 
    • $1,000 
    • 29 d
  • Sheryl Wittig 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Alan Cowan 
    • $75 
    • 1 mo
  • Mary Kathleen Gadams 
    • $200 
    • 2 mos
  • Katharine Zeller 
    • $250 
    • 21 mos
See all


Rob Ripley 
Bend, OR
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance 
Registered nonprofit
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