The Coastal Challenge 2023 #TCC2023 – Stage 1

Mathieu Blanchard ©iancorless

It was an early start (0300) leaving San Jose and heading to the Pacific Coast for the stage 1 of the 2023 The Coastal Challenge starting at Del Rey beach, Quepos.

This year, the shorter Adventure category and the longer Expedition category would run different distances for stage 1. In the past, they have run the same course.

Expedition would run 41km with 1071m vertical gain and the Adventure, 32km.

©iancorless

Getting underway before 0800, the rewards were blessed with cooler’ temperatures for the first hour, however, cooler is all relative when on the coast, it was still hot!

Sebastian Krogvig ©iancorless

Overnight, Sebastian Krogvig unfortunately had picked up some sickness, although feeling generally okay, it was clear as the stage started he was not 100%. He struggled with any pace, it was a tough day…

Didrik Hermansen pushing the pace ©iancorless

Didrik Hermansen though set his stall out from the start setting a strong pace. He was followed by Dani Jung, Mathieu Blanchard and Peter van der Zon.

Didrik and Mathieu ©iancorless

It wasn’t long before Didrik and Mathieu broke away.

©iancorless

For the women, Katie Schide and Marianne Hogan ran together and behind, Tomomi Bitoh followed.

Checkpoint 1 and there was no change, the pace by Didrik and Mathieu was fast.

As the race progressed, Didrik and Mathieu took a wrong turn and lost in the region of 1.5km allowing Peter and Dani to take the lead. They chased, caught them and then once again pushed ahead in 1st and 2nd.

Peter van der Zon at the finish©iancorless

Peter started to struggle in the heat and Dani started to hold on to the duo. However, Mathieu found the energy to break away and take victory on stage one, closely followed by Didrik and Dani.

“Very happy, a hot day. In Canada it was -40, today 40-degrees here, that is a big change…. My body handled the waether today. It’s a big Tropical environment, wonderful trees, amazing bridge and waterfalls.” – Mathieu Blanchard

Mathieu Blanchard ©iancorless

Katie and Marianne finished together, Katie looked happy to be done, she had also struggled with some illness and fought hard throughout the day.

Katie and Marianne ©iancorless

Tomomi came in securing 3rd place, all smiles. Last year, Tomomi caught Covid one day before the race and had to miss four stages, this year, she is so happy to be back.

Tomomi Bitoh ©iancorless

Faces told the story at the finish, the heat and the humidity had taken its toll, it always does on stage 1, it’s such a shock to the system without pre-acclimation, something that Marianne and Mathieu had done.

“I heard the sound of animals in the jungle, I turned to Peter and said this is incredible, ‘This is much more atmosphere than UTMB!” – Dani Jung

©iancorless

Stage 2 tomorrow is 40km and 1828m+

Stage Results

  • Mathieu Blanchard 3:36:08
  • Didrik Hermansen +1m 27s
  • Dani Jung +1 28s
  • Marianne Hogan 4:13:01
  • Katie Schiede 4:13:01
  • Tomomi Bitoh 4:42:50

#tcc2023

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The Coastal Challenge 2023 #TCC2023 – Arrival in Costa Rica

Runner’s have arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica ahead of the 2023 edition which starts on Sunday February 5th.

Admin day, pre-race protocols and race briefing will soon be completed and then an early morning journey to Quepos and the start line of stage 1 awaits.

For 2023, the runner’s in both Expedition and Adventure categories will experience some new route changes and distances. Notably, the expedition category, on paper, appears to be a tougher race.

Stage 1 is always brutal as for many, the heat and humidity really takes a hold and exhausts the un-prepared body. In the past, this stage has hovered around the 30km mark, for 2023 it will be 41km with 1071m+ for the Expedition category.

  • Stage 2 40km and 1828m+
  • Stage 3 49km and 1884m+
  • Stage 4 35.5km and 2434m+
  • Stage 5 40.6km and 1670m+
  • and the final stage 6 35.7km and 875m+

This makes a total 0f 241.8km and 9762m+.

For the shorter Adventure race, unlike in past editions, stage 1 will be shorter than the expedition at 32km.

  • Stage 2 17km
  • Stage 3 16.5km
  • Stage 4 12.5km
  • Stage 5 22.3km
  • Stage 6 35.7km

The Adventure race totals 136km with 4032m+.

With an International line-up, all eyes will be on the front of the race with a stellar male and female line-up.

For the men:

Mathieu Blanchard ©iancorless

Mathieu Blanchard, Didrik Hermansen, Sebastian Krogvig, Dani Jung and Peter van der Zon will go head-to-head for the TCC crown. Sadly, local ever-present and multi podium finisher of the TCC, Erick Aguero will not start due to injuries sustained in a fall.

For the women:

Katie Schide ©iancorless

UTMB one and two, Katie Schide and Marianne Hogan will once again do battle along with Tomomi Bitoh from Japan.

Departing from San Jose around 0330am, the journey to the coast will be undertaken in darkness. The hope is that runner’s can start the stage as early as possible, therefore taking advantage of cooler temperatures before the heat of the day arrives.

The TCC is the ultimate Costa Rican multi-day adventure. The route hugs the coastline of the tropical Pacific, weaving in and out of the Talamancas; a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of this Central American country. The terrain is ever-changing and challenges each participant, from wide, dusty and runnable fire trails to dense and muddy mountain trails. Add river crossings, boulder hopping, swimming through rivers, passing under waterfalls, and long and relentless beaches, TCC is a unique experience. Finally, the finish will come in the incredible Corcovado National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site with a stunning final loop around Drake Bay. After an evening relaxing, the runner’s will depart for their journeys back to San Jose via speedboat to Sierpe and then a follow on coach trip.

TCC has always grabbed my attention, February is early in the year, so, there are not many races. For me, it will be a challenge, I’m usually home skiing in Norwegian winter and in 2023 I will be in an exotic race in the Jungle – it’s exciting! The landscapes and nature looks spectacular! The trails look challenging and fun, a perfect mix of racing and adventure.” – Sebastian Krogvig

#tcc2023

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Mathieu Blanchard to join The Coastal Challenge 2023 – #TCC2023

©iancorless

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica, is excited to announce that Mathieu Blanchard will join the line-up for the 2023 edition.

UTMB 2022 ©iancorless

Mathieu shot to fame after the 2022 UTMB when he traded blows with Kilian Jornet, finally placing 2nd. However, Mathieu is not the new kid on the block… His results go back to 2016 with podium placings in his home of Canada at Quebec Mega Trail and Ultra Trail Harricana de Charlevoix.

The rise in the sport has been steady and planned, in 2018 for example, Mathieu placed 13th at UTMB, in 2019 10th at CCC, and in 2021 he showed the promise of victory with 3rd at UTMB.

Mathieu leading 9x MDS champion, Rachid el Morabity

While he may be considered a single-day specialist, Mathieu dipped his toes in stage racing with participation in the 2021 Marathon des Sables – an edition that has now become infamous due to the heat and sickness bug that swept through the race. Mathieu was primed to stir the race up on the long day, sadly, the sickness hit him and he went in to survival mode. He still managed 5th overall.

Now The Coastal Challenge awaits; heat, humidity and the prospect of running along the coast and in and out of the mountains for a week.

The view from camp 3

TCC is the ultimate Costa Rican multi-day adventure. Hugging the coastline of the tropical Pacific, the route weaves in and out of the Talamancas; a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of this Central American country. Ever-changing terrain challenges each participant, from wide, dusty and runnable fire trails to dense and muddy mountain trails. River crossings, boulders, swimming through rivers, passing under waterfalls, surviving long and relentless beaches. Finally, the finish in the incredible Corcovado National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, with a stunning final loop around Drake Bay before departing for their journeys home via speedboat.

THE RACE

  • Stage 1 34.6km 1018m of vert and 886m of descent
  • Stage 2 39.1km 1898m of vert and 1984m of descent
  • Stage 3 47.4km 1781m of vert and 1736m of descent
  • Stage 4 37.1km 2466m of vert and 2424m of descent
  • Stage 5 49.8km 1767m of vert and 1770m of descent
  • Stage 6 22.5km 613m of vert and 613m of descent

Total 230.5km

Vertical 9543m

Descent 9413m

#tcc2023

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2nd at the 2022 UTMB ©iancorless

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The Coastal Challenge #TCC2023 Preview

Countdown to the 2023 ‘The Coastal Challenge’ begins and today, we announce the elite line-up that will travel to Costa Rica to experience six days, 230.5km of racing and 9543m of vertical gain.

The ultimate Costa Rican multi-day adventure hugs the coastline of the tropical Pacific, weaving in and out of the Talamancas; a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of this Central American country. An ever-changing terrain challenges each participant, from wide, dusty and runnable fire trails to dense and muddy mountain trails. River crossings, boulders, swim through rivers, pass under waterfalls, survive long and relentless beaches and finally finish in the incredible Corcovado National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site with a stunning final loop around Drake Bay before departing for their journeys home via speedboat.

TOP WOMEN

UTMB 2022 champion Katie Schide (The North Face) is no stranger to the challenges of distance or terrain. In recent years she has shot to fame with a string of high profile results with victories at Mont Blanc 90km, Val d’Aran by UTMB, MIUT 85km and of course, the most recent, UTMB. With results that date back to 2025, Katie is the ‘one-to-watch’ at TCC 2023.

“I’m very excited to explore Costa Rica on foot, to share a big week with so many other runners, and to challenge myself in a new place!”

Swedish athlete, Mimmi Kotka (La Sportiva) is excited to leave a cold and wintry Scandinavia to join the TCC line up. Victory at CCC in 2016 made Mimmi a star and since that start, she has topped the podium at Gran Trail Courmayer, Marathon du Mont Blanc, TDS, MIUT and recently, Lavaredo.

“Costa Rica is one of my bucket list destinations and the possibility to go there and run a stage race at the same time; a perfect combo! I have never done a multi stage race and this is also something that excites me. New experience, a new place and a new race format.”

Tomomi Bitoh joined the TCC line-up in 2022 but unfortunately contracted Coronavirus in the days before the race started. Once clear, she did join the race for a couple of stage but there and then, the Japanese athlete confirmed she would toe the line in 2023.

“I was able to run through the very beautiful ocean at TCC2022 but I only experienced a small part of the route. I’ll be running through it again this year, enjoying the scenery and appreciating the full point-to-point journey that TCC brings.”

TOP MEN

Peter van der Zon (Hoka) is no stranger to Costa Rica or TCC. He toed the line in 2022 and placed 2nd to an inform Hayden Hawks. With experience and now an understanding of the route, the conditions and what it takes to win, Peter will no doubt be returning looking for the top spot come Drake Bay and the conclusion of the 2023 race. He has recently placed 7th at Mozart 100 and won Istria by UTMB.

“I am looking forward to going back to TCC, the racing was hard but it felt like a big family adventure and of course i want to try to be number one this time. But seeing the competition I am up against, that will not be easy!”

Didrik Hermansen (Hoka) has been an ever-present on the ultra scene dating back to 2010. A breakthrough performance with victory at Lavaredo in 2015 paved a way to victory at Transgrancanaria and a 2nd place at Western States. Didrik is known for his fast pace and for sure will be one-to-watch at the start line in Quepos.

“Costa Rica looks so amazing. I have never run in that area and be able to combine running in a beautiful terrain over several days at new locations seems awesome. I will run the World Championships in Thailand this November, the climate will quite similar so that will be a good benchmark what to do and what to use come February 2023.”

Dani Jung (Scarpa) in recent years has gained attention due to a string of high profile results, victory at Raid de la Reunion and 4th at Hardrock 100. But Dani has been ticking of impressive results for many years, particularly in the skyrunning calendar with races such as Mega Ultraskymarathon, Hamperokken Skyrace, Royal Ultra Sky Marathon and USM.  The distance of TCC will not intimidate this Italian, however, a multi-day format is very different to one long race.

Sebastian Krogvig (Dynafit) heads up a Norwegian double act with Didrik. The duo will also be racing at the World Championships in Chiang Mai, so, as Didrik mentioned, they will both get an invaluable ‘heads-up’ on racing in heat and humidity ahead of TCC in February 2023. Sebastian had a breakthrough season in 2021 with 3rd at Lavaredo and victory at TDS during UTMB week. Recently he placed 2nd at Trail 100 Andorra by UTMB.

“I heard about TCC many years ago, I think first from the book “Running beyond” by you! TCC has always grabbed my attention, February is early in the year, so, there are not many races. For me, it will be a challenge, I’m usually home skiing in Norwegian winter and in 2023 I will be in an excotic race in the Jungle – it’s exciting! The landscapes and nature looks spectacular! The trails look challenging and fun, a perfect mix of racing and adventure.”

THE RACE

  • Stage 1 34.6km 1018m of vert and 886m of descent
  • Stage 2 39.1km 1898m of vert and 1984m of descent
  • Stage 3 47.4km 1781m of vert and 1736m of descent
  • Stage 4 37.1km 2466m of vert and 2424m of descent
  • Stage 5 49.8km 1767m of vert and 1770m of descent
  • Stage 6 22.5km 613m of vert and 613m of descent

Total 230.5km

Vertical 9543m

Descent 9413m

Stage 1

It’s a tough day! Runners depart San Jose early morning (around 0530) for a 3-hour drive to Playa Del Rey, Quepos. It’s the only day that the race starts late and ‘in the sun!’. It’s the toughest day of the race, not because of the terrain or distance, but because of the time of day! The runners are fresh and feel great. That is until about 10km and then they realise the heat and humidity is relentless. It’s a day for caution! The 34.6km is very runnable with little vertical and technicality, it welcomes the runners to Costa Rica.

Stage 2

From here on in, it is an early breakfast, around 0400, the race starts with the arrival of the sun! The only way is up from the start with a tough and challenging climb. It’s a tough day with an abundance of climbing and descending and a final tough flat stretch on the beach, just as the heat takes hold.

Stage 3

It is basically 25km of climbing topping out at 800m followed by a drop to sea and a final kick in the tail before the arrival at camp. For many, this is a key day and maybe one of the most spectacular.

Stage 4

It’s another tough start to the day with a relentless climb, but once at 900m the route is a roller coaster of relentless small climbs and descents, often littered with technical sections, rain forest, river crossings and boulders. At 30km, it’s a short drop to the line and the finish at 37.1km.

Stage 5

The long day but what a beauty! This route was tweaked a couple of years ago and now has become iconic with tough trails, plenty of climbing, sandy beaches and yes, even a boat trip. The finish at Drake Bay is iconic.

Stage 6

The victory lap! For many, this stage is the most beautiful and memorable. In just over 20km, the route manages to include a little of all that has gone before. It’s a stage of fun and challenges and one that concludes on the beach as a 2018 medal is placed over your head – job done!

“The Coastal Challenge was lucky to continue through the pandemic, of course we had restricted fields with 2022 signifying a return to normal. TCC is a unique race and one that we are passionate about. We created this race to show of Costa Rica and this beautiful coastline. The race travels in and out of the stunning coastal mountain range via dense forest trails, river crossings, waterfalls, long stretches of golden beaches backed by palm trees, dusty access roads, high ridges and open expansive plains. At times technical, the combination of so many challenging elements are only intensified by heat and high humidity that slowly but surely reduces even the strongest competitors to exhausted shells by the arrival of the finish line.”

Rodrigo Carazo, RD

*****

#tcc2023

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 6

Hayden Hawks

Pura Vida! The final and 6th stage of The Coastal Challenge is done!

The Coastal Challenge

Starting at Ganadito Beach and concluding at Ganadito Beach, the 36.4km final stage of the 2022 TCC was a tough one, with a substantial amount of extra kilometres over the usual victory loop of the iconic Drake Bay.

Long and endless beaches

This time, Drake Bay was reached after 10.7km, usually, this would be the start and end point.

At 21.3km, Cp2 San Josecito Beach saw the lead men all together and Giudy well out on her own.

San Josecito Beach – Hayden Hawks

Agujitas at 33.3km rewarded runner’s with a sight of the finish at Ganadito Beach.

Franco Colle and Julien Chorier

For all, it was a day to enjoy, signified by the lead men running together for much of the race, the exception coming with Erick Agüero who lost the group and trailed minutes behind.

Giudy at the waterfall crossing.

Giudy Turini ran solo, no doubt looking to get the last day done as quickly as possible. Francis Davila Palacios doing the same.

Francis Davila Palacios

Stage 6 is a mini TCC encompassing, waterfalls, rainforest, plantations, dusty fire trail, water crossings, beaches, coves and the stunning Pacific as a backdrop.

Peter van de Zon ran a great race for 2nd place

Fire roads start the day, a run in a river bed, a waterfall crossing, dirt roads with countless water passes and then finally the beach arrives. The coastline weaving in and out all the way to the line.

At the end, Hayden Hawks and Giudy Turini are the 2022 TCC champions.

The men’s podium, Hayden, Peter and Erick
2022 female champ, Giudy

The line was full of emotion as an epic journey has come to an end. The 2022 TCC was a huge success.

Paolo Gamboa Sanchez placed 3rd

OVERALL RESULTS:

  • Hayden Hawks 24:26:23
  • Peter van de Zorn 24:51:16
  • Erick Agüero 26:01:14
  • Giudy Turini 32:45:55
  • Francis Davila Palacios 35:33:26
  • Paolo Gamboa Sanchez 40:18:12
Pura Vida – TCC2022 comes to an end

Results and overall standings on webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 5

Day 5 is a long day on The Coastal Challenge and what a day! At 42km, it is shorter than previous editions of the TCC due to a change of the finish area and camping location. This, makes the last day considerably longer and much more of a challenge than in previous years.

Runners depart camp via bus for a short bus ride to the Sierpe River and ferry across to the other side.

Cp1 Portero, 11km, is reached by gravel roads and faster running. Sábalo follows at 18km and here, the gravel road gives way to more technical and challenging terrain. There is a steep climb and descent before gravel road resumes to Cp3 Ganado. Now a final technical loop, beach section and water crossing brings stage 5 to an end at Ganadito Beach.

Peter van de Zon

Much of today’s route is considered very runnable on wide gravel roads. Great if you can run, but for many, stage 5 is a tough day with tired bodies.

Peter and Hayden, head-to-head

It may come as no surprise that once again Hayden Hawks and Peter van de Zon dictated the race from the front. The duo running together for the whole day and crossing the line in 4:20:50.

The water crossing

Erick Agüero battled hard and early in the race he held a small gap. But as the race progressed, the gap opened and Erick seemed to relax, content with his 3rd place crossing in 4:50:15.

Erick Agüero

Franco Colle finished 10-minutes with Julien Chorier in 5:00:33. Franco somehow finding form in the latter stages of the race, no doubt due to adapting to the heat.

Julien Chorier
Julien and Franco Colle

5:47:43, 6:05:35 and 6:43:42 were the women’s finishing times, the race once again taking the format of the previous days with Giudy Turini, Francis Davila Palacios and Courtney Hill finishing 1, 2 and 3.

Giudy Turini
Francis Davila Palacios

Japanese runner, Tomomi Bitoh joined the race today after opening quarantine in San Jose and then being cleared with a negative PCR test. It was a bitter sweet moment for Tomomi after excitement over a trip and race in Costa Rica, for it all to be taken away at the 11th hour. She will savour the opportunity to experience some Pura Vida and a magical part of the TCC race.

Tomomi Bitoh

Tomorrow’s stage is a loop of Drake Bay – it’s a stunning day that manages to encamps all the previous 5 days in one loop. However, in previous years, this race was often a victory loop at just over 20km… Now, the last day is a challenging 37km!

Making a splash!

Stage Results:

  • Hayden Hawks 4:20:50
  • Peter van de Zorn 4:20:50
  • Erick Agüero 4:50:15
  • Giudy Turini 5:47:43
  • Francis Davila Palacios 6:05:35
  • Courtney Hill 6:43:42

Full results at www.webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 4

Erick Agüero

Day 4 from Coronado to Palma Norte (a new finish) is a unique day – starting at sea level, the route climbs to just under 1000m in 10km and then stays high with a rollercoaster of hills dropping to just under 600m at 15km and then climbing again to 900m at 20km. From here, the runners drop to 600m at 30km and then once agin, climb to 850m before a short, sharp and very steep drop to the finish.

Hayden Hawks pushing the pace

With three aid stations, Tres Ríos at 6.1km, Guagaral at 15.5km and Donkey’s Hill at 23km, it is essential for the runner’s to ensure they have enough fluid for this tough stage. The distance 37.4km and 2414m of vertical.

Early morning had a chill and misty start and at remained that way for some time, providing the runner’s with a welcome refreshing start to the day.

Giudy Turini

The main protagonists of Hayden Hawks, Peter van de Zon, Erick Agüero and Julien Chorier marked each other over the opening 10km running side-by side. 

Eventually, Hayden Hawks decided to make a move… His motive was to build some time and a gap so that he could concede some time on the more challenging and technical terrain.

Peter chasing hard

By Donkey’s Hill he had really opened the throttle and built a huge lead over Peter who chased.

Erick Agüero

Despite the terrain and challenge, Hayden stormed his way to the finish crossing in 4:18:15. Peter battled hard but in the end, the speed of Hayden on the flat and more runnable terrain could not be matched, he reached the finish in 4:25:23.

Expansive vista

Erick Agüero once again finished 3rd once again in 4:38:27 with Julien 4th in 4:46:07.

Giudy Turini

The women’s race went to the protocol of the previous days with Giudy Turini pushing from the front, holding her place and crossing the line in 6:02:17.

Francis Davila Palacios

Francis Davila Palacios played the eternal bridesmaid, always running with a smile and crossing in  6:20:52.

Courtney Hill

Courtney Hill, once again placed 3rd in 7:17:59 and today, Jennifer Schwegler placed 4th

Tomorrow’s stage is 42km from Sierpe to Drake Bay with a new finish.

Franco Colle

Stage Results:

  • Hayden Hawks 4:18:15
  • Peter van de Zorn 4:25:23
  • Erick Agüero 4:38:27
  • Giudy Turini 6:02:17
  • Francis Davila Palacios 6:20:52
  • Courtney Hill 7:17:59
Epic vistas

Full results at www.webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 3

Hayden and Peter at Nuayaca Waterfall

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.

Danish ultra runner, Jakob Bloch.

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.

Erick tries to cool down.

Now, the heat is intense and the runners are sandwich pressed between sand and sky.

Peter at the water crossing
Everyone survived…

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

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.

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.

Hayden strong and in control

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.

Erick pushing to the line
Giudy was flying!

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.

Giudy at the final water crossing

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.

Francis Davila Palacios

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.

Paolo Gamboa Sanchez

Stage Results:

  • 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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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 2

It was a an 0330 wake up call this morning and an 0530 start. It may sound super early but believe me, the runners weren’t complaining! Most had been in bed before 8pm. The advantages of an early start are simple, it gives the runners a good 2-hours before the heat starts to take its toll. For Costa Rica, it was a chilly morning (relatively) as the runner’s departed straight in to a steep climb.

Today’s stage was a tough 41.3km with 1828m of vertical and 1953m of descending. 

Julien Chorier and Peter van de Zorn

Julien Chorier, Peter van de Zorn, Hayden Hawks and Erick Agüero pushed hard on the first climb and after the summit, Julien and Peter opened a small gap over the chasing duo. Leaving the trail, gravel roads lead the way to Cp1 El Brujo at 13.1km. It was a tight race up front and the more technical trail suited Peter, Erick and Julien. Erick opened a gap!

Dos Bocas, Cp2 at 23km and Eick had taken the lead with Peter 2-minutes behind and Hayden chasing 4-minutes back. Was the Costa Rican local and TCC regular about to light up the race?

By Cp3 at Hatillo, 33km, Hayden had closed the gap with Julien not far behind. It was significant marker in the race. The heat was now full strength and ahead flat beach running to Dominical and two water crossings. 

Hayden Hawks
Dominical Beach is a haven for the local fishermen.

Hayden bided his time and pulled away, it was a clever move, he had saved something for when it mattered and the gap opened up over Erick with Peter chasing.

Peter van de Zorn

At the line, Hayden had opened up several minutes and clinched another stage victory and a solid lead. Next to appear was Erick and on his heels, Peter. The due crossing the line 35-seconds apart. A stunning day’s racing.

Julien Chorier

Julien Chorier placed 4th and Daniel Herrera Montero placed 5th, flying the flag for Costa Rica.

Daniel Herrera Montero

In the women’s race Giudy Turini followed on her stage 1 victory with a convincing performance. Before Cp1 she had already built a lead, this only increased checkpoint by checkpoint, she crossed the line well ahead of 2nd and looked comfortable in the heat.

Giudy Turini

As on day-1, Francis Davila Palacios ran the day in 2nd place, but as the day progressed and the distance lengthened, the time gap to Giudy only extended. However, at the finish she still looked strong and fresh. There is still a long way to go!

Giudy at the finish.

Paola Gamboa Sanchez who placed 3rd on day-1 struggled a little today opening the door for Courtney Hill who achieved a 14-minute gap. Paola still retaining 3rd overall after 2-stages.

Francis Davila Palacios
Courtney Hill
Paola Gamboa Sanchez

Tomorrow’s stage, stage 3, is 50.5km and a tough one that runs from Dominical Beach to a new finish at Katakolo.

Stage Results:

  • Hayden Hawks 3:57:06
  • Erick Agüero 4:00:22
  • Peter van de Zorn 4:00:57

In the overall standings, Hayden has a 16-minute lead over Peter.

  • Giudy Turini 5:14:41
  • Francis Davila Palacios 5:46:35
  • Courtney Hill 6:26:08

In the overall standings, Giudy has a 37-minutes lead over Francis.

Full stage results webscorer.com

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The Coastal Challenge 2022 #TCC2022 Stage 1

Hayden Hawks crossing the final river for victory.

Leaving San Jose at 0430, runners eventually arrived at Quepos and transferred to the beach for an 0920 start, the 2022 The Coastal Challenge getting underway! As always, day 1 of TCC starts late and typically it is tough… The heat and humidity is already high and there is no time to adjust. This year, temperatures were cooler and the humidity was not as intense.

The early flat miles ticked away and it was Hayden Hawks who pushed the pace. Hayden raced TCC in 2018 and with that experience, he has arrived with better preparation and heat adaptation. He meant business dictating a fast pace.

Peter van der Zon

Behind Peter van der Zon chased followed by Julien Chorier and local, Erick Agüero, a multiple TCC finisher and often on or close to the podium.

Erick Agüero

Giudy Turini dictated the women’s race and looked comfortable and relaxed, Francis Palacios chased.

Giudy Turini

Cp1 at Boca Naranjito and runner’s were already feeling the heat and the impact of the opening flat miles.

Cooling off

A dense section of rainforest and then some fast trails to cp2, Londres, saw Hayden extend his lead and notably, Erick was now in third place. 

At the third aid station, Los Campesinos, a steep climb and descent before the final river crossing allowed the gaps to open. Hayden never really attacked, he just maintained a fast pace, the cooler day allowing him to close faster than his 2018 time when racing with Tom Evans. A day 1 victory.

Peter ran a smart race with a strong second place, almost 12-minutes behind Hayden. TCC regular, Erick placed third 5-minutes later.

Giudy for the ladies was not in a race on her own, she was pushed by Francis and Paolo Gamboa Sanchez, all three finishing within a 10-minute window.

Paolo Sanchez

Notably, Tomomi Bitoh from Japan, who placed second at Marathon des Sables in October, was unable to start after a positive Covid test pre-race. Needless to say, it was sad news and while the Coronavirus situation is improving, the TCC and race team have strict protocols in place to ensure everyones safety.

Julien Chorier

Julien Chorier and Franco Colle suffered in the heat and humidity today, placing 4th and 7th respectively.

Franco Colle
  • Hayden Hawks 2:35:29
  • Peter van der Zon 2:47:13
  • Erick Agüero 2:51:59
Francis Palacios
  • Giudy Turini 3:44:15
  • Francis Palacios 3:47:28
  • Paolo Gamboa Sanchez 3:53:44

Stage 2 starts at Rafiki Lodge and concludes at Dominical Beach, 41.3km and 1828m of vertical.

Full results at www.webscorer.com

Follow the action as the race unfolds #TCC2022

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