The Coastal Challenge 2015 (#TCC2015) is point-to-point race starting in Quepos and finishing in the stunning Drakes Bay close to the border of Panama. The 230km route weaves in and out of the Talamancas (a coastal mountain range in the south west corner of the country) providing a true multi terrain experience.
Participants are required to balance the distance, severity of the terrain and a tropical climate to reach the finish line. Jungle, rainforest trails, mountain trail, single track across ridge lines, highlands and coastal ranges lead into pristine beaches, rocky outcroppings, reefs, river valleys, river and estuary crossings to provide an ultimate journey.
I caught up with two of the male contenders for overall victory in the 2015 edition just the other day: Joe Grant and Speedgoat Karl Meltzer (read HERE.) Today we have a catch up with Anna ‘Frosty Frost and Samantha Gash.
Anna Frost – Salomon
You have been back home in the Southern Hemisphere over the Christmas period, what have you been doing to prepare for TCC?
Well, it only seems like yesterday the 2014 race season finished. So I have been having a break and catching up with family and friends after a long race season away from home. It has been a wonderful hot summer so I have naturally been getting used to the heat and enjoying some beach runs and swims! It is a perfect time to be in the mountains on overnight adventures so I have taken the opportunity to get some long days back to back.
You managed to experience the TCC race in 2014 without racing, how beneficial has that been in preparation for the 2015 race?
I learnt a lot about the course and was able to see the challenges without putting myself through them. Although nothing really prepares you like the experience itself. I hadn’t expected such long beach sections so I have been making the most of living beside the beach and doing most of my runs there.
Your mum is joining you out in TCC. That’s going to be quite special. Are you planning making this a holiday race?
Yes, my mum is joining me which will be fabulous to be able to share this part of my life with her. Stages races are so social and exciting everyday so for spectators to get involved is really nice for everyone. I got my travel blood from my parents so she is definitely looking forward to seeing somewhere new and in a new way through my race. (Im not sure what you mean by a holiday race) I am not fully back into race mode or training hard as I have a long season ahead, but this race will most definitely give me a good base to kick start the year.
Any tips for all those taking part?
Drink lots of water, anytime you go past water submerge yourself to fully cool down, drink some replacement fluids afterwards and even in the morning and then drink some more water. It is so hot there…we are all going to need it.
You have been back home after South Africa, what have you been doing to prepare for TCC?
I spent Christmas and New Years in New Zealand with my partner and fellow ultra running friends. It was only my second overseas trip in four years that didn’t revolve around a race! We spent everyday outside, running some incredible trails and hiking hard up some mountains. Although it wasn’t planned to be so, it was great training for TCC.
You had a wonderful no racing multi day experience in South Africa. Great preparation for TCC but have you recovered?
To be honest I wouldn’t say I have recovered 100% yet. I get more tired after a run and mentally my mind isn’t yet committed to doing long runs for the purpose of training. It would be easier to be hard on yourself for feeling weaker whilst climbing hills and weary after a 20km run, but it is to be expected after what we experienced – both from a running and preparation perspective.
You have multi day racing dialled. What for you are the secrets of racing/ running day after day?
Be strategic in how you attack each stage. I personally like to think of the entire race as an arch as opposed to separate stages. There will be times where you may choose to run more conservatively to complete the entire arch. Nutrition and how you choose to recover between the stages is also important. So, I will aim to get some rest after each days run in addition to a good nights sleep.
Any other tips for all those taking part?
Have fun, look around and get to know the other competitors. These are the things you will probably remember more than how you placed.
Route book and profiles available on PDF Here
Top images of Anna Frost – ©paulpetch.co.nz