Runners departed San Jose at 4am for a 4 hour transfer to the coast for the start of the 2020 The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica’s number one multi-day race.
It’s always a tough day as the runners depart the stage start after 0900 and the heat of the day is already intense.
It’s a day for caution!
From the off, the elite men pushed hard setting a relentless pace to checkpoint 1 with the UK’s Andy Symonds leading the way with Mauricio Mendez. Cody Lind and local, Erick Agüero followed. For the women, pre-race favourite Kaytlyn Gerbin lead from the front pulling away from Brazils, Manuela Vilaseca.
After checkpoint one, the heat was starting to influence the race with Symonds and Vilaseca both going through bad patches, this allowed Mendez and Gerbin to extend their leads.
Mendez took hold of the front of the race and the 2016 Xterra World Champion pushed home for the win looking very strong and relaxed in 2:44:35. The USA’s Lind moved in to second place with 2:49:08 and Symonds rallied in the closing stages to hold on the a podium place in 2:51:37 ahead of the local hero, Scott Maguire from Canada in 2:53:06. Local hero Agüero was 5th in 2:54:12.
“It was so hot today. Although a three hour race for me I treated it like an ultra and held things back. I never ran past water, I immersed myself all the time when I could. As the day progressed and I moved up through the field and finished 2nd, a good day!” – Cody Lind
Gerbin pushed for line with a convincing lead in 3:18:47 and behind her, Costa Rican runners, Natalia López Arrieta and Ashton Keck Keck placed 2nd and 3rd ahead of Norway’s, Abelone Lyng in 3:31:37, 3:48:09 and 3:56:49 respectively.
“I wanted a strong first day but I needed to respect the heat. A great deal if fire road today and that was tough…” Gerbin said after the finish. “But I have a lead now and I will run my own race each day. It was hot today, it needs so much respect.”
Mauricio Mendez 2:44:35
Cody Lind 2:49:08
Andy Symonds 2:51:37
Kaytlyn Gerbin 3:18:47
Natalia López Arrieta 3:31:37
Ashton Keck Keck 3:48:09
Stage 2 of #TCC2020 with depart with sunrise, ahead 40.2km to Dominical beach. The ‘Adventure’ category will run 17.4km starting from aid station 2.
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