Images available for personal and commercial use HERE
Iain Don-Wauchope return to the heat, humidity and rainforests of Costa Rica and despite below par training in the build up to the race, repeats his 2015 first day with a blistering performance against a world-class field that left his nearest rival 19-minutes back at the finish line.
Lady on fire, Elisabet Barnes, followed up her 2015 MDS victory and Oman multi-day race with a strong first day performance ahead of Portugal’s Ester Alves.
The day started at 0345 with an early call and a 3-hour transfer from San Jose to the coastal town of Queopos. The race started at 0930, the only day that the race will have a late start. All other days start at sunrise due to the heat and humidity.
Each year the race director Rodrigo, warns the runners of the heat, the dangers of dehydration and how important it is to start slow and ease in to the day. Boom… the race started and as in every other year a lead group of men shot off the front at a super fast pace. The inevitable explosions started to happen from just 6km and a very savvy Iain Don-Wauchope used his experience from last year and slowly but surely puled away opening a 6-minute gap just after PC1 and he continued to extend this all the way too the line.
“You wouldn’t believe how little running I have done. I am not sandbagging. Today’s run came from somewhere… maybe a little help from above. I am really happy with the run but as we saw in 2015, day 1 is just 1 day. The men behind are world-class and they could pull back my lead with just one day.” – Iain Don-Wauchope
Chema Martinez and Gonzao Calisto were chasing hard but it was very apparent that 2:08 marathon runner,
Martinez was suffering in the heat. Calisto continued to chase trailing Don-Wauchope by 19-minutes at the line.
Carlos Sa closed with a consistent paced run to place 3rd. Martinez unfortunately slowed as the day progressed and struggled on the final technical descent the followed with a water crossing to the finish line.
“From 6km I had nothing. It was just an awful day and on the final descent, I couldn’t run, I just had to walk. At the finish the doctor looked at me and my blood pressure was low – it’s all down to the heat and humidity; a rally tough day!” – Chema
Overall men’s results here
Elisabet Barnes ran with Portugal’s Ester Alves in the early stages but the heat soon took hold and the high humidity caused Alves to slow, Without increasing her pace, Barnes slowly pulled away and continued to do so all the way to the line to secure a first stage victory.
Elisabet Barnes, “I knew it was going to be hot but I was surprised by the heat at the start. I enjoyed the stage, all very runnable and the 2nd half was tougher than the first; more undulations. The humidity made what was already tough, tougher and apparently it was a little cooler today because of cloud cover. I have a small lead but as we have seen in the men’s race, anything can happen, I will take one day at a time but it was a good start.”
Alves held on for 2nd place and although looking relaxed at the finish, she did say the heat and been a limiting factor today.
Amy Gordon ran a solid pace for 3rd overall on the ladies category.
Overall ladies results HERE
Tomorrows stage will be 38km and the estimated start time is 0530.