Day 3 of The Coastal Challenge kicked off at 0530 this morning and what lay ahead was a tough and challenging day of hills, technical trail, waterfalls, long dusty and stony roads and beach – all intensified by Costa Rican heat and humidity.
The early trails leaving Dominical Beach take the runners into 9.7km’s of technical river bed. It’s all rock hopping and slip sliding away on the wet and greasy surface until Cp1 Barú.
Nuayaca Waterfall is no doubt the highlight of the day, if not the race. The runners arrive down a small trail and the cascade greets them, they pass through and then climb up a winding trail.
From here on in, the terrain varies from rainforest, dusty access roads and technical trail. La Florida, Cp2 at 23.4km provides hydration and nutrition before the push to Cp3, Hermosa Beach and then Uvita at 42km.
Now, the heat is intense and the runners are sandwich pressed between sand and sky.
A small technical forest section leads to a water crossing, the highway and then another trail section before road leads to a new campsite, first used in the 2021 edition. Katakolo signifies the finish.
Erick Agüero dictated the pace from the start, it comes as no surprise with his experience on the course, particularly the opening technical 10km. He was accompanied by the main protagonists, Hayden Hawks, Peter van de Zon and Julien Chorier.
At Cp2 though, Hayden and Peter had pulled away on the rollercoaster terrain and had gained a substantial 5-minute lead. Julien Chorier was now trailing the leading three and losing time.
Hermosa Beach passed and then at the water crossing, immediately after Cp4, Hayden extended a short lead over Peter; both looking strong. Erick now had lost significant time but had a huge lead over 4th, Julien.
At the line, Hayden had once again extended his time crossing in 5:29:16. Peter, running a solid and excellent race, crossed in 5:31:25 well ahead of the local hero, Erick who ran a time of 5:49:43.
Giudy Turini once again lead from the front and never looked back. Early in the stage, she was contending a top-10 position overall and that remained the way through most of the stage, so strong was her performance. With no immediate pressure from behind and with such a convincing lead, she is pacing herself perfectly for 2022 TCC victory.
Francis Davila Palacios once again ran strong and steady for 2nd place. Consistent in the heat and terrain, barring any problems over the next three days, her 2nd overall looks secure.
Courtney Hill once again followed up a solid stage 2 with a great stage 3, however, the battle with Paolo Gamboa Sanchez, for today, was truce, the due crossed the line together, a second apart.
- Hayden Hawks 5:29:16
- Peter van de Zorn 5:31:25
- Erick Agüero 5:49:43
- Giudy Turini 7:39:13
- Francis Davila Palacios 8:36:22
- Courtney Hill/ Paolo Gamboa Sanchez 9:02:56
Results and overall standings on webscorer.com
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