Fernanda Maciel achieved her lofty goal to run up and down Aconcagua — a 22,841-foot peak — in under 24 hours. The mountain had already thwarted an earlier attempt from Maciel, along with many other hopeful runners.
Feeling stronger than ever on her return to Aconcagua, this time she became a legend of mountain running. The Brazilian ran 28 miles from the entrance of Aconcagua Provincial Park to the peak of the mountain and back in 22 hours and 52 minutes.
See what she has to say about her incredible achievement in the inspiring video clip above.
During the climb she battled snow, ice and steep gradients as well as dealing with running in an environment with drastically reduced oxygen levels.
Maciel’s moment at the summit of Aconcagua:
She had spent time training on and around the mountain before the attempt and was feeling strong in mind and body. That helped in her effort, but the climb took its toll, especially running at night at high altitude.
"It felt like I was drunk," Maciel said. "I lost a lot of energy from the cold in the dawn and spent a few hours running in a zigzag, very slowly. Only when the sun came out did I get better. I returned to my pace and the bad feeling wasn't there any more."