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A marathon challenge #RAFORB2A

Riz Akhtar, co-founder of dental specialists RA Accountants, has begun training for the marathon of his life – a seven day, 250km footrace across the Atacama Desert in an aim to raise charitable funds for Bridge2Aid.

Taking place on October 2-8 this year, the 4deserts Atacama Crossing Challenge is a 250km race which crosses Atacama Desert, around San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Riz will face six stages in seven days with almost four marathons in four days, then 74km and a final stage of 11km.

As one of the few deserts on Earth that doesn’t receive any rain, Atacama is a plateau in South America, covering a 1,000km strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the beautiful Andes Mountains. Whilst the desert has an awe inspiring and unique landscape of salt lakes, volcanoes, lava flows and sand dunes, it is fifty times dryer than Death Valley. He will have to endure unpredictable terrain, a harsh climate and an altitude that averages at 2,500m.

The one week challenge is self supported, which means he will have to carry his clothes, sleeping bag, mandatory equipment, medical/safety kit and seven days’ worth of food in his backpack whilst journeying across the desert.

Noting his choice of Bridge2Aid as the chosen charity, Riz said:

“I have always admired the work that Bridge2Aid have done through the years and it is remarkable how they have made a huge impact on individuals, especially through the act of educating and training.”

Bridge2Aid aims to free communities in the developing world from chronic pain by teaching vital new skills to rural health workers. Over 70 per cent of the world has no access to any form of safe treatment for oral diseases and infections. People are abandoned to agony for months and years. They face life threatening infections and pain that is so severe that they cannot work, go to school or feed their families. The charity’s aim is to provide a unique solution by providing intensive practical training in emergency dental skills to existing health workers in rural communities.

No newbie to marathons, Riz previously completed the six day and six stage 250km 4Deserts Gobi challenge run across China’s eastern province of Xinjiang last year, in line with the launch of RA Accountants charity RA Foundation.

Stay updated with Riz’s progress and journey in October by searching #RAforB2A on Twitter and Facebook. For more information, or to sponsor Riz Akhtar on his 4Deserts Atacama October challenge, visit:


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